Finding water a challenge at Calgary Stampede amid near record-breaking heat

Dangerous heat has made its way into Calgary, where the temperature Wednesday is forecasted to reach 34 degrees celsius. Residents and visitors alike are doing everything they can to protect themselves. Jayden Wasney reports.

The heat wave hitting Calgary this week is hitting its peak — and as the saying goes — it’s hotter at Stampede Park.

CityNews 660 meteorologist Kevin Stanfield says it could be a record-breaker on Wednesday with a chance of a daytime high of 35 C, breaking a record of 34 C for July 10 set nearly 40 years ago in 1985.

The usual advice for beating the heat is to aim for shade and drink plenty of water, but if you’re headed down to the park you may want to pack your own.

CityNews spoke with patrons who were waiting in long lines to top up their water bottles at one of the few spots in the park where people can fill-up, with several reporting lengthy lines.

“They don’t make money off of free water,” said one attendee, noting there are plenty of places on the grounds where bottled water is available for purchase.

People wait in line to fill-up water bottles at Stampede Park during the Calgary Stampede on July 10, 2024. Andrea Montgomery/CityNews

Some of the spots in Stampede Park where people can fill-up

  • Two fountains in the Nutrien Western Event Centre
  • One fountain in the centre of the Agriculture Barn
  • One fountain in the BMO Centre
  • One fountain in the kids Midway
  • One fountain near the Big Four building under the WestJet Skyride

According to staff at the BMO Centre, all taps and hand-washing stations have water that is just as potable as the fountains.

Stanfield says Stampede Park may be a little warmer than elsewhere in the city due to the urban heat island effect. The effect is where dark surfaces absorb more heat, and things like stone buildings and the brand new shiny BMO Centre reflects heat down to the surface.

“The pavement emits heat, but it also absorbs it,” Stanfield says.

During periods of extreme heat, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) recommends rescheduling outdoor activities to cooler hours of the day, taking frequent breaks from the heat, and checking on children or pets before getting out of a vehicle.

For the latest on the heat wave and the Calgary Stampede, tune in to CityNews 660.

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