Just in time for the Labour Day long weekend, a dual-purpose Calgary dam and pathway project was completed in the city’s southwest.
The Glenmore Dam Pathway, which cost $81 million, was a collaboration between The City of Calgary and the Province of Alberta, with $7.6 million of funding received from the Alberta Community Resilience Program.
This provincial grant program supports the development of long-term resilience to flood and drought.
“Flooding presents a serious threat to public safety and can have devastating impacts on homes, businesses and critical infrastructure,” said Jason Nixon, Alberta Minister of Environment and Parks.
He added that severe weather has tested Albertans in recent years and it’s something he expects will continue on in the future.
Preparing for a safer future
“Very early on Friday morning in 2013, I saw the water go over this dam,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
He recalled the following days as times of hardship for Calgarians and emphasized that we must do what we can to avoid a repeat occurrence.
“When I saw how people’s lives had been rendering away, despite all of the great community efforts, I realized this can never happen again.”
“And that is why we are here today.”
The dam is one of three initiatives that the city has been working towards over the last several years to make Calgary a more flood resilient and water-conserving city.
The Glenmore Dam pathway was also reopened on Friday. The city says it is an important connector in the Elbow River pathway network, which will allow people to enjoy more than 27 kilometres of uninterrupted biking and walking around the Reservoir and along the banks of Calgary’s Elbow River.
“What a great little benefit of this,” said Nenshi.
“There’s always been a path up here, but it wasn’t very nice.”
On one side of the path, there is a view of the Glenmore reservoir, and on the other side is a view of the Elbow River Valley system.
“I just hope that a lot of people come up here and just take a look because not only is it gorgeous and you can see downtown, but it also reminds us of why the city is here,” said Nenshi.