Residents in every Calgary community want and need services delivered closer to home. While fire and emergency response services are paramount and often drive project decision-making, other services, such as Libraries, are also priorities because they contribute to the quality of life and increase equity across our growing city.

The Calgary Fire Department (CFD) is vital to Calgarians' safety, and emergency response continuity is a critical factor when choosing a location for a new hall. The Walden Fire Station location and the site size create an opportunity to include Library services at the same location.

The need for a permanent fire station

Five years ago, the rapid growth in southeast Calgary created an urgent need to deliver emergency fire services from within Walden. The best way to address this need was to build a temporary station that could be operational more quickly. It opened in 2020.

Although the temporary fire station provided a more immediate solution, Walden needs a permanent fire station. Since 2020, Council has approved funding, and The City is now in the process of building the new station.

Library services in Walden

In 2015, Council directed Administration to shift away from planning and delivering single-use facilities. The City's strategy now is to look both inside and outside The City for other service providers that will improve the quality of life in the community and help provide equitable access to services across the city. Planning developments that serve more than one purpose also uses City land more efficiently, is less costly than developing separate sites and creates better access for citizens.

After talking to several community groups, City service providers and our civic partners, the Calgary Public Library expressed the need to open a branch in this part of southeast Calgary to fill their service gap. The Library's space needs are a good fit with the site size, and the central location means better access for Library users.

By building a Library in Walden, the Library will be better positioned to promote its values of equity, curiosity, and collaboration and to fulfill its mission to empower the community.

Community discussions

Given the nature of the services provided through this project, the Calgary Fire Department and the Calgary Public Library will establish most facility planning. That said, every City project involves opportunities for open discussion between community members and The City.

We invite you to return to this site, where we will provide more information as the project progresses. If you have questions or concerns about this project, you can email us at Walden@calgary.ca or you can leave a comment in the space provided on this page.



When The City identified the need for a fire station in this growing community, this location was an obvious choice due to its positioning in the community and because it was City-owned land. This 1.96-acre site also allows us to meet Council direction for building multi-service facilities instead of single-use facilities.

The new fire station and library branch will be built at the same site as the temporary fire station at 969 Walden Drive S.E. Once the new fire station is operational in early 2027, we will decommission the temporary station and store the modular building components for future use.


The project addresses the Calgary Fire Department’s need for a permanent fire station, and the Calgary Public Library’s need for a library branch in the East Macleod (Walden) area to support the growth of surrounding areas. It will allow The City to build the permanent fire station in Walden in a timelier way while maintaining operations at the temporary station until the permanent one is built. Finally, this project meets Council direction for building a multi-use facility with more than one service delivered at the same facility.

The project includes:

  • Two-bay permanent fire station (13,569 sq. ft).
  • Calgary Public Library branch (10,000 sq. ft).
  • Parking will surround the facilities to provide adequate public parking and accommodate Fire and Library staff.

The City initially explored the need to include community space in the facility. Research showed that there was no need for more space for community programming as the needs of this community are being met by other facilities near Walden.


A temporary fire station is already operating effectively and with minimal impact on the community on the same site. The CFD will continue to be a positive presence within the Walden community. Master planning will also help plan effective access for engines exiting and entering the station that minimize impacts to traffic. The safety of local area residents is always a top priority when planning stations. Many fire stations operate in residential areas. Their processes are designed to minimize impacts to nearby residences as much as possible when responding to emergencies.

The project will be built in a phased approach to ensure emergency services are maintained during construction. The new permanent fire station will be built beside the temporary station. Once the new permanent station is fully operational, the temporary station will be dismantled and removed.


When it comes to fires – seconds do matter. Every fire burns differently, depending on the materials, fuel sources, and weather conditions.

Research shows that fires can double in size every 30 seconds. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fires can spread up to 1,100 per cent in the first four minutes, and fires can spread to multiple homes in under 10 minutes.

Fire personnel and equipment must arrive on the scene quickly, as fires can flash over in less than five minutes. Within Calgary, the probability of civilian death can increase by 243 per cent when a fire moves beyond the room of origin. Under the same circumstances, the dollar loss due to fire increases by 1,736 per cent. In Calgary, in 2019, eight residential fires spread beyond the structure of origin. In the case of critical medical interventions, such as cardiac arrest, according to the American Heart Association, each minute a patient waits for cardiopulmonary resuscitation reduces the chance of survival by up to 10 per cent. After 10 minutes, the chance of success from defibrillation is only five per cent. Treatment within three to five minutes of a heart attack increases a patient's survival rate by up to 70 per cent.


The Library seeks to support the development of walkable communities, which means allocating library development efforts to smaller, but more neighborhood friendly sites and projects. This project will create a full-service library that consumes less footprint and requires less dedicated parking. This site is easily accessible from public transit and local pathways while being close to multi-family residential and future schools. It is an ideal test of the Calgary Public Library’s vision for future development.


Walden Fire Station

1. Why did the CFD not build a permanent station in the beginning? Why was a temporary station built?

This community has grown at a very rapid rate. In 2019, the fire department identified an urgent need, and the cost and time required to erect the temporary station enabled them to create an innovative, short-term solution. The temporary fire station was relatively inexpensive as the prefabricated units could be erected on site quickly.

Since then, City Council has approved funding for a permanent station to meet the long-term emergency response needs of the community and area. We can now take the time needed to plan and build a permanent station and make the best use of the land and construction by exploring a multi-use facility.

The modular building can also be dismantled, stored, and used for a future temporary station.

2. How will service be maintained during the construction of the new fire station?

The project will be built in phases to ensure emergency services are maintained during construction. The new facility will be built beside the current temporary station. Once the new station is fully operational, the temporary station will be dismantled and removed, and replaced by parking.


3. Is a 10,000 square foot library as good as a larger library, such as the Shawnessy Library at Cardel Rec?

The Walden Library will offer the full range of services offered in almost any library, including physical reading materials, desktop and laptop computers, public printing and internet access, meeting and study rooms and a full slate of in-person programming and play opportunities. In addition, digital services offered through our website and partners include books, newspapers and magazines, music, movies and documentaries, and recorded library programs. Residents interested in sampling a library this size can visit the Quarry Park Library in the Remington YMCA building.

Multi-use facility overview

4. Was a recreation facility considered as part of the planning for this project?

Early in the project planning, the project team explored the feasibility of a recreation component at the site. The City determined that the Brookfield Residential YMCA at Seton provides a wide range of quality recreation services to the communities in the Seton catchment area, including Walden, which is within a 15-minute driving distance.

In addition, the proposed Belmont Fieldhouse and Library will be the first phase of a multi-amenity recreation facility and community hub at a short distance from Walden.

For more information on how The City plans for developing recreational opportunities, please visit the Recreation Projects and Development web page.

5. Is the land owned by The City? Is additional land needed for this project?

The City owns the land, and no additional land is needed for this project.

Have a question or comment? Please enter it below.

The project team will review comments and questions and provide responses on a weekly basis. You may also find a response in the FAQ tab.

Next Steps

As we progress through the design stage, we will develop renderings of what the new fire station and library will look like. We will be able to share these at the end of 2024.