News / Calgary

Calgary's Fire Station 1 re-opens rooftop green space to the public

After the fire station’s roof fell into disrepair, it was renovated to become an ‘oasis’

The rooftop green space in downtown Calgary has views of the Bow building and Calgary Tower

Jennifer Friesen / For Metro

The rooftop green space in downtown Calgary has views of the Bow building and Calgary Tower

Typically, a roof falling into disrepair is never good news.

But, in the case of downtown Calgary’s Fire Station 1, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Thanks to some renovations, much-needed repairs and a green thumb, the City of Calgary reopened the Rooftop Plaza green space on Wednesday.

“We wanted to bring in something that benefits the whole community,” said Fire Chief Steve Dongworth.

“Together we’ve created an attractive and welcoming space, where the people who live in, work in, and visit the downtown core can enjoy. They can enjoy lunch, catch a little sunshine, or just escape the noise of the city for a few minutes.”

Neighbouring the Baker House and Telus building, the plaza can be accessed through the Plus-15 bridge from the Telus office building to the Delta Calgary Downtown. Funding for the project was provided by the City’s Community Investment Fund.

The park was completed through a partnership with Delta Downtown Calgary, with which the fire station shares a roof, and offers a quiet green space for residents, workers and visitors.

The space has views of the Bow Building and Calgary Tower.

Jason Clark, manager of Delta Calgary Downtown, said he anticipates guests using the new terrace for weddings.

Councillor Druh Farrell joined the opening ceremony on Wednesday, and said that green spaces downtown don’t only benefit the community, but the environment as well. She added that downtown cores can be “deserts” for pollinators.

“(Green spaces are) heat sinks, they cool down the neighbouring buildings,” she said.

“They provide diversity for pollinators and for birds and they provide an oasis from a really busy downtown … We have hundreds and hundreds of orphaned spaces throughout our downtown, and if we just saw opportunities like this one and transformed them, we’d be the best city in the world.”

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