There could be a little of Jasper coming to Edmonton. The winning idea in the search for a new attraction in the city, a months-long competition dubbed The Edmonton Project, was conceived by Edmonton couple Gary and Amber Poliquin, whose sky-high plan for a gondola connecting downtown to Old Strathcona could become a reality.
A consortium of five companies — ATB Financial, BDO Canada, EllisDon, Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning and zag creative — selected ten finalists in November to move onto the 'idea den' Tuesday evening, when a panel of judges chose their favourite.
The eight-car, 3.2-kilometre-long transportation link would provide panoramic views of the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Stations would be built at the Shaw Conference Centre, RE/MAX Field and the parking lot across from the Old Strathcona Farmers' Market. A broad estimate suggests a cost anywhere between $25 million and $60 million.
Winning the contest does not imply municipal approval. While Mayor Iveson said the ideas have provoked conversation and raised aspirations, he stopped short of throwing early support behind the project.
A proposal to erect the city's first outdoor sauna in the river valley won the hearts of the voting public, coming away with the people's choice award. Other finalists included a food truck Ferris wheel, the world's largest treehouse, and a shipping container park within the Rossdale Power Plant.