Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • April-May 2024 • Circulation 5000


George Spady Centre Relocation

Questions and uncertainty surround the potential future uses of the current site.

The George Spady Centre in its current location at 10015 105A Avenue. Paula E. Kirman

While the George Spady Centre Society is moving from McCauley to the west end, it is unclear what will replace the social agency in the provincially-owned facility. Equally concerning is the future of the supervised consumption services currently offered at the Centre, but which will not be relocating to the new location.

At a public hearing on February 20th, City Council approved the Society’s request to rezone the lot at 15625 Stony Plain Road to allow for a 2,000-square-metre medically supported detoxification unit. This will double the floor area used for detox services compared to its current location in McCauley at 100th Street and 105A Avenue. 

In a statement to Boyle McCauley News, Hunter Baril, Press Secretary of the Minister of Mental Health and Addiction, explained that the Province approved the Society’s expansion of its detox program from 31 to 41 beds. As well, the number of residential recovery beds will increase from 10 to 19. In total, 19 new beds will be added. 

“An increase in detox and residential treatment services means a different location is needed,” Baril said. “This is also in an effort to decentralize services from the downtown core.”

During Council’s discussion about the Society’s rezoning application, Councillor Andrew Knack also addressed the need to decentralize social services from the inner city. He said the move would fulfil the City’s goal of offering services to address homelessness, mental health, and addictions outside the inner core, where agencies have been clustered for many years.

City Administration supported the rezoning application, while also citing the need to decentralize social services. 

Last November, a number of residents and organizations in McCauley and Chinatown opposed The Mustard Seed’s rezoning application to develop 124 emergency shelter beds in the former Operation Friendship facility at 9526 106 Avenue. This facility is also owned by the Province. City Council approved  this rezoning, which means that 88% of permanent emergency shelter beds in Edmonton are located in McCauley.

On April 8th, the Community and Public Services Committee will be discussing a much-delayed report on the decentralization of social services in the inner city, along with an inventory of services located in McCauley, Boyle Street, and Central McDougall. 

A key strategy in Edmonton’s Downtown Core and Transit System Safety Plan, the City’s 2022 report to the Province on safety issues, is that the “Administration will work with community, stakeholders and other orders of government to create a five-year plan to redistribute social services from Chinatown and Downtown to other appropriate areas of the city.”

Phil O’Hara lives in McCauley. He was one of the residents who spoke in opposition to The Mustard Seed’s rezoning application in November 2023.


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