Edmonton

Seven boat docks, launches approved for North Saskatchewan River

Seven new and expanded boat docks and launches in Edmonton's river valley won approval at city hall Wednesday.

'Edmonton has a long relationship with its river valley, but not so much with its river'

The city is developing seven river launches to help Edmontonians take better advantage of the North Saskatchewan River. (City of Edmonton)

News that Edmonton's river valley will soon have seven new and expanded boat docks and launches has met with approval from some residents.

Six of the locations: Capilano, Dawson, Emily Murphy, Hawrelak Park, Buena Vista/Laurier, and Whitemud Park, will be built as early as next spring.

The seventh location at Rossdale will proceed later as part of the Touch the Water Promenade planned for the area.

Six of the docks and launches will accommodate canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, while the Capilano launch will be used for power boats. It will be expanded to accommodate two vehicles at a time.

Karen Lee is looking forward to the changes.

"I think it's a good idea," she said. "My husband kayaks on the river and where he does go in ... it's kind of awkward to get in and out. And just as far as people who are watching the boats go in, there's no place to really sit and watch."

An environmental assessment looking at the impact of the docks on water quality, fish and aquatics, wildlife, soil and vegetation, arrived at a number of solutions to potential problems.

Coun. Scott McKeen calls the project "tremendous."

"Edmonton has a long relationship with its river valley, but not so much with its river," he said.

The $2-million project is funded by the province, the federal government and the River Valley Alliance, along with the city.

The city's contribution works out to about two percent of the total cost, according to Rob Marchak, director of strategic projects with the City of Edmonton.

Pictured is the type of dock system the city is considering for the North Saskatchewan River. (City of Edmonton)

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