Boyle Street Community Services is Moving
Last updated: February 28, 2022. The current address for Boyle Street Community Services is incorrect in the print edition of the paper. It has been corrected here.
Boyle Street Community Services (BSCS) has announced plans to move to 10010 107A Avenue, two blocks north of its current location at 10116 105 Avenue, where it has been since 1996. A newly-renovated building at this site is scheduled to open in the summer or fall of 2023.
“We are very excited about this,” says Jordan Reiniger, Executive Director of BSCS. “Today we are signalling to our city that we need to do better for the most vulnerable in our community. This new purpose-built facility will allow us to achieve improved outcomes for those we serve and be a significant improvement in terms of our interactions with and impact on the surrounding community.”
Design work is still underway, and is being informed by Indigenous culture. BSCS is planning engagement with surrounding businesses, community groups, and residents. Construction is expected to begin in 2022.
The new site was originally built in 1960 as the administration offices for Edmonton Public Schools and was an example of the Brutalist style of architecture, with concrete construction and hard angles. After the school board moved to its current location on Kingsway, the building was used by community organizations including the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers (EMCN), Changing Together, Right at Home Housing Society, and the Edmonton Social Planning Council. Most recently, the building was used as an indoor paintball centre.
The parcel of land also includes an apartment building north of the main building. Trinity Manor used to offer supported housing for refugees living with trauma as part of a service developed by the EMCN. When federal funding for the program was discontinued, it became below-market rentals. BSCS will continue to operate the 38-suite apartment, first taking over as landlord for current tenants, then renovating suites and converting them to affordable housing as suites become available.
The move across 101st Street will place BSCS officially within the McCauley neighbourhood. Currently, the organization is situated in Central McDougall.
“The McCauley Community League board has heard a range of perspectives from neighbours on this topic,” says Alice Kos, President of the MCL. “What we’d like to see – and support – are meaningful, ongoing community engagements and consultations between BSCS, the City, and community members. All community stakeholders deserve to voice their perspectives; it’s essential that mechanisms are put in place to address concerns.”
Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who lives in Boyle Street.