The original Devonian Gardens was a park. This was destroyed and replaced with seating area for a shopping mall food court. How could this have happened? At the very least, the shopping mall should have PAID handsomely for the space and the destruction of the park themselves. The park would still have been destroyed of course, which would be a shame, but the fact the taxpayer paid to destroy their own park and then gave the sterilized wreckage to a shopping mall is absolutely infuriating.
Did the City destroy what was a jewel in the downtown Core?
They took what was a green oasis that was "donated" to the people of Calgary in 1977 and turned it into a sanitized corporate food court, with all the character of a overpriced dentists office. Gone are the flowers, artwork, water features, fish, turtles and I would guess about 25% of the original floorspace. With this reduction in park space the City has another brilliant plan to add a restaurant and take away even MORE floorspace. All this for a hefty price tag of 37 million.
Will the City ever try to recover some of the Gardens former stature... Not a snowballs chance in hell. They would prefer that anyone who remembers what it was like would just go away and not talk about it. The people of Calgary should be challenging their elected officials in October and asking "what are you going to do about it"?
Sadly they will say "nothing".
The turtles, the intricate pathways, the separation from the rest of TD Square, It's all gone! It's now all just a glossy tiled extension of the food court with plants shoehorned in to remind people it's a garden. Apart from the plants, the only signs of life are the fish and some bird sounds (10-1 it was ambience). It actually feels smaller than it used to. They took the crown jewel of the +15 system and painted it a glossy black!
From now on, I'd rather spend $2,000 for plane fare to Madrid so I can see the Atocha Train Station than spend $2.50 bus fare to see Devonian Gardens now!