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Anyone who has visited downtown Edmonton acknowledges that it’s the business hub of Edmonton, Alberta. Visit any street from 97 street to the east, 109 street to the west, 105 Avenue to the north, North Saskatchewan River to the Southeast and Rossdale Road to the south. The central location gives downtown Edmonton a focal point. Its such a premier location as its surrounded by great neighborhoods like Boyle Street and Riverdale on the east, Oliver on the west, Rossdale on the south as well as Central McDougall and McCauley on the north.

Edmonton’s Winspear Centre in the Arts District

In the eastern part of Edmonton is the Arts District, home to award-winning institutions like the Francis Winspear Center for Music and the Citadel Theatre are located there. The Francis Winspear Center for Music is the home of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Edmonton City Hall is also located in the Arts District and facing sir Winston Churchill Square. The Arts District is also home to the new Art Gallery which was launched in 2010 as well as the Public Libraries. The Stanley A. Miller Library.

The main downtown square and the heart of Arts District is Churchill Square whose official name is Sir Winston Churchill Square. Majority of festivals and events in Greater Edmonton are generally hosted in Sir Winston Churchill Square. Churchill Square is bordered by;

• Rue Hull Street on the east
• 100 Street on the west
• 102A Avenue on the north
• Harbin Road on the south

102A Avenue was closed off for vehicular traffic so that it could connect better with the Churchill Square whose fountains and festivals are such a marvel.

Government Centre

Located at the southwest corner of the downtown core is Government Center, an informal district which is home of Alberta provincial government. The Alberta Legislature Building is surrounded by gardens, parks, and fountains. It is such an outstanding establishment. The Alberta Legislature Building can be viewed from the High-Level Bridges. Surrounding buildings like the historic Bowker Building and Frederick W. Haultain Building are connected to the Alberta Legislature Building by an underground pedway system.

At the north-east corner of Government Center is a Federal building, which used to be home to Federal government offices. The federal government offices were later relocated in the 1980s to Canada Place that is at the east edge of Edmonton. The federal building has since undergone renovations that amount t0 $356 million. The renovations were due to be finished in 2015, complete with provincial government offices and a new underground parking lot. Grandin LRT station provides transit services to the west as well as government center near the federal building.

Jasper Avenue

Functioning as a major public transit route is Jasper Avenue. It is termed as the city’s main street and is considered one of the busiest bus routes; the LRT travels underneath it between 99 and 110 Streets. Jasper Avenue begins at 77 Street in the east and runs southwestward along the edge of Boyle Street all the way to the downtown core. It runs due west through until it reaches 125 Street.

Jasper avenue hosts Edmonton’s tallest office towers like Scotia Place and Canadian Western Bank Place; it also hosts heritage buildings like Hotel Macdonald. , This Avenue has got no street number, but it is where 101 Avenue would otherwise be. The Jasper West area is one of the major living, retail, commercial, and entertainment districts of the city west of 97 street. Another street that helps the Jasper West area in the same includes;

• 100 Avenue
• 104 Street
• 101 Street
• 102 Avenue

Rice Howard Way

Rice Howard Way is the home to some restaurants prominent offices like Scotia Place. It comprises of

• 102 Avenue and 100A Street between Jasper Avenue
• 101A Avenue which is between 101 and 100 Street.

It such a great open-air experience when you take a walk between 101A Avenue, 100A Street, and 101 Street. This section was closed to traffic, making it a pedestrian walkway. However, vehicular traffic is allowed in Rice Howard Way.

Warehouse District and 104 Street

Located between Jasper Avenue and 104 Avenue and between 102 Street and 109 Street is Warehouse District, which is surrounded by high rises. Businesses were quick to move in this area in the first decade of the 20th century as the Hudson Bay Company sold its land holdings.

Many warehouses that had been constructed in 1909 and 1914 were later closed, and the buildings redeveloped into commercial enterprises. Lofts were then created in these commercial enterprises that have seen an increase in recent years with an addition of condos and designer shops. Sobey’s urban Fresh Market was serving the residents until its closure in 2014. It was located at the entrance to 104 Street at Jasper Avenue flanked by the curved Birks building

Featuring restaurants, cafes, shops and other various services 104 Street which is the main street in the Warehouse district; located in between Jasper Avenue and 104 Avenue. Edmonton’s original farmer’s market is normally hosted here on Saturdays of the warmer months; may through October.
The area has seen the completion of Icon I and II projects in 2009 and 2010.

Ice District and Rogers Place

This $2.5 billion entertainment district and mixed-use sports complex are located between 101 and 104 Street to 103 and 106 Avenue on a 10-hectare piece of land in Downtown. It is an on-going development that will be Canada’s largest upon completion.

In early 2013, Rogers Place was approved as a new arena for the Edmonton Oilers. The construction of the arena began in March 2014 after the project was approved earlier that same year. In December, there was a 10-year naming rights deal from Rogers Communications; hence the name Rogers Place. The arena was opened in September 2016 and has been functional since.

Phase one of the construction in Ice District was between 2014 and 2016 and the next phase, X, is set to be between 2017 and 2020. In phase one, there was the construction of;

• A new Office tower
• Edmonton Tower
• Winter Garden
• Grand Villa Casino Edmonton
• The MacEwan LRT Station

Phase X includes; Stantec Tower and the JW Marriott Edmonton Ice District & Residences expected to open in 2018. Other projects under the 2017-2020 phase X umbrella include;

• A public plaza
• Future residences
• VIP Cinemas, Cineplex UltraAVX and Rexall pharmacy,
• Grocery shopping centers.

Conclusion

Edmonton is continually growing into a city that can compete on an international scale with the development of new districts and the many projects being completed as time goes by. The downtown core of Edmonton is undoubtedly expanding into a world-class city.

For areas outside the downtown core, check out our posts on Mill Woods, Strathcona, and the West End.

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