Bowness is known and beloved for many reasons. However, one that has stood the test of time is Bowness Park. Bowness Park has been serving Calgarians for over 100 years, ever since it was donated to the city by John Hextall in 1911.
In the 1920’s and 1930’s, streetcars left Calgary every 15 minutes to Bowness Park. On nice weekends upwards of 25,000 people would visit the park! Back in those early days visitors could enjoy a large swimming pool, a fountain at the center of the lagoon that gentle music could be heard from while canoeing, playgrounds, picnic sites, cabins that could be rented, a dancing pavilion and a merry-go-round that now resides in Heritage Park. Some of these attractions may be gone, but Bowness Park continues to be popular.
In 2013 Calgary was flooded. After heavy rainfall and a rush of glacial run-off, the Bow River overflowed and broke through the river bank. The City of Calgary and surrounding communities such as Canmore and High River were flooded, causing millions in damage. Albertans came together and, “through hell and high water,” rebuilt the damaged communities. The residents of Bowness were particularly involved volunteers, showing just how much they love their home.
Bowness Park is nestled right along the Bow River, so it was one of the first places to be damaged during the flood. The park had to be closed for a year to rebuild, but came back better and stronger than ever. Now open to the public, you can continue to enjoy the park during every season. Warm up by a fire after an evening of skating in the wintertime, or grab an ice cream after canoeing in the summertime. This family-friendly park has become a Calgary staple and a proud community feature for Bowness.