The adage that there are two seasons in Edmonton—winter and construction —is set to hold true in our downtown this summer. But that’s a great thing.
While Ice District continues to take shape, other construction projects are starting up. The much anticipated Valley Line LRT will close much of 102 Avenue and Churchill Square, beginning this fall, leaving some festivals scrambling for new places to call home over the next few years.
This is all wonderful, because we are already starting to see the downtown of our future emerge.
Rogers Place has already brought thousands of Edmontonians to our downtown, sometimes for the first time in years. That the Oilers have gone on a playoff run that has been a boon for many restaurants and pubs is icing on the cake.
This summer will also see Alex Decoteau Park, downtown’s first new park in many decades, start offering residents another place to get some green. The park’s official opening is September 16, but no doubt many are already itching to use the community garden or walk their pooch in the off-leash dog run, or let their kids frolick in the water fountains.
What else? Well, an entire downtown bike grid has seemingly popped up over night, and soon the new Royal Alberta Museum will open and become a place for downtown residents and visitors to enjoy.
Great cities are always changing. As governments realize the economic, social and cultural benefits of a healthy, vibrant core that people want to live in and visit, we will all benefit. Rogers Place and Alex Decoteau Park are proof.
Through all of this, DECL will continue to grow our community and try to connect residents to each other through our events and programming. Our annual Pancake Breakfast is June 17, from 9–11am at our community space, at 10042 103 St. The breakfast is a chance to meet your neighbours and celebrate the fantastic summers we enjoy. And on July 21 we will again host a patio pub crawl to some of downtown’s finest patios. Stay tuned for details.
As always, if you have ideas or questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at info@ decl.org. Even though much construction is still in our future, let’s celebrate what’s been achieved in the place we call home.
President, Downtown Edmonton Community League