CASE News

March Board Meeting

Our March meeting is on Wednesday, March 8 at 7PM. Contact us if you’d like to attend.

 

Skateparks in Calgary

CASE is not directly affiliated with any skateparks in Calgary. We advocate for new skateparks and skateboard friendly policies and legislation in Calgary on behalf of the Calgary skateboarding community, but we don’t own or manage any skate facilities.

Downtown:

  • Shaw Millennium Park – Calgary’s oldest skatepark is located on the site of the old Mewata Stadium, on the west side of downtown at Bow Trail/9th Ave between 14th and 11th Streets. It’s Canada’s largest at 75,000 square feet. The skatepark is open 24 hours a day; the greenspace surrounding the park adheres to regular park hours (5AM-11PM). Read more about it on the city’s skatepark site.

South East

  • Deer Run – 2223 146th Ave SE, next to Deer Run Community Centre. 2016 construction.
  • Midnapore – Midlake Blvd SE, next to Midsun Community Centre. 2016 construction.
  • New Brighton – 130 Ave SE, east of 52 St SE. Opened Summer 2016.
  • McKenzie Towne has a small modular park with mostly steel-framed ramps. View the park details here. It’s located at 200 McKenzie Towne Gate SE.

South West

  • CKE Skate Spot is about 5,000 of plaza style terrain located at the corner of Elbow Drive and 73 Ave SW.
  • Southwood – Sackville Drive SW, next to Southwood Community Hall. Opened Spring 2016.
  • Westside Rec Centre, located at 2000 69 St SW has a smaller modular skatepark that is open during the spring and summer months. The set up includes various street obstacles and a 40 foot wide mini ramp with a bank and two distinct sections. Read more at this link.
  • Woodcreek, a small modular skatepark built by area Community Associations separate from the Skateboard Strategy.

North East

  • Genesis Centre – skatepark is in the design process

North West

Mobile Skateparks

The City of Calgary operates the Mobile Skatepark Program during the summer months, generally starting in late June. There are a few parks that travel to all quadrants of the city. Check out this link for dates and locations.

Calgary Region Skateparks

There are a number of free outdoor skateparks in towns close to Calgary.

Skateboard Amenities Strategy

In spring 2017, the City will be moving into the construction phase of the last 2 parks of the first eight, as outlined in the Skateboard Amenities Strategy. You can read about how the initial skatepark sites were selected in this report. The City’s Skatepark Development website has some more information on it regarding these future skateparks.

 

Indoor Skateparks

Currently, Calgary has one indoor skatepark, The Compound, operated by Riders on Board Snowboard Club.

The city has had nearly a dozen indoor parks come and go, however. Places like Skatopia, All Skool, Four-O-Three, Skateworld, and Skate Jungle were all privately operated. It’s been proven that private indoor skateparks cannot exist in most cities. High overhead/operational costs combined with insurance costs make indoor parks a tough go financially.

skatopia

CASE has submitted proposals for indoor skateparks on two separate occasions. The first was for a location in Inglewood, the second for the former Science Centre building downtown.

skate-jungle

CASE is working constantly towards an indoor facility. We live in a city that is unskateable nearly half of the year. We hope to follow the models of parks like Le Taz in Montreal or the Regina Indoor Park. The cost of running a skatepark cannot be supported by user fees alone; a partnership is required. For example, a donated building.

source

Skatelife operates a temporary indoor skatepark every Tuesday night at Dalhousie Community Church. More info on their website:

skatelife

New Calgary Skateparks for 2017

Since the Skateboard Amenities Strategy began to be implemented, we’ve seen six outdoor concrete skateparks built in Calgary: CKE, Southwood, Huntington Hills, New Brighton, Midnapore, and Deer Run.

This year, we’ll likely see two more: Bowness and Genesis Centre (northeast).

Bowness skatepark initial concept

City staff have informed us that these two new parks will go out to tender/bid in March so that ground can be broken as soon as the construction season starts in late spring. Construction times of skateparks vary a lot due to size of the parks and weather, the latter which can be very unpredictable in Calgary.

In addition to Bowness and Genesis, the new Rocky Ridge rec centre will have a skatepark. The facility is scheduled to open in 2018.

We’ll continue to keep you informed on the latest developments of these new parks.

Bowness Skatepark Information Session February 13

The City of Calgary is moving forward with the long-awaited Bowness skatepark.


A drop-in information session has been scheduled for Monday, February 13th from 5PM-9PM at the Bowness Community Hall. We hope to see you there.


