“Then & Now” columns appeared weekly in the Calgary Herald between 2002 and 2005. The following article appeared April 20, 2004.
Then: Riley Park
• In 1910, MLA Ezra Hounsfield Riley donated 20 acres (eight hectares) of land to the city with the understanding that it be used only for park purposes. Development of the park started in 1912, with 7,873 shrubs and trees planted, installation of play equipment, a surrounding picket fence and "costly" entrance gates. Some sources believe Riley stipulated that the only park team sport played would be cricket. However, the Calgary Tigers played football there in 1912. The swimming pool, originally mud bottomed, had been left with a small island crowned with a clump of willows by parks superintendent William Reader. The rock garden north of the pool was started in 1928.
Now: Riley Park
• The park is still one of the jewels of the city, with its beautiful gardens and is a frequently used location for wedding photographs. In the summer, the pool is very popular as are concerts, which are held in the fibre-covered bandstand. Active fundraising by three local bands is being conducted to replace the bandstand with a more permanent, metal one. The Calgary and District Cricket League is still playing cricket, which has been played there since 1910, on the three original pitches and using the 1919 pavilion.