#Yegdt Notes – November 6, 2013

Your downtown news and events listing is back! Thanks to everyone that was involved in or supported our events this summer and fall, including our Annual CornFest Membership Drive in September. We were also honoured to be part of the 2nd Annual Alberta Culture Days Kick-Off Block Party, and sponsor the Designing Downtown Pan-Canadian Pecha Kucha! Now back to the ‘notes’!


  • After much work and hundreds of volunteer hours we are pleased to finally host the Grand Opening Celebration of our new Downtown Community Hall! Join us next Friday, November 15, 7-11 for official presentations to open our new multi-purpose facility, live music, refreshments and a cash bar. Might even be some door prizes! See our new space and help us christen a new chapter in the growth of DECL and our downtown!
  • The third Downtown Arena Project Community Benefits Agreement took place this Monday evening. Part of the update for local stakeholders included a terms of reference for the Downtown Arena Advisory Committee whom will help manage concerns and issues in the Arena District. Oilers GM Patrick Laforge was on hand to provide an update – pile testing is complete and hoping for a March 2014 start to construction; CRL should be passed by the province by the end of 2013 with January 1, 2015 implementation; community rink supported by MacEwan University to programmed by the City and should include skate rentals; and new renderings of the Arena Entertainment District to be released soon. City Council to debate the Guaranteed Maximum Pricing (GMP) for the arena project later this month.
  • Speaking of Edmonton City Council, congratulations to our new Mayor, Don Iveson, and Ward 6 City Councillor Scott McKeen on their successful election bid! Scott is a previous DECL board member and part of EEDC’s Downtown Vibrancy Task Force, and Don Iveson lived in a loft downtown for several years before being elected to Council. We are pleased and excited to work with both ‘#yegdt lovers’ on downtown issues in the near future! Congrats to all of Edmonton’s new City Council!
  • Congrats to DECL Board Member Ian O’Donnell for being awarded Avenue Edmonton’s ‘Top 40 Under 40 2013‘ last week! Ian joins DECL President Chris Buyze who received the honour in 2010.
  • It’s gone from fall to winter in just a short few days. You know the holiday season is here when the annual Christmas on the Square Holiday Light-Up takes place and holiday sales start!
  • Media has been abuzz this week with the announcement of a 71-storey hotel and condo tower proposal just north of downtown at 101 Street and 105 Avenue. It would be the tallest building in Western Canada. There is quite a variety of opinion on the necessity of this tower, or questions about the ability of the applicant to successfully complete the project. “Downtown does not have a density problem” is one comment we’ve heard. Sustainable Planning publicly assured everyone that the application is in it’s infancy and there is plenty of time for feedback. We’d love to hear what you think of the proposal as we consider the application in the near future.
  • Omar Mouallem provided a troubling account of how the Molson/Crosstown proposal decision went down. A must read to understand how some of the City’s community consultation and decision making processes need to be improved.
  • Latitude 53 Gallery’s annual Schmoozy fundraiser gala is this Saturday, November 9, and the next Art Gallery of Alberta Refinery party is November 16
  • Remember – The City Market continues all winter in City Hall Saturdays, 9-3.
  • Fionn MacCool’s opened in Edmonton City Centre last week, and Cactus Club Cafe Jasper Avenue in the Devonian Building at 112 Street.


  • Last Friday’s River City Round-Up kicked off with the 23rd Annual Chili Cook-Off. This year’s set up was all outdoors on Churchill Square. The vibe was amazing due to great weather and how the event was organized. Every details was thought about – it looked great, lines went fast, heaters were provided everywhere, and the old-timey judging platform was a nice touch. Hope for something similar next year again – this is how you program Churchill Square well!