Summer Super Pancake Breakfast

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Join us again this year for the kick-off to ‘Super Saturday’ downtown by starting your day with some pancakes and sausages!

$2 breakfast goes to support the on-going programming efforts of DECL.

This year’s breakfast will take place right in front of our new community space at 10042 103 Street from 8:30 am to 11:00 am. We’ll be closing off part of 103 Street and setting out lots of picnic tables for all to enjoy!

We’ll be done in time for Downtown and Oliver Community Leagues to take part in Pride Parade 2014 for the first time! Stay and enjoy the rest of the day at the City Market 9-3, and Pride Week festivities in Churchill Square in the evening!

We need your help! If you’d like to volunteer for the pancake breakfast or join our contingent in the parade, please message us or email us at my_decl@telus.net!

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Annual General Meeting 2014

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Join us at our community space for our Annual General Meeting 2014!

Registration is at 6:30 pm
Meeting starts at 7:00 pm.

We will be discussing downtown issues, going over the business of the league, as well as hearing updates from some of our committees, partners, special presentation on our new Warehouse Campus Park!

Volunteer for the league by joining a committee:
– Development Committee
– Safety Committee
– Parks Committee (including ‘Scott Property’ Park Steering Committee)
– Policy Committee
– Programs Committee (volunteer for events)
– Membership & Volunteer Committees

$5 2013-2014 DECL memberships will be available at the door. Light refreshments will be available. Cash bar.

Come on down, get to know your neighbours, get to know what’s happening in your vibrant downtown community!

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Spring Clean-Up this Saturday

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Spring Clean-Up

Join us for our Annual Spring Clean-Up! Wear work attire, we will supply everything else!

Meet us at the DECL space (10042 103 Street) and we’ll go from there. We usually focus our efforts around Dick Mather Park, McKay Avenue School, 104 Street stairs, 105 Street hill and Our Urban Eden Community Garden.

This event is in association with the Capital City Clean-Up’s annual River Valley Clean-Up Day on May 4.

Facebook Event

4th Street Promenade Clean-Up

This year’s 4th Street Promenade Clean-Up is scheduled for Saturday, May 10, 9 to 11 am. Meet at Devine Wines & Spirits. If you can’t make the DECL Spring Clean-Up, this clean-up will get the street ready for when the City Market Downtown returns on Saturday, May 17!

The Downtown Arena Project – A Consultation Timeline

This month saw the culmination of many years of back and forth negotiations, consultations and discussion regarding the Downtown Arena Project. With the majority of funding in place and construction only a few weeks away, we thought we would try to chronicle DECL’s involvement with the arena file. DECL has been involved in the downtown arena discussions and consultation almost since the idea was first floated.

A quick timeline and synopsis of our involvement below:

