The Calgary Soldiers’ Memorial stands in the park that runs between Memorial Drive and the Bow River, east of Poppy Plaza between 10 St NW and 14 St NW. It forms part of the Landscape of Memory park project along Memorial Drive. Continue reading
Poppy Plaza is part of a linear park where Memorial Drive and 10 St NW meet the Louise Bridge over the Bow River in Calgary. Dedicated in 2013, it forms part of the redevelopment of Memorial Drive into a landscape of memory. At the centre of a large wooden plaza on the upper level is a characteristic poplar tree planted along Memorial Drive in the 1920s to commemorate each soldier from Southern Alberta who died in WW1. Weathering steel walls flank the bridge and the two staircases leading down to the pedestrian and bike path along the Bow River. Quotations about different perspectives of war are cut into the steel walls.
Hard to get a good photo of the overall space. This gallery shows some of the separate elements.
After WW1, the City of Calgary renamed Sunnyside Blvd as Memorial Drive. From 1922 to 1928, 3278 trees were planted along Memorial Drive – one for each soldier from Southern Alberta who died in the war. The living memorial was designed to bring solace to grieving families who did not have graves to visit.
Most of the trees were poplars. Some were removed from Memorial Drive over the years, due to disease, road widening, or just old age. (The lifespan of poplars is about 100 years.) The City of Calgary started to clone the trees to replace the originals. The area has been revitalized into a “landscape of memory.” The linear park between the road and the Bow River is a popular route for pedestrians and cyclists.
More about the newer additions to Memorial Drive in later posts.