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Calgary’s newest park elevates the Beltline community to new heights

Calgary’s got a new rooftop park square atop a parkade in the city’s Beltline.

The new urban city project is located six floors above street level on the top decks of the Centre City Parkade at 340 10 Avenue SW.

It gives the community a much-needed public space.

“We really saw this opportunity up here to turn this into something like special,” said Peter Oliver, president of the Beltline Neighborhoods Association, (BNA).

“It just seemed like this amazing base to start building off something different for the community, that could be park space, outdoor fitness space or an event space.”

Peter Oliver, President of the BNA (OMAR SHERIF/FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY)

The 2-acre park, which was funded through the Beltline Community Investment Fund, reimagines and repurposes the parking lot and was inspired by similar concepts and spaces from cities across the U.S. and Canada.

“We really looked across like North American cities,” said Oliver.

“New York with the Highline and the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Montreal, Toronto to projects where public space was being created through unconventional means through tactical urbanism and taking space that had previously been single-use.”

Oliver hopes High Park becomes a destination that people from out of town stop to see when they come to Calgary. They’re encouraging locals to treat it just like a regular park that’s open during regular hours.

But before it was turned into an urban park, the parking lot was already a popular spot. Views of Calgary buildings and skyscrapers can be seen from High Park, including the Calgary Tower.

“People were coming up here and taking photoshoots and stuff as it was before this ever opened,” said Oliver.

“But there wasn’t really anything to keep people here, to make it easier to hang out here for a longer period of time.”

Designed with a local flair

The space is decorated with colourful tables and furniture, AstroTurf, and positive message signs. Oliver says it was a community effort that took local artists, designers, and architects coming together to make it happen.

A sign at High Park in the Beltline (OMAR SHERIF/FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY)

Though there may only be two or three more weeks of sunny, warm weather, the park is open all year round.

This is the first phase of the project, with the second and third phases coming the following summer and fall.