The Century Gardens urban park in Calgary is reopened after an extensive 12 year redevelopment that added two new pavilion buildings (with a public washroom and the opportunity for a food concession), a wood amphitheater and a new central splash pad.
Located downtown, the project also included upgrades to the heritage waterfalls, restored and repositioned public art sculptures, wider park entrances and increased route options to and from the C-Train platform.
Constructed in 1975 to celebrate the city’s centennial, the park’s mechanical and electrical equipment, and some above-ground features, had exceeded their life expectancy.
The city used the lifecycle upgrades as an opportunity to invigorate the park, making it more inviting and appealing to a wider range of users. The city noted it took care to enhance and protect the park’s historical features.
“More Calgarians than ever are looking for parks and green space to enjoy. People have been waiting for this day, so today is a great day to be able to reopen one of the most important parks downtown; giving people even more choices when they are looking for places to reconnect, reflect or relax outdoors,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “We’re pleased to have been able to preserve many of the park’s historic features while adding contemporary elements that make the park more open, welcoming and safe for Calgarians living and working downtown.”
The fountains and water in the original park design are symbolic of the area’s mountains and rivers. City officials worked to preserve these features in the redesign. The concept for the site redevelopment was created with extensive public engagement and the project was entirely funded by the city. The final cost for the full project was $16 million. Graham Construction was the general contractor.
“I’m excited to have Century Gardens open for Calgarians to enjoy,” said Ward 8 Councillor Evan Woolley. “I want to thank citizens both for their input into the new design as well as their patience over the term of the redevelopment. The pandemic has shown how important parks and open space are and I look forward to seeing this park being enjoyed by locals and visitors alike for years to come.”