Major new park pitched for Old Strathcona by community advocates
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Community advocates are hoping to bring a new park to Old Strathcona stretching from Whyte Avenue all the way to the River Valley.
The Old Strathcona Business Association and the Old Strathcona Foundation have drafted concept plans for a new park bordered by Gateway Boulevard and 102 Street.
Karen Tabor, executive director of the foundation, said it has the possibility of creating a whole new space in the community.
“There is huge potential to increase the number of festival opportunities that could take place,” she said.
The site, which would incorporate the current farmer’s market parking lot, would have new park space and would allow the Edmonton Radial Rail Society to extend their streetcar to Whyte Avenue.
“It makes it much more visible and user friendly for people to take the streetcar both ways,” said Tabor.
Murray Davison, with the business association, said their proposal would create other parking spaces around the park, but breaking up the Farmer’s Market parking lot will be great for the community.
“I think animating this place in the middle and increasing vibrancy more than just once every week is huge for the community,” he said.
He said right now, the area divides the community and there is a real potential with just a small investment.
“Even just very basic changes on how we utilize it and take care of it, because a lot of it is not being taken care of. It’s dirty and there are weeds and things.”
Davison said there are currently no cost estimates for the project, but they believe it could be phased in over time.
“You can piecemeal it out and phase things in and you would be surprised what we can do,” he said.
He also said with more residential developers moving into the area, there is the possible for private contributions as well.
“We think some of those developments that are coming need to give back and invest in this kind of infrastructure, because it’s what their tenants will want.”