Century Gardens in downtown Calgary has officially reopened, years after redevelopment of the park first started.
The space was first opened in 1975 to celebrate the city's 100th birthday, but eventually much of the electrical and mechanical equipment, along with some of its features, were beyond their best years.
The city used the opportunity to revamp the space, opening it up to the streets and adding features while maintaining iconic brutalist waterfalls and fountains. The project, started in 2018, was delayed when crews were forced to grapple with a tangle of old infrastructure under the park.
A new splash pad, wooden amphitheatre, two new pavilions with a washroom and potential for a food concession are part of the new space, along with an expanse of lawn where buildings once stood.
"More Calgarians than ever are looking for parks and green space to enjoy. People have been waiting for this day, so today is a great day to be able to reopen one of the most important parks downtown; giving people even more choices when they are looking for places to reconnect, reflect or relax outdoors," said Mayor Naheed Nenshi in a news release.
"We're pleased to have been able to preserve many of the park's historic features while adding contemporary elements that make the park more open, welcoming and safe for Calgarians living and working downtown."
The project's final price tag was $16 million.