The Winds of Change - Web Feature
Change seems to be at every corner in McCauley. Everywhere there seems to be new construction. The skyline is changing with the images of new high-rise buildings going up. And right here where I live within a month of each other there are two older houses being torn down to make way for new ones.
McCauley is an older neighbourhood of Edmonton, and for a long time, parts of it was neglected. You can see the signs on some houses: cracking paint, mailboxes stuffed with flyers, and the poorly kept sidewalks and lawns. These derelict houses serve no one’s best interests. It really seems that something is happening in our neighbourhood now, though. A lot of older houses are being condemned or simply aren’t renting and have been put up for sale solely based on the value of their lots. I can think of at least five cases of brand new houses springing up among the older classic styled houses built in the 1950s and earlier. This is not to say all houses have been neglected – a lot of homeowners in McCauley take great pride in maintaining their properties. But as time goes on and the value of lots increases, sometimes it makes more sense to pull a tooth than to spend money on a filling.
The trend has been going on for some time. I now share a house just two blocks from a different one I used to live in that saw two new houses built right next door, and I went from living next to a suspected drug house to having a great friend and fellow poet in the neighbourhood. Also, it seems that we are seeing families, and even professionals moving in more than any other groups. As was mentioned in a speech at the Church Street Fair by a city council member, McCauley has seen property values increase more than any other neighbourhood in Edmonton. People are taking pride in this community and choosing to live here and it shows.
Boyle Street and McCauley are in many ways great places to live for a lot of well off, family oriented people in our modern times. We are a short walk or bike ride to downtown, but we maintain a lot of advantages of suburbia like our wonderful new fitness facility and a very well maintained skating rink, plus Giovanni Caboto Park with its soccer fields and the Boys and Girls Club – not to mention the great restaurants and coffee shops. We live in a great community that hasn’t forgotten the hardworking people that built it or the needy that it tries to help.