Check out the news brief from the City below:

New Location for Bowness Skate Spot

Calgary’s newest skatepark location has been announced! Bowness skate spot will be located in Queen Elizabeth Park, also known as 77 Street Park. Engagement from 2014 will be honoured so preliminary designs will be released early in 2017!
You may recall that the original location near Our Lady of the Assumption School was kyboshed last year for various reasons. The new location has the support of the community association, councillor, and Calgary legion located nearby.
Watch for more information in the near future.

December CASE Meeting

Our October board meeting is on Wednesday, December 14th. Please let us know if you’d like to attend.

Are Skatepark Staff Needed in Calgary?

Do you think Calgary’s skateparks should have staff?

The mobile skateparks are staffed, Westside Rec Centre skatepark has staff, and Millennium Park had staff from the time it opened in 1999 until 2008.

The word “staff” can give the wrong impression. These aren’t “park narcs” that will tell you to put your helmet on or stop swearing. The staff at Millennium Park were all skaters and loved skating at Millennium. They had access to the small office in the building at in the middle of the park. There, they replaced bearings and hardware, tightened/loosened trucks, and did first aid for minor injuries. Usually they had extra helmets and wax for whomever needed them. Most of the staff were quick to grab their broom and dustpan and sweep out areas where debris blew in– before the Parks staff got there. They also called 911 in the rare case it was needed.

millennium-t-shirt

Another function of the Millennium skatepark staff at was to record how many people were using each area of the park: beginner, intermediate, expert, and general observers. This was done hourly. These statistics are valuable as they actually show how well-used the skatepark is.

Perhaps the most important job of the “skatepark hosts” was educating users and observers. Whether it was telling someone why they shouldn’t sit on a ledge or spit where everyone stands, the hosts made a difference. Etiquette was at the forefront of their duties, including teaching newer users the flow of the park and how to take turns. Novice users would be directed to beginner areas where they could hone their skills at an appropriate level. We know that the Millennium skatepark staff taught more than a handful of skaters how to drop in.

They also taught observers about the history of the park and even helped introduce some of them to skateboarding.

Let us know: should Millennium and the newer skateparks have staff?

City of Calgary Ramp Bylaw Updated!

ramp

Evan Woolley photo

30 years after a City of Calgary councillor helped pass a the bylaw prohibiting ramps on private property, our current council has updated the bylaw to allow them.
Thanks to Councillor Woolley`s notice of motion filed last year, council voted 8-6 last night in favour of the bylaw updates which include: ramp size limits (6M by 5M by 1.5 M), location rules (backyards only), and setbacks. See full bylaw breakdown below.

rich-ramp

Richard Coumont photo

 

Here`s what was passed last night and will take effect November 21st, 2016:

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO LAND USE BYLAW 1P2007

1. The City of Calgary Land Use Bylaw, being Bylaw 1P2007 of the City of Calgary, as amended, is hereby further amended as follows:

(a) Delete and replace the text in Section 13(130) with: “(130) “skateboard and sports ramp” means structure(s) that provide a surface upon which an individual may use or operate a skateboard, bicycle, scooter, roller skates or other similar devices. Skateboard and sports ramp structures may include re-purposed furniture or other skateable or bikeable above grade surfaces, but does not include at-grade surfaces such as, but not limited to, soil, grass, wood or concrete.”

(b) Add a new subsection to section 25 as follows: “(e.1) the construction of skateboard and sports ramps located in the Districts contained within Part 5: Low Density Residential Districts, or Part 6: MultiResidential Districts;”

(c) Delete and replace the text in Section 60(2) with:
“(2) The rules regarding building design referenced in subsection (1) do not apply to:
(a) an addition that does not increase the gross floor area of the building by more than 10.0 per cent of the gross floor area legally existing as of June 09, 2014; and
(b) a fence, gate, deck, landing, patio, skateboard and sports ramp, air conditioning unit, satellite dish, hot tub, above ground private swimming pool, and an Accessory Residential Building.”
(d) Delete and replace the text in Section 61(2) with: “(2) The rules regarding building design referenced in subsection (1) do not apply to:
(a) an addition that does not increase the gross floor area of the building by more than 10.0 per cent of the gross floor area legally existing as of June 09, 2014; and
(b) a fence, gate, deck, landing, patio, skateboard and sports ramp, air conditioning unit, satellite dish, hot tub, above ground private swimming pool, and an Accessory Residential Building.”

(e) Add a new section 343.2 as follows: “343.2 “Skateboard and Sports Ramps”

(1) All skateboard and sports ramp structures must be located within the maximum envelope dimensions of 1.5 metres high by 5.0 metres wide by 6.0 metres long.

