Vote! What's Edmonton's best street?
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A city is made of streets. And while Edmonton has long struggled to put people on its streets, other than motorists in cars, there are a few streets that stand out and point to what others should try to emulate. We talked with you and asked for your top five. Agree? Disagree?
1. 104 Street
Highlights: Café culture, haute couture, warehouse grit.
What makes 104 Street so special? Its striking, turn-of-the-century warehouses help. But it’s the activity — trendy retail, busy cafés, tech startups tucked in basements and artists living in condos — all mixed with the summertime Saturday farmers’ market, that attracts people from all over the city. By late 2016, Rogers Place will be home to the Oilers.
2. 107 Avenue
Highlights: A cultural crossroad.
This street has been dubbed Edmonton’s Avenue of Nations, and it fits. The variety of cultures that make their home in the area is likely unrivalled, from Chinese, Vietnamese and Filipino to a more recent influx of African and Middle Eastern influences. Chinatown is south of the avenue, while parks, restaurants and the shops of Little Italy and Commonwealth Stadium are at the east end of the long boulevard.
Highlights: Grime and gentrification in artistic balance.
It’s said 118 Avenue (known to most as “Alberta Avenue”) has the highest density of Edmonton artists. That’s just part of this mature inner-city ‘hood’s vibe. “It’s a fertile soil for people to try their dreams — there’s a welcoming, pioneering spirit here,” said Christy Morin, executive director of Arts on the Avenue. Alberta Avenue is awash with studios, eateries and walkability that allows pedestrians to stroll from bakeries to arts collectives without the worry about being hit by cars.
4. Whyte Avenue
Highlights: Fringe Fest, people watching, big pickups and big ideas.
“It’s a fun community, one with energetic, creative people,” said Murray Davison, executive director of the Old Strathcona Business Association. “People want to live, work and hang out here.” Whyte is a mixture of rock, arts, grime, tattoo parlours, overpriced clothing boutiques, buskers and theatres. It’s the best people watching in Edmonton.
5. 124 Street
Highlights: Galleries, summertime market, funky shops.
“Edmonton may be known as having a lot of chain restaurants and stores, but most on our street are local, independent spots,” said Jeff McLaren, executive director of the 124 St. Business Association. “There’s an emerging food scene with celebrated restaurants.” On Thursdays from May to October, 124 Street hums with food trucks, vendors and buskers at the weekly market.
Let us know your which should be crowned Edmonton's Best Street by voting below. Voting goes until Wednesday evening: