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Avenue Initiative Revitalization

The Avenue Initiative is Edmonton’s pioneer neighbourhood revitalization project. The Alberta Avenue revitalization is celebrating its sixth year. In this time, this community-led, City-supported revitalization has transformed this historic area, improving both its social and physical aspects.

Avenue Initiative Vision

The Avenue Initiative is re-energizing 118th Avenue from NAIT to Northlands. The City and the community are working together to improve streets, businesses, and green spaces to foster a vibrant community life on the Avenue.

Avenue Initiative Revitalization Goals

Safe Streets and Spaces
Make the Avenue area a safe community in which to live and attractive for people outside of the area to come work, shop, and dine in.

Community Life
Recognize the area as a place rich in history, diversity, and character. Residents and business owners work together to resolve issues and have fun together through community events.

Thriving Economy
Make 118 Avenue the place to have a business; a well kept area that attracts visitors with its character, variety of products and services, special events and community celebrations.

Environmental Well-Being
The Avenue will become a picturesque community with a “village” feel. Less car traffic, more people walking, business owners and residents showing pride in their properties through greening efforts like flower beds and street-corner planters.

The Avenue Initiative draws on the strengths and insights of residents in the following neighbourhoods:

Capital Investments

The City of Edmonton has invested approximately $23.7 million in infrastructure streetscape improvements in 2009-2011. When completed the streetscape improvements will cover 27-blocks. They  are creating an attractive, safe and walkable avenue and pedestrian area providing a solid foundation for vibrant commercial development. More businesses, more customers and more cultural events are now happening in this area as a result of this community-led, City-supported neighbourhood revitalization.

 

Further improvements in 2011

  • Look for landscaping to be complete along 118th Avenue from 97 Street to 94 Street.
  • Construction work begins this spring on streetscape improvements on 118th Avenue from 82 Street to 78th Street.
  • Streetscape improvements are planned for 2012-2014 that will see improvements on 118th Avenue from 106 Street to 97 Street and 78 Street to Wayne Gretzky Drive.

Streetscape improvements include

  • New, wider sidewalks
  • Trees
  • New marked pedestrian crossings
  • Increase pedestrian level lighting
  • Street furniture and light pole painting
  • Reorganization of side street parking
  • Throating (traffic calming of the neighbourhood entrances)

Community Successes

Business Development

  • 5 buildings enhanced their exterior appearance with funds from the City of Edmonton’s Façade Improvement grants. 
  • 21 new facades have been completed over five years.
  • 19 new businesses have been established in the area since 2005, 10 of which opened in 2010, including Creative Quality Catering, Alexander’s Bistro, Dur Dur Restaurant, and Gaskia African Fashions.

Arts on the Ave

  • The development of 118 Avenue as an Arts hub continues.

Old Alberta Cycle Building Update

  • The City of Edmonton, in partnership with the Arts Habitat Edmonton and Arts on the Avenue, had planned to transform the former Alberta Cycle Building into an arts hub. During the renovation, significant, unexpected issues were identified with the 50 year old structure.
  • After exploring several options, the City of Edmonton has decided to demolish the former Alberta Cycle Building on 118th Avenue. The site will be converted into a grassed, open space until a long-term plan for the site is developed and approved.
  • A business case is being created to explore options to meet the intended vision of providing space for an arts hub on Alberta Avenue. The City of Edmonton is committed to working with our partners to support a vibrant arts presence in the area.

Safety

  • 23% reduction in crime over last four years.
  • A Safe Streets Committee meets once a month to discuss safety initiatives. 
  • In 2010 several successful initiatives were implemented, including
  • The “We Believe in 118th Avenue” Campaign to eliminate knives and drug paraphernalia has resulted in all but one store discontinuing the sale of knives and drug paraphernalia.

Programs and Events

  • In 2010, up to $100,000 through the Neighbourhood Matching Grant program was distributed to support community and business-led events and projects enhancing social connectedness and sustainability.  To date $45,000 has been allocated to support the Alberta Avenue Business Association Directory, Flower Barrel Program, Kaleido, Caught In The Act and several smaller community events.
  • A large item garbage pickup was held in 2010 with 20 volunteers removing over 300 large items from homes.
  • Over 900 people attended the fourth annual “Ave in Bloom Garden Show”. 
  • Arts on the Avenue continued to grow, hosting two major festivals. “Deep Freeze a Byzantine Winter Festival” in January 2010 that kicked off the City’s inaugural Winter Light Festival; and, the “Kaleido Family Arts Festival.”
  • Over 2,500 people attended the second annual Eastwoodfest and Street Dance Celebration.

Volunteer

  • Beautification, cleanliness and programs working group meets the second Wednesday of each month around 6:30pm.
  • Safe Streets meets fourth Tuesday of every second month around 6:30pm.

For more information:

Neighbourhood and Community Development

Title Avenue Initiative Coordinator
Telephone 780-496-1913