Enoch Park, one of Calgary’s Beltline greenspaces, could be getting major upgrades later this summer for both local area residents and for visitors to the downtown.
Among the changes proposed to the park by the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) would be the addition of pickle ball and basketball courts, a skate park, a fenced-in dog park, new seating areas, and 12 electric vehicle charging stations.
These amenities would be installed on a parcel of land adjacent to where Enoch Park is now, which currently serves as a parking lot. No changes have been proposed by CMLC to the city-owned portion of the park area.
“We’re in an area that has these really intense episodic uses that have huge traffic volumes and huge activations attached to them, and we’re trying to balance that with a residential area as well, providing benefit back into visitors and residents,” said Clare LePan, Vice President, Communications and Strategic Partnerships for CMLC.
“[Enoch Park] interested us because it’s got a lot of traffic profile on Macleod Trail, but it also sits at the center point between downtown and the [Culture and Entertainment] district.”
She said that CMLC wants to encourage visitors as they travel to the downtown to have an improved journey through locations like parks.
The addition of electric vehicle chargers to the park area would be the second time that CMLC has installed chargers for electric vehicle owners, and the first at a park.
“It was a way to also provide an amenity and activity for electric vehicle drivers to have something to do while their vehicle charges,” said LePan.
The current 212 spaces in the temporary parking lot would be reduced to around 100 after the completion of the park upgrades.
The total cost for the park changes is expected to be $670,000.
Park would continue to see event activations
LePan said that Enoch Park would continue to see event activations like those that have been held at the park previously, like Chinook Blast.
She said that some of the amenities, like the basketball court, would be more passively activated, like Bounce in the East Village.
"Bounce as an example in East Village is passively programmed in the sense that it doesn't have to be staffed or have personnel on-site. People can come and play, and allows people to utilize the space as they choose to," LePan said.
"There's the same intent here with this space, but we've added some additional facilities like the shipping containers which allows for a hub for our events team to work out us and provide information about what's happening in the community and what the vision for the district is going to be."
She said that a second shipping container space would also be available for CMLC partners to use to activate the park for their own events.
Culture and Entertainment District staff, said LePan, would be scheduled to be on site three days a week, over weekends.
"We've done activations in the past year, year and a half, with stilt walkers and activations with our event teams in the district as a way to connect people into what's happening in the district, and what they're seeing," LePan said.
"Because people are coming through detours and construction schedules, what we would intend that this space is a further utilization of that effort."
LePan said that the feedback that CMLC has received so far on the project has been positive.
"Prior to the [development permit] going in, we met with the [Victoria Park] BIA, the [Beltline Neighbourhood Association], and a number of the surrounding condo boards—Arriva, Guardian, and Keynote—just to give them an overview of what the design intent was, and the programmatic use," she said.
"Through that process, we were able to address questions and comments that came forward, but overall it has been very supportive. I think we've got a community that's interested in these types of amenities and activations and utilizing spaces that are currently just parking."