The 12 Street S.E. bridge spans the Bow River on the south side of St. George’s Island and is in need of replacement due to its age and deteriorated physical condition. The bridge, constructed in 1908, was originally designed to carry horse and buggy, as well as pedestrian traffic to St. George’s Island. Now it is an important link for vehicles and people on foot or bikes, which provides access to and from 9 Avenue S.E. to Memorial Drive and points south. A new bridge will ensure this important link is maintained for the next 100 years.

The bridge will be replaced with a new structure that will:

  • Provide two lanes for vehicle traffic with adequate lane widths, which could accommodate emergency vehicles and future Transit, and increase safety generally.
  • Be more flood resilient.
  • Provide pedestrian/cycling access across the bridge and incorporate into existing pathway on the north and south ends of the bridge.
  • Be easier to maintain and will last for a long period of time (100 years).
  • Incorporate an historical/commemorative component recognizing the old bridge design.
  • Continue to provide access into the Zoo’s Administration area parking lot and building.

The 12 Street bridge is currently under construction. For more information on the bridge, please visit the 12 Street S.E. Bridge Replacement project page.


We asked the questions below for input on commemoration of the old bridge, and the landscaping design and features in the surrounding park area. Please see the What We Head report in the document library (right side of webpage). The final plans for landscaping and commemoration will be shared on the project page.


History of the bridge

click to expand

In 1887, town council leased the Bow River islands, St. George, St. Andrew and St. Patrick, for development as parks.

First Nations

  • Proximity to the confluence of the rivers is very culturally significant.
  • There are a number of relevant stories / beliefs / traditions relevant to the site that could be drawn upon.

Facts about the bridge

  • The bridge was built by the Algoma Bridge Company. The chief builder was A.Y. Bayes.
  • Based on the stamps on the existing steel it came from a Carnegie Steel Mill in the US.
  • The bridge was designed to carry horse and buggy.

The area around the bridge

  • The island used to feature a children’s playground.
  • There have been many different activities at St.George’s Island including a camp ground, football games and a bandstand.


What aspects of the sites history do you feel are important to commemorate?

Please tell us why you made the above selection(s).

The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.


Add your ideas about how you want the bridge to be commemorated:

25 March, 2017

Ramsayite says:

Hire a good artist through an open competition to design something beautiful

25 March, 2017

Glen says:

The old bridge should be kept, history is important and what keeps us unique.

23 March, 2017

Tracy says:

Design of the new bridge is a huge disappointment, made worse by not keeping the old one for pedestrians & cyclists.

22 March, 2017

K says:

Leave the bridge and maintain it for pedestrians and cyclists. Having two bridges near each other is comical and interesting

19 March, 2017

AnnO says:

Have a bridge party every year on the new bridge including all the facts around how it came to be built.

18 March, 2017

fegm says:

We are going to miss the physical gateway that arch of the bridge represented both as the entrance to the island and to the community.

12 March, 2017

Catherine C says:

How about not blowing it up and leaving it for pedestrian and cycle traffic. Re-open south gate of the zoo

12 March, 2017

jdw says:

I am less worried about commemoration and more about having a functioning bridge. That said, go ahead and incorporate any relevant history.

12 March, 2017

Juliet says:

I love the idea of commemorating first nations culture - we need more of this sort of supportive art/design in Calgary!

11 March, 2017

M says:

We need something gutsy that isn't a compromise. Something that challenges. And Definitely not a plaque.

11 March, 2017

Anonymous says:

If you must an inexpensive plaque with the history would suffice.

Park Landscaping and Features

Draft park concept with potential landscaping idea and commemorative locations.


All items noted as proposed (in blue) can be changed. Red stars denote potential commemorative element locations.


What types of trees and shrubs would you like to see in this park?

Please select all that apply.

Please tell us why you made the above selection(s).

What enhancements and features would you like to see in the park?

Please select all that apply.

The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.