Falcon Towers | 170m | 44s | Langham Developments | Arc Studio

What do you think of this project?


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ChazYEG

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I think that we can all agree that we need to double the population, grow our daytime employment base and make Downtown more of a destination for the region to achieve all of these goals.

I think back to Nuit Blanche, Taste, Open Streets, Oilers games in the early fall with nicer weather and the like and it feels transformed.
Ian, do you realize that doubling the central population would mean get to 75k and that, as awesome as it would be, would mean having a downtown as dense, or denser, than Vancouver's or Montreal's, if you add in the office and hotel spaces to accomodate more people working there as well?

Some 30% growth would already be difficult (but attainable in the short to mid-term) and would make one hell of a difference. But as it has been pointed out, we don't lack the population to make it nice and attractive now, we lack the will.
 

MacLac

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I absolutely agree with you on that one. Our downtown looks dirty and in disrepair for such a long time. Sidewalks are in horrible condition. Sand and dust everywhere. It's just unpleasant to be in downtown! Just fix the sidewalks and add some landscaping, and people will come! You don't have to add thousands of residence to make the area nice and inviting!
How difficult is that to put new sidewalks and add some ornamental grasses, bushes and planters. It's so frustrating.

I walked on 102 ave from 121str to 109 and it looks horrible. Sand is everywhere on sidewalks, no landscaping whatsoever. The city can't clean/sweep the streets?? I would love to live in downtown, but not in those conditions. That's why Calgary is so much more appealing - it's clean.
Meh….I disagree. I find our landscaping efforts to be some of the best out of any city in N.America, especially 102ave which is probably some of the densest landscaping we have in the city. My problem is the empty lots, which we have a lot of but nothing compared to Winnipeg…..and especially not Calgary but that’s because their DT is so dense and compressed. But don’t compare our landscaping to theirs….they have nothing compared to us. Fun fact, every single tree outside of their creek bed of a valley has been “planted” in their city
 
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ChazYEG

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Meh….I disagree. I find our landscaping efforts to be some of the best out of any city in N.America, especially 102ave which is probably the densest landscaping we have in the city. My problem is the empty lots, which we have a lot of but nothing compared to Winnipeg…..and especially not Calgary but that’s because their DT is so dense and compressed. But done compare our landscaping to theirs….they have nothing compared to us. Fun fact, every single tree outside of their creek bed of a valley has been “planted.”
Man, I'm not a fan of Calgary as well, but the overall landscaping and general care of their downtown is better than ours and is a lesson that we should take.

I agree with you about the general feel of 102 avenue between 124 and 109 streets especially. It is probably one of my favorites streets in Edmonton. On the other hand, the cleaningness has been an issue, as has maintenance of the sidewalks (huge cracks and holes, sand and litter everywhere).

Edmonton is a beautiful city, especially in the summer/fall, our river valley and other natural resources are unparalleled, but that's bot landscaping (it's quite the opposite, considering we do everything we can to keep the River Valley as natural as possible). Our downtown, especially the core, is terribly cared for, our sidewalks and streets are in a disrepair that I can HONESTLY compare to some mid-sized cities in Brazil and Argentina ( both well know for terrible road conditions in their cities).

As for the parking lots, I agree entirely, we have way too many, but we should demand that the owners of empty lots and/or parking lots at least keep it tidy and nice, with good fencing and grass, much like Alldritt already does here, and as did One Properties did on Whyte Ave, for example.
 

IanO

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Ian, do you realize that doubling the central population would mean get to 75k and that, as awesome as it would be, would mean having a downtown as dense, or denser, than Vancouver's or Montreal's, if you add in the office and hotel spaces to accomodate more people working there as well?

Some 30% growth would already be difficult (but attainable in the short to mid-term) and would make one hell of a difference. But as it has been pointed out, we don't lack the population to make it nice and attractive now, we lack the will.
Downtown proper ie. 13k to 25k.
 

Greenspace

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Some good comments here on overall lack of maintenance and attention Downtown despite the quality of urban design or whatnot. Sometimes all you need is some cleaning, something Edmonton does not do very well. It's one of my major pet peeves - general state of Operations, lack of priority for certain areas. I watched a City crew cut grass on Gateway and 51 Avenue without picking up any garbage, cut into a million pieces...
 

TAS

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I moved to Edmonton in 2013 and was shocked at how bad the sidewalks and roads were back then in Downtown. Then visited Calgary and was like WTF.
We need to invest in infrastructure in downtown. The newly improved section on Jasper Ave transformed the vibe and looks so much more inviting. I wish they added bike lanes as well. With the city's pace of updating infrastructure in downtown, it will never be inviting and pleasant to spend time, no matter how many residents you add.

This goes back to the idea of is the city involved in too many initiatives and projects that ultimately takes time and resources away from the basics that people expect.

