Hawrelak Park Rehabilitation

Hawrelak Park was opened in 1967 and was initially known as Mayfair Park. This iconic public space is a 68-hectare city-wide park located in the heart of the river valley in Edmonton, Alberta. The park features a five-hectare lake and several amenity buildings, including a pavilion, amphitheatre, boathouse, picnic shelters and operations yard. The City of Edmonton recognized the need to rehabilitate the park to address aging infrastructure and meet the future demands of residents, visitors, and both local and world-class events.

The rehabilitation project is being completed in several phases, beginning with a water quality improvement feasibility study. The vision for the rehabilitation is to provide a fully engaged four-season destination that combines ecological awareness and complete accessibility. This project presents multiple challenges, including the complexity of the rehabilitation and the challenge of meeting the park’s diverse needs with minimal downtime to community assets. Special considerations were made during the design phase for flood mitigation and resiliency, in addition to respecting the architectural heritage of the space.

Williams Engineering (WE) was selected as this project’s mechanical and electrical lead, alongside Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative (MBAC) as the Prime Consultant. WE’s mechanical team is developing mechanical designs to rehabilitate the existing pavilions. Designs also include addressing the issues caused by flooding of the below-grade ductwork. Electrical lighting design was provided by WE’s electrical team and included designs for the rehabilitation and improvements to the site scale infrastructure. Substantial site electrical work is currently taking place, including the complete conversion of the distribution system from 5 to 15kV and the entire replacement of existing street lighting, as well as the lighting of the new shared-use pathway system and public spaces, complete replacement of festival power servicing throughout, and the addition of high-speed fibre communication systems and expanded wifi coverage and security near public buildings. Building electrical work consists of updating all building communication, lighting, security, fire alarm, and electrical systems for existing and new buildings.

The rehabilitation efforts taking place at Hawrelak Park will help improve the functionality of a space that promotes community and connection. Once the rehabilitation efforts are completed, this iconic park will be able to host multiple international and local events again while meeting the needs of residents and visitors as one of Edmonton’s most desirable public spaces.