According to the City of Calgary’s website “there are more than 800 outfalls” across the city. PHOTO: ROGAN BOWEN-HARPER.

If you’ve ever taken a walk near one of Calgary’s rivers you’ve no doubt seen a stormwater outfall sign. These green and white markers show where the drains for the city’s Flood Resilience Plan are located. 

While some might see the drains simply as necessities for a city faced with a changing climate and a history of flooding, if you’re willing to go a little off road you may find the drains offer scenic spots perfect for viewing Calgary.

Nestled off the side of the 8th Street S.W. and Sifton Boulevard intersection, Stormwater Outfall E 55 boasts a stunning view of the Elbow River and the Riverdale Avenue Footbridge.

We all have them. Places in the city that bring us joy, big and small. In an era of chaos, Calgary Journal editors have taken time this fall to reflect on the public spots that bring us happiness and peace.
You can read the whole series here.

The path down to the drain is well-travelled and short enough that just about anyone could get to it. PHOTO: ROGAN BOWEN-HARPER.

This particular version of the Riverdale Avenue Bridge was finished in 2014 but there has been a bridge here in some fashion since 1934. 

The current model pays homage to its predecessor in the form of a plaque incorporated into its railing. This art piece showcases a photograph of the previous bridge and is a must-see for anyone walking by.

The footbridge connects the Elbow Park and Britannia neighbourhoods and allows easy access for students of Elbow Park School. PHOTO: ROGAN BOWEN-HARPER.

Stormwater Outfall E 55 offers a great vantage point to see the city’s wildlife as the river’s natural bend creates a hidden pocket that isn’t viewable from downstream. 

While you’re not likely to see a deer or moose drinking at the river, the wildlife that you do find is still pretty majestic. Various bird species can be spotted around E 55 and there is something magical about seeing these creatures thrive in places you wouldn’t expect.

This raven was spotted climbing up and down the rocky bank looking for little critters to eat. PHOTO: ROGAN BOWEN-HARPER.

Once you finish taking in the beauty of the tranquil river scene, cross the bridge and head South-East towards the Elboya off-leash park– seeing dogs playing can put anyone in a better mood.

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