Going back to the Boom Town days of the early 20th century, Jasper Ave has long been known as Edmonton's main thoroughfare. Granite- and marble-clad banks, office blocks, hotels, and department stores once lined much of the central portion of Jasper Ave, joined by the clanging of trolley cars, click-clack of hooves, and rumble of motor cars, which mingled together during much of the first 50 years of the city's history.
Fast-forward to today, however, and the last half-century of urban renewal and redevelopment has left what was once the crown jewel of the city in a less than ideal state, with large swaths of Jasper Ave in need of a little TLC. To this end, the City of Edmonton has embarked on what it is calling "Imagine Jasper Avenue," a comprehensive revitalization scheme that would see the streetscape cleaned up and renewed with the addition of new bus shelters, public seating, improved lampposts, potted trees, and fresh sidewalks, pavers, and curbs.
The improvement zone includes the central stretch of Jasper Ave from 109 to 124 Street, and will additionally include outdoor patio spaces, new bike rings, and ample vegetation/landscaping. With plans going back to 2015, Imagine Jasper Avenue has been a long time coming, its implementation to begin later this year.
Conducted with full involvement from local businesses and private citizens, Imagine Jasper Avenue represents a shared vision for the city's future. It is thus the hope of city planners to remake Edmonton's main street in a way which best serves the needs of a plethora of users from pedestrians to motorists, cyclists to transit users, and everyone in-between.
Think that Jasper Ave could use a makeover? Tell us what you think of the City's plans in the comments section below!