Date visited: February 28, 2022, but have walked through it a few times before that.
Location: Downtown Calgary
Best Time of Year To Visit: Any time, especially when there’s an event! It depends on your preferences. More on that later.
Olympic Plaza Park was built in 1988 when Calgary hosted the Winter Olympics. The medal ceremonies took place there. Fun fact: That was the year that the first Jamaican bobsled team competed, as shown in the movie Cool Runnings. You can see the Calgary Tower just past the park. Even though Calgary Tower wasn’t built for the Olympics, whenever the Olympics happen, there is a flame burning on the top of it when the Olympic Flame is lit.
There’s another piece of history that goes back even further than 1988. There are statues of the Famous Five, formerly known as the Alberta Five. The other place you can find statues of the Famous Five is in Ottawa on Parliament Hill. The Famous Five were petitioners in the Persons Case in 1929. This case overturned a ruling the previous year that said that women were not people. A decade before, provinces started allowing women to vote in federal and provincial elections and run for the House of Commons. However, women were still not allowed to be appointed to the Senate. The Persons Case allowed women to be appointed to the Senate.
Olympic Plaza Park is a prime place for downtown events! The most famous of them is the Chinook Blast concert. In the centre of the park, there’s the Reflecting Pond, which you can enjoy in early summer. Later in the summer, they drain it for maintenance. In the winter, you can skate on it! The park sparkles with Christmas magic in December and bursts into bloom in the spring!
I found it amusing to see the pipes that have the names of the parks in Calgary. Looks like one big checklist for my Parks Challenge! 😂😎
There are times it can get crowded, besides the times there are events. Since Olympic Plaza Park is across the street from City Hall, you’re more likely to run into protests. A good way to gauge if it’s a good time to visit the park is to peek at it from the light rail station or train. I followed my own advice earlier this year when I was going downtown and thought it would be a good idea to chill at Olympic Plaza Park. Then, I saw a protest supporting the Trucker’s Convoy, so that plan went out the window! It’s a popular choice for city workers on their lunch break as well. I’m not sure if the park’s lunch break visitors have reduced due to the pandemic and more workers doing hybrid work, but I guess only time will tell.
If you miss any of my future posts on my challenge or want to reread my past posts, you can go to my page Calgary Parks Challenge. You can also find more photos from the parks on my Instagram page here.
See you at the next park in my challenge!