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Sep 22, 2015
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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Edmonton’s stepping up to the plate—literally—as culinary walking tours hit downtown streets Sept.3.

Karen Anderson, president of Alberta Food Tours, said the calibre and variety of local offerings in the capital region has grown enough in recent years to justify the type of three-hour food tours she’s been running in Calgary and Canmore for several years.

“We’ve developed our own food culture here, and we want to give that a narrative,” said Anderson. “Our cool nights make root vegetables sweeter here. Saskatoon berries, Red Fife wheat—they’re perfect in our dry prairie climate. And Alberta is the fifth largest honey producer in the world. We’re ambassadors for the stories of our area. People travel to understand a culture, and food gets us there quickly.”

Full Story (Metro Edmonton)
It can be a lonely walk through the main floor of Commerce Place, an office and retail complex on Jasper Avenue in Edmonton.

Several storefronts are papered over and there are big signs in the windows, advertising leasing opportunities.

One store — Oil & Vinegar — is in the process of closing down after only a year and a half in the building.

Sam Abouhassan, who has a custom clothier business, is one of the few remaining main floor tenants.

He's watched a lot of businesses come and go in the years his business has been a Commerce Place fixture.

But lately, it's getting worse.

"There's a glut of too many buildings downtown and the owners are trying to get people into them with the best deal they can do to move brand names from one building to another building," he said.
Billions of dollars spent downtown changing perceptions, survey suggests
A new Downtown Business Association survey suggests billions of dollars invested in Edmonton’s downtown are changing public perceptions of the area while highlighting challenges ahead as the city looks to double the number of people living in the core.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work and putting a lot of money and time and significant investment into making downtown a more inclusive and inviting place, and we’re seeing that pay off,” said Ian O’Donnell, executive director of the Downtown Business Association (DBA), speaking at the Matrix Hotel at 10640 100 Ave. on Wednesday.

The report, Mapping Growth: A Comparative Look at Downtown’s Transformation, compared survey results from 2010 to new results from an online survey conducted in June and July with nearly 1,500 respondents.

Both those living inside the downtown core and suburban respondents reported feeling safer downtown in 2017 than in 2010, with 89 per cent of those saying they feel safe in Edmonton’s downtown during the day and 57 per cent saying they felt safe in the core at night.

Nupur Thakor, who authored the report, said all of the eight crime indicators used by the Edmonton Police Service overall have dropped six per cent downtown since the opening of Rogers Place in September.

While some of this can be attributed to increased police presence downtown — saying the number of officers patrolling downtown has increased from less than two dozen 20 years ago to nearly 70 officers today — Thakor said increased foot traffic is making downtown streets feel safer.

“There is more visibility of people and more vibrancy, and when there are more eyes on the street, you are more likely to feel safer,” Thakor said.
Man how I wish Rice Howard Way could be closed to traffic. It was absolutely bumping with people today, and a tiny, tiny fraction of those were in cars.



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Can you find out for me who owns the parkade? -- I may have a potential buyer that could consider redeveloping the site... maybe... maybe...
Montreal vegan restaurant chain Copper Branch is coming to downtown Edmonton in the Melcor building:

PERMIT_DATE July 27, 2018
JOB_CATEGORY Commercial Final
JOB_DESCRIPTION To construct interior alterations on the first storey of the Melcor Building ("Copper Branch"'; changing occupancy classification from E to A2).
BUILDING_TYPE Restaurants and Bars (540)
WORK_TYPE (03) Interior Alterations
It doesn't sound like it was due to poor sales, but one has to wonder... I think it's clear many businesses are hurting in downtown Edmonton and Calgary.
No doubt a combination of factors, which I have to say probably includes the layout of the store and its entrances. It has never for as long as I can remember felt like an inviting place to browse or shop.

I can't decide if this opens up opportunities for other clothing retailers, or further hurts the ability for downtown to attract more.