Thousands of Calgarians came out to embrace the official opening of the Peace Bridge. Despite more than two years of controversy, dissenters were hard to find.

"I don't know why we were concerned about it in the first place, we need this bridge and I for one am thrilled to have it."

"I think 20 years from now is when we'll find out the true worth of the bridge by how much it gets used."

Mayor Naheed Nenshi was the only dignitary to make any kind of a speech at the ceremony. He made no attempt to avoid the controversial history of the bridge

"Whether or not you think it's a good thing or a bad thing, no matter where you stand on the controversy, it's an icon, an important piece of Calgary's landscape."

It's been a tough two years for ward 7 councillor Druh Farrell.

When Mayor Dave Bronconnier left office, she was left to deal with the flow of what seemed like never ending criticism.

Farrell believes everyone involved in the project has learned something.

"People want their city to be beautiful and they want architecture that lasts," says Farrell. "How can we do it better next time? I think we know how to do it better next time."

An unofficial guest at the ceremony was the son of the bridge's Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

"This is one of the most unique projects that he's done and definitely one of the proudest," says Michael Calatrava. "I mean he loves this bridge, he loves this project, and he loves this great country."

While the newest piece of Calgary's landscape will always have its critics, most Calgarians seem to want to put all the controversy behind them.

"We can't do anything about it. You can't turn back time. It's here so you might as well enjoy it."