Five years ago my husband and I realized we were aging rapidly and that it was time to make some lifestyle changes. So, we moved from a two-storey house in the Highlands into a high rise apartment at the east end of Jasper Avenue. Shortly after the move, I searched the City of Edmonton website to see what community we now lived in. The answer: Boyle Street!
Many Edmontonians think of Boyle Street as a place full of social challenges such as poverty, homelessness, racism, addiction, and other mental health issues. This is true in part, but it isn’t the whole story.
It didn’t take long to discover the wonders of this diverse, historic, and densely populated community. There is truly no other neighbourhood like it in this city. And I mean that in a good way.
Boyle Street is within easy walking distance of City Hall and Churchill Square, City Centre Mall, arts venues such as the Winspear Centre and Citadel Theatre, and much more, including Little Italy and Chinatown in McCauley. There are also some beautiful historic buildings constructed during the very beginnings of the city, since Boyle Street was the original downtown area of Edmonton. I walk along the bank of the River Valley and to Kinnaird Park, enjoying the spectacular views.
Boyle Street is my home now, a place where I feel comfortable and one that I am proud of. How silly of me to think as a newcomer that I would be embarrassed to tell people where I live.
Anita Jenkins is a retired writer and editor who lives in Boyle Street.