Town of Canmore

West Bow River Pathway Improvements

Construction Impacts & Project Updates - Updated May 16, 2023

- Tree removal has started in preparation for construction. Final landscaping for the project will include the replacement of some trees.

- The 30% design for the pathway is complete. Refinements to the prospect bridge alignment were made at Canmore Creek to shorten the bridge length, reduce abutment heights, and avoid impacts to a sewer forcemain, reducing complexity and cost. The design improves grades, sightlines and eliminates sharp curves, making the bridge and approaches safer and more comfortable. To view the updated alignment pdf click here (2.72 MB) .

The Bow River Pathway between the Rundle Drive Bow River bridge and the Homesteads Van Horne connection is an existing shared use gravel pathway, serving a critical role in the active modes network south of the Bow River. This project will focus on improvements that will increase safety for all users on a year-round basis, allowing for multi-modal connections to the Town Centre to be maintained throughout the winter.

Approved Project Scope

The approved scope includes:

  1. Realignment of the existing 5 metre path through west Canmore park and replacement of the prospect bridge at Canmore creek,
  2. Addressing poor sightlines and excessive grades immediately south of the junction along the Prospect emergency access,
  3. Addressing narrow facilities (establishing an approximate 3.5 metre standard width), excessive grades, and replacement of the Homesteads stormwater outfall bridge,
  4. Realignment of the southernmost section to move the pathway back from the riverbank and to eliminate side slopes,
  5. Paving of the pathway.

Outside Project Scope

  1. Widening of the entire path to 5.5 metres,
  2. Pathway lighting.

To read the full concept design report which aims to establish a facility design which enables year-round maintenance, ensures adequate width and eventual separated facilities,  pdf click here (24.34 MB) .


Construction is expected to take place in 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the updated budget for the project?
The updated project budget is $3.6M. The updated budget reflects current market conditions and is based on awarded project with successful contractor. Further information on project budget can be found in the May 16, 2023 Special Council Meeting Agenda.

The project is grant funded from the following sources:
Government of Alberta Municipal Sustainability Initiative
Canada Community Building Fund
Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program
Why are you doing this project?
This path is a key route in the Town of Canmore active transportation network, identified for future improvements in the Integrated Transportation Plan.

The most effective way to encourage active modes and increase active mode share is by supplying a safe, well-connected, continuous, and intuitive network that allows for convenient and direct travel and short trip times between desired origins and destinations. 

In order to achieve the mode-splits identified in the Integrated Transportation Plan, continued investment in active transportation and transit is needed. This project is a key piece of that work, providing an important connection from Three Sisters into the Town Centre.

You find more information on the project by watching the March 15 presentation to council (starts at 3:08:42) on Youtube
How wide will the new bridges be?
The conceptual design report recommended further bridge planning to determine the cost implications of various bridge alignment, span, and width options. Clear widths ranging from 4.0m to 6.5m were considered with respect to current and anticipated future pathway user volumes and available project budget. It has been decided that 4.5m clear width for both bridges delivers the best value.
I am worried about the speeds cyclists travel on trails, won't this make it worse?
No. By widening pathway networks, improving sightlines and removing steep grades, all users will be able to use the network comfortably. 
How will this project impact wildlife?
The section of pathway in this project falls outside of both the wildlife corridors and habitat patches. The replacement of the bridge structures will require approval from Alberta Environment and Parks, as they cross water bodies. The remainder of planned improvements to the pathway are not anticipated to have add any additional impacts to wildlife. 
Is the Town of Canmore doing anything to educate cyclists on etiquette and safety?
Yes. We run a regular education campaign each spring aimed at cycling safety. This year, the campaign focused on multi-use trail etiquette for all users. The safe use and enjoyment of our beautiful pathway network is a responsibility that falls on all users.

In addition, Protective Services and the RCMP have been focusing on promoting bicycle safety. Some of the initiatives include a bicycle safety rodeo, combined patrols on trails, as well as providing bells and lights to cyclists. 
Why make the path wider?
Widening the path to 3.5m will provide a safer and more comfortable experience for people walking, cycling, and using other mobility aids. This section of path was identified in the 2018 ITP for improvement to a multi-use-path based on the travel demand in this area, and its community connectivity. Pathway width is based on best engineering practices, and as a function of the expected volumes and mix of people walking or cycling along it. Currently, the narrow width does not provide a good quality experience or high levels of comfort for the people experiencing this space. This path is well-travelled and the intent is to provide a safe and accessible pathway for everyone. 
Is pathway lighting a part of the approved project?
No, lighting is not included in the approved project scope. 


If you have a question not answered above, please fill out the Contact Engineering Form and a member of the Engineering team will respond to you.

The Town of Canmore is located within Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta. In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honour and acknowledge the Canmore area, known as “Chuwapchipchiyan Kudi Bi” (translated in Stoney Nakoda as “shooting at the willows”) and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Îyârhe Nakoda (Stoney Nakoda) – comprised of the Bearspaw First Nation, Chiniki First Nation, and Goodstoney First Nation – as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Blackfoot Confederacy comprised of the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3, within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. We acknowledge all Nations who live, work, and play and help us steward this land and honour and celebrate this territory. We commit to working to live in right relations and to advance Truth and Reconciliation.

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