Boyle Street Construction and Renewal

An update for the spring of 2018.

  • A section of Dawson Park, with buildings in Boyle Street in the background. City of Edmonton

The residents of Boyle Street regularly hear about plans to improve and enhance their neighbourhood through new construction projects and other types of development. We get excited for a while, but then resign ourselves to long delays before any visible changes actually appear.

All the same, there is movement. Two major, longer-term projects are being planned for the eastern edges of the community. One is a project that will enhance Dawson Park and Kinnaird Ravine, and improve our access to those areas. Another is LRT-focused residential construction near Stadium Station.

As well, a number of other projects are proceeding, and one is in full flower. The Moth, self-described as a “plant-based café,” opened at 9449 Jasper Avenue at the beginning of 2018. It appears to be thriving.

Dawson Park
For the past several years the City has been working on a 25-year vision and guiding principles for the renewal of Dawson Park and Kinnaird Ravine. Dawson Park, just below the river bank that forms the southern edge of Boyle Street, has remained essentially the same since the 1970s. The most recent (August 2017) report notes, “The growing communities of Cromdale and Boyle Street, while visually linked to the park, remain physically disconnected.”

The public and key user groups were most recently consulted about a preferred concept plan in November 2017. The concept includes a new formal entrance into the park under Latta Bridge (90-91 Street on Jasper Avenue), with both a gravel path and stairs connecting to 91 Street. The entrance would support increased use of the park by the Boyle Street and McCauley neighbourhoods.

A final report will be presented to City Council when the 2019-22 budget is set. If the plan is approved, there will be further opportunities for public input.

Muttart Lands
Earth is being moved around on the Muttart Lands near the Stadium LRT Station. That project was approved by City Council in 2014 but it hasn’t progressed as quickly as expected. The City and the owners of the land, Brookfield, are going 50-50 on a plan to build a high-density, transit-oriented neighbourhood that includes pocket parks and new bike and pedestrian paths.

One feature of the plan will be of particular interest to many of those (including the writer of this article) who live in the high-rise apartments and condos on and near Jasper Avenue between 90 Street and 84 Street. A new road will cross the LRT tracks near 106 Avenue and 86 Street.

This road will give Boyle Street residents a more direct and walkable connection with the Commonwealth Stadium and Recreation Centre. Currently, these amenities are visible from apartment windows and appear very near as the crow flies. But the only (roundabout) access is through the Stadium Station or on 92 Street.

Several other projects are expected to reach completion a bit sooner than the two major initiatives described in this article.

  • A crane has appeared on the northeast corner of 95 Street and Jasper Avenue, where a large hole in the ground resulting from an abandoned building project has remained for several years. The Calgary-based Cidex Group is beginning construction of a 199-unit, 24-storey, market-rental residential building.
  • Progress is visible on the new EPINSS (Edmonton People in Need Shelter Society) building on 103A Avenue, across from the Boyle Street Plaza. It is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2018.
  • Work on Kinistinâw Park was expected to begin this summer but there may be delays because of contamination. Kinistinâw Park is on the east side of the Armature (96 Street), between 102A Avenue and 103 Avenue.
  • Construction of the Valley LRT line is moving ahead. Unfortunately, this work has necessitated the closure of 102 Avenue for two years, with considerable inconvenience and stress for Chinatown South and other nearby businesses and agencies.
  • Primavera Development has appointed architects to redevelop and restore the historic 1912 Ernest Brown Building, aka the Brighton Block, at 9666 Jasper Avenue. This building has been vacant for 15 years.

Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who lives in Boyle Street.

More in this issue

Neighbourhood Views

  • Mercury Opera’s La Traviata in McCauley – A scene from Mercury Opera’s production of La Traviata at one of the matinees at Studio 96 during March. The opera also played to sold-out audiences at Chez Pierre Cabaret. Cecilia Ferreyra

  • Welcoming the Year of the Dog – Lunar New Year celebrations took place in Chinatown on February 17, organized by the Chinatown and Area Business Association. Pictured with Lion Dancers, from left: Kerry Diotte (MP Edmonton Griesbach), Frankie Lee (Director with the Chinatown and Area Business Association); Brian Mason (MLA Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood; and Mayor Don Iveson. Paula E. Kirman

  • More Music from Musical Mamas – The Musical Mamas, a group of women singer/songwriters who meet and mostly live in or near the area, released their second volume of original music in March. Pictured is performer Sylvia Khoury. For more information visit musicalmamassociety.com. Shauna Specht

  • New Mural in Chinatown – A new mural on 97 Street near 107 Avenue was unveiled in February. It was created by artist Kris Friesen with the full support of McCauley Revitalization/City of Edmonton. Paula E. Kirman

  • London Villas Hub Grand Opening – London Villas Hub’s grand opening on March 14 featured food, entertainment, and the chance to experience the new space for the first time. It is located in the former church at 9620 109 Avenue. Paula E. Kirman

Around the Neighbourhood

Volunteer With Us!

We are always looking for new writers and photographers, as well as ideas for future stories. We also regularly need block carriers to help with the delivery and distribution of the paper. Email Paula with your submissions, feedback, ideas, and availability. We also ask that contributors read our Editorial Guidelines and that all volunteers read and agree to our Code of Conduct.

Upcoming Themes

Our theme for May is “Home.” What does “home” truly mean to you? Why did you choose to make your home in Boyle Street or McCauley? What are some of your best housekeeping tips? Advice for other homeowners or renters? Deadline: April 12. Articles should be no longer than 500 words and accompanied by photos whenever possible. Send your work to: editor@bmcnews.org.