Downtown Edmonton

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Downtown Edmonton
Skyline of Downtown Edmonton
Skyline of Downtown Edmonton
Downtown Edmonton is located in Edmonton
Downtown Edmonton
Downtown Edmonton
Location of Downtown in Edmonton
Coordinates: 53°32′38″N 113°29′28″W / 53.544°N 113.491°W / 53.544; -113.491Coordinates: 53°32′38″N 113°29′28″W / 53.544°N 113.491°W / 53.544; -113.491
Sector[2]Mature area
Area[3]Central core
 • MayorAmarjeet Sohi
 • Administrative bodyEdmonton City Council
 • CouncillorAnne Stevenson
 • Total11.5 km2 (4.4 sq mi)
671 m (2,201 ft)
 • Total55,997
 • Density4,900/km2 (13,000/sq mi)

Downtown Edmonton is the central business district of Edmonton, Alberta. Located at the geographical centre of the city, the downtown area is bounded by 109 Street to the west, 105 Avenue to the north, 97 Street to the east, 97 Avenue and Rossdale Road to the south, and the North Saskatchewan River to the southeast.

Surrounding neighbourhoods include Oliver to the west, Queen Mary Park, Central McDougall and McCauley to the north, Boyle Street and Riverdale to the east, and Rossdale to the south.

The residents of Downtown Edmonton are represented by the Downtown Edmonton Community League, established in 1999, which runs a community hall located at 100 Avenue and 103 Street.[7][8]

The Edmonton Oilers's home arena, Rogers Place, is located in the middle of downtown where it anchors the Ice District mixed-used development for sports and entertainment.[9]

Districts and streets[edit]

Arts District and Churchill Square[edit]

Churchill Square is a major public square in Downtown Edmonton.

The arts district is in the eastern part of the core with many award winning institutions like the Francis Winspear Centre for Music (home of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra) and the Citadel Theatre. Edmonton City Hall is also located here with all these buildings facing onto Sir Winston Churchill Square. It is also the site of the new Art Gallery of Alberta, which opened in early 2010, and the Stanley A. Milner Library, Edmonton Public Library's main branch.

Churchill Square (Officially "Sir Winston Churchill Square") is the main downtown square in Edmonton, and is the heart of the Arts District. The square plays host to a large majority of festivals and events in Greater Edmonton. It is bordered on the north by 102A Avenue, on the west by 100 Street, on the south by 102 Avenue (Harbin Road) and on the east by Rue Hull (99) Street. Recently, the portion of 102A Avenue that cut Churchill Square off from Edmonton's City Hall has been closed off to vehicular traffic as a way to better connect Churchill Square with the fountains and some festivities on the plaza at City Hall.[10]

Government Centre[edit]

The Alberta Legislature Building is a prominent landmark in Government Centre.

Government Centre is an informal district located at the southwest corner of the downtown core and is the home of the Alberta provincial government. The most notable feature of this part of downtown is the Alberta Legislature Building and its surrounding parks, fountains, and gardens.

An underground pedway system connects the Legislature to several of the surrounding buildings, including the historic Bowker Building and the Frederick W. Haultain Building.

Federal government offices were housed in the Federal Building at the north-east corner of Government Centre until they relocated to Canada Place, located at the east edge of downtown, in the 1980s. The Federal Building is undergoing a $356 million renovation due to be completed in 2015 for provincial government offices and a new underground parking structure.[11][12]

Transit service is provided by the Government Centre Transit Centre located near the Federal Building and by Government Centre station located just to the west.

Jasper Avenue[edit]

Jasper Avenue and 103 Street in Downtown Edmonton. Jasper Avenue is the city's "main street".

Jasper Avenue is the city's "main street". It starts at 77 Street in the east, running south west along the south edge of Boyle Street until it reaches the downtown core. It then runs due west through downtown and the neighbourhood of Oliver until it reaches 125 Street. Jasper Avenue is a major public transit route as several of Edmonton's busiest bus routes travel along it. The LRT travels underneath Jasper Avenue between 99 and 110 Streets.

