Main Streets are the cultural, social and economic centre of a city. They are attractive and vibrant people places.

Elements of a Vibrant Main Street

Main Streets are both important places and important transportation links. These functions need to be in balance when looking at main streets.

  • Main Streets are important transportation routes
  • Main Streets act as strong community places and tie into business and community revitalization
  • Main Streets support a mix of street-oriented land uses
  • Main Streets are designed and maintained to an enhanced standard

Designing vibrant Main Streets needs the support of solid City policy. In October 2015, Council moved to revise the Complete Streets policy to designate the City’s “Main Streets”, which will be designed and reconstructed to a higher standard, better balancing the needs of all users, with pedestrians given priority.

How Do Main Streets Relate to Complete Streets?

Main Streets are enhanced Complete Streets.

Edmonton’s Complete Streets Design and Construction Standards guide all streets to be designed as Complete Streets, but it doesn’t list any high-profile Main Streets or provide detailed guidelines for enhanced streetscaping. The Main Streets Guideline addresses this gap and is an addition to the Complete Streets Design and Construction Standards.

Main Streets Design Guideline

A guideline for designing Edmonton’s Main Streets was created in winter 2015. It will be used in the planning and design of Main Streets.

Main Streets Guideline

How Are Main Streets Different?

Main Streets are different than Complete Streets in some key ways.

Main Streets are pedestrian priority streets

  • Designed to improve the pedestrian experience
  • Entice people to linger on the street by widening sidewalks
  • Provide additional space for street furniture and landscaping
  • Buffer pedestrians from traffic

Edmonton - Main Streets Design

In planning and design, motor vehicle space is not increased

  • Prioritize moving people not just motor vehicles
  • Enhance and rebalance the environment for pedestrians, cyclists and transit users

Include a “Flexible Space”

  • Provide space for a variety of uses - patios, transit shelters, boardwalks, parklets
  • Include an area for temporary businesses like food trucks or street vendors

Edmonton’s Main Streets

Main Streets are different than regular streets. They must meet three qualifying criteria over a distance of at least 350 meters.

  1. Street Oriented Buildings: at least 45% of buildings face the street with 4 or more doorways for every 100 meters
  2. Link: traffic volumes of 10,000 and 35,000 vehicles per day
  3. Active Land Uses: there are at least 3 commercial businesses for every 100 meters

This map shows Edmonton’s currently identified Main Streets. This is a living list as neighbourhoods are always changing.

Main Streets Map

Next Steps

Implementing the Vision: We are putting the Main Streets Guideline into practice on Jasper Avenue and 109 Street, and are documenting our lessons learned from these projects to strengthen the Main Streets Guideline.

Prioritizing projects: We are working on a framework to identify the Main Street projects that will come next.

Identifying Funding Sources: We are exploring the various funding sources that currently contribute to Main Streets design, construction, maintenance, operations, and programming to identify opportunities to support Main Street revitalization.