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Residents bring dead space to life

The alley that runs east to west behind Sobey’s on 103 Street to Beaver Hills Park isn’t much but somewhere to walk right now, but if a group of Edmontonians have anything to do with it, it’s going to become a destination.

A plan is underway to reclaim a lost space in Edmonton.

The alley that runs east to west behind Sobey’s on 103 Street to Beaver Hills Park isn’t much but somewhere to walk right now, but if a group of Edmontonians have anything to do with it, it’s going to become a destination.

Three groups who separately discuss ways to make Edmonton a more attractive city have joined forces on the project.

Michael Phair, co-ordinator of Edmonton on the Edge, said this is the first time the group has gone beyond discussion.

“Back in the early spring we decided to try to initiate a project beyond a speaker,” said Phair.

“We brought in a speaker (to talk about) small spaces and it led to a charette of 40 people who walked around through alleys in the area.”

The group of downtown residents, business people and designers decided on the location for the project and brought their plans forward for public feedback yesterday at Enterprise Square.

The unveiled plan includes artwork, paint, crosswalks to make the entry more noticeable, as well as plants and seating areas. Some suggestions left behind yesterday include using the area for outdoor movies, concerts, art competitions and a community garden.

“It would be nice if there were a reason to linger in it,” said Chris Chan, who frequently uses the alley as a walkway. “It’s kind of neat, but there’s no reason to stay there.”

He noted its proximity to Beaver Hills Park, 104 Street, the marketplace and Sobey’s.

“There’s so much life going on (around it),” he said. “And there’s this dead space.”

 
 
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