What You Should Know About Barbecuing in a Calgary Park

Calgary has almost 100 barbecues in eight parks that you can reserve ahead of time.

Photograph by Ja'Crispy. iStock.

Looking for a place to cook up some burgers and hot dogs this summer? City of Calgary parks have got you covered. Calgary has almost 100 barbecues in eight parks that you can reserve ahead of time.

Getting a reservation and permit costs anywhere from around $68 to $695 depending on how many people will be in attendance (the highest capacity for a set-up site is 263). But, if you’re willing to risk it, you can always try and find a barbecue without reserving a spot. Barbecues that have not been reserved are available on a first-come, first-served basis, but if someone shows up with a permit for that site, you have to leave. (Reserved sites have signs to show they are reserved but, according to Calgary Recreation, staff aren’t always able to get out to the area to put them up.)

You can check if a site has been reserved by calling City of Calgary facilities bookings one or two days before you picnic. If it’s not reserved three days ahead, then it’s open to use. The city also has more than 300 barbecues that cannot be reserved.

Whether you’re flying by the seat of your apron strings or have made a reservation months in advance, you do need to bring your own barbecue supplies — this includes charcoal or wood depending on the type of barbecue and something to light the fire. Also bring tinfoil, pans or roasting sticks to cook your food, as the grills themselves are not necessarily something you want to put edibles onto directly.

Alternately, you can bring a propane camp-style or regular-sized barbecue to a picnic site or public green space. Just don’t bring a commercial or industrial-sized barbecue, or your own charcoal barbecue as those aren’t allowed in City parks.

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This article appears in the July 2019 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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