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Proposed Church Street Heritage Area

Mary Queen of Martyrs Church

About Church Street

The 96 Street area, commonly referred to as Church Street, is a distinct urban corridor in Edmonton.

The area is recognized as something special and is identified as such in the local Boyle McCauley Plan. A recent Heritage Study of the McCauley/Alberta Avenue area further identified Church Street as one worthy of some form of heritage recognition. Subsequent interest by the Mayor and Council has initiated a process to look at options to revitalize and promote the street.

Church Street is unique in that it contains a significant collection of religious buildings within a 5 block strip, as well as other religious facilities in the surrounding vicinity. The churches represent a broad range of denominations and architectural styles from different periods.

There are also residential properties and some small commercial units in-between, which also contribute to the street’s character.

The City is exploring options, which may cover a variety of initiatives or incentives, that may help revitalize and protect the street. As part of this process, the City is looking for feedback on what the community and stakeholders want or envision the street to be in the future and how it can be enhanced and protected.

Church Street Open House

Thank you to everyone who attended the February 12, 2014, Church Street Open House.

The open house sought input on the future direction of how the area should be zoned and developed. This including examining allowable uses and development criteria on the street, as well as what the physical form could look like. The final part of the exercise explored physical improvements to the streetscape.

Consultation update

Extensive consultation has been carried out to determine how the community and stakeholders felt Church Street could benefit, if resources were available, to make it one of Edmonton's destinations. 

A list of long and short term recommendations/objectives dealing with physical, programming and operational matters were developed which outlined how the street could be enhanced over time.

The desire is to implement these objectives to help revitalize and enhance the street, primarily focused around the churches. The objectives ranged from physical improvements in front of churches to developing festivals on the street. 

Stakeholders see the area developing in a manner that ensures the churches remain the focal point along the street and any new development being suitably setback and low to ensure the churches are not overwhelmed.

Physical improvements to the street and street furniture are desired and initiatives to look at some building improvements are mentioned. Other intangible aspects such as allowing limited commercial activity, developing festivals, policing, accommodating social initiatives, etc. were also brought forward.

The final report Preserving the special nature of Church Street summarizes all the findings and objectives.

Minor improvements

As a result of the consultation, City Council asked that some minor physical improvements be carried out as soon as possible, while longer term objectives were still being explored.

These minor improvements include:

  • Rename 96 Street to “Church Street”
  • Apply Direct Control Provision.
  • Install bike route markings and signage throughout the street.
  • Re-landscape the existing planters with new shrubs and trees.
  • Add interpretive banners to street poles.
  • Install interpretive historic plaques / self guided walking tour along the street related to buildings and community stories/events.
  • Develop entrance features at key intersections (111 Avenue, 107A Avenue and 106 Avenue).
  • Decorative street blades (signs) between Church Street and surrounding neighbourhoods.
  • Clearly emphasize pedestrian crossings.
  • Possible improvements to sidewalks with special surface treatment, notably in front of the 12 churches.

Some have been implemented or are underway and should be in place by fall 2014. The Direct Control Provision process is about to begin.

Direct Control Provision

As a result of recent engagement on the future of Church Street, the community identified a list of objectives and initiatives that would help emphasis the special character of 96 Street. These range from physical improvements to community programming. 

One key objective is to rezone the area to ensure the special "Church Street" character of the area is maintained and enhanced. This will provide direction on how future development should occur within the area.

For more information:

David Holdsworth

Sustainable Development

Title Heritage Planner
Telephone

780-496-5281

Email david.holdsworth@edmonton.ca