As one of the mayoralty candidates noted, the city only receives about 6 cents of every tax dollar for its general operations including police, fire etc.
And then we hear the province offloading certain things onto the city as well. Something's gotta give and it appears a lot of the basic functions can be impacted.

An assessment of all the kinds of things the city spends money on and the admin required to carry out that work would be good to see.

Maybe some downsizing needs to happen in terms of city projects. The city also owns a lot of land like blatchford and northlands site and maybe some of that needs to be sold off.
 

Edmontonium

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Ok so my five cents. I came to Edmonton in 2013 from Europe and brought my family a year later. We were renting a bungalow near Westmount shopping center at the beginning and we really like the area so much as to buy here instead of new house on the outskirts of the city. But.. even we are 7 to max 10 min from downtown, we don't come often. First reason is homeless problem. Last time we came to dine was a bit late and near 101 st and Jasper some "lady" started fighting demons around her. Kids got scared. I agree that police patrol the streets inside cars but they don't walk around or bike etc. They are not among population. It gives a different feeling. I always shake my head when I hear that Edmonton successfully fight this problem while I see the opposite. Those elements act like they own the place. We stopped going to Chinatown even we had our favorite restaurant there.
Second reason is that we won't be using public transport anytime soon. So we like Sundays to come to enjoy fountains+ free parking and that is big plus to downtown.
What's missing: a restaurant on the bank of the river. And I mean basically on the water. Get rid of that building that hides Legislative building and park from the riverfront (from both sides). And that greenhouse or whatever it is. Making it continues green area from leg to riverfront would change the feel of the city.
There is no history in the city. But that's too late to change. Gondolas would be a good attraction and would give some action.
It is not surprising that 124 st area is picking up the development later cause it has the right vibe, almost no visible zombies, restaurants, theater etc. Everything is so spread out that if you put 104 st, 124st and Whyte ave together your would get what you all want here even without any additional population. It will be interesting to see if competed Valley Line would change this status quo. I would guess it might benefit 124st the most.
 

thommyjo

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I think population density is a bit of a chicken and egg thing.

We need density to support stores, but we need stores to attract density.

Here's what we're also missing in the above discussion. All those other cities mentioned have better transit and cultures more accepting of transit.

In 7 years I bet our culture changes big time and our LRT network is more built out.

Look at how many people drive to west ed every day. Part of it is just to hang out there, not even to buy. And the easy access vs getting downtown affects that.

In Vancouver, the culture is that people in surrey and Langley catch the train into the city in evenings and on weekends just to chill for the day. We won't have that culture until downtown is safer, more fun, has more attractions, etc. Density helps all of that. But the LRT will play a big part too. And changing the perception of DT.
 

cpnfantstk

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Ok so my five cents. I came to Edmonton in 2013 from Europe and brought my family a year later. We were renting a bungalow near Westmount shopping center at the beginning and we really like the area so much as to buy here instead of new house on the outskirts of the city. But.. even we are 7 to max 10 min from downtown, we don't come often. First reason is homeless problem. Last time we came to dine was a bit late and near 101 st and Jasper some "lady" started fighting demons around her. Kids got scared. I agree that police patrol the streets inside cars but they don't walk around or bike etc. They are not among population. It gives a different feeling. I always shake my head when I hear that Edmonton successfully fight this problem while I see the opposite. Those elements act like they own the place. We stopped going to Chinatown even we had our favorite restaurant there.
Second reason is that we won't be using public transport anytime soon. So we like Sundays to come to enjoy fountains+ free parking and that is big plus to downtown.
What's missing: a restaurant on the bank of the river. And I mean basically on the water. Get rid of that building that hides Legislative building and park from the riverfront (from both sides). And that greenhouse or whatever it is. Making it continues green area from leg to riverfront would change the feel of the city.
There is no history in the city. But that's too late to change. Gondolas would be a good attraction and would give some action.
It is not surprising that 124 st area is picking up the development later cause it has the right vibe, almost no visible zombies, restaurants, theater etc. Everything is so spread out that if you put 104 st, 124st and Whyte ave together your would get what you all want here even without any additional population. It will be interesting to see if competed Valley Line would change this status quo. I would guess it might benefit 124st the most.
You have some nice ideas here. While there' isn't much historical left in the core, it could be brought back somewhat if there was a broader, more ambitious vision for this city. It's basically working with what we have. left and tying it together nicely. Giving residents and tourists something to do. (For the love of God..:rolleyes:..)
1) Extend the Streetcar Line. The line currently starts in Strathcona and ends in Grandin.
A) I'd extend it all the way to the Convention center. Residents and convention goers could take a Streetcar all the way to Whyte Avenue and back Have dinner there. Walk. Shop. Go on a ghost tour. Go to the Princess Theater. I'd also add another Streetcar line that would go to the Legislature and/or to the Historic RossDale Plant. Make a museum there. Make a museum on the main floor of Gibson Block.
2) Have a a Riverboat for the summer months going up and down the river. Dinner if you want. Heck even a canoe will do. :Lol
3) The High Level Bridge Park that's being proposed would be finished. A walkable green park right on top of the bridge along with the Streetcar line. connecting our Historic Strathcona with our downtown.
4) Embrace our Klondike past for the entire month of July with different themed events and parades in Strathcona and along Jasper Avenue. Think New Orleans Mardi Gras.
5) The Gondolas. That needs to happen.
6) Chartered tour buses from the core to Elk Island National Park. or to Devon , U of A Khan gardens.

