Protestors wave Pride Progress rainbow flags on Whyte Avenue with a rainbow above in the sky
Pride Corner protestors wave Progress Flags as a rainbow arcs over Whyte Avenue. credit: Pride Corner Instagram

The Old Strathcona Business Association (OSBA) fully supports recognizing the intersection of Whyte Avenue and Calgary Trail (104 Street) as “Pride Corner”. More than 10-thousand people have already signed a petition asking for this designation and our board voted 100% to support them.

“There is no place in Old Strathcona for hate directed at anyone,” said Kris Armitage, chair of the OSBA board of directors.

“At the OSBA, one of our priorities is to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment throughout the shopping and entertainment district.”

Whyte Avenue has long been a destination for protests, marches, and rallies – Edmonton’s first Pride march was even on Whyte Avenue. Showing up week-after-week to the southeast corner of the intersection, “Pride Corner” organizers are publicly pushing back against hate speech, and they are adding their story to this evolving part of our city’s history. We acknowledge and embrace that Old Strathcona is at the centre of many struggles, successes, and celebrations of 2SLGBTQ+ communities.

Whyte Avenue was also the first place in Edmonton with rainbow-painted Pride crosswalks, thanks in part to efforts of the OSBA.

Pride Progress flag painted on a crosswalk

“These visual cues have been a great way to demonstrate Old Strathcona is a place where everyone is welcome and should feel included,” said Cherie Klassen, executive director of the OSBA.

“In fact, we’d welcome every crosswalk be painted with Pride flags to showcase our support of inclusivity. We want to keep building on this kind of public recognition of Edmonton’s diverse and intersectional communities.”

Like so many others, the OSBA has been watching support grow for the “Pride Corner” petition. We recently met with organizers to hear more about what their vision of official recognition of “Pride Corner” could look like and how the OSBA can support these efforts.

Following that conversation we were happy to write a letter endorsing recognition as part of a submission to the City of Edmonton’s Naming Committee. The OSBA looks forward to further discussions about how to better recognize “Pride Corner” and making the business district a welcoming and inclusive space.