Agreed 100%.Edmonton's downtown actually isn't as bad as people seem to make it out to be. Crime is a problem, rampant winter city homelessness is also a problem. These are the major issues that need to be addressed.
However, lots of restaurants, lots of mom and pop shops, lots of park space, and a tremendous amount of festivals make it to me, a far better downtown to visit than Brentwood, Surrey, Metrotown, and in some ways even Vancouver.
I use these as my own immediate examples, all of which are denser communities with higher land values and better heritage preservation/lands planning standards - yet lack that charm I see when I come back for a visit.
For the most part I would agree with the comparison with Calgary. However, I really like Stephen Avenue, although I haven't been there for a while, I gather it is not as good as it once was.Agreed 100%.
And if we're talking about lack of character, I'll be the first to point out that Calgary's downtown, which a lot of people here love to praise and compare to ours, is much more sterile and generic (albeit cleaner and better kept), than ours.
Edmonton's downtown needs some TLC, for sure. We also need to attract more residents to realize it's full potential, and out of the big cities I've been, in North America, few have so much potential, for one reason or the other.
I believe ICE District is going to be just the beginning of a long, but dramatic change in the city's core, over the next few decades. It'll be interesting to see what we'll look like in 20, 30 years.
Chock full of historic buildings with character, as opposed to the more sterile sections of their downtown with the office towers.Walked around Stephen yesterday afternoon and it was bumpin'. I'd give up Drai for even half of that in our core with. Calgary always impresses with how 'big city' it feels at times.