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Dozens of mature poplars and cottonwoods were cut down on Riverfront Avenue S.E., to be replaced by about 100 new ones. ((Submitted by Steve Coutts))

Dozens of large, mature trees along the Bow River in downtown Calgary have been cut down as part of the city's East Village development project.

An estimated 40 trees — mainly cottonwoods and poplars — along Riverfront Avenue S.E. were cut down this week as part of the Riverwalk promenade expansion.

The city said the trees will be replaced with nearly 100 new trees once the project is completed.

"We worked with an arborist, as we were directed through a public consultation process, to survey all of the trees in the area to really catalogue which could stay and which should be removed to make way for the promenade," said Susan Veres with the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation.

However, the move angered many local residents, including Kristina Zaradic.

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The trees were taken down as part of the city's Riverwalk promenade expansion. ((Submitted by Steve Coutts))

"The scene at the Bow [River] this morning is stomach turning," Zaradic wrote in an email to CBC News.

"I don't remember the city disclosing this as part of the plan … I am deeply disturbed and believe many Calgarians would be if they were made aware."

The redevelopment will eventually include a four-kilometre, multi-use promenade and bicycle path, which will extend along the Bow River from Chinatown eastward to Stampede Park in the south.