Canmore Park (formerly North Capitol Hill Park) is a small, tidy oasis west of Confederation Park in NW Calgary, Alberta.
Canmore Park (formerly North Capitol Hill Park) in central NW Calgary is accessed by driving north from 16th Avenue W (TransCanada Hwy 1) on 19th Street NW for a left turn at Canmore Road to convenient roadside parking. This tiny city park consumes only 15 hectares (37 acres) but the maturity of landscaping, combined with modern additions, creates a pleasant and welcoming ambiance.
A paved bike path travelling west through the center of the park provides easy access on thin trail through tall grass leading into a mature grove of evergreen trees. The matrix of walking path wanders through and past fields of long grass bordered by wildflowers and shrubbery. Evidence of mature surrounding urban development is often virtually eliminated. Trails travel on rolling land into ares of groomed lawn punctuated by cool shade provided by the canopy of large mature deciduous trees.
Random trail favoring the north side of the park leads to a sloping grass area punctuated with mature deciduous trees above a large, rectangular fenced enclosure hosting tennis courts on one end and a splash park for children on the other.
There are currently plans underway to restore a wetlands removed in 1960 when their importance was less understood. Signs indicate chemicals are not used to kill 'weeds' and quite frankly the expansive lawns benefit from the initiative. They appear healthier and more natural. Volunteers maintain a healthy balance.
Towards the west end of the small park, one of many memorial benches guards the chain link fence surrounding the grounds for the K - 6 french immersion school École Banff Trail.
Adjacent to the school there appears to be a small outdoor interpretive area which may be used for fair weather classes. A walk around the outside of the chain link fence locates a public entrance to the tiny park area complete with informational interpretive signs, impeccable landscaping and a human shadow sundial that measures time in both standard and daylight saving time. Terraced rock provides seating for outdoor education. The small oasis exhibits the exemplary contribution local community has invested in the education of their children. Quite impressive.
Continuing the circuit around high ground in Canmore Park adjacent to Canmore Road NW finds private, well spaced benches and picnic tables overlooking the north side of the park. Landscaping in this small property creates the illusion of both large space and privacy.
Groomed areas are balanced with wild areas to expand and amalgamate the overall recreational and wilderness experience.
Canmore Park is an excellent place to enjoy a diverse array of natural and urban experiences. The replacement of the wetland will increase the overall contribution this tiny park offers the City of Calgary and the people who choose to visit.