West Eau Claire Park — connecting Calgarians and the Bow River
CALGARY — The City of Calgary is officially opening the revitalized West Eau Claire Park and celebrating completing its vision of a place for Calgarians to gather and connect where downtown Calgary meets the Bow River. Starting at 8 a.m., Calgarians are invited to experience West Eau Claire Park with free coffee and treats on the pathway by the Peace Bridge. Following this, City officials will provide remarks about West Eau Claire Park at an opening event.
“This opening event is an opportunity to celebrate giving the park back to Calgarians and visitors,” said City of Calgary Program Manager Joyce Tang. “It’s taken years of planning, 18 months of construction and collaboration between various City teams to bring the vision for this area to life.”
With designated pedestrian and bicycle paths, the new park and promenade make it easier for Calgarians to walk and cycle through Eau Claire and into the downtown. The park was designed to be active and multi-modal; part of a continuous, safe and accessible riverfront that encourages year-round active lifestyles.
An integral component of the park is the Delta Garden, located on the south of the iconic Peace Bridge – an architectural delta to move people from the Peace Bridge through the Park. Local artists have created a piece of art that embeds 12,000 brass survey monuments in the sidewalk of the Delta Garden that tell the story of how Calgarians’ perceive their place within the city.
“We wanted to create a new waterfront park experience where culture and nature intermingle,” said Tang. “The Delta Garden is a key component of West Eau Claire Park and features art work that was locally inspired, conceived and fabricated – highlighting the dynamic relationship Calgarians have with their city and the river that runs through it.”
Flood mitigation protection is harmoniously incorporated into the public spaces of West Eau Claire Park. This is seen though design and functional elements such as a flood wall with a bench, a raised promenade and cycle path, stepped terraces and the Delta Garden, which is a flood barrier integrated with raised topography and planters.
These flood protection efforts result in:
- Increased resilience for critical services, public infrastructure and civic services
- Reduced business and economic interruption
- Improved public space adjacent to the Bow River
- Integrated flood protection measures as part of Eau Claire construction projects
- Increased resiliency for residential and commercial properties and future infrastructure projects
“West Eau Claire is also an integral part of flood protection for Downtown Calgary,” said Tang. “What citizens might not realize, it just how integrated the flood protection is within the area, as it’s a natural part of the design and doesn’t interrupt the riverfront experience.”
The total cost of the West Eau Claire Park is $10.6 million, which includes construction for park space, flood mitigation, cycle and pedestrians pathways, public art, stormwater infrastructure, lighting and landscaping. Flood mitigation efforts account for approximately 30 per cent of the total cost.
The cost of the public art element of West Eau Claire Park is $500,000 which includes public engagement, artist fees, local fabrication and product supply and installation of the art.
“West Eau Claire was redeveloped to contribute to a vibrant City Centre, one that’s accessible to all Calgarians and designed citizens in mind,” said Joyce Tang. “It connects people to the Bow and make it easier for Calgarians to walk and cycle, with designated pedestrian and cycle paths.”
More information about West Eau Claire Park is available at calgary.ca/westeauclaire.