Edmonton

City seeks family-friendly options for End of the World

The scenic lookout over the North Saskatchewan River known as the “End of the World” could soon become more than a hangout for teens trying to escape adult supervision.

Off-limits Edmonton river valley outlook site attracts drinkers and rowdies

The lookout known as End of the World has one of the best views of the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton, but also attracts people who use it as a secret drinking spot. (CBC)

The scenic lookout over the North Saskatchewan River known as the "End of the World" could soon become more than a hangout for teens trying to escape adult supervision.

The city wants to develop a safer lookout on top of the old concrete pillars, which are all that's left of a retaining wall on the site at the end of Keillor Road.

The site is supposed to be off-limits to the public with signs warning not to trespass. But teens have been using it for years, much to the dismay of some nearby residents.

Roger Laing is the head of a committee looking into ways to make the End of the World less of a magnet for rowdiness. (CBC )
"It's very much a drinking, pot-smoking site so there's a lot of loud noise at night for folks that live nearby," said Roger Laing, chair of the Belgravia Community League's End of the World committee.

"We've had vandalism to property, to plants, to fences."

However, Laing notes only a small number are responsible for the rowdiness. Many visit to take in the great view, he said.

The community is working with the city on a plan to make the site safer and to minimize disruption to nearby homes.

A fence and a level viewing area would keep visitors from falling. Steps and pathways would improve access and reduce erosion on the bank.

Putting the site "on the map" could attract people who are more respectful of the neighbourhood, Laing said.

"Having families and others visit the spot throughout the day I think will change the culture of the place," he said.

Mitchell Coulter and Joseph Schultz have been coming to the site for years. Schultz says the view keeps him coming back.

"You can see all of the west side here."

Schultz and Coulter say extra amenities like benches, garbage cans and a drinking fountain would be welcomed. However, Coulter said he wouldn't like to see an alcohol ban put in place.

Members of the community are being asked to weigh in on the plan through a survey on the City of Edmonton website.

The survey closes Sept. 21.  The city plans to make a decision on the design in October with construction scheduled in 2017, following an environmental review.

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