For seven years, the Downtown Edmonton Community League has been trying to get a park in place of the parking lot at the corner of 105 Street and 102 Avenue.
Now, it looks like that will finally happen.
The City of Edmonton has completed an environmental assessment and will soon start to rezone the land.
“It’s had a long history and we’ve been working very diligently with the city, but because of the arena and a few of the other projects the city was working on, it sort of got it pushed to the backburner,” said Ian O’Donnell, the development chair with the community league.
“We’re very pleased it’s come back to the forefront.”
While O’Donnell says the river valley is a “wonderful resource” for downtown dwellers, there still need to be more green space in the area.
“If you’re a worker at lunch and you have 30 minutes to grab a sandwich, perhaps the river valley isn’t as accessible as you might think.”
The park, which O’Donnell says is approximately one-third of the size of Churchill Square, will include a grass area as well as a small fenced area for dogs and community garden plots.
O’Donnell added that safety will be a priority when designing the park. The community league will be working with groups and designers who are familiar with crime prevention via environmental designs.
“Edmonton doesn’t have a tremendous amount of great urban parks,” O’Donnell said. “We have Churchill Square, which functions very well for festivals, we have the River Valley, which is the opposite of that and we have a few small parks but nothing that would be on the scale or quality we’ve seen in some cities like Vancouver, Toronto and even Calgary.”
The community league will host their annual general meeting on Tuesday, where they will present updated plans and do another round of consultation with residents to get more feedback.
“Hopefully this time next year we’ll be seeing some action on the site,” O’Donnell said.