  • March 2010 – Presentation of the Arena Entertainment District (AED) concepts to the DECL membership at our Annual General Meeting by Janet Riopel, consultant for the Katz Group. This was many residents’ first time seeing the concepts and drew a large crowd interested in the topic.
  • May 2010 – First formal feedback from DECL to the City of Edmonton regarding the arena rezoning proposal and general concept. Our subsequent press release almost upstaged Katz Group’s initial open house at the Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) with our media attention on the issue featured in a front-page story in the Edmonton Journal entitled, “Downtown Residents Have Concerns.” This was more than enough to convince people our voice counted and residents’ perspective deserved to be heard.
  • July 2010 – After five years of involvement, the new Capital City Downtown Plan (CCDP) is passed by Council with the exception of the zoning regulations. The 10-year plan includes references to the Arena Entertainment District (AED) and stricter urban design guidelines, as well as catalyst projects named for the downtown that have yet to be funded. This includes such projects as the entire Jasper Avenue New Vision, new Warehouse Campus Area parks, and sewer upgrades.
  • December 2010 – After a six month delay which includes many consultation sessions between DECL and downtown planners, the new downtown zoning is passed with our support. New changes include additional height in certain areas (but no increase in density or FAR), greater separation distances between towers, and zero parking requirements for new developments in the Warehouse Campus Area. There is also significant discussion on how the proposed AED project might be incorporated into the downtown.
  • Winter 2010 – Continuation of informal discussions with the Katz Group regarding our concerns.
  • January 2011 – Provided ‘conditional support’ for the AED rezoning. Some notable concerns included the consultation process (or lack there-of) for stakeholders as the project progresses, attention to the public realm, and parking issues particularly for residents north of the project in Central McDougall. There was also some ambiguity about the disposal of a Municipal Reserve (MR) parcel on the site of the proposed arena that was originally intended to be a community park. We wanted to ensure its disposal was used to cover the purchase of land or development of our Scott Brothers park property on the NW corner of 105 Street and 102 Avenue.
  • April 2011 – Attended City of Edmonton ‘stakeholder’ consultation and provided formal feedback. Also attended first ‘community benefits’ meeting with six other affected community leagues and social agencies to discuss issues and provide wish list of desired outcomes for the arena project.
  • Summer 2011 – Provided comment and feedback via media requests regarding on-going arena debates at Council and otherwise, getting DECL’s opinion and view on the issue out there as much as people would hear it, including regular discussion of the topic on such online avenues as Connect 2 Edmonton, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • August 2011 – Supported the proposed Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) as part of the funding deal for the arena. Given the information we had, the CRL is poised to be a real game-changer for downtown concerning the funding it could provide for catalyst projects named in the CCDP.
  • October 2011 – Spoke at the Public Hearing regarding the proposed funding formula, and support for the CRL specifically. Emphasized the necessity of good urban design ‘best practices’ in the AED, and continued questioning the necessity of the ‘Winter Garden’ pedway.
  • March 2012 – Attended second ‘community benefits’ meeting with the City. Further discussion on issues and priorities for residents which include desire for good urban design, new street parking regulations, a clean and safe district, and community rink.
  • May 2012 – Presentation by Rick Daviss, Executive Director for the Downtown Arena Project, to our membership at our AGM. Latest renderings were revealed, questions and discussion from our members recorded for consideration by DECL.
  • June 2012 – Letter to the City of Edmonton reminding Council of some of our concerns regarding street interaction on 104 Avenue. We continue to voice our cautious optimism that this project could be of benefit to the downtown if designed and integrated well.
  • August 2012 – Letter of support to City Council for the CRL and arena project in general. The DECL board is of the opinion that the arena project and CRL is something most of Council should support.
  • October 2012 – After City Council decides to break off negotiations with the Katz Group, we provide a letter to Council outlining our grave concerns about lack of Capital Budget allocated from 2012-15 to downtown projects and that they hang in the balance should the deal nor the CRL materialize.
  • Winter 2012 – Continued informal discussions with City planners and Katz Group representatives as new designs for the arena and district are unveiled.
  • April 2013 – Letter to City Council in support of the proposed CRL project phasing. This will see our proposed ‘Scott Brothers’ community park be built in initial phase of the CRL funding.
  • Summer 2013 – Discussions with Sustainable Planning regarding CRL phasing, specifically $2m for our community park.
  • September 2013 – Email of support to City Council in regards to the CRL bylaw.
  • November 2013 – Community benefits presentations to community leagues, including presentations from the arena architects and city staff. Discussion of the Terms of Reference for the formation of the Downtown Arena Advisory Committee are also presented.
  • February 2014 – DECL’s Development Committee Chair, Ian O’Donnell, is invited to join Mayor Don Iveson and Oilers owner Daryl Katz to an announcement at City Hall revealing the Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) of $480m for the arena has been met and construction will begin in March.
  • February 2014 – A reminder letter has been sent to the City about transparency and interaction at grade on 104 Avenue for the arena.

This development issue is one of the most complex DECL has ever been tasked to be involved in. From our initial requests to have our concerns (and the concerns of downtown residents) heard, to being invited to speak in the recent GMP announcement, we have come to realize the special role community leagues and residents voices can have. It has always been our goal to try to ‘bridge’ the gap of understanding and cooperation between various groups and opinions by embracing dialogue and discussion.

In addition to trying to build trust by providing constructive feedback, we have attempted to educated the various stakeholders on the benefits of a vibrant downtown. There are certain principals and urban planning ‘best-practices’ that we have emphasized should be considered in the design of the AED.  Some of our concerns have been heard and changes or revisions made which will be reflected in a successful implementation because of our involvement in the process.

