Downtown park to reopen in October with new amphitheatre, splash pond, washrooms and more

After several unexpected snags in construction, Century Gardens Park in Calgary's downtown is slated to reopen to the public in October with a new amphitheatre, a splash pond, public washrooms and two new buildings for potential businesses.

Park will feature a new amphitheatre, a splash pond, and two new buildings for potential businesses

Initially slated to open in fall of 2019, the downtown Century Gardens Park is now anticipated to open in October 2020. (CBC News)

The restoration of a downtown Calgary park is nearing completion after years of planning and several unexpected snags in construction.

Century Gardens Park is slated to reopen to the public in October with a new amphitheatre, a splash pond, public washrooms and two new buildings for potential businesses, such as a food concession.

Construction on the redevelopment for the park at 8th Street S.W. and 8th Avenue S.W. initially began in 2018 after several years of planning.

But the project hit unexpected snags — problems were discovered with underground utilities and the previously buried foundations of former buildings.

This is the view of Century Gardens in July 2012. It was created in 1975 to celebrate the city's centennial. (Google Street View)

Andrew King, a senior project manager with Calgary Parks, said work should wrap up in late September. 

"There have been a few other complications on site. It's quite a complex site with the old heritage features buried below ground, as well," King said. "But we are moving forward according to schedule and looking forward to completion."

Concept art for the downtown Century Gardens Park shows some of the park's new features, including a splash park and amphitheater. (The City of Calgary)

King said that the project has stayed on budget amidst the economic downturn, even as the scope of the work involved changed.

"All the complications that we've had on site have at least been within what had been anticipated for the funding, so the budgets are still in place," King said. "The budgets are still quite healthy and we haven't [had] a reason or need to spend beyond the budget."

Century Gardens was originally created in 1975 to mark Calgary's centennial.

With files from Scott Dippel


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