We are the voice of our rivers.

Within any watershed, land use, biodiversity and water management issues are integral with one another. The WPPC will consider matters, generate comments and feedback, and make recommendations to The City of Calgary Administration and Council, regarding protecting the ecological integrity, enhancing the sustainability and promoting the responsible recreational use of Calgary’s river valleys, watershed resources and/or riparian areas.

Calgary River Valleys is currently seeking individuals interested in joining our Watershed Policy and Planning Committee.  Please contact us if you are interested in participating on the committee.

Current Projects

Highland Park Golf Course Re-Development

The former Highland Park Golf Course located generally between 40 Ave NW and McKnight Blvd NW and between Centre St N and 4 St NW is proposed to undergo redevelopment. The developer is Maple Projects Inc. The valley contains a formerly natural tributary to Nose Creek (it has now since been confined to an underground channel) and is an important green connection from Confederation Park to the Nose Creek Valley.  It also contains multiple artesian springs that feed wetlands that flow to the valley bottom.

The concerns that CRV has with regard to this planned development include (click here to see letters submitted by CRV on this issue):

  • the plan calls for filling in of the historical creek valley,
  • the plan calls for destruction of the multiple sustainable wetlands on the site,
  • the legal status of the creek that runs underground in this area has not been fairly or fully addressed,
  • the City has failed to take Environmental Reserve land that is adjacent to the water courses on the site.

The proposal for the land use change is going to City Council January 16th, 2017.  It is a public hearing; you can attend in person at City Hall or watch the proceedings online by clicking the video link on this City webpage on January 16th.

Calgary River Access Strategy

The City of Calgary is reviewing the possible locations for accessing the rivers with hand launch boats (i.e. individual canoes, kayaks, and small rafts) and those with boat trailers (i.e. groups with multiple canoes & kayaks, or large rafts) that would require a boat ramp. Some sites would have plumbed-in washrooms installed at them.  All boats allowed on the rivers would still be non-motorized, as CRV helped develop the motorized boat ban on Calgary waterways in 1991. CRV volunteers helped provide input to the City regarding the possible sites under consideration and provided comments as to which sites would be best to choose and which would be best avoided to ensure the protection of aquatic and terrestrial habitat. A comprehensive strategy is expected to be presented to Calgary’s Community & Protective Services Committee in March 2016.

Bend In The Bow Park / Harvie Passage

CRV has been an invited stakeholder providing input for these two projects, which are separate but related.  Bend In the Bow is a City of Calgary project that is creating a regional park which encompasses Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, Inglewood Wildlands, Colonel Walker House, and Pearce Estate Park, adjacent to the Bow River near Harvie Passage.  CRV’s concerns include protecting the “sanctuary” status of the Bird Sanctuary, as well the ecological capacity of the site to absorb more visitors and a broader range of uses. The Harvie Passage project is a Government of Alberta project that is rebuilding the Bow River high water & low water channel passage areas that were severely damaged during the flood of 2013.  Work on rebuilding the river passage began in August 2016.  Input from CRV has included concerns about water levels through the seasons, “safe” passage for non-expert paddlers through the Low Water Channel, as well as effective passage for fish.

Transportation Studies

CRV has been participating in a variety of City of Calgary workshops regarding various transportation routes that cross Calgary’s rivers and creeks.  The transportation routes include Green Line LRT, Deerfoot Trail, Crowchild Trail, and Shaganappi Trail.  CRV’s input has been to ensure the protection of aquatic and terrestrial habitat.

Past Projects

Trinity Hills / Paskapoo Slopes Area Structure Plan (ASP)

The Trinity Hills mixed-use development (residential, office, and commercial, including hotels) is located south of TransCanada Highway 1, west of Sarcee Trail, east of Canada Olympic Park, and north of the community of Cougar Ridge.  The area is also known as Paskapoo Slopes.  The developer is Trinity Development Group Inc.  The land use application was approved by City Council, and the area was subsequently named Medicine Hills to honour the area’s indigenous history.Trinity Hills ASP Pic


CRV was one of the stakeholders that was asked to comment on this proposed development before it went to the Calgary Planning Commission.  CRV raised concerns regarding:

  • development planned on Environmental Reserve & Environmentally Significant lands within the development,
  • loss of wildlife habitat and biodiversity on the lands, and
  • the location & slope of the allocated Municipal Reserve lands as being impractical for community lands.