The DECL board, many of our members, and downtown residents at-large have come to realize the special opportunity we have here to fill a hole in our downtown and provide a catalyst for further growth. The process to get to this point has not been perfect by any means, we’ve done what we can as a volunteer organization to represent the interests of our membership and residents as accurately as possible. Our priority has always been to look at the development or rezoning applications at hand and provide feedback to what is being proposed. Good urban design, attention to the pedestrian realm at grade, encouraging street-facing retail and other activity, use of high-quality finishing materials, inclusion of amenity spaces, and other urban issues have been most of our focus. But when a ‘deal’ that has such huge potential benefits for our downtown and the City as a whole is presented, we felt we had to speak in favour.

Our downtown, and our city’s core in general, have been neglected for years; starved of capital funding for the necessary projects that will encourage people to live or employers to locate downtown. It is truly the ‘heart’ of our city. It has been apparent throughout this process that the only mechanism for infrastructure funding was through the CRL. The only way to get the CRL is through a project like the arena that most of Council could support and wanted to see our City have. You do not have one without the other – this was the opportunity to bring much-needed private and public investment to our downtown.

Hopefully this posts gives members of DECL and citizens of Edmonton as glimpse into how the arena project consultation went for us. We hope you can appreciate the time and attention that went to this issue, the outcome of which remains to be seen. If good urban design is adhered to, the risk of building such a large project in our downtown will be outweighed by its successful execution.

Note – We will be posting links to the various letter that were sent to the City or Council in the near future.

#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’!

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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#Yegdt Notes – July 5, 2013

It’s been a while since our last #Yegdt Notes, but a lot has happened in the last month or so! June was a busy month; thanks to everyone that attended another successful Pancake Breakfast on June 8, kick-off to this year’s smaller Centennial Block Party event on 104 Street. With the Pride Parade festivities and City Market, ‘Super Saturday’ downtown is complete for another year!

#Yegdt Notes will return this fall!

Pancake Breakfast and Centennial Block Party

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While Al Fresco is taking a hiatus for a year, we are not! Join us again this year for the kick-off to ‘Super Saturday’ and the Centennial Block Party the by starting your day with some pancakes and sausages!

$2 breakfast, all proceeds will go to help with the renovations to our new Downtown Community Hall.

This year’s breakfast will take place again at the intersection of 104 Street and 102 Avenue from 8:30 am to 11:00 am.

We’ll be off the street in time for the Pride Parade 2013 to start at noon on 102 Avenue. Stay and enjoy the rest of the day at the City Market 9-3, and Centennial Block Party in the evening!

The Centennial Block Party is 4:30-9pm and will feature a BBQ, salsa dancing, patios, 100 balloon release for the 100th Anniversary of 8 of 4th Street Promenade’s heritage buildings in the past year or so, and more! At 8pm the party moves indoors to Mercer Tavern with live music from Russ Dawson throughout the evening and Josh Johnson starting at 9pm!

Food for the pancake breakfast is generously donated by Sobey’s Urban Fresh, our tireless community partner!

Facebook Event

#Yegdt Notes – May 16, 2013

This special edition of ‘#Yegdt Notes’ has been produced live on CityTV’s ‘Breakfast Television’, with special guests Shauna Warwich of the 104 Street Steering Committee, and Jarrett Campbell of the Oliver Community League! (Check out videos of today’s show on BT Edmonton!)

  • A big step forward for the Downtown Arena Project yesterday. Council approved a new funding formula that will make up the missing $55m: support by the Capital Region Board to apply for $25m in provincial funding, a $15m cash call from Katz, and $15m more from the Community Revitalization Levy (CRL). Councillor Sohi was able  to get Council Moneygram money order on side to replace the unpopular $45m MSI money allocated for the arena on May 8 with further money from the CRL. This was enough to get Councillor Iveson and Henderson to throw in their support. We hope this further funding from the CRL will not delay implementation of necessary downtown catalyst projects. A multi-year battle for funding downtown, our city is on the threshold of an unprecedented amount of implementation of infrastructure projects in the heart of our city.
  • What’s our favourite thing about the return of summer in downtown? The City Market on 104 Street returns this weekend – Saturday, 9-3 rain or shine!
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Our new streetfront Downtown Community Hall is located at 10042 103 Street, just south of Jasper Avenue

