Central Memorial Park is the oldest park in Calgary, originally constructed under the care of William Reader in 1889, and considered the social and intellectual center of the city upon development.
An $11.5 million dollar restoration in 2008 brought this Victorian style park back to its former historical glory, while making it suitable for contemporary living. The restoration team used William Reader’s original notes and old postcard photos to guide their process. Apple trees and a symmetrical layout remained prominent factors, but one particularly interesting addition was that of two water features. The team noticed that Reader’s original vision for the park included plans for water fountains but, since he was working under a restricted budget, he was unable to construct them. Therefore, the addition of these fountains was vital for breathing life into Reader’s original dream for the park; albeit over 200 years later.
A traditional water feature of arching jets arranged within a circular basin share the spotlight of the park with historical statues and memorials; captivating park guests with performing sequencing shows. The fountain also attracts guests after dark with its brilliant lights, allowing the park to remain a central community meeting space for Calgary residents late into the evening.