Sunnyside celebrates public realm improvements along Bow to Bluff Corridor

FR1_1897-EditImprovements along the Bow to Bluff Corridor are complete and we are proudly celebrating alongside the dedicated and committed community members of Sunnyside who pioneered this initiative and brought it to life.

Bow to Bluff began as an independent, citizen-led initiative focused on transforming the underutilized land that borders the Northwest LRT line between the Bow River and McHugh Bluff. The redeveloped corridor now includes an upgraded pathway connecting three separate public spaces – each outfit with unique amenities bringing people together.

“The Bow to Bluff Corridor is an incredible example of the power of community and how impactful grassroots initiatives can be," says Mayor Jyoti Gondek. "People of all ages are now able to use this once-vacant land to gather and play with all the amazing amenities it now has. This is placemaking at its finest and I know we would not be here without the dedicated community members who made this happen."

Bow Landing Park features a skatepark resourcefully tucked under the pedestrian bridge, swing benches, picnic tables and an ever-popular community garden. To the north, Harvest Park invites the community in with a ping pong table, a bocce ball court, barbecues, and extra-large picnic tables. On the north end of the corridor, Play Park houses kid-friendly play structures, a community toy box, and a sandbox. To promote accessibility and a welcoming corridor, we’ve made improvements to the nearby pathways, sidewalks, street lighting, and landscaping.

The linear park spans five blocks and is visually connected through a vibrant and whimsical yellow colour scheme, coordinated architectural structures, more than 60 interpretive signs, and mural art.IMG_9818 (1)

Sunnyside is one of Calgary’s oldest communities, rich in history and unique character. Interpretive signage is placed throughout the corridor explaining the historical and geological significance of the area and how it’s evolved into current day Sunnyside.

The corridor is heightened with a series of mural art themed “movement.” Artists Gabriel Specter and Daniel Bergeron were inspired by the infectious energy of the skateboarders, the rushing waters of the Bow River, the to-and-fro of CTrain commuters, and of course, the ambitious community members who made this project a reality. The murals were further inspired by a Siksika Elder who provided insight about the area’s resources and its connection to Siksika history, the Bow River, their culture and ways of knowing. Much of the selected imagery in the mural series was inspired by these teachings.

The new amenities and improved pedestrian modes invite people from Hillhurst, Sunnyside, Kensington and across the city to connect along the corridor, all while amplifying the community’s electric charm and unique character.

“The Bow to Bluff project is a great example of community engagement and resolve,” said Annie MacInnis, Executive Director, Kensington Business Revitalization Zone. “Through years of extensive community engagement and advocacy led by individual residents and the community association, the support of the Kensington BIA, and fulsome support from the ward councillor and many City staff we achieved this amazing result. Together we can achieve great things!”

Sunnyside residents say they are pleased with the results of their hard work and vision. “Ten years ago, I wrote the Bow to Bluff Process Guide describing the citizen-led initiative to transform the Bow to Bluff corridor,” said Tamara Lee. “Today, I am thrilled that our vision, led by ordinary citizens is now a reality for Sunnyside, and a great public space for all Calgarians to enjoy.”

Lorna Cordeiro, representing the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association agrees: “We hope that the historic information highlighting our community’s people, culture, and landscapes serve to inspire you to ask questions, share stories about our community’s past, and spend time reflecting on our collective history and the identity of this special place.”

We proudly supported this grassroots initiative to discover the potential of this area, which now promotes active, social, and lively public spaces for people to gather and enjoy.

Thank you to the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association, and all the people, businesses and contributors that helped transform the Bow to Bluff Corridor into an inviting and community-focused public realm for all to enjoy. 

For more information on Bow to Bluff Corridor, visit us online.