Unpaving the way to paradise: Central park planned for downtown Edmonton

Downtown Edmonton Edmonton condos Edmonton events and news 3 min read
Photographer: Leo Rivas | Source: Unsplash

Experts predict an estimated 25,000 people will be living in downtown Edmonton by 2030. As the cityscape evolves with the addition of new luxury condo towers in Edmonton, affordable downtown rental buildings, and new businesses setting up in the downtown core, the city wants to break up the concrete jungle with some welcome green spaces.

The surge in people moving downtown has a lot to do with the benefits of city living. Some of the top reasons people want to buy downtown Edmonton condos include:

  • Access to amenities and entertainment (restaurants, art galleries, museums, theaters, concert venues, clubs, festivals, parks, etc.)
  • Convenience—When work, play, and essential services are all within walking (or short driving) distance, you can maximize time spent doing the things you want
  • Maintenance-free, amenity-rich homes—New condos in downtown Edmonton have seriously upped their game! Buildings like SKY Residences or the Ultima Tower in the Ice District offer amenities such as: 24/7 concierge and security, rooftop terrace for entertaining, fitness facilities including a yoga/pilates studio, and a demonstration kitchen for hosting large dinner parties.

Bringing more green spaces to downtown Edmonton will further entice people to make the move to the city. One park—the Warehouse Campus Neighbourhood Central Park—already has the green light from the city.

A second project—the High Level Line—recently won a national landscape architecture award which has people hoping it's one step closer to becoming a reality.

Read on to learn more about these exciting downtown projects!

New Central Park for Downtown Edmonton

Source: www.edmonton.ca

The City of Edmonton recently expropriated four properties in the downtown core to make way for the Warehouse Campus Neighbourhood Central Park.

Once complete, this huge park will cover an area that is roughly twice the size of Churchill Square. The land is located just north of Jasper Avenue behind Audrey’s Books and the Boston Pizza between 106 and 108 Streets.

The majority of the land is currently undeveloped and made up of surface parking lots, which means the project won’t require demolition of major buildings. And in this case, the parking lot is turning back into paradise which, I imagine, is just how Joni Mitchell would want it.

With the land now secured, the next step is an international design competition to come up with design plans and the goal for completion is 2023. In the meantime, the City has put together a brief outline of some of the park’s essential elements, which will include laneway integration, public art, open lawn space and significant tree canopy, and child-friendly play components.

The High Level Line

Source: www.highlevelline.com

The brainchild of a group of architects and engineers, the High Level Line is an ambitious park project that aims to connect downtown Edmonton (starting at MacEwan University) and Whyte Avenue.

You can check out the proposed route, but essentially the goal is to create green spaces, including cycle/walkways, that provide an accessible path running along 110 Street to an expanded Ezio Faraone Park and connect over 109 Street to the Legislature gardens. From there, the path would run atop the High Level Bridge, through the Garneau tunnel and ideally connect with Whyte Avenue. The suggestion is also there to move the streetcar further into downtown.

While the City has not officially given the project the go-ahead, the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) awarded the High Level Line an Award of Excellence—one of only 16 projects to receive the distinction. This has helped build buzz around the project which organizers hope will lead to community support and ideally to City support in the near future.

Gillian Thomson, vice-chair of the High Level Line Society, explains how bridging the gap between downtown and the south side benefits Edmonton communities on both sides of the river:

“As High Level Line does come to fruition, as it reaches its fullest potential with programming and [starts] giving people a reason to be there, property values around High Level Line would naturally go up and this would be an area of the city that people will want to live and do business close to,” she explains.

What do you think about these downtown park projects? Does more green space make downtown living more appealing? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Wally Fakhreddine has been a trusted name in Edmonton real estate for over 15 years and loves working with clients to find a perfect urban home. Connect with him at 780.238.7384 or email him with questions about living downtown or downtown Edmonton condos for sale.

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