Boyle Street Year in Review
A glance back at the year 2020 evokes images of quiet streets, cancelled events, and an unprecedented need for resilience. As a community league, the COVID-19 pandemic emptied our meeting places, schedules, and expectations as we wondered what steps we could take, and when, in order to achieve our mission for a thriving neighbourhood. Yet, in this period of relative hibernation, there were many new signs of life in Boyle Street. In retrospect, 2020 also brought positive changes to our physical and human landscapes that will help us to thrive as we approach this new year.
New neighbours to welcome
Last year, the first residents moved into the long-anticipated tower at Jasper Avenue and 95th Street, known as The Hat at Five Quarters. We look forward to connecting with these new members of our community. This is one of several developments that picked up steam in 2020. Other projects include the revitalization of the historic Brighton Block on Jasper Avenue and the restoration of the Stovel Block, a heritage landmark on 97th Street and 103A Avenue. Eastward, the once-vacant Muttart Lands are quickly coming to life next to Stadium LRT station, while plans for the six-storey River Lot House on Jasper Avenue promise to bring more residents to Boyle Street.
New places to be
The construction fences are down and Kinistinâw Park on 96th Street is now accessible to the public. This neighbourhood pocket park offers Boyle Street residents and visitors a thoughtfully designed space to unwind in the middle of the Quarters district. The park is sure to be a destination for events and festivals when COVID restrictions are lifted. It’s also a stone’s throw away from the Downtown Edmonton Farmers’ Market. Despite a temporary slowdown due to public health restrictions, the market continues to attract new customers, establishing its reputation as a sustainable food hub in Edmonton’s historic downtown.
New ways to connect
More than 100 Boyle Street residents signed up for Nextdoor, a hyperlocal social media platform that helps members connect with their nearest neighbours. Meanwhile, the Boyle Street Community League and Boyle McCauley News have recruited a team of Apartment Ambassadors and Condo Connectors to ensure our community newspaper and other important updates reach community members in Boyle Street.
This year, expect to see new opportunities to help shape the future of our neighbourhood, through urban renewal projects and grassroots programming. Public consultation on Boyle Street’s new playground project is in the works and construction could start as early as this fall. Stay tuned for opportunities to share your feedback. Boyle Streeters can also look forward to a closer collaboration with Quarters Arts Society as QAS animates its new CO*LAB performance space at 9641 102A Avenue.
The smooth running of the Boyle Street Community League in 2020 would not have been possible without these people:
- Bookkeeper Cheryl Teo, whose expertise, persistence, and hard work saved our sanity and got us across the finish line on some routine but vital tasks.
- Treasurer Karen Jackson, who magically conjured up the time to track down important records, keep our financial house in order, and set us up for success in 2021.
- Secretary Madeline Lawrence, whose organizational prowess, leadership, and tech support kept us on track throughout the year and online for our virtual AGM.
- Civics Director Jonathan Lawrence, whose urban planning expertise and strategic acumen led the way in achieving meaningful civic engagement.
- Communications Coordinator Anita Jenkins, who diligently updated our Facebook page and kept you informed through her coverage in the Boyle McCauley News.
- Past president and award-winning novelist Candas Jane Dorsey, who repeatedly put down her pen to answer our questions and solve our administrative mysteries – none as interesting as her own nail-biter, The Adventures of Isabel, but eminently useful nonetheless.
- All our Apartment Ambassadors, Condo Connectors, and volunteers – past, present, and those yet to join our team as we take on 2021!
Joelle Reiniger is vice president of the Boyle Street Community League.