CRV’s letter to City Council regarding this plan can be found here (245 KB PDF).

Room for the River

Room for the River is a program that was originally developed in the Netherlands. Alberta WaterSMART, with input from a variety of environmental stewardship groups (including CRV), developed a report to inform the Government of Alberta’s strategy to improve flood mitigation measures in Alberta.

Room for the River Pilot in the Bow Basin Report  (1.87 MB PDF)

City of Calgary Biodiversity Strategy

City Parks developed a strategy to address biodiversity in the City of Calgary. The BiodiverCity document outlines issues, objectives and strategies to improve biodiversity in Calgary.  CRV provided input into the development of this document.

City of Calgary: 10 Year Biodiversity Strategic Plan (3 MB PDF)

Public Consultation Online Survey: River Park/Sandy Beach/ Britannia Slopes

Consultation is closed. Members of the CRV joined us for online consultation to identify their concerns and aspirations for this popular regional park.  What have we heard so far? During the public consultation to date, the common themes that have emerged …

Click here (695 KB PDF) to read the rest of this article.

Public Consultation Online Survey: River Park/Sandy Beach/ Britannia Slopes

In general, recreational use of the Lower Elbow River is good for the city and for Calgarians, but within limits. People benefit from access to Calgary’s rivers in many ways and have for decades. Unfortunately, there are occasions when public access exceeds a critical threshold and becomes problematic for the health and integrity of a water course; River Park presents a clear demonstration of this conflict.

Click here (221 KB PDF) to read the rest of this article.

Principles and Design Considerations for River Crossings

All transportation crossings of rivers and creeks require the construction of culverts, piers and bridges, and have the potential to affect riparian areas and river and creek habitats. For these reasons, the need for river and creek crossings must be balanced with impacts to the environment and be treated with the utmost environmental sensitivity.

Click here (320 KB PDF) to read the rest of the article.

Additional Considerations from the RVC regarding the Proposed MDP and CTP

The River Valleys Committee (RVC) wishes to submit the following considerations for Calgary City Council’s deliberations, regarding the proposed Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and Calgary Transportation Plan (CTP), both versions dated 8 May 2009. We sincerely appreciate the time and efforts the Plan-It Team have taken in consulting with our membership and in incorporating our earlier recommendations into their plans.

Click here (125 KB PDF) to read the rest this article.

Principles and Design Considerations for Watercourse Crossings

On 20 February 2008, at a special meeting of the River Valleys Committee (RVC) Land Use & Development Subcommittee, the Plan-It-Calgary Team invited members of the RVC and the Bow River Basin Council (BRBC) to prepare a set of criteria that would make potential river crossings more acceptable (or less objectionable) to the local environmental community.

Click here (209 KB PDF) to read the rest this article.

Twelve Mile Coulee Park Management Plan — Draft January 2008

The River Valleys Committee (RVC) would like to thank you for your department’s continuing stakeholder consultations, and for the opportunity to review and comment on the revised draft Twelve Mile Coulee Park Management Plan (the Plan). We would also like to commend City Parks for incorporating many of the RVC’s earlier recommendations and for your efforts to address concerns raised by the stakeholder advisory committee.

Click here (54 KB PDF) to read the rest of this article.

Special Meeting of the RVC Land Use & Development Committee (LUD)

Land use amendment application by the Calgary Olympic Development Association (CODA) to accommodate World Cup cross-country ski trails within Canada Olympic Park (COP).

Click here (216 KB PDF) to read the rest of this article.

Setbacks from Waterbodies

A preliminary discussion of development setbacks in southern Alberta: for the purposes of ensuring sustainable water quality & quantity, ecological functionality, and socio-economic amenity values.

Click here (187 KB PDF) to read the rest of this article.

Committee Documents

Committee Documents