Edmonton moves ahead with plan for End of the World

It's the end of the End of the World as we know it.

'This will make it a much safer place and a more family-friendly space,' says neighbourhood committee chair

Anti-trespassing signs have proven ineffective at the 'End of the World' in Edmonton. (Zoe Todd/CBC)

If you can't beat 'em, take down the no-trespassing signs and join 'em.

That's what Edmonton city council's executive committee is proposing for the End of the World, an off-limits concrete ledge in the Belgravia neighbourhood with sweeping views of the river valley.

A line of weather-eroded pillars is all that remains of the 20-year-old retaining wall that juts into the valley. 

But the proposal for the site includes a public viewing area, a wooden deck with railings and lighting, a wooden staircase and an asphalt trail. The design phase is expected to cost $440,000.

The area was fenced off in 2015 due to crumbling slopes. City signs line the nearby street, warning would-be adventurers that the End of the World is a "designated prohibited area."

Undeterred, people of all ages still clamber down the steep dirt slope to take in the view. Some grasp the anti-trespassing signs for support.

"Currently, it's very dangerous," said Roger Laing, chair of the Belgravia Community League's End of the World committee.

Beginning of the end?

Laing and his committee have been working with the city since 2015 to put an end to the End of the World as we know it.

"This project will seek further funding for the remainder of the design and build phases upon completion of this initial work," the executive committee wrote in its proposal.

Laing expects construction to begin next summer.

"It feels good that the process is unfolding and the community is being listened to," he said. 

"This will make it a much safer place and a more family-friendly space."

City council will review the environmental impact assessment and the site location study on June 20.