If you are like me and tend think of Jasper Avenue, Edmonton’s main street in the downtown core, as a busy street filled with skyscrapers, heavy traffic, and hurrying strangers, the above pictures may seem to bear little relationship to Jasper Avenue. However, all of these pictures were taken from the eastern section of Jasper Avenue, Edmonton. For several blocks, Jasper Avenue looks directly over the river valley, without any interference from tall buildings. There are even some lookout spaces with benches placed along the side of the road at intervals, allowing pedestrians the opportunity to sit, relax, and enjoy the views. A walk down the eastern portion of Jasper Avenue, Edmonton’s main road through downtown, can remind us of another Edmonton life-line – the North Saskatchewan River and the river valley.
Of course, Jasper Avenue is also a bustling street filled with businesses, including some noteworthy local businesses: the Remedy Café opened its second restaurant on the south side corner of Jasper Avenue and 102 Street, and Audrey’s Books, an independent Edmonton bookstore, resides on the corner of Jasper Avenue and 107 Street.
If you like the idea of seeing natural green space and visiting local businesses while walking along Jasper Avenue, Edmonton’s plans for Jasper Ave will probably appeal to you. The city hopes to revitalize Jasper Avenue and make it a more desirable place for Edmontonians and tourists to live, shop and visit. In recent years, the number of commercial and retail buildings along Jasper Ave has increased, but the city believes that much more development is both possible and desirable. In fact, revitalizing Jasper Avenue is a key part of the city’s plans to enliven Edmonton’s entire downtown core.
The city of Edmonton has published a report titled “Toward a New Vision for Jasper Avenue,” in which they outline several ideas for making Jasper Avenue Edmonton’s vibrant centre. Their plans include making Jasper Avenue more pedestrian friendly, adding parks and green space, and encouraging commercial, retail, and residential development.
Jasper Avenue is already a valuable place in the heart of Edmonton, and its future looks promising. To learn more about the city’s plans for Jasper Avenue, you can find their report at http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/documents/Jasper_Ave_New_Vision_Final_Report.pdf