Century Gardens reopens after major renovation

The park, located at 826 8 Avenue S.W., added two new pavilions, with a new bathroom and an opportunity for a food concession, a wood amphitheatre and a central splash pad.

The City of Calgary officially reopened Century Gardens Wednesday.

The park, located at 826 8 Avenue S.W., added two new pavilions, with a new bathroom and an opportunity for a food concession, a wood amphitheatre and a central splash pad.

There's also upgrades to heritage waterfalls, restored and repositioned public art sculpture, and new, wider entrances that provide easier access to the C-Train platform.

Originally opened in 1975 to celebrate Calgary's 100th birthday, the gardens' electrical and mechanical equipment, along with some above-ground features, had exceeded their life expectancy.

The city took the need to do upgrades as an opportunity to re-invigorate the park by adding amenities that make it appealing to a wider group of users. Historical features inside the park were also enhanced and upgraded.

"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 cost of the upgrades was $16 million over a 12 year period.

"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."

"Century Gardens has traditionally offered a place to connect and a reprieve from the bustling downtown scene", said Kyle Ripley, Director for Calgary Parks. "The park redevelopment will bring that sense of reprieve to life for a new generation of park users while adding vibrancy to the downtown core, which is an important piece of the economic recovery of the area."

The park is open daily from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. The splash pad is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the summer.