  • We have moved into our new 103 Street space and are getting ourselves ready to share it with you! About 95% complete, look for an open house and grand opening party sometime in mid-June!
  • The Red Bull Bus Tour arrives at Churchill Square this Friday. Edmonton’s line-up features local talents Shout Out Out Out Out and Cadence Weapon!
  • Thank you to everyone that attended our Annual General Meeting last week! With over 90 people present, we discussed everything from downtown development, to receiving a presentation by ATB Financial CEO Dave Mowatt on the ‘Light the Bridge‘ project. A huge shout-out to Yellowhead Brewery for hosting our AGM for free – one of our great downtown community partners!
  • Our Al Fresco Pancake Breakfast returns Saturday, June 8, 8:30-11. The launch of ‘Super Saturday’ downtown, that day is a jam-packed day of events and celebrations including the Pride Parade and City Market on 104 Street. While the ‘Al Fresco’ party takes a break for this year, a smaller ‘Centennial Block Party’ will celebrate the 100th anniversary of many of 4th Street Promenade’s heritage buildings. Look for a BBQ, salsa dancing, live performances and more in the evening from 4-8!
  • Oliver Community League hosted a Community Consultation last week to discuss the Molson/Crosstown development proposal. More than just a discussion about that specific application, it was great to see 50 local residents come together on the first warm Saturday of the year and discuss what they’d like to see in their neighbourhood.
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Just hanging out behind the cameras with Ryan Jesperson and Briget Ryan for Breakfast Television’s ‘Blogger’s Week’!

  • Royal Lawn Bowling Club at the Legislature hosts an Open House on Saturday, May 25, 2013. After the success of last September’s ‘Downtown vs. Oliver’ Throwdown, we encourage you to check out this undervalued amenity downtown!
  • DECL first heard of the LIVINGbridge Project, an effort to establish a temporary community garden on the unused overpass at 97 St and 105 Avenue leading into Chinatown, only weeks ago. Chelsea Boos and Carmen Douville presented their ideas to our membership at the AGM, and now are only weeks away from execution. If you’d like to support their project with funds or volunteersing, please contact us.
  • Transforming and Revitalizing Downtown Summit happens for the first time in Western Canada in Edmonton, June 12 & 13, 2013. Watch for events in the week leading up to the date of the conference!
  • Urban Eden Community Garden has started up for the 2013 season! Last week Thursday’s spring clean-up at the garden, organized by Garden Coordinator Dawn Woolsey, had a great turnout and many of the broken boxes were repaired so people can start planting.
  • Light the Bridge‘ campaign launched earlier this month, an effort to get 60,000 LED bulbs built on the High Level Bridge by private donations for the bridge’s 100th anniversary. $25 gets you a bulb, they’ll even tell you exactly which one!
  • Sustainable Planning unveiled their new patio policy this spring with the hope of streamlining the application process and encourage more patios in our downtown. If this season so far is any indication, we hope it’s working – Kelly’s Pub opened their much-anticipated patio this week!
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Kelly’s Pub patio promises to be a great addition to the 4th Street Promenade! (Photo credit: Kelly’s Pub)

Thank you to Ryan Jesperson and Bridge Ryan for their hospitality today for BT’s ‘Blogger’s Week’. It was great to have the opportunity to chat about the exciting projects in store for our downtown!

Annual General Meeting 2013

Annual General Meeting 2013

Join us at Yellowhead Brewery, in the historic Shaw Building, for our Annual General Meeting 2013!

Tuesday, May 7
Registration 6:30 pm
Meeting 7:00 pm

We will be discussing downtown issues, going over the business of the league, as well as hearing updates from some of our committees, partners, and a special update on our new 103 street space!

Volunteer for the league by joining a committee:

  • Development Committee
  • Safety Committee
  • Parks Committee (including ‘Scott Property’ Park Steering Committee)
  • Policy Committee
  • Programs Committee (volunteer for events)
  • Membership & Volunteer Committees

Refreshments will be provided! One beer ticket per DECL membership, cash bar available as well.

$5 2012-2013 DECL memberships will be available at the door!

Come on down, get Ria agent to know your neighbours, get to know what’s happening in your vibrant downtown community!

Download a poster (PDF) to print off for your building! Facebook event

#Yegdt Notes – April 16, 2013

With all the renovation work and preparations for a move, our latest ‘#Yegdt Notes’ is later than usual. Lots of information to get out and upcoming events taking place in your community in the next few weeks!

