Peter Anthony Prince, a Quebec-born carpenter who immigrated to Calgary in 1886 and established the Eau Claire Lumber Mill, was honored with the name Prince’s Island. To get Kananaskis logs closer to the Calgary sawmill, the Eau Claire and Bow River Lumber Company constructed a waterway, which is now the lagoon, creating an island in the process.
To provide the community with electric supply, Prince established the Calgary Waterpower Company in 1889. Despite its name, the business relied on sawdust-powered steam generators until Prince built Calgary’s first hydroelectric plant close to the lagoon’s eastern edge in 1893. The mill continued to run after his death in 1925 until 1944. In 1947, The City acquired the property from the remaining members of the prince family to build parkland.
Prince’s Island Park was established as a park in the 1950s, and since then, it has gained a reputation as an urban oasis that significantly improves the quality of life for Calgarians in terms of culture and recreation. Council gave the go-ahead to renovate the island in March 1999, which included building new wetlands and restoring natural plant life.
On the eastern side of Prince’s Island Park lies the Chevron Learning Pathway, a walkway for environmental education. Before returning to the Bow River, the walk circles a built-in wetland that is intended to treat stormwater. Interesting informative signage provides useful details about animals, habitat, and water quality while explaining how a wetland functions. People can interact with nature through this environmental, educational, and recreational resource.
Chevron, Calgary Parks, and the Parks Foundation are the founding partners.
- Host numerous festivals and events
- Picnic areas
- Trails for walking and hiking
- Flower gardens
- Chevron Learning Pathway
- Water fountains (seasonal)
- Cross-country skiing (seasonal)
- River Café (full-service restaurant, closed each January)
- Leash Free Park (No dogs allowed on Canada Day and Heritage Day, due to event participant volume)
- Download the Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth (USAY) IndigiTRAILS app to access the “Remembering Our Children” trail, which will lead you on a 30-minute walk past seven art exhibits meant to spark a discussion on residential schools. This App is also available on the Play Store and App Store.
Entry to the park is free and if you’re looking for something to do after visiting the park visit Telus Spark Convention Centre which is 10 minutes away!
Prince’s Island Park is a unique gem in the city of Calgary, featuring many spots to just head out throw a blanket lie down and enjoy the sunshine and water sounds. If you’re looking for a more of a outdoor sport activity you can walk the trails, ride on your bicycle or go for a run with your dog in the trails.