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History and Milestones

Blatchford will be known worldwide for its innovation, so it’s fitting that the new community will be named after one of Edmonton’s great visionaries.

Kenneth Blatchford, former mayor of Edmonton, changed the course of aviation in Edmonton when he set aside $400 in the 1926 City budget to clear trees on the land that became the site of the City Centre Airport.

Edmonton and the City Centre Airport played a major role in aviation during the Second World War as part of an international airplane relay network. The airport was also important for the increase in northern exploration in Canada.

It’s because of the City Centre Airport’s role in exploration and transport that Edmonton became known as “the Gateway to the North.”

On November 30, 2013, the last flight departed from the City Centre Airport.

To mark the closure, the City of Edmonton and the Edmonton Heritage Council unveiled a plaque and living time capsule which showcases the history of the airport and the Blatchford area.

The time capsule will be on display in City Hall until they are installed in a permanent location in Blatchford.

As one of the most significant historical locations in Edmonton, the community of Blatchford will recognize the important history of the airport, while looking forward to its exciting future.

Helicopters in flight at the former City Centre Airport.

1929 The City Centre Airport opens, making it the first licensed airstrip in Canada.
1995 Citizens of Edmonton vote in a referendum to consolidate passenger air service at the Edmonton International Airport.
2008 Council opens discussions on the idea of redeveloping the airport lands into a new urban residential and commercial community, and begins public consultation.
2009 A detailed review addressing the historical importance, economic impact, market feasibility, medevac services, and public consultation, is presented to City Council.
July 2009 City Council votes to implement a phased closure of the City Centre Airport, for the purpose of redeveloping the site.
May 2010 The City opens an international search for a design firm to create the master plan to redevelop the airport lands into an environmentally sustainable, transit-oriented, mixed use community for 30,000 residents.
August 2010

Out of the 33 submissions, the City shortlists five design firms to compete for the chance to deliver the winning plan.

Runway 16/34 is closed to air traffic.

June 2011 After public consultation on the five submissions, the City announces that Perkins + Will from Vancouver, BC, will develop the master plan for the City Centre Redevelopment.
October 2011, Feb/May 2012 Perkins + Will and the City hold public workshops and meet with stakeholders to receive input on the master plan.
2013 Phase One detailed planning.
2014 Site preparation underway.
August 2015 Groundbreaking for stage 1 of development. 


For More Information

Blatchford Project Office

Email blatchford@edmonton.ca