Making Old Strathcona Inviting and Safe For Pedestrians

The Old Strathcona Business Association (OSBA) is excited to announce added enhancements to the expanded sidewalk space located along Whyte Avenue between 103 and 105 Street.  

As part of a pilot project supporting area businesses and the greater community during the Covid-19 pandemic that allows for expanded patios, retail space, and required social distancing, the OSBA has worked on creating an environment which is both safe and inviting for patrons in Old Strathcona. 

“We’ve partnered with the City of Edmonton to address the need for expanded patios to assist restaurants and retailers who are currently operating at a significantly reduced capacity. Additionally, we knew that we needed to address physical distancing on our sidewalks as they currently don’t provide sufficient space for the large number of visitors we have to the area. The City has been very supportive of our initiative by allowing us to expand our sidewalks into the vehicle lanes adjacent to the sidewalk,” says Cherie Klassen, executive director of the OSBA.  

“The first phase was to get both pedestrians and drivers used to the reconfigured roadway. As we enter the second phase, our goal is to make the area more appealing and inviting for our community, and to better define the separation between pedestrian and road users” says Klassen. The OSBA has been working with a local design firm that specializes in enhancing public spaces to make the space more user-friendly. The pilot area now includes large flower barrels with lighting, tables, parklets, and signage to signify that the space is intended for pedestrians and include reminders to follow public safety guidelines.  

“We feel that these enhancements will help create a welcoming space for patrons, while working to support safe physical distancing which is crucial for our community. Safety is our number one priority and we hope that this additional space will support that,” says Klassen. 

Local retailer Vivid Print feels that the project has helped offset the challenges brought on by the pandemic. “As Edmonton’s premier pedestrian destination, the main feedback I’ve heard from customers is concern over our crowded sidewalks during this period of recovery” says co-owner Mark Wilson. “This initiative has helped a great deal in alleviating these concerns and has been a huge benefit in helping our food and beverage neighbours recover some of their lost capacity.” 

These enhancements have been fully funded by the OSBA as part of its economic recovery strategy. Local greenhouse Zocalo has generously provided 30 flower barrels at a reduced cost to the business association as part of this initiative. 

When visiting Whyte Ave this weekend be sure to check out our latest amenities, and please remember to practice safe social distancing, wash your hands, and wear a mask.  

For more information: www.oldstrathcona.ca/news

Available for media on site at 1:30pm June 26 in front of Malt & Mortar 10416 82 Ave NW. 

Media contact:   

Cherie Klassen, Executive Director 

Old Strathcona Business Association 

780-437-4182 ext. 3