The purpose of a Block Party is to build connections and relationships between neighbours living on the same street.
The idea of a Play Street is to bring neighbours together for celebration or play. They allow neighbours to play together on residential streets closed off to vehicle traffic.
The City supports both Block Party and Play Street gatherings through planning, operations and permitting. The Block Party and Play Street programs are intended for residents living on the same street or neighbourhood and are not intended for larger events that invite the general public to attend.
10 Great Reasons to Host a Block Party or Play Street
Helps us feel safe by knowing who lives around us.
Promotes interaction between neighbours of all ages.
Increases a sense of belonging to the community.
Provides an opportunity to know your neighbours better.
Encourages neighbours to look after each other and the neighbourhood.
Connects long-time and new neighbours, and teaches about neighbourhood history.
Builds stronger communities which have the power to make a difference.
Animates open spaces for social gatherings and safe, active play.
Boosts our health when we feel welcomed and included.
A gathering of 10 to 30 neighbours living in the same area coming together on someone’s property (driveway, living room, garage, yard, condo building, etc.). Block socials do not involve road closures.
Single-Street Block Party
A gathering of 25 to 75 neighbours from the same street, cul-de-sac or floor in a building. This involves closing the road in front of their homes.
Neighbourhood-Wide Block Party
A gathering of 50 to 200 neighbours from the same area coming together on their street and extending an invitation to residents of the neighbourhood or building.
A gathering of neighbours from the same area to increase play opportunities and connection on a residential street by closing it off to vehicle traffic. Remember shouting “CAR!” in the middle of a street hockey game? Hosting a play street means that adults and children can play safely together. The size of the gathering will depend on the types of play activities created.
Note: Larger-scale events involving multiple streets (two or more blocks) or non-residential roads, may be considered Civic Events and will follow the Civic Events Application Process. Some examples include: parades, processions, street festivals, runs/walks, and sporting events.
Host a Virtual Block Party. No City permitting is required.
On Private Property
Host a Block Social in a neighbour’s driveway, yard, garage or in a condo complex. No City permitting is required for private property.
On a Street or Alley
To host a gathering on a roadway, you must first obtain a Temporary Road Closure Permit via the Block Party Play Street Application Form. This grants you access to the space requested. Block Parties and Play Streets will only be considered on residential roadways; check the Permit Reference Map to ensure your location is considered residential. The request will also be reviewed for construction considerations and availability of City resources.
If your gathering involves a road closure, you must submit a Block Party / Play Street Application Form at least 14 days prior to your gathering date, in order to process your temporary road closure permit.
Submitting an application for a temporary road closure permit does not imply that your Block Party / Play Street is approved or that your proposed location or date are confirmed.
If your request is approved, temporary road closure permits are free and you may confirm details with your neighbours.
All current Alberta Health Services public health measures must be followed when planning and hosting a Block Party or Play Street. As circumstances evolve, Parkland Licences, Block Party and Play Street Gatherings may be suspended or cancelled in accordance with Alberta Health and/or City of Edmonton directives.
Activities taking place exclusively on private property are generally considered to be covered by the homeowner or renter insurance policy.
The City encourages gathering organizers to obtain $2 million in General Liability insurance to respond to any bodily injury and/or property damages to the third party for activities occurring on a City of Edmonton roadway. Depending on the circumstances of each event including the risk exposures and mitigations put in place by the organizer, the City may require evidence of insurance. The City recommends contacting your home insurance provider or other insured organization for an "event policy" if the organizer does not wish to use their own home insurance policy to discuss liability coverage as required. We would be happy to help you with further questions.
Examples of high-risk events taking place on a roadway can include:
Fire pits on roadways
Inflatables such as bouncy castles *
Involvement of any high-risk recreational activities which may have a potential for an injury and/or property damage
Multi-street Block Parties or Play Streets where attendance is harder to control
Join the City of Edmonton, Neighbourhood Services for a "Beyond the Bouncy Castle" online workshop. This workshop is great for anyone who would like to learn more about hosting a neighbour gathering such as a Block Party, Play Street or Block Social.