An Edmonton neighbourhood notorious for pawnshops, liquor stores, crime and rundown buildings will be getting an $8.5-million overhaul.

Beginning this month the city will be replacing sidewalks, road surfaces and adding trees and planting beds to improve the image of 118 Avenue from 82-87 Street.

City councillors, business leaders and police say the facelift to Alberta Avenue will help add a vibrancy that will encourage people to shop there.


“This is not only going to revitalize the area, but it will awaken this community,” said Edmonton Police Insp. Brian Nowlan.

“Because of this, people are going to be less tolerant of disorder, less tolerant of crimes.”

Coun. Ed Gibbons says the facelift, expected to be completed in the fall, will encourage business owners to open up cafés and ethnic restaurants rather more “unwanted businesses.”

“We have enough pawnshops, cash stores and car dealerships,” said Gibbons. “We need to have an avenue that will make people want to walk down and feel good about it.”

The project will also include new decorative light poles and additional lighting for walkways.

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