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Design process for changes to Quarry Lake area approved

CANMORE – A conceptual and detailed design for changes to Canmore’s Quarry Lake Park area is currently underway after local elected officials voted at the beginning of July to spend $100,000 this year.
Quarry Lake Drowning
Canmore town council has approved $100,000 for a concept and design plan to improve the Quarry Lake Park area.

CANMORE – A conceptual and detailed design for changes to Canmore’s Quarry Lake Park area is currently underway after local elected officials voted at the beginning of July to spend $100,000 this year.

At the beginning of July, Town council approved changes to the 2018 capital budget and manager of public works Andreas Comeau said the results of the design work would return in the upcoming budget process.

“We are here tonight because there have been a number of steps that have taking place in the last couple of years to bring us here,” he said. “The request is to make a mid-year addition to our capital project list for $100,000 to do some design work to look at the next steps of doing enhancements at this location.”

One of the reasons to undertake improvements to the overall area, said Comeau, is the growing popularity of the recreation area over the past decade. Busy summer weekends can include hosting special events like races and weddings.

The money added to the 2018 budget came from the Rocky Mountain Heritage Foundation, which co-owns the area and manages it in conjunction with the municipality.

The municipality conducted a survey in 2014 around a concept plan for the area and asked various questions around enhancements to the park. Comeau said results showed 60 per cent support for enhancements, although there was a wide variety of opinion around what those would be.

Some felt there should be more picnic tables or a better beach, more washrooms and trees, more bylaw enforcement and an expanded off-leash area were also mentioned. Other improvements could include fire pits or barbecue/picnic areas, drinking water taps, mountain bike skills park, interpretive elements, a wedding pavilion or a nudist beach.

Comeau said the survey identified a wide array of enhancements, however not all of them would be considered for a future project.

“This is really just a starting point and the conceptual plan would help people understand the enhancements proposed,” he said.

Respondents to the survey identified maintaining the natural area and balancing the needs of all user groups as important, including the off-leash dog park. Mayor John Borrowman noted the Quarrly Lake area is a valuable amenity for the community.

“We all know how popular and much-loved Quarry Lake is and we know it is congested and maxed out,” said the mayor. “Better parking and more toilets would be an improvement … it is great the foundation board is leading the work and willing to fund it.”

The 2014 survey also showed that 40 per cent of respondents (a total of 438), preferred to leave the Quarry as is.

A preliminary concept plan prepared in 2016 by the foundation showed enhancements considered for parking facilities, shaded areas and seating as well as additional washrooms and signage.

Until funding could be secured to do the detailed concept plan and cost estimate, Comeau said the project sat in the capital plan.

“We were able to secure funding, that is why we are here tonight,” he said.


Tanya Foubert

About the Author: Tanya Foubert

Tanya Foubert started as a news reporter at the Rocky Mountain Outlook in 2006. She won the Canadian Community Newspaper Award for best news story for her coverage of the 2013 flood. In December 2018, she became editor of the Outlook.
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