AN URBAN OASIS WITH A HISTORIC FOUNDATION
The neighbourhoods just north of downtown Calgary and the Bow River have been considered the very heart of the city since its earliest days as a small prairie community. The land was acquired by Thomas and Georgina Riley soon after their arrival in Calgary in 1887, as the couple embraced the pioneering spirit that characterized late 19th century Alberta.
Among their 10 children came their son, Ezra Hounsfield Riley. A proud Albertan–and perhaps more importantly, a proud Calgarian–young Ezra’s growth as a politician and businessman paralleled that of the flourishing city, embodying the simple, hard-working spirit of its residents. In 1906 he sold a large area of family land to the city, to be developed as the communities of Hillhurst, West Hillhurst and, in honour of Ezra, Hounsfield Heights.
In 1910, Ezra Riley donated more land to the city, this time to be designated as a park for all the city’s residents, with abundant trees, green spaces and even a cricket pitch, which will always remain a constant fixture, in what is now known as Riley Park. Riley Park lives on as a reminder of Calgary’s pioneering roots, and a legacy of one family’s dedication to making Calgary an inclusive and welcoming place for residents and visitors alike.
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