18 Toboggan Hills Sanctioned By the City
Instead of banning tobogganing like other cities (ahem, Hamilton), the City of Calgary designates certain hills as safe for sledding.
Fresh snow plus warming temperatures means it is time for tobogganing. It’s also time for the hoopla around this admittedly sometimes dangerous pastime to hit the news. In the United States, plenty of cities have imposed an outright ban on downhill sledding. In Canada, Hamilton, Ontario hasn’t let it happen on its city hills for 15 years. And, other cities including Edmonton and Toronto impose bans depending on weather.
In Calgary, we do what Ottawa does and have City-approved toboggan hills. On all other hills in City parks, tobogganing is banned.
As per the Parks and Pathways Bylaw 20M2003, “No person, while in a park, shall ride downhill in a toboggan, sleigh, carpet or sliding device except in an area where such activity is specifically allowed.”
There are 18 such allowed hills in Calgary. They are marked by safe sledding signs and are distinguished by the lack of trees and rocks and other generally dangerous hazards. But still, you should wear a helmet and be aware of the smaller sledders around you.
We’re no Winnipeg with its winter slides, most of which are lit at night and have places to warm-up afterward, but our hills are still pretty popular. You can usually find them by looking for other happy sledders.
Big Marlborough Park
This is the big park between the Marlborough Community Centre, Dr. G.M. Egbert Community School, St Martha Jr. High School and Roland Michener Elementary School. The hill goes down onto the dry pond for some extra distance on the ice. In between slides down the toboggan hill, lace up your skates for some ice skating and warm up at the fire ring.
6021 Madigan Dr. N.E.
Deerfoot Athletic Park
This one is so very urban, tucked in the open space on the southeast side of where Deerfoot Trail meets 16th Avenue in the northeast. It was one of the things we loved most about Mayland Heights in our 2014 Best Neighbourhoods.
14th Ave. and 16A St. N.E.
Marlborough Community Association
This hill is in Applewood Village Park, which is right behind Marlborough Mall, where there is Tutti Fruitti if you want to maintain your chill with frozen yogurt.
636 Marlborough Way N.E.
There is something a little odd about entering a community themed like sunny California and finding the intersection of Catalina and California Boulevards to let your toboggan take flight, but that’s exactly what you get here. Stick to the northeast corner for regulation sledding.
Catalina Boulevard and California Boulevard N.E.
Prairie Winds Park
The north side of the hill is where you are allowed to toboggan. It’s steep, but there are smaller sections on the side for little people or those afraid of going big. You can also ice skate at Prairie Winds Park.
223 Castleridge Blvd. N.E.
There’s a hill behind Rundle Elementary School that goes down into another dry pond.
4120 Rundlehorn Dr. N.E.
Confederation Park is nice in the winter in general. There are walking trails and skating rinks. Tobogganing is on the north side of the park west of Rosemont Community Centre.
2800 10 St. N.W.
This one is really popular and the local kids like to make it a little more interesting by adding mini jumps and obstacles. Stick to the north side of the hill to remain inbound.
50 Royal Birkdale Dr. N.W.
St. Andrew’s Heights
This might be the best hill of them all. The catch is that once you go down, to do it again you have to make the long climb back up.
2504 13 Ave. N.W.
This is one of those hills that is tucked deep in a neighbourhood. It’s in a park between Maple Ridge Golf Course and Acadia Drive.
Mapleglade Close S.E.
This hill is called Elgin Hill and it is very long. Almost 300 feet long.
160 McKenzie Towne Dr. S.E.
This hill is the site of a dry pond on Heritage Drive behind the Rose Kohn and Jimmie Condon Arenas, which means it comes with parking. It’s a small hill (all the better for climbing back up) and you can slide down the north or east side.
Behind the arenas at 502 Heritage Dr. S.W.
The City says this hill is at 33rd Avenue and 25th Street S.W., but like most parks, it has no real fixed address. You’ll find this one by the Richmond Green Golf Course.
33rd Avenue and 25th St. S.W.
This one also levels out onto a dry pond. You can find it in Southwood just east and over the train tracks from Superstore.
Sacramento Drive and 104th Avenue S.W.
It’s called the Scarboro Hill, but it is in Royal Sunalta Park and the sledding is really good.
15th Avenue and 16th Street S.W.
If you are thinking that this is the giant hill that leads up to Signal Hill, you are mistaken. This one is tucked into a park behind a baseball diamond.
Sirocco Drive and Signal Hill Heights. S.W.
Stanley Park is a 52-acre park along the Elbow River. Within that space is a small toboggan hill that is one of the best.
4011 1A St. S.W.