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Thread: Walk around downtown February 2016

  1. #1

    Default Walk around downtown February 2016

    Downtown in winter has always seemed cold, grim, and lonely. Today was a nice day so I took a walk at noon hour hoping to strike the the busiest (?) time of day and vanquish my prejudices. The good news is that there were quite a few people about. However, there's still certainly lots of room for improvement. Winter is certainly not Edmonton's best time of year. Hope you enjoy.

    Started off near Jasper and 109th heading east. Had a nice view of Mayfair Village North.


    The suburban-style shopping centre on the northwest corner of Jasper and 109th is a shocker. At least though there's a little cut through from the intersection to help pedestrians a bit.


    Further east along Jasper most premises unfortunately have rather poor street front activation as exemplified by this "please use other entrance" sign.


    Typical street scene along Jasper Ave.


    Looking north up 104th from Jasper there were a few people heading to lunch.


    Heading north up 104th. Frozen baguettes anyone?


    Street activation in front of Icon Towers is quite nice.


    Bi-fold signs seem to be the way to go on 104th.



    Now east again towards City Centre Mall. Hard to tell from this photo but the pedway above was far busier than the street below even on a nice day.


    Rumors of the mall's demise seem greatly exaggerated. It was actually quite busy; far busier than outside and certainly the busiest area I encountered.


    Alas, Winston Churchill Square was a lonely place.



    There were a few kids on the rink by city hall.


    Moving south from city hall it's all very pleasant.



    I look forward to seeing what becomes of 101A Ave this summer when Kelly Ramsey is finished.



    Heading south down 100A Street towards Jasper


    There's nice streetscaping on Jasper near the about-to-open State and Main at 101 Street...


    ...but most of the street furniture is covered with winter grime.


    Heading back west along Jasper. What's the deal with the Deadmonton House inside the old theatre?


    Back at Jasper and 104th there's a new Shoppers somewhat oblivious to the street outside.



    Walking down 108th from Jasper one sees the new streetscaping on 108th is surviving the winter. BTW Petroleum Plaza is a beautiful building if you ask me.


    The legislature grounds were deserted. By now it was after 1pm so maybe most of the civil servants were back at work? Sorry about the poor quality with the backlighting.



    109th south of Jasper is quickly forgotten.


    I would love to turn the streetcar into a properly functioning transit system to provide a year-round connection from downtown to Strathcona.


    And that was it! Overall it wasn't too bad. I certainly look forward to spring though.

  2. #2

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    February is a weird time of the year when it's to early to be saying springs in the air.
    Better to stay in the office at lunch time as it's kinda bland out. Now, as soon as it's a warm enough day to get out without a heavy coat you will see action on the streets. Take the same picture of Sir Winston Churchill Sq. in the summer and it's a whole different picture. If your a active photographer you can also post your photographs in the One Shot of Edmonton thread although you can post more than one at a time.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  3. #3
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    ^^ Not sure where you getting this story about City Centre Mall's demise - yeah it's a ghetto mall but it's always busy during weekdays. Oh, and count me among the guilty who loves using our awesome pedway system during the winter, though I'll cut across the street outdoors if I don't need a jacket.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    ^^ Not sure where you getting this story about City Centre Mall's demise - yeah it's a ghetto mall but it's always busy during weekdays. Oh, and count me among the guilty who loves using our awesome pedway system during the winter, though I'll cut across the street outdoors if I don't need a jacket.
    I got the story from this thread. Consolidating from 4 levels to 3 and replacing an entire level with parking spaces didn't sound like boom times to me.

    Pedways are contentious for sure but to me they're a street killer. Yet another hurdle presented by Edmonton's climate.

    http://edmontonjournal.com/news/loca...-pedway-debate

  5. #5

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    Lovely photo's.

    But in the vein of SDM - while that "suburban style shopping centre" may be shocking, without it just about anything you took pictures of until CC mall would not be happening.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajs View Post
    Lovely photo's.

    But in the vein of SDM - while that "suburban style shopping centre" may be shocking, without it just about anything you took pictures of until CC mall would not be happening.
    Sorry, I only moved to Edmonton after it was built so I'm not sure what it was like before. Glad to hear it's had a positive impact.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by OffWhyte View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    ^^ Not sure where you getting this story about City Centre Mall's demise - yeah it's a ghetto mall but it's always busy during weekdays. Oh, and count me among the guilty who loves using our awesome pedway system during the winter, though I'll cut across the street outdoors if I don't need a jacket.
    I got the story from this thread. Consolidating from 4 levels to 3 and replacing an entire level with parking spaces didn't sound like boom times to me.
    I think we can all agree that it's not really the death of the mall per se, just seems to be short-sighted mismanagement. But we'll wait and see what further changes they make after that.

    Quote Originally Posted by OffWhyte View Post
    Pedways are contentious for sure but to me they're a street killer. Yet another hurdle presented by Edmonton's climate.
    Pedways are in almost every large Canadian city east of BC. However, cities such as Montreal and Toronto have both busy pedways and busy streets that co-exist peacefully. It seems to be only in Edmonton and Calgary where urbanistas lament that pedways cannibalize street life, when the real problem is that the streets themselves need to be more of a draw for people, they need to be more pedestrian-friendly, cleaner and safer.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by OffWhyte View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ajs View Post
    Lovely photo's.