This brings people to the core from other parts of the city and should increase the number convention goers/ tourists here. Gives the city that identity that it really needs and deserves.
 

ChazYEG

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You have some nice ideas here. While there' isn't much historical left in the core, it could be brought back somewhat if there was a broader, more ambitious vision for this city. It's basically working with what we have. left and tying it together nicely. Giving residents and tourists something to do. (For the love of God..:rolleyes:..)
1) Extend the Streetcar Line. The line currently starts in Strathcona and ends in Grandin.
A) I'd extend it all the way to the Convention center. Residents and convention goers could take a Streetcar all the way to Whyte Avenue and back Have dinner there. Walk. Shop. Go on a ghost tour. Go to the Princess Theater. I'd also add another Streetcar line that would go to the Legislature and/or to the Historic RossDale Plant. Make a museum there. Make a museum on the main floor of Gibson Block.
2) Have a a Riverboat for the summer months going up and down the river. Dinner if you want. Heck even a canoe will do. :Lol
3) The High Level Bridge Park that's being proposed would be finished. A walkable green park right on top of the bridge along with the Streetcar line. connecting our Historic Strathcona with our downtown.
4) Embrace our Klondike past for the entire month of July with different themed events and parades in Strathcona and along Jasper Avenue. Think New Orleans Mardi Gras.
5) The Gondolas. That needs to happen.
6) Chartered tour buses from the core to Elk Island National Park. or to Devon , U of A Khan gardens.

This brings people to the core from other parts of the city and should increase the number convention goers/ tourists here. Gives the city that identity that it really needs and deserves.
Some of these are of relatively easy execution, such as the festival (we need something big and busy, a reinvention of the K-Days) and the chartered buses.
We usually have a riverboat, it was damaged in the 2019/20 winter and didn't come back this summer because of the pandemic and the repairs/upgrades, but I'd expect it to be back for next summer!

As for the streetcar and the high level park, those are great ideas and I would love to see them happen. I can picture the former being a more realistic possibility, while adding streetcar rail lines would be a little bit complicated and maybe too expensive (for the short term).

A few things that we lack, somewhat silly, are:

A booklet that people could get at the airport, for example, or other major attractions, with information on how to get to our major destinations/attractions, a few nice pictures, descriptions and some paid advertising for local businesses (hotels, restaurants, etc...).

A gift shop and some standardized merchandise featuring unique places from Edmonton, that people could buy at places like Fort Edmonton Park, the Legislature, and the museums. A good branding goes A LONG way towards staying on people's minds. Let's have some fridge magnets, keychains, etc, featuring the Legislature Building, our skyline (the view from the Saskatchewan drive with the Walterdale or, in the future, from somewhere featuring the Tawatina), the Stantec/Marriott/Rogers trio (not unlike YYC does with the hideous Saddledome and the Calgary Tower). Hell, even an oil pump keychain would be awesome, haha.

My wildest dream, though, would be having an observation deck, open to the public, in one of the highrises in Downtown. Not necessarily Stantec, as I believe it would be much more dramatic if we had something a little bit lower, say, for example, Epcor, facing south. One at Stantec would be great just for the height factor, but looking down on everything might not be as fun or give pictures as nice.
 

David A

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I absolutely agree with you on that one. Our downtown looks dirty and in disrepair for such a long time. Sidewalks are in horrible condition. Sand and dust everywhere. It's just unpleasant to be in downtown! Just fix the sidewalks and add some landscaping, and people will come! You don't have to add thousands of residence to make the area nice and inviting!
How difficult is that to put new sidewalks and add some ornamental grasses, bushes and planters. It's so frustrating.

I walked on 102 ave from 121str to 109 and it looks horrible. Sand is everywhere on sidewalks, no landscaping whatsoever. The city can't clean/sweep the streets?? I would love to live in downtown, but not in those conditions. That's why Calgary is so much more appealing - it's clean.
I seldom often defend the City government, but I will on this. We have a different climate here than in Calgary - so the snow does not melt completely away in the winter much. So, we end up putting either putting sand on the roads or salt like chemicals which the City tried and but backed away from due to complaints about vehicle corrosion. This last winter we had several bad freeze thaw cycle, so I am sure more sand was used than in recent years. Yes, they do try sweep it up in the spring (I saw the street sweepers several times), but it is hard to get it all and perhaps an area was missed.

I thought with the lack of rain it would be more dusty this year, but somehow actually seems less than I have noticed other years.
 

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