A neighbourhood in west Edmonton introduced a back alley market this weekend in the hopes of transforming the neighbourhood’s reputation.

The one-day market was hosted in the alley behind 102nd Avenue between 153rd and 154th Streets on Sunday.

The Stony Plain Road Business Association is hoping that by bringing vendors, performers and a lot of foot traffic to the area, people will be more encouraged to come to the neighbourhood.

When Donna Thomson first moved to the area around 153rd Street just off Stony Plain Road eight years ago, she said the neighbourhood “looked rough.” The area boasts many pawn shops, adult video stores and liquor stores.

“We do have quite a bit of prostitution in the area,” Thomson said. “There’s been some robberies happening.”

Diane Kereluk, with the Stony Plain Road Business Association, says the vibrant market shows off the area’s potential.

“We’re a place that is up and coming,” Kereluk said. “We believe with the downtown development and the West Edmonton Mall still [being] a great draw that the traffic coming in between [is] going to stop and visit us.”

Today, Thomson is encouraged by the changes she is seeing and the city’s efforts to make the neighbourhood nicer.

“At least they are starting to fix things up,” Thomson said. “They’ve got nice plants out. They’re doing different stuff with the roads and the sidewalks.”

The business association hopes to run a similar event next year.