(2) More than one structure may be contained within the maximum envelope dimensions referenced in subsection (1).

(3) The maximum envelope dimensions referenced in subsection (1) do not include at-grade surfaces such as, but not limited to, soil, grass, wood or concrete.

(4) Notwithstanding subsection (1), railings for safety purposes may extend beyond the maximum envelope dimensions referenced in subsection (1) provided they are not designed or used as a surface upon which to operate a skateboard, bicycle, scooter, roller skates or other similar device.

(5) There must only be one skateboard and sports ramp envelope per parcel.

(6) All skateboard and sports ramp structures must be located between the rear façade of the main residential building and the rear property line.

(7) The height of a skateboard and sports ramp at any point is measured from grade.

(8) All skateboard and sports ramp structures, including railings for safety purposes, must be located a minimum of 1.2 metres from a side property line.

(9) All skateboard and sports ramp structures, including railings for safety purposes, must be located a minimum of 1.2 metres from a rear property line.

(10) Skateboard and sports ramp structures must not be included in parcel coverage.

(11) A skateboard and sports ramp must not be attached to a deck, another structure, fence, or building such as, but not limited to, a main residential building, Backyard Suite or Accessory Residential Building.”

(f) Delete subsection 344(7) in its entirety.
(g) Amend subsection 344(8) to bold the first instance of “parcel”.
(h) Add a new section 571.2 as follows: “571.2 “Skateboard and Sports Ramps”

(1) All skateboard and sports ramp structures must be located within the maximum envelope dimensions of 1.5 metres high by 5.0 metres wide by 6.0 metres long.

(2) More than one structure may be contained within the maximum envelope dimensions referenced in subsection (1).

(3) The maximum envelope dimensions do not include at-grade surfaces such as, but not limited to, soil, grass, wood or concrete.

(4) Notwithstanding subsection (1), railings for safety purposes may extend beyond the maximum envelope dimensions referenced in subsection (1) provided they are not designed or used as a surface upon which to operate a skateboard, bicycle, scooter, roller skates or other similar device.

(5) There must only be one skateboard and sports ramp envelope per parcel.

(6) All skateboard and sports ramps structures must be located between the rear façade of the main residential building and the rear property line.

(7) The height of a skateboard and sports ramp at any point is measured from grade.

(8) All skateboard and sports ramp structures, including railings for safety purposes, must be located a minimum of 1.2 metres from a side property line.

(9) All skateboard and sports ramp structures, including railings for safety purposes, must be located a minimum of 1.2 metres from a rear property line.

10) A skateboard and sports ramp must not be attached to a deck, another structure, fence, or building such as, but not limited to, a main residential building, Backyard Suite or Accessory Residential Building.

(11) Notwithstanding sections 550, 551, and 557, skateboard and sports ramps may be included in the calculation of landscaped area, hard surfaced landscape area, soft surfaced landscaped area or common amenity space.” (i) Delete subsection 564(7) in its entirety.

2. This Bylaw comes into force on 2016 November 21.

Midnapore Skate Spot is Open

Calgary’s newest skatepark to open is the Midnapore skate spot.

So far, reports are positive on skateability and construction quality. Here’s a photo from opening day, courtesy of Wilco Contractors:midnapore-done-wilco

The park is located behind the Mid-Sun Community Centre, at 50 Midpark Rise SE.

City of Calgary Skateboard Ramp Bylaw – Final Vote November 7th

The updated “sports ramp” (skateboard ramp) bylaw goes to City of Calgary council on November 7th for final approval. Administration has been working on the wording and technical aspects of the bylaw and now council must vote on it.33

On June 20th, council voted to “Direct administration to prepare amendments to Land Use Bylaw 1P2007 that would implement the proposed regulations set out in Attachment 2“, meaning city staff could keep working on the bylaw changes. The vote was 10-5 with the following councillors against:

R. Pootmans, A. Chabot, S. Chu, D. Colley-Urquhart, P. Demong

On September 22nd, the Calgary Planning Commission recommended that council approve the new ramp bylaw.

If you support having the ability to have a ramp in your yard, feel free to contact these councillors  mentioned above and respectfully explain why this new bylaw is needed. A lot of work has been done regarding the perceived noise of ramps and the city’s studies have shown that ramps are no louder than any other recreational activities that people participate in on their property.

You may also attend the council meeting on November 7th to support changes to the skateboard ramp bylaw by speaking in City of Calgary council. #calgaryskateboarding

 

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