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March 2024: Approximately 24 trees will be removed on the south side of Memorial Drive near 14th Street and 5th Street beginning in mid-March (see map below). Trees are being removed now to align with migratory bird nesting requirements. Tree removal notices will be posted the week of Feb. 26. The 24 trees being removed are not Memorial Trees. Approximately 337 trees will be removed for the project in total, with the majority being removed in 2025.


About the project

We know that building a permanent flood barrier is vital to help protect people, homes, and businesses in Sunnyside and Hillhurst from river flooding. We a’re committed to delivering a 1:100 level flood barrier.  This will help us manage flood water and avoid the type of damage we saw in 2013, while providing the building blocks for future climate resiliency. Additional protection may also be offered through a new Bow River reservoir.


The barrier’s location along one of Calgary’s most cherished corridors, is an important consideration. This space must be protected and where possible, enhanced. When designing and constructing the flood barrier, we have had a chance to build upon improvements to this area that have happened over the last 10 years and continue to improve the entire public space surrounding Memorial Drive from 14th Street to Centre Street while adding critical flood protection. The new flood barrier will also provide the building blocks for future climate resiliency.

Construction information session resources

The project team held an information session on Wednesday, October 4 to provide details on flood barrier design and construction.

View the information boards , east alignment and west alignment drawings from the session for details.

The first phase of construction will focus on enabling work (early work that must be completed before barrier construction can start). As we work through the details with our design team and construction manager, we will share information on what enabling work will be taking place, the schedule for the work and any construction impacts the public could expect to see. During construction, we are committed to support and provide ways to move to and through the local Sunnyside/Kensington and Riley Communities that emphasize safe, accessible, and efficient movement. Please check back on our website for schedule and construction updates.

Tree inventory and Removal

Removing a tree is always a last resort. However, to make improvements in the area, some tree loss is unavoidable. Approximately 337 tree removals are required as part of the project. 24 of those trees will be removed in spring 2024 with the remainder being removed in 2025.

Many trees will be repurposed in: 

  • Fish compensation projects
  • Habitat restoration work for fish and wildlife
  • The construction of planting beds and seating around Sunnyside and around Prince’s Island

In advance of the enabling works and main construction, our team took inventory, surveyed and completed heath assessments of each tree on site. We plan to replant a total of 280 new trees in addition to new flowers and shrubs. We have also made modifications to the original design of the flood barrier to minimize required tree removals.

For more information on Memorial Drive Trees, please visit Memorial Drive trees.

Sean Chu

Sean Chu arrived in Calgary from Taiwan in 1985 speaking not a word of English, and within 7 years he was a sworn officer with the Calgary Police Service. From that point on Sean worked with the Calgary Police Service as on Officer for 21 years in a number of roles until 2013.

One Comment

  • Ann Hickie says:

    Please vote in support of the Motion regarding conservation of mature trees on private property to be be brought forward March 12 2024.

    I am dismayed at the loss of the urban canopy in my neighbourhood (Dalhousie)over the past few decades- whether through rebuilding on R1 lots or people just taking down their trees. I am concerned that the proposed blanket rezoning will further greatly erode our urban canopy. Also, I am concerned about anticipated watering restrictions and their implications on private urban trees. While I see no need for watering of lawns, I do think that there should be allowances for maintaining our urban forest. We have several mature trees on my property (we rebuilt our house AROUND them in 2006 – developers it can be done if you just take care and plan!). We keep them well maintained and the shade they provide in the summer and wind protection in the winter have reduced my HVAC costs – no air conditioning needed. The habitat they provide has also increased the biodiversity of my local wildlife.
    These are all things council pays lip-service to promoting.
    Let’s see this motion passed so something can be actually accomplished to fight climate change with all of this densification of Calgary that is anticipated.

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