|Facility renderings/concept drawings|
Having a family picnic or an afternoon tea overlooking the lagoon in Bowness Park will soon become a reality again for Calgarians.
Despite a setback due to flood damages, The City of Calgary Parks is anticipating partially reopening the park this summer. Citizens can look forward to a new concession with a tea house and rental shop and a lagoon/central square at the west end of the park.
“Bowness is one of Calgary’s most popular parks,” says Doug Marter, Parks Manager of Planning and Development Services. “Due to wear and tear over time, the park’s infrastructure had reached an age where it required a much-needed makeover.”
In 2012, Parks started redevelopment work in Bowness to restore the park’s 100-year heritage and better support an increased number of visitors, enhance park user’s experience, boost the park’s environmental health and complete life-cycle upgrades/replacements.
Marter explains riverbanks had started to erode due to high traffic along the waterway. The road and pathway system also needed upgrading and the buildings were past their lifecycle.
The flood last June was additionally devastating to the park, completely washing away washrooms and covering the park in silt and large debris. The flood even destroyed some of the redevelopment work that was already completed, such as the new parking lot and concession.
Parks has started rebuilding the concession, which will feature a tea house, rental shop, and public washrooms, and in the next few months will be issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to find an operator for the brand new facility. Construction is expected to be completed in the summer and then successful operator will move forward on the tea house.
“The new facility is designed in such a way that one of the courtyards overlooks the lagoon, making it a functional and enjoyable space the public can used year round,” says Marter.
Parks would like to thank Calgarians for their patience as work continues in Bowness Park and other flood-damaged parks.
“We’re looking forward to getting one of our most beloved parks back. It’s been challenging without full access and it was additionally devastating when the flood hit and we had to close the park completely,” says Ward Sutherland, Ward 1 Councillor. “While some historic features of the park have been preserved, modern and up-to-date amenities have been added that beautifully balance the old with the new.”
More information and highlights about the Bowness Park Redevelopment Project can be found at calgary.ca/bownessredevelopment. Scheduled completion dates will be posted on this site closer to summer.