  • DECL is pleased to announce our 2013 Annual General Meeting will be held Tuesday, May 7 at Yellowhead Brewery (10229 105 Street). We had such a great turnout at Yellowhead last year, we decided to hold it there again this year! Our guests this year will be some of Edmonton’s finest –  our new downtown beat cops will be on hand to discuss their role in keeping our community safe, and taking any questions you might have. Meeting registration is at 6:30 pm, meeting at 7:00 pm. $5 DECL memberships will be available at the door. Refreshments will be provided, cash bar is available.

Community Clean-Up

  • DECL’s Annual Community Clean-Up will be held on Sunday, May 5 as part of River Valley Clean-up Day. Meet us at Dick Mather Park (beside MacKay Avenue School) from 10 am to 12:30 pm. Wear work attire, we will supply everything else! Help us keep our community clean!
  • If you can’t make it to our Community Clean-Up, 104th Street Committee is hosting their own ‘Street Cleaning Blitz‘ on Saturday, May 11 at 9 am.
  • Our new space at 10042 103 Street is close to being completed! Contact Property Services has done a great job renovating the space for us. We hope to be moving in by the end of April. We can’t wait to share the new space with you – look for an open house and party sometime in May!
  • April 30 will be another Community Benefits Agreement meeting for the arena project, when the Downtown Arena Advisory Board make-up is discussed. Whether you agree with the politics and funding surrounding the arena or not, we were pleased to see in a draft statement that six surrounding community leagues will be represented.
  • A new patio policy was well-received by Executive Committee this week that will make it cheaper, and hopefully easier, for establishments to get a patio license. This is something we’ve been advocating the City look at for a while, including an impromptu ‘patio gathering’ last year to push the issue (described by some as a ‘protest’). We now hope the City will work with ALGC to streamline the process for licensed patios as well.
  • Civic Precinct Master Plan will be presented to the Community Services Committee on today. If you are not already familiar with the plan, the City intends to strengthen and improve some of the aspects of the areas around Churchill Square and the Arts & Cultural District.
  • Public meeting for input and comments on a Direct Control zoning (DC2) proposal for a 36-storey (118m), condo tower at the SE corner of 106 Street and 99 Avenue by Alan Wasnea is happening this Thursday, April 18. Strangely the meeting is not being held downtown, but we do invite any concerned residents to attend the meeting and find out more information.
  • First meeting of 2013 for Our Urban Eden Community Garden is May 2, 7 – 9:30 pm at 9808 103 St (The Horizon). Garden Coordinator Dawn Woolsey tells us that all plots are already spoken for in 2013! Residents downtown love to garden!
  • Of gardening, EFCL will be kicking off  a new ‘Balconies in Blooms’ program this year. DECL is very interested in being involved in this and EFCL says they will have details soon!
  • Transforming and Revitalizing Downtown‘ Conference will be held in Edmonton for the first time June 12-13. If you’re not attending the conference, that week will also feature free lectures by MADE in Edmonton and GreenDrinks being planned will be downtown-focused. Look for a full schedule of events as we get closer to the event. It will be a whole week of thinking about downtowns!
  • There has been lots of talk about regional cooperation the last week or so and the overall costs to Edmonton, starting with Mayor Mandel’s ‘State of the City‘ address April 2.

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The Cavern

  • The Cavern is now open and is already getting lots of attention from foodies! Not only featuring some of the finest cheese selection in Edmonton, this cozy little space has great charcuterie and features a good wine and beer list.

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  • Oliver Community League held their Annual General Meeting on April 10. Congratulations to President Jarrett Campbell and the new 2013-14 board!
  • It looks like 104 Street Grill (formerly Ric’s Grill) is now closed. New owners plan to open up a burger joint called ‘The Burg‘. Sounds promising!
  • What would small ‘downtown intervention’ projects look like to you? We’re working with individuals that are looking to make ‘small improvements’ to our downtown this summer. Stay tuned!
  • Brent Toderian comments that, “Amenities make density enjoyable”. How about some funding for our proposed Warehouse Campus Area community park?
  • Downtown renewal was well underway before this post appeared on Todd Babiak’s blog, but the sentiment is one shared by many – can we continue to ‘Make Something Edmonton‘ downtown?

If you have non-profit events happening in the downtown, or things you think our members should know about, please contact us!