'Increase safety:’ City releases new designs for End of the World lookout point
Say goodbye to the six concrete piles at the end of the controversial cliff
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City planners have outlined new designs for the popular, yet highly unsafe, End of the World lookout point.
In a report heading to City Hall Tuesday, staff are proposing to “cut out” the six concrete slabs located at the tail-end of the cliff, which tower 15 metres above the North Saskatchewan River. There would also be “climb resistant” fencing and regular railings, along with benches, garbage bins, staircases and paved pathways for sightseers.
“We’re very excited to increase safety in this area,” said Martina Gardiner, director of open space planning and design.
The site, located in the neighbourhood of Belgravia, overlooks the North Saskatchewan River. It’s the area where the old Keillor Road used to meet Saskatchewan Drive, but the city closed it in 1994 because the slope is unstable.
The site is supposed to be off-limits, but has endured as a popular hang out spot for teenagers, prompting concerns about safety.
But the slope is still shifting, Gardiner said, so staff still need to do further environmental testing and study the site before they can begin construction.
On Tuesday, planners will ask councillors to approve $440,000 to do that assessment and study work. The move will require approval from all of council later this month.
Roger Laing, with the Belgravia Community League, has been working with the city and residents on new plans for the End of the World. He said the community has raised concerns over safety and “social disorder” at the site.
“There’s been lots of drinking and we’ve experienced some challenging behaviour,” he said. “We’re looking forward to having a site that’s perhaps a little orderly.”
Gardiner said planners will have a better idea later this year on how much re-purposing the entire site will cost. She said staff will likely ask for those funds at that time, with an eye for construction sometime in 2018.
As for now, she said the city will install more no-trespassing signs and there will more park ranger monitoring the site.