Inner-city paths through Mount Royal could be new greenway for pedestrians

Calgarians will be asked if they support formalizing a series of inner-city paths into a greenway. The paths provide pedestrian linkages between Western Canada High School south to the Elbow River.

Paths are all on city-owned land but better markings could boost awareness of them

Calgarians will be asked if they support the city formalizing a series of paths on public land so pedestrians can have a better connection through some inner-city neighbourhoods.

The paths stretch from Western Canada High School through Cliff Bungalow-Mission, Upper Mount Royal and Elbow Park to reach the Elbow River on Sifton Boulevard.

Currently, tracing your way along the paths requires either an adventurous urban explorer or some inside knowledge.

Woolley knows the shortcut

Coun. Evan Woolley has known about the shortcuts since he was in elementary school, pedalling his bike towards 17th Avenue.

"It was the safest route to [go] play Mortal Kombat at the 7-11 on 17th Avenue when I was a kid, and buy penny candy," said Woolley.

Now as councillor for parts of the area, he's working with community representatives on formalizing the unmarked path as a city greenway.

"Our parks spaces are really important to us as neighbourhoods. This is a potential greenway that connects three neighbourhoods. It's natural in its form now. It's just a little disjointed," said Woolley.

A public consultation will help the city determine if the paths just need signage or if the community wants lighting installed. It could also lead to the path being paved or covered with red shale or gravel.

Path could include Evamy Ridge land

Part of the path would pass through a scenic viewpoint that the city rejected selling to well-known businessman and philanthropist Don Taylor in 2014.

Taylor, who is now developing a mansion on neighbouring property, believed for several years that the land on Evamy Ridge belonged to him when in fact it is city property.

Taylor offered to buy it, but city council opted to retain ownership.

Woolley said there is currently no timeframe or budget for the greenway project,as it depends on the scope of the improvements Calgarians want to see.

"I don't think that this needs to cost a lot or take a long time and so I'm hoping in the next year or two," he said.