aerial view of park

A 10-year rehabilitation plan guides the renewal of Hawrelak Park to ensure it continues to serve the recreational and event needs of Edmontonians.

Project Update - November 2021

The project is currently in the design development phase. The goals identified from engagement sessions are being turned into physical drawings to include the details and specifications required for construction:

Pedestrian and Cycling Paths

As part of the River Valley Park system, William Hawrelak Park is part of Edmonton’s existing regional trail network, but lacks a strong internal pathway system. Currently, the park road is the only paved path to travel around the park and is jointly used by vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. There are limited paths that link amenities and open spaces within the park, and of those, only a very limited number are considered accessible.

A new  internal pathway system is intended to connect visitors of all abilities to the various amenities in the park, through all seasons, as well as provide safe paths of travel around the park. 

Using the public’s feedback, and combined with an analysis of factors such as topography, ski trails, tree impacts and environment assessment, an option with an emphasis on routes inside the park road was selected.

Waterfront Feature Walk

To celebrate the distinct core area of the park by the water’s edge, a new, accessible waterfront walk is proposed to create a link between major lakefront amenities. The walk itself will be a new amenity to be enjoyed within the park and will connect the main pavilion, boathouse and Community League Plaza as shown in the  diagram .

sketch of new walkway with pedestrians and people sitting on side bench

Pathways in Winter

The rehabilitation of the park considers use during all 4 seasons with careful attention being placed on improving winter use. To this end, these new pathways have been considered in terms of their alignment with cross-country ski trails, and are intended to be cleared of snow in the winter.

As with the pathway system, special consideration is being given to ensure the waterfront feature walk works well in the winter. Skating on the lake is a beloved winter activity. The design considers how the snow will be cleared and piled to maximize use and access to the amenities this waterfront feature connects to. This  map shows which paths will be cleared of snow in the winter.

Lake Water Quality

Lake Water Quality Feasibility Study was completed in 2020 by Applied Ecological Services (now Resource Environmental Solutions). The report summarizes the conditions at and surrounding Hawrelak Park Lake and assesses the best management practices to improve water quality in the lake. The findings of this report were presented to the Community and Public Services Committee on April 14, 2021.

Design of the identified best management practices is proceeding in this current phase of design. These practices include:

  • Removal of sediment by dredging to the clay liner
  • Densely planting shrubs on the islands
  • Planting shoreline buffer on land and emergent vegetation in the water at the lake edge

About the Park

William Hawrelak Park is a 68-hectare park in the river valley and is one of the most popular parks in Edmonton. It hosts several major festivals and events throughout the year and is a great location for all Edmontonians and visitors to explore and enjoy.