Jasper Avenue has no street number but sits where 101 Avenue would otherwise be. Jasper Avenue is home to many of Edmonton's oldest heritage buildings (for example the Hotel Macdonald) and some of Edmonton's tallest office towers, including Canadian Western Bank Place and Scotia Place; however, the presence of the former limits that of the latter, and many tall buildings are found just off Jasper where land is easier to obtain. Together with help from nearby streets like 100 Avenue, 104 Street, 101 Street, and 102 Avenue, the Jasper West area (west of 97 Street) is one of the major retail, living, commercial, and entertainment districts of the city.

Rice Howard Way[edit]

Rice Howard Way comprises 100A Street between Jasper Avenue and 102 Avenue and 101A Avenue between 100 Street and 101 Street. The portion of 101A Avenue between 100A Street and 101 Street was closed to traffic, making it an open air pedestrian walkway. The rest of Rice Howard Way is open to vehicular traffic. Rice Howard Way has a few prominent office towers like Scotia Place and some restaurants.

Rice Howard Way's southern edge (100A Street at Jasper Avenue) has an entrance to the Central LRT Station.

Warehouse District and 104 Street[edit]

The Warehouse District is an area in Downtown Edmonton consisting of repurposed warehouses from the early 20th century.

The Warehouse District is located between Jasper Avenue and 104 Avenue and between 103 Street and 109 Street. During the first decade of the 20th century, the Hudson's Bay Company began selling its land holdings in this area, and businesses were quick to move in. Between 1909 and 1914, no fewer than two dozen warehouses were constructed.[13]

In the later part of the century, warehouses closed and the buildings were redeveloped into commercial enterprises. In the late 1990s lofts were created in these former warehouses. In recent years, the area has seen a revival, with new lofts and condos being constructed or proposed, along with many designer shops.[14] The area also included Canada's first urban format Sobey's Fresh Market, flanking the curved Birks building as the entrance to 104 Street at Jasper Avenue, serving the residential population until its closure in 2014.[15]

104 Street (in between Jasper Avenue and 104 Avenue) is the main street in the Warehouse District and features shops, restaurants, cafes and a variety of services. On Saturdays during the warmer months (May–October), the street hosts Edmonton's original farmer's market, the City Market. The area is also known for lofts in old warehouses. The street is very dense, and has seen new projects completed in 2009 and 2010 (Icon I and II) with the construction of the Fox Towers condo complex at the northwest corner of 104 Street and 102 Avenue underway.[14][16]

Ice District & Rogers Place[edit]

Construction in the Ice District in 2017. It is a mixed-use sports and entertainment district in Downtown.

The Ice District is located between 101 and 104 Street to 103 and 106 Avenue. It is a $2.5 billion mixed-use sports and entertainment district being developed on 10 hectares (25 acres; 120,000 sq yd) of land in Downtown.[17][18] When completed it will be Canada’s largest mixed use and entertainment district.[19]

A new arena named Rogers Place, for the Edmonton Oilers, was approved in early 2013 and construction of the arena started in March 2014.[20] It was named Rogers Place in December 2013 with an agreement form Rogers Communications for 10-year naming rights deal.[21] It opened in September 2016.[20]

Phase One started after the Ice District announcement 2014–2016. It has A new Office tower, and attractions along with Rogers Place.[22] Edmonton Tower, Winter Garden, and Grand Villa Casino Edmonton, are expected to open in 2016.[22] The MacEwan LRT Station was opened in September 2015.[22][23] The next Phase X will is from 2017–2020.[24] This includes Stantec Tower,[24][25] and the JW Marriott Edmonton Ice District & Residences expected to open in 2018.[24][26] Other projects include; A public plaza, future residences, and retail attractions, such as a Rexall pharmacy, Cineplex UltraAVX & VIP Cinemas, and grocery shopping centres. Opening throughout the 2017–2020 phase.[24]

Station Lands[edit]

Station Lands will be a multi-use development in downtown Edmonton. It is being built in a 9.15-acre (37,030 m2) site north of CN Tower once occupied by the old Canadian National rail yard. Expected to be completed in 2019 to 2022, it will include four high-rise towers,[27] a multi-story public plaza, and podium space. There will be 2.5 million square feet (230,000 m2) of office, retail, hotel, and residential space. The total cost of the project is estimated to be CA$240 million. On December 7, 2007, it was announced that EPCOR Utilities Inc. has entered into a 20-year lease to become the anchor tenant of Tower A (renamed EPCOR Tower), a commercial office tower that was completed in 2011.


