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Private donation leads to extended diving platform in Quarry Lake

“I think these will be well embraced over the next couple of years, based on the other changes that have been made at Quarry Park."

CANMORE – A sizeable private donation to the Town of Canmore will see an extended jumping platform built at Quarry Lake.

The platform was originally part of the previously approved Quarry Lake infrastructure enhancements, but concerns over the depth of water where people would be diving from led to additional design work being done.

Once built, the platform will help mitigate soil erosion concerns and add to the safety of swimmers.

“By shifting the jumping portion further out – not only does it make it safer – but there’s less likely a chance to create erosion at the lip with a staircase to walk out and not pull further material from the water bank,” Andreas Comeau, the manager of public works for the Town of Canmore, told council.

The jumping platform was originally approved as part of infrastructure enhancements for the popular destination, which was being funded by the province’s Municipal Stimulus Program and has to be used by the end of this year.

After receiving $626,925 through the program, council approved last year a vault washroom and the infrastructure for paid parking at Quarry Lake as well as a waste container and access road at south beach.

The jumping platform was originally part of the project to help mitigate shore erosion and improve safety, but the preliminary design concept was done to a water depth of 0.8 metres.

The staff report noted the Town had concerns with the depth and after working with the Alberta Lifesaving Society, it was clarified a water depth of 2.5 metres was needed for the platform.

Comeau noted the platform will also have a handrail the length of the platform, which is an Alberta Lifesaving Society safety recommendation. The staircase may have a handrail, he said.

Councillor Joanna McCallum highlighted the likelihood of residents and visitors appreciating the enhancements being made at the popular Quarry Lake park.

“I think these will be well embraced over the next couple of years, based on the other changes that have been made at Quarry Park,” she said.

Comeau said the private donors, who asked to remain anonymous, were in favour of the money being used in such a way.

“It was a wonderful opportunity and everything seemed to line up really well,” he said. “We let them know about the opportunity to fund the jumping platform and the couple were very excited about that.”

The Rocky Mountain Heritage Foundation – which owns 50 per cent of the park – was also in favour of the changes, according to the report.

“It will certainly provide hours, years of great enjoyment for not only kids, but others in the community,” Mayor John Borrowman said. “I think it’s an excellent use of that donation.”

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