Beautification in Old Strathcona

What is Beautification?

Beautification refers to initiatives that enhance an urban area’s aesthetic appeal, creating an attractive and welcoming streetscape. Beautification can be seen in many ways, such as, greenery and flowers, public art, and improved lighting. These initiatives make our BIA more attractive, enjoyable, and vibrant. By working closely with the City of Edmonton, local artists, and businesses, we are able to improve the visual appeal of the district, foster a sense of place and community, and drive positive economic impact. Beautification efforts enhance the overall liveliness of the district, resulting in a commercial district that is both attractive to patrons and economically viable for businesses.

Examples of Beautification Throughout District Whyte

Our Bloomin' Boulevards project fills Old Strathcona with bright and beautiful hanging baskets, planters, and barrels brimming with flowers in the summer, and lush, holiday greenery through the winter. Every year, we partner with local greenhouse Zocalo to bring 100+ fresh and lively floral arrangements to our commercial district every Spring and Fall to enhance the vibrancy of our sidewalks, plazas, and light posts. This project is a great example of beautification in our district, and one of the many ways our organization is improving the many streets and corners that make up our BIA.

With unique and diverse art around every corner, Old Strathcona is an creative, cultural hub where everyone is welcome. Year after year, we take steps to improve and expand the art in the area, and this year is no different, as we revamp our painted crosswalks project to work with and showcase local artists.

Painted Alleyways & Crosswalks

Yearly, we partner with the City of Edmonton to add a splash of colour to our district by painting various crosswalks in Old Strathcona with the Pride flag. This year, we've expanded our painted crosswalks project to include four amazing local artists, who have created unique and vibrant designs that will fill crosswalks in our district, along with Pride crosswalks. Inspired by Old Strathcona, their designs reflect the community's spirit and diversity, beautifying our streets, and inspiring a sense of pride and belonging with our community. Stay tuned for updates on those crosswalks and to learn more about the artists behind them!

Murals

Did you know our BIA is home to over 60 murals?! Some big, some small, murals are a fantastic way to increase vibrancy, reduce graffiti, and attract patrons to Old Strathcona. Over the past few years, we've partnered with Mural Massive, Edmonton Mural Fest, numerous mural artists, and property owners to transform drab walls and sketchy corners into bright, inviting and Instagram-able spaces. These works of art help to enrich and attract residents, locals, and visitors to our vibrant main street district. Don't forget to check out our Mural Map, a comprehensive mural guide, highlighting the locations of all our district's unique art. It's a great resource to plan your art tour, learn more about the artists, and appreciate the talent and creativity of our local artists.

Placemaking is the act of creating spaces and places that inspire a sense of belonging; where visitors enjoy meaningful time spent in our vibrant shopping and entertainment district. This year has been a monumental year for placemaking in Old Strathcona. Over the past two years, we have made significant investments in placemaking, specifically in the form of permanent street and sidewalk furniture. With support from PrairiesCan, we installed over 50 permanent fixtures across our BIA, like parklets, benches, bistro tables, and bike racks. These pieces of permanent infrastructure create colourful and inviting public spaces for the community. For more information, check out our placemaking page.

We work alongside the City of Edmonton to enhance and improve lighting around Whyte Avenue and the rest of the district. Lighting is a simple yet impactful tactic that improves visibility and safety in Old Strathcona while also adding to the charm of our district. With support from the City of Edmonton, lights add a twinkle to Old Strathcona, from the lit up trees along Whyte Avenue to the lights in McIntyre Park to the unique street light posts along the Ave. Improved and thoughtful lighting makes our district an attractive destination day and night!


Cleanliness in Old Strathcona

We Love a Clean Street!

In Old Strathcona, we know clean streets are welcoming streets, which is why we invest in neighbourhood wide cleaning efforts like power washing, litter management, and graffiti removal. Through partnerships with Capital City Clean Up, the City of Edmonton, and social entities like The Mustard Seed and Hiregood, we are able to enhance the appeal of our business improvement area and create a district that is clean, welcoming, and vibrant.

How We Keep The District Clean

Clean and welcoming streets are important to us and our businesses, which is why we have partnered with The Mustard Seed for over a decade to create our excellent Clean Team! Every month, the team dedicates over 120 hours to improving cleanliness in our district by picking up cigarette butts, safely disposing of needles, and logging 311 reports. Thanks to a grant from Capital City Clean Up, we are able to partner with The Mustard Seed to employ 12 individuals every month, and maintain a clean and welcoming environment!

We are dedicated to maintaining the cleanliness and welcoming atmosphere of Whyte Avenue for everyone. We continue to utilize pressure washing as a tactic to keep our sidewalks clean. Earlier this Spring, we worked with Master Jet to use their powerful, commercial-grade pressure washing equipment to blast away gum and grime from high-traffic areas, ensuring that our sidewalks remain clean to provide a wonderful experience for all visitors.

Every April, around Earth Day, we work with other organizations in our city to host a community clean up. Using litter clean up kits provided by Capital City Clean Up, we work together to keep our streets free of litter to create a clean and inviting environment for everyone to enjoy.

We are dedicated to supporting our members and helping local businesses enhance their storefronts to contribute to the unique streetscape of Old Strathcona. We understand that owning a business/property can be challenging and expensive, which is why we work with the City of Edmonton to administer grant funding, such as the Storefront Improvement Area Grant and the Storefront Refresh Grant, to help our member businesses tackle the costs of storefront improvements. When buildings look fantastic they attract all-star tenants who draw patrons to our district and contribute to its vibrancy.

In late 2022, we advocated to the City for funding to support our member businesses who were dealing with increased vandalism. Our efforts were successful and the Window and Storefront Repair Grant was implemented, allowing our organization to help businesses cover the cost of window and façade repairs due to acts of vandalism. This grant has allowed us to support the businesses in our BIA by easing the financial burden of vandalism and improving the appearance of our district.

Unfortunately, graffiti happens. But, with support from Capital City Clean Up, we're able to help our businesses and property owners access professional graffiti removal with the Graffiti Removal Grant to maintain the best possible appearance of their properties. This funding, along with murals has helped us minimize graffiti across Old Strathcona!

Subscribe to the OSBA Newsletter

* indicates required