News / Edmonton

Last chance to name Whyte Avenue alley

City of Edmonton's 'Name That Alley' contest aims to increase vibrancy, walkability.

The city is asking residents to name the alley on Whyte Avenue between 104 Street and 105 Street.

Kevin Tuong / Metro

The city is asking residents to name the alley on Whyte Avenue between 104 Street and 105 Street.

The time is almost up to name a Whyte Avenue alley that’s getting a summer paint job and patio.

The City of Edmonton’s Name That Alley contest wraps up Friday at 5 p.m. for the alley that has been closed to traffic between 104 Street and 105 Street.

It will be the second time since 2015 that the city has drawn attention to the space by adding splashes of colour, and it seems to be a welcome change for businesses in the area.

“I think closing off an alley like that has worked well for us in the past and now we’re just taking it the next step further,” said Old Strathcona Business Association Executive Director Murray Davison.

Last year, the alley was covered in polka dots and hopscotch.

This year, it will be painted in a labyrinth theme.

Davison said any features added to the space will draw more positive attention, and less of the negative aspects that sometimes come with being located in a busy nightlife area.

“It will get utilized more, and not just as a bathroom,” he laughed.

Nearby bar Malt and Mortar will also take some of the alley space with a patio that’s going up for the summer.

Davison hopes to see more changes on Whyte in the future.  

“I think you’re going to see more of this happening within the community. Even the alley directly across from it has the potential for being closed down,” he said.

“It’s a safety aspect as well. As we continue to increase the walkability in the historic core here, the old way of having alleys coming out and crossing the sidewalk and then turning back out onto the major artery is quite dangerous.”

Hani Quan, a senior planner with CityLab, said the city had received 47 submissions late Wednesday afternoon.

“Over time, we hope that this will help to transform the alley into a gathering place that continues to have meaning for the community,” Quan said.

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