Big Valley

Glenmore Reservoir

Sculpted by the retreating glaciers and sustained by the melt waters of the Rocky Mountains, the Elbow River Valley has been a lifeline in the dry prairies for thousands of years. Home to a diversity of plant and animal species, this valley provided food, medicinal plants and shelter for Aboriginal peoples. In the mid 1870's Sam Livingston claimed a homestead here, recognizing the valley's beauty and agricultural potential. He named his farm Glenmore, Gaelic for Big Valley.

Over the next fifty years as Calgary grew into a thriving city of 80,000 the condition of municipal waterworks reached a critical state. In 1929, City Council committed to build a dam and water treatment plant on the Elbow River and create a reservoir. Then the Stock Market crashed! The $4 million project was completed over the next three years with the help of relief labour.

Calgary's Great Depression project continues to provide clean water to the City's south side while the Glenmore Reservoir has become an integral part of the Elbow Valley ecosystem, sustaining local plants and animals, and providing a rest point for migratory waterfowl.