As of the 2016 Canadian Census, there were 55,997 people living on 11.5 km2 (4.4 sq mi) of landmass that constitutes Downtown Edmonton. Also as of 2016, there were approximately 92,735 jobs in Downtown Edmonton.[28] The population density was about 48 people per hectare, and the job density was about 80 jobs per hectare.

Population of Downtown Edmonton from 1986 to 2005.
Year Female Male Total Census type
1986 2,170 2,880 5,050 Federal
1991 2,380 3,015 5,395 Federal
1996 2,205 2,925 5,130 Federal
2001 2,845 3,330 6,175 Federal
2005 4,216 4,811 9,027 Municipal
2008 5,008 5,351 10,359 Municipal
2009 5,455 6,117 11,572 Municipal[29]
2012 5,743 6,456 12,199 Municipal[30]
2014 6,325 6,823 13,148 Municipal[31]


MacEwan University's City Centre Campus is located at the northern edge of the downtown core. It is one of several post-secondary institutions operating in downtown.

There are several institutions providing educational opportunities in the downtown core. The largest of these is MacEwan University whose City Centre Campus is located along the northern edge of the downtown core between 105 Street and 112 Street, and between 104 Avenue and 105 Avenue. This site used to be part of an old Canadian National rail yard that started redevelopment in the 1990s. MacEwan University also operates the Alberta College Campus located near the southern edge of the downtown core on McDonald Drive.

The University of Alberta has redeveloped the site of the Bay building on Jasper Avenue between 102 Street and 103 Street as Enterprise Square (2008). "The building will house TEC Edmonton, a jointly operated research commercialization centre presently located in the U of A's Research Transition Facility."[32] The opening of Enterprise Square marks the University's 100th Anniversary and first presence north of the river since it was founded in 1908. Enterprise Square also houses the University's Alumni Services, Faculty of Extension programs, and a U of A Bookstore.

The Edmonton Public School Board operates a high school, Centre High, in the redeveloped Boardwalk and Revolution buildings.

NorQuest College is located between 107 Street and 108 Street at 102 Avenue and provides upgrading and diploma services.

Historic buildings[edit]

Completed in 1905, McKay Avenue School is a historical landmark in Downtown Edmonton, and presently houses the Edmonton Public School Board Archives and Museum.

McKay Avenue School is an important historical building located in downtown Edmonton. Named for Dr. William Morrison MacKay, a doctor with the Hudson's Bay Company and Alberta's first doctor.[33] Construction began in 1904 when the cornerstone was laid by the Governor General of Canada, Lord Minto. The building was named a provincial historic resource in 1976. Due to declining enrollments, the school was closed in 1983. Today, the building has a new lease on life, and is the home of the Edmonton Public School Board Archives and Museum. In addition to its educational role, the building was also used by the Alberta Legislature during 1906 and 1907, when the legislature's first two sittings were held here. The 1881 Schoolhouse, an older wood frame building and Edmonton's oldest school, is located on the same site.[34]


Edmonton City Centre (formerly Eaton Centre and Edmonton Centre) is a two part shopping mall with over 170 services on 102 Avenue. It is anchored by Hudson's Bay, CBC, Winners and Landmark Cinemas. It has four office towers (using the mall as a podium), plus a Delta Hotel. When Edmonton Centre and the Eaton Centre became one in the late 1990s after the demise of Eaton's, a newer and larger pedestrian skyway was built to connect the two malls which also contains a number of shops. Also in the late 1990s (after the malls became one), the mall received a makeover itself. Recently the mall itself has been attracting some higher end retailers.


the Edmonton Transit System's light rail system runs through Downtown Edmonton.

Edmonton Transit System's light rail system runs beneath the downtown core, with one station at Churchill Square (Churchill LRT Station), three stations along Jasper Avenue (Central, Bay/Enterprise Square, and Corona) and next to the Legislature (Government Centre). From Government Centre station, the LRT continues south over the North Saskatchewan River to three University of Alberta stations (University, Health