Edmonton Beach - Connecting the people to the river
After the overnight phenomenon of Cloverdale’s Accidental Beach this past summer, city administrators are proposing to revive a 6-year-old plan to bring Edmontonians closer to the North Saskatchewan River. For the Touch The Water initiative, making the River Valley a world-class destination means building permanent infrastructure to allow easy access to the river valley, specifically as a multi-use space with viewing deck and beachfront promenade.
Much like Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Riverwalk or Vancouver’s Stanley Park Seawall, a riverside attraction offers waterfront recreation for both residents and tourists to the city. We have uniquely extensive access to a world-class trail system for a major city. Why not make the most of our connection with nature by building towards an accessible link between our city and its beautiful river valley? Not to mention being able to see the water quality of our river up-close can help push Edmonton’s waste reduction and pollution minimization goals in the right direction.
Mayor Don Iveson and councillors in support of the project are pushing to expedite the project, a reasonable request as the man-made Accidental Beach is expected to return to riverbed terrain once the LRT is completed in 2020. The Touch The Water initiative proposes building the promenade near the former Rossdale power plant, bringing a major attraction within walking distance to central neighbourhoods experiencing increasing density.
The popularity of Accidental Beach means it’s clear the demand for riverside attractions exists beyond bike trails and walking paths — ideally, a river valley promenade could fill the need for Edmontonians to enjoy nature up close, no hiking boots needed.
Authored by Aidan Woodfine
REALTOR - YEGPro Realty