Designs for Edmonton’s new Warehouse Park released for public comment

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Edmontonians are getting their first glimpse of what the long-awaited downtown Warehouse Park could look like as the city released designs for public comment on Monday.

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Currently a sea of ​​parking lots north of Jasper Avenue between 106th and 108th Streets, the city hopes to turn this largely vacant space into a 1.47-hectare “urban oasis,” larger than two football fields, in the middle downtown. Construction is expected to begin in 2024 and the park is expected to open in late 2025.

Two potential park options are “organic” or “formal” designs, both of which include large open spaces, trees, and an accessible restroom pavilion. The formal design includes straighter pathways and evenly spaced shafts. In contrast, the organic option has winding paths of varying sizes with more sporadically placed trees and small hilly areas.

Suzanne Young, director of open space planning and design for the city, said she wants to know what the public thinks of the two options and other ideas for play areas, landscaping and gathering spaces. and seats.

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“We are thrilled to bring the vision of this park, an urban oasis, to life,” she said Monday. “I encourage all Edmontonians to participate and let us know what you think. What does a paradise park in our city center look like to you? »

A draft design concept for Warehouse Park in downtown Edmonton.  City of Edmonton, screenshot.
A draft design concept for Warehouse Park in downtown Edmonton. City of Edmonton, screenshot.

Pop-up events will take place on Friday and Saturday, and an online public event will take place on May 10. The public poll is open until May 22. Details can be found at edmonton.ca/WarehousePark.

The idea for a downtown park dates back to 2010 in hopes that the new green space would attract more residential development and increase foot traffic to downtown businesses. The city began buying — and in some cases expropriating — the land in 2017, at a cost of about $36 million, according to Young. The budget for the construction and design of the park, as well as improvements to 106th Street, is an additional $42 million with funds from the Downtown Community Revitalization Levy.

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Pat Hanson, director of gh3*, the Toronto-based firm leading the project and its architecture, sees the potential for Warehouse Park to be “transformative” and a “signature park” that can act as a “green lung” for the region , and for the whole city.

Yannick Roberge, senior landscape architect with Montreal firm Claude Cormier + Associés and lead landscape architect for the project, said Monday his goal was to create a public space that is meaningful, timeless, engaging, fun and surprising. He compared the potential of this park to that of Central Park in New York, albeit on a smaller scale.

“(Central Park) has had a great influence on the development of the city around it, has become an icon of urban recreation in this city, as well as an icon of democracy – open to all… We still recognize the city today by this park, so it would be great to have that kind of park too, for Edmonton.

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Edmontonians who respond to the city's Warehouse Park design survey are offered options for a paved or
Edmontonians who respond to the city’s Warehouse Park design survey are offered options for a paved or “enabled” entrance. City of Edmonton, screenshot.

A large flowerbed or water feature, a paved driveway with picnic tables or more green space, abstract or realistic art, and structured or more informal play areas are a few options. which those participating in the engagement can choose.

Other options include picnic and social gathering areas, a dedicated dog-on-leash pit stop, fitness areas, social and play areas, a half-court basketball area and small hills for children’s sledding.

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Edmontonians who respond to the city's Warehouse Park design survey are presented with options for different types of playgrounds.  City of Edmonton, screenshot.
Edmontonians who respond to the city’s Warehouse Park design survey are presented with options for different types of playgrounds. City of Edmonton, screenshot.

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