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The City is beginning a new concept design for the central stretch of the river valley in 2 distinct project areas: Rossdale and the North Shore.

Project Overview

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. 

Design work will focus on 2 distinct and connected project areas and will align with, and build on, the policy direction from Breathe: Edmonton’s Green Network Strategy, Ribbon of Green and River Crossing.

This project includes a wide range of technical studies, expertise and considerations as well as landscape architectural design and engagement. The technical studies and expertise include archaeology and paleontology, geotechnical and hydrological engineering, civil and structural engineering, fish and aquatic biologists, environmental scientists and biologists, and cost estimating consultants.

This project is in the early stages of planning and design. It is not yet funded for construction.

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Project Roadmap


The Rossdale area is proposed to extend from 94 Avenue NW to the Walterdale Bridge. The project will consider design elements to connect the existing historic Rossdale Generating Station and pump houses, the new Walterdale Bridge and surrounding pathways, and create a series of spaces that can be used for public gatherings or individual enjoyment of the river and river valley.

As guided by the River Crossing Heritage Interpretive Plan, this project will link and reflect the rich Indigenous and settler history of the site with a dynamic urban future. 

The North Shore Area will extend along the northern bank of the North Saskatchewan River from the western edge of the Walterdale Bridge to Government House Park, west of Groat Road Bridge (alongside River Valley Road). Development of the North Shore Area will enhance the riverwalk experience.

Potential development could include gathering nodes, viewing decks, active transportation corridors, integrated seating and enhanced access points. It will also become a destination that will draw citizens and visitors to the river valley and support non-automotive transportation connections to the downtown core.

Project Timeline

Project Timeline - Strategy Phase


Summer and Fall

  • Public engagement phase III: review preferred concept design
  • Complete technical studies and approvals as required
  • Preliminary design for Rossdale area only: further development of preferred concept (funding for detailed design and construction is not yet approved)

Winter and Spring

  • Complete concept plans for both project areas from feedback received and technical study results
  • Indigenous engagement continues throughout 2020
  • Public engagement phase II: review concept design options

Fall 2019

  • Indigenous engagement begins: it will be ongoing throughout the project with First Nations, Metis, Indigenous communities and Urban Indigenous peoples and organizations
  • Public engagement phase I: project vision, design principles, and potential program/use preferences

Summer 2019

Project start-up and beginning of initial project design research and studies

Winter 2018

  • City Council approved funding in 2019-2022 Capital Budget
  • Concept work for both project areas
  • Additional design for the Rossdale area only


  • Preliminary exploration of the project site, including initial public and Indigenous engagement; the project did not advance to a final concept design
  • Information and learnings have been incorporated into current project

Indigenous Community Engagement

The City is committed to keeping First Nations and Métis communities informed and engaged on projects in the North Saskatchewan River Valley that may be of traditional cultural, historical and environmental interest.

We know that this place is important to many Indigenous communities, historically and culturally, and these communities have not previously been part of conversations about the past and future of the river valley in Edmonton.

A total of 29 Indigenous communities were invited, with 21 communities responding and participating in the initial stage of engagement for this project. The engagement included site visits with Elders, knowledge holders and technicians. 

Protocol was offered at the engagement sessions and the input shared will be summarized in a report for Indigenous communities to review. The feedback received throughout all activities will be considered by the project team as the project moves forward.

Indigenous engagement will continue with First Nations, Métis and Urban Indigenous communities and organizations as the project advances.

Public Engagement History

Phase 1: Creating a Vision

Thank you for joining the conversation and sharing your vision for the Touch the Water Promenade Project in fall 2019. We received valuable input that will help inform the development of concept design options for the project.

We engaged with the public and stakeholders on:

  • The project location, local ecology, design inspiration and examples and how this project relates to other City plans and policies

  • We asked people what their favourite thing is about the project site, how they would like to use the 2 areas - Rossdale and North Shore - in the future and their overall vision for this project

What We Heard Report

Event Materials
Display Board
Project Information Booklet

A view of the existing conditions including amenities and buildings, water access, trails and more.

For More Information

Open Space Planning and Design


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