May 10, 2012 8:36 am

Bowness Park to undergo multimillion makeover


CALGARY – A multimillion-dollar redesign of Bowness Park will see the century-old riverside space undergo a much-needed makeover.

The year-round northwest park is one of the most used in the city, but hasn’t seen a major upgrade since the 1950s, according to a report by city staff.

The Bowness Park redevelopment project, which is being revealed in detail today, includes renovations to harken back to the park’s origins.

Plans include a tea house overlooking the lagoon, and restoration of the miniature train, the track for which winds through the park.

“It’s a fair amount of money that’s going to be spent over the next three years,” said area Ald. Dale Hodges.

The plans also call for creating a more concentrated parking zone, and the elimination of its dated minigolf and amusement rides.

The city had also considered recreating the park’s former orthophonic – a 1920s hand-cranked phonograph in the middle of the old lagoon that played music for paddlers.

The design proposal further suggests a pedestrian bridge connecting Bowness Park with Baker Park across the river, but probably not for another 25 years.

The money for the redevelopment of Bowness Park is coming from a community investment fund.

The fund will invest $252 million from 2012 to 2016 into improvements for libraries, recreation centres, swimming pools, arenas, athletic fields, parks, playgrounds and emergency services.

The century-old community of Bowness was founded in 1911 by English solicitor John Hextall.

In 1964, Calgary annexed the Town of Bowness.

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