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The City is excited to promote and celebrate innovation and advance the design ethic for infill development in Edmonton.

Launched in 2016, the Edmonton Infill Design Competition provides an opportunity to encourage productive conversations about infill and help the public and development community understand what’s possible for infill design. The 2016 competition sought ideas for low-density infill on a hypothetical site, showing how infill could augment, rather than detract, from the character of our mature and established neighbourhoods.

With the development of City Plan currently underway, the 2019 competition is an opportunity to highlight the connection between innovative new housing forms and the urban shift that will be integral to the future of Edmonton. The 2019 competition will focus on demonstrating how medium-density "missing middle" housing can be both economically feasible and include good design that works in Edmonton.

Competition Details

Designs will be solicited from multidisciplinary teams of architects and builders/developers for medium-density "missing middle" housing on a site of 5 lots currently owned by the City at the northeast corner of 112 Avenue and 106 Street in the Spruce Avenue neighbourhood.

The winning team will be given the opportunity to purchase the site and build their winning design conditional upon rezoning approval, which will be used as a prototype to inspire innovative "missing middle" infill development in other parts of the city.

Registration Opens in Early 2019

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive more information as it becomes available.

What is "Missing Middle" Housing?

The term "missing middle" refers to multi-unit housing that falls between single detached homes and tall apartment buildings. It includes row housing, triplexes/fourplexes, courtyard housing and walk-up apartments. These housing forms are considered "missing" because there has been a decline in their development in recent decades in many cities and they were never widely developed in Edmonton.

Encouraging this type of housing is essential for welcoming new people and homes into older neighbourhoods and creating complete communities with a variety housing options for people at every stage of life and income level.

Get to Know Edmonton

History and Demographics

Edmonton’s got character. A lot of it. We’re a combination of hard work and great ideas and it’s been that way since the city incorporated in 1904.

We’ve got lots of thinkers (thanks to some incredible post-secondary schools) and even more doers (like our small business owners, public sector employees and thriving industrial sector). We’ve had a roller coaster history, with population booms in the 30s, 50s and 70s. On top of every winter, we’ve also weathered our fair share of recessions. Today, our downtown is bustling with development and we have a young population that’s growing at a rate above the Canadian average. We’re even expected to exceed 1 million by 2024.

This booming history has had an interesting effect: amazing neighbourhoods surrounding our downtown that are ripe with character but low on density. With more people craving a connection to the core, many are interested in infill developments. But can we build new homes on these old lots while maintaining the enviable character of the neighbourhoods? That’s our challenge. And now, yours too.


Climate in Edmonton

Edmonton is the northernmost metropolitan area in Canada and experiences extreme seasonal temperature variations. While summers can exceed 30 degrees celcius, winters commonly drop below -20 degrees celcius for extended periods.

Given Edmonton’s high latitude, daylight varies greatly. At summer solstice, Edmonton gets over 17 hours of sunlight, but winter solstice sees only 7.5 hours

Building design and construction must recognize the significant role that climate and extreme weather plays in the lives of Edmontonians, who are looking to reclaim the joy of winter and embrace the season in spite of its challenges.

Infill in Edmonton

Infill isn’t new to Edmonton, but it’s seen a massive increase in popularity in recent years. At the City of Edmonton, we want to make sure it’s done in a way that’s best for our city, both today and in the future.

In 2013, we launched a project called Evolving Infill. From this, we created our Infill Roadmap: 23 actions that comprise the City’s work plan for advancing infill development. Today, most of that Roadmap has been completed, but there’s still more to do.

In July 2018, we adopted Infill Roadmap 2018, which contains a set of 25 more actions to enable and encourage infill, and welcome more people and new homes into Edmonton’s older neighbourhoods. The Infill Roadmap 2018 takes a more strategic focus on the "missing middle" - multi-unit, medium-density housing such as row housing, courtyard housing and low-rise apartments.

In the coming years, we envision an Edmonton where neighbourhoods and builders collaborate to unveil the infills of tomorrow: sustainable homes, built through smart design, that bring our established communities even closer together. We’re excited to see how the design innovations and best practices that come out of this competition will improve the quality of infill development in Edmonton.

Spruce Avenue Neighbourhood

The Spruce Avenue neighbourhood is located just north of Edmonton’s downtown. Spruce Avenue has a population of over 1,800 people, with most residents between the ages of 20 to 34 years and 50 to 64 years. In Edmonton’s early days, Namao Avenue (97 Street) and 1st Street (101 Street) were principal thoroughfares for individuals traveling between Edmonton’s downtown and destinations to the north. As a result, the neighbourhoods oldest residences are located along these streets, while newer residences are situated in the western portion of the neighbourhood.

The residential section of the neighbourhood is oriented along gridiron streets lined with mature trees while two central schools and a park site anchor the community. Residents have access to a variety of services within the immediate vicinity and are also well-connected to other parts of the city by nearby transit hubs and arterial roadways that surround the community. These connections are well-utilized by residents as over half of Spruce Avenue residents drive to work and over one third of residents walk or take public transit.

There are many ties to the neighbourhood’s past, including a current Community History Project and designated historical buildings throughout the neighbourhood. However, there are also opportunities for change in and around the neighbourhood. From large-scale redevelopment and expansion projects, such as Blatchford and the Norwood CapitalCare Redevelopment projects, to smaller-scale infill occurring within the neighbourhood, Spruce Avenue continues to evolve as a unique and charming community.

View the submissions and winning entries from the 2016 competition.

Team up with us to help create Edmonton’s "Missing Middle" Infill Design Competition criteria.

For More Information




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