Calgary’s downtown riverfront between the Peace Bridge and Eau Claire, is defined by West Eau Claire Park at the Centre City’s edge. The Peace Bridge has become a destination for tourists, locals, buskers, photographers and many more. This area accommodates ever-increasing numbers of commuters as new developments continue to shape the city. The West Eau Claire Park project reimagines this highly-valued public space along the Bow River and creates public amenities while weaving in critical flood mitigation measures to the fabric of the park. With designated pedestrian and bicycle paths, the updated park and promenade make it easier for Calgarians to walk and cycle through the park and into the downtown. The park is designed to be active and multi-modal; part of a continuous, safe and accessible riverfront that encourages year-round active lifestyles.
The paving design of the pathways reflects the continuous, curving riverfront promenade that responds to the flow and subtleness of the river. Designers chose Unilock 12” x 24” pavers with Il Campo® finish in Dark Charcoal and Granite Blend and Promenade Plank™ Pavers with Smooth Premier finish in Steel Grey and Opal for the design. The colours and textures were selected to create a distinct pattern that changes under different light and solar orientation conditions; something that is truly unique and identifiable for the park. In addition to the diversity of finishes, colors and sizes, these pavers were chosen because of their quality. Manufactured with Enduracolor technology, these products provide a durable wear-resistant surface with brilliant color that will last for years.
West Eau Claire Park and its amenities facilitate river access, seasonal programming, meandering and active living throughout. The park has been embraced by the City and the promenade paving is a huge part of the project’s success. As a result, West Eau Claire Park has become a reference and benchmark for future projects in the area and is a finalist for the ULI 2020 Urban Open Space Award.