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Edmonton municipal election 2017: Profile of Ward 8

Ward 8 contains some of Edmonton’s oldest neighbourhoods, with some staunchly opposed to densification

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Elections Office

As the city pushes for ‘smart growth’ throughout Edmonton, densification in mature neighbourhoods south of the river is bound to be a hot topic in Ward 8’s municipal election.

Along with Ward 6, Ward 8 is one of the few wards in Edmonton with a higher proportion of renters than owners. The ward includes the popular commercial strip of Whyte Avenue, the University of Alberta, Old Strathcona and mature neighbourhoods such Garneau, Holyrood and Capilano.

About 46 per cent of the ward’s housing stock consists of single-detached houses, with apartments and condominiums accounting for about 36 per cent. The ward is popular among students and young professionals as well as families.

Members of the Holyrood Community League have launched a campaign in opposition to a development proposal to build a mixed-use, high-density transit oriented development at 85 Street and 93 Avenue, with one tower proposed to reach a maximum of 22 storeys.

"We have developers that are proposing 22 storey towers in neighbourhoods that are primarily single-family homes.  You kind of have to step back and ask is that really appropriate?” said Dave Sutherland, civics director for the Holyrood Community League.

Derek Shilling, vice president of the Capilano Community League, said lot splitting and skinny “monolith” homes, such as one built in Capilano Crescent, are top of mind issues for residents of his neighbourhood.

He points to a development on Capilano Crescent which he says “nobody wanted and was pushed through and approved.”

“It’s completely out of character … they had their building permit approved even though no one wanted it in that area,” Shilling said.

“It just seems our neighbourhood becomes less attractive when we have these monolith houses.”

He also added dandelion weed removal in the area leading up to Capilano Park as an annoyance, as well as community groups not properly cleaning up after themselves.

With nearly 30 per cent of the ward using public transit, bikes or walking as their main mode of transportation, Sutherland is eager to see how the Valley Line LRT expansion may affect Holyrood. Pedestrian safety is a constant concern.

“Building the LRT is going to shift traffic patterns, there’s going to be shortcutting, there’s not much we can do about that so how do we make it safer? That’s the big question,” he said.

“We’re a city of drivers and that’s not really a good thing, but our ward is actually fairly bike friendly. We’ve got some really good paths and access to the valley,” he added.

Candidates have listed road expansion, a lack of social services, and bus stops being too few and far between as other election hot topics.

Metro Edmonton will be profiling one of Edmonton's 12 wards every Friday and Monday leading up to the municipal election on Oct. 16. Our Oct. 13 edition will have expanded coverage of the election.

Ward 8 facts

Population: 67,365

Percentage who own/rent homes:

Owned: 38.18%

Rented: 41.20%

No response: 20.62%

Household income:

Less than $30,000: 11.16%

$30,000 to less than $60,000: 11.61%

$60,000 to less than $100,000: 11.79%

Main mode of transportation:

Car/Truck/Van: 64.85%

Public Transit: 15.03%

What you need to know: Key dates

Advance Voting starts on Oct. 4 and runs until Oct. 13, daily fron 1-7 p.m. The last day to vote is Election Day: Monday, Oct. 16, 2017 (9 a.m. - 8 p.m.)

Qualifications
Voters must be 18, a Canadian citizen, a resident of the City of Edmonton, who has lived in Alberta on or before April 16, 2017. Voters must have valid ID.
Where to Vote cards will be delivered to all Edmonton homes at the beginning of October. The cards include voter eligibility, how to find information on your ward’s candidates and the location of the voting station. All voting stations are wheelchair accessible.

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