Dam! – The Glenmore Pathway reopens!

Since 2017 the Glenmore Dam has been receiving construction upgrades including a new deck, as well as gate upgrades and creating unobstructed views of the Elbow River valley. Well today Bike Calgary is pleased to confirm the opening of this important pathway connection.

To mark the occasion, Bike Calgary asked Shiv Ruparell, who made regular requests through our websites forums as to when the pathway would be opening, to join us to mark the event.

Bike Calgary’s Board Member Bill Richardson presented Shiv with our new style T-Shirt to commemorate the event.

Shiv addedIt is with great pleasure that I cross, for the first time, the new pathway on the top deck of the revitalized Glenmore Reservoir Dam. With dedicated lanes for cyclists and pedestrians going in each direction, as well as a great view of the downtown skyline to the north, this important piece of infrastructure will undoubtedly improve the safety and well-being of all pathway users both on wheel and foot. 

On a more personal level, the completion of the dam is of special significance to me and my community. Born and raised in a southwest Calgary neighbourhood no more than a 10-minute walk from the dam, growing up I often used this connection to either cycle or run around the Glenmore Reservoir or up the Elbow River for exercise. The pathway routes that the dam connects helped shape what would become a lifelong love of urban cycling and the outdoors. Today, however, the dam holds new meaning. I recently returned to Calgary after five years living in France, the U.S., and Toronto completing my post-secondary education and beginning my professional career. In the cities I lived, I discovered the joys of cycling not only for recreation, but as a convenient (and often most expedient) means of transit. I had come to rely on those cities’ well-designed bike lanes and multi-use pathways to efficiently get from point A to point B. 

Living in Calgary now as a young adult, I have come to rely on the dam’s pathway to commute from my home in the Southwest to my work in downtown, or simply to see friends or frequent restaurants, cafes, and bars in the Mission area/along 4th and 17th. By connecting the Glenmore Reservoir Pathway to the Elbow River Pathway, the dam connects two of Calgary’s largest urban pathway systems and in doing so provides cyclists with the only uninterrupted north-south/SW-downtown bike corridor in the city. 

With the completion of this dam, I hope that the City continues to invest in active transport infrastructure and further builds out biking and pedestrian networks that allow Calgarians to enjoy our beautiful city. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Calgarians stuck at home rediscovered the joys of an evening bike ride with their families or a morning walk with their neighbours. For my own family, the reopening of the dam pathway will allow us to easily access the many beautiful parks, beaches, and communities along the Elbow River, all the while enabling us to keep a safe distance from other pathway users due to its wide design and segregated cycle tracks and pedestrian walkways. The fact that the view of downtown from the dam makes for a great selfie backdrop … well that’s just an added bonus!

Some History of the Dam

Built in 1933, the Glenmore Dam together with the Glenmore Water Treatment Plan were built to provide drinking water to Calgarians. The Glenmore Dam resulted in the creation of the Glenmore reservoir, which stores our water supply. The upgrade will allow the resevoir to hold another 10 Billion litres of stored water, and is not available for use on the Winter period.

The views into the valley and of the City are a reason alone to cycle to the Dam and take in the scenery!

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