Friday, April 27, 2012


Parking lot to be transformed into Victoria Park park
Project includes courtyard and ‘memory screens’ for projecting videos and historic images
By Annalise Klingbeil
Calgary Herald April 25, 2012

A small southeast parking lot is set to become a new community park in a once-neglected neighbourhood that is desperate for green space.

The City of Calgary held a public open house Monday at a Macleod Trail noodle house to discuss the proposed East Victoria Park redevelopment with citizens.

The site, currently being used as a parking lot, is located above the C-Train tunnel along Macleod Trail between 11th and 12th avenues S.E.

“East Victoria Park is a new up-and-coming area. It’s already deficient in park space,” said Michelle Reid, project manager with the City of Calgary parks department.

The open house was an opportunity for citizens to weigh in on the preliminary concept plan. Gathering citizen feedback is an important step when creating new parks, said Reid.

“They’re the ultimate end users and we want to make sure that we give them a space that they can embrace and actively use,” said Reid.

The proposed redevelopment includes a courtyard that can accommodate small events and gatherings, with lots of open lawn area, perfect for picnics, and “memory screens” which can be used to project videos at night and historic images during the day.

The park will enhance the quality of life for Calgarians who live and work in the area, said Deron Miller, principal at Scatlif+Miller+Murray, the landscape architect and planning firm behind the project.

“This place will become an urban oasis,” said Miller.

At Monday’s open house, citizens were invited to fill out a survey about the redevelopment, which asked questions about design, landscaping, the central open space and moving the Enoch Sales house onto the site, provided funds are available.

It has been proposed that the Enoch Sales house, one of the last remaining historic houses in Victoria Park, be incorporated into the redevelopment as a cafe.

Citizen feedback surrounding the proposed green space, which is about 3,000 square metres in size, has been mainly positive, said Reid.

“One of the things that people are always a little bit worried about is who is going to be using this, how is it going to be used,” she said.

Reid said all users will be welcome at the park, but undesirable uses will not be welcome.

Calgarians who live and work in East Victoria Park will have to wait a few years to enjoy the new park. The current parking lot lease expires in June 2013 and construction of the green space is set to begin in July, said Reid.

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