Find out about ongoing projects to implement the River Crossing vision. These projects include design work, infrastructure upgrades, transportation and heritage interpretation activities that all seek to bring people to the river valley and to celebrate its long and layered histories.
Rossdale ARP Amendment and zoning changes approved by Council
At the June 23, 2021 Public Hearing, City Council approved amendments to the Rossdale Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP) as well as changes to zoning in the area.
A summary of these changes, which contribute to the vision for River Crossing, includes:
Zoning changes to recognize that land along 101 Street is parkland, land west of 105 Street zoned is provincially-owned, and land outside the future interpretive park is no longer zoned parkland
Visit the June 23, 2021 City Council Public Hearing Agenda and Minutes (Items 3.18, 3.19 and 3.20) for more information.
Touch the Water Promenade
The City is working on a new concept design for the central stretch of the river valley in two distinct project areas: Rossdale and the North Shore. The Touch the Water Promenade Project is intended to improve access to and within the river valley, creating enhanced opportunities for recreation, celebration, heritage interpretation and social gathering.
Improving the ecological condition along the North Saskatchewan River where possible is also a key consideration for this project. More information.
Rossdale Transportation Network
Formerly known as the River Crossing Mobility Network, the Rossdale Transportation Network project aims to balance how people move through the River Crossing area and how they access the community by various modes. The City is preparing a concept design of the transportation network in the area for all modes including walking, cycling, transit and vehicles. The project aims to enhance the user experience to create streets for all users and abilities while accommodating commuters who travel through the area to access downtown and other parts of the central city.
Rossdale Power Plant Advanced Assessment and Priority Rehabilitation
The Rossdale Power Plant is a unique heritage resource with tremendous reuse opportunities to help activate the River Crossing area.
The City is currently determining the current building conditions and preparing a heritage conservation plan. This information will inform investments to avoid deterioration of the buildings and strategic improvements to allow for the staged re-use of the Power Plant.
River Crossing Interpretive Park
A key element of the River Crossing initiative is the creation of a new park that honours and celebrates the long and layered history of the area. The City is beginning the concept design phase for a cultural interpretive park between Rossdale Road and 96 Avenue. It is intended to be a place for cultural celebration, connections and understanding, and where visitors can share stories and learn about the people and cultures connected to River Crossing.
The interpretive park will be co-designed with Indigenous communities to ensure the park reflects their stories and is welcoming to all.
Rossdale Power Plant Lighting Project
The Rossdale Power Plant is unique in Edmonton and one of the most important pieces of industrial heritage in Alberta. To highlight the architecture and history of the structure, the City invested in a permanent lighting display, illuminating the smoke stacks and upper mezzanine windows at night. The lighting project seeks to bring greater attention to the building and its location in the river valley, and to activate the area. The illumination also contributes to a more vibrant view of the city during the dark winter months.
The decorative lighting was turned on for the first time in October 2019 to mark the 18th anniversary of the Rossdale Power Plant’s designation as a provincial historic resource. More information.
Heritage Interpretive Plan Implementation
Approved by Council in July 2017, the River Crossing Heritage Interpretive Plan provides guidance on sharing stories of the area’s complex and layered past. Heritage interpretation will be a foundational part of future redevelopment through public art, urban design and architectural elements.
Before the area redevelops, however, its stories can still be told. In 2018 the City, Edmonton Arts Council and Edmonton Heritage Council partnered to offer Tracing Connections in River Crossing art grants. The resulting work included temporary visual art installations and musical performances. The City will continue to work with interested organizations to activate the River Crossing area through heritage interpretation activities. In the summer of 2020, private tour operators provided tours of the Rossdale Power Plant and the surrounding area.
Municipal Historic Area Designation
The City is exploring the possibility of designating the River Crossing area as a Municipal Historic Area. The designation represents a new way for the City of Edmonton to consider heritage in the River Crossing area. It would be a unique interpretive project going beyond acknowledging existing historic buildings and seeking to illuminate the area’s layered and intangible heritage.
The designation would be ceremonial and would not attempt to regulate or control the use and development of land or the demolition, removal, construction or reconstruction of buildings within the designated area.
Ortona Armoury Rehabilitation
The Ortona Armoury is a designated Municipal Historic Resource with a long and colourful history. Currently owned by the City, the building has most recently been occupied by individual and group artists and served as an arts centre.
The City is currently undertaking lifecycle rehabilitation work on the Ortona Armoury to upgrade structural foundations, replace mechanical and electrical systems and general building repairs. Requiring a full building closure for two years, the work will ensure the building's continued use as an arts centre and conserve the historic value of the resource. More information.
The Edmonton Commonwealth Walkway travels 10 kilometres through the North Saskatchewan River Valley, including the Rossdale flats. Announced in 2018, the walkway seeks to preserve and advance physical and mental health through the promotion of physical activity while experiencing the environment and local heritage.
Led by the Commonwealth Walkway Trust, an international organization, the walkway was supported by the City of Edmonton among other partner organizations. More information.
EPCOR Water Reservoir Activation
Located south of RE/MAX Field, the EPCOR underground water reservoir has been fenced off from public access for many years. The City and EPCOR are working together to remove the fencing to allow limited public recreation opportunities on the field above the reservoir, while protecting the vital water infrastructure underneath.
Infrastructure changes are required before this access can be provided. Construction began in 2021 and is expected to continue in 2022.
Prairie Sky Gondola Proposal
A private group of investors has proposed the construction of a gondola to link the River Crossing area with downtown and Old Strathcona. Such a system could provide a new way for people to visit the area without needing to drive or park in the area.
The City is working with Prairie Sky Gondola to consider the proposal’s viability and effectiveness.