    But in the vein of SDM - while that "suburban style shopping centre" may be shocking, without it just about anything you took pictures of until CC mall would not be happening.
    Sorry, I only moved to Edmonton after it was built so I'm not sure what it was like before. Glad to hear it's had a positive impact.
    My goodness it's hard to explain how 'vibrant' your photos actually seem with lots of updated bifold signs, tidy empty sidewalks, and intact windows in front of leased spaces everywhere. Nice to note the people you did see on the streets didn't all rush over and accost you for change either.

    It's a matter of perspective:
    People new to Edmonton from most larger non-US centres do tend to see our Downtown half empty, but those of us who saw the Ralph Klein Era on the ground would generally see it the other way (unless we choose to recall the '70's or earlier.)

    Also I'd not it's no coincidence you see most people around the office towers at noon, while you'd see more people near the condos in the evenings when they're not working. Would that not be similar pattern everywhere? But ICE District should be our first place we see lively all through the day when it's significantly in use in 2018 due to its well integrated daytime and evening uses and significant residential to boot.

    As for City Centre Mall, again, under the office towers you hit its peak time, and it is improving in the evenings, but a quick comparison of the shops it draws vis à vis WEM, Southgate, Kingsway, and now looks like Londonderry, puts it at the bottom of the list, and clearly that's due to how much business it does relatively.

    The reconfiguration you see though appears to me as a veiled positive in that I think they plan to start charging more normal rates after literally decades of marginal margins. You and we may hope they have more up their sleeves though.

    So it's a work in progress to be fair, but with...
    • ICE District
    • Rogers Place
    • the new Royal Alberta Museum
    • The Valley Line to Millwoods
    • Two new hotels
    • Seven new condo towers

    ...all concurrently under construction now, and...
    • EDACC (an opera house, three smaller performance spaces, U of A fine arts and business campus
    • Shaw Conference Centre expansion
    • Valley Line to WEM
    • Winspear Centre expansion (Chamber music hall, smaller hall, streetfront retail, automated parking)
    • Main library rejuvenation (nicer looking, more functional ground level interaction, massive interior upgrades)
    • ArtsHab Tower Quarters (200 artists' residences, a gallery, a small theatre)
    • provincial/federal action on homelessness, mental health and addictions
    • More useful cycling links across the City.
    • Perhaps up to four more major office towers.
    • Several more condos and apartments.

    all lined up for the next wave...

    ...It's fair, I think, to say we're trying, and to expect Downtown and the Quarters to make further strides
    Let's make Edmonton better.

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    I LIKE Churchill Square without people. City Hall is nothing if not severe and austere, and those aspects shine through the best when viewed sans the throbbing, rushing mess of human interaction.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by overoceans View Post
    I LIKE Churchill Square without people. City Hall is nothing if not severe and austere, and those aspects shine through the best when viewed sans the throbbing, rushing mess of human interaction.
    You live in Asia?

    heh
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by overoceans View Post
    I LIKE Churchill Square without people. City Hall is nothing if not severe and austere, and those aspects shine through the best when viewed sans the throbbing, rushing mess of human interaction.
    You live in Asia?

    heh
    Yeah. South Korea alone has more people than Canada, despite the entire penisula being LESS THAN HALF THE SIZE OF ALBERTA.

    But, actually, where I live, a small city of about 200, 000, it's quite possible to walk down a street and not feel totally mobbed by humanity. Granted, there probably aren't too many times that you'd see a major city centre as barren as Churchill in that photo.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    Pedways are in almost every large Canadian city east of BC. However, cities such as Montreal and Toronto have both busy pedways and busy streets that co-exist peacefully. It seems to be only in Edmonton and Calgary where urbanistas lament that pedways cannibalize street life, when the real problem is that the streets themselves need to be more of a draw for people, they need to be more pedestrian-friendly, cleaner and safer.
    Meh, Toronto and Montreal are too big to be able to draw a direct comparison. That being said, even in Toronto a lot of people think PATH has sucked the life off the streets in the financial district.

    Bottom line is, I fail to see how building pedways makes the streets pedestrian-friendly, clean, and safe which is--as you point out--the main problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OffWhyte View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    Pedways are in almost every large Canadian city east of BC. However, cities such as Montreal and Toronto have both busy pedways and busy streets that co-exist peacefully. It seems to be only in Edmonton and Calgary where urbanistas lament that pedways cannibalize street life, when the real problem is that the streets themselves need to be more of a draw for people, they need to be more pedestrian-friendly, cleaner and safer.
    Meh, Toronto and Montreal are too big to be able to draw a direct comparison. That being said, even in Toronto a lot of people think PATH has sucked the life off the streets in the financial district.

    Bottom line is, I fail to see how building pedways makes the streets pedestrian-friendly, clean, and safe which is--as you point out--the main problem.
    You misunderstood me. I said that if you want to have more people on the streets instead of the pedways, make the streets more attractive to pedestrians. Clear as mud now?
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    You misunderstood me. I said that if you want to have more people on the streets instead of the pedways, make the streets more attractive to pedestrians. Clear as mud now?
    Oh I understand, but my point is that even an ugly street will attract more pedestrians than a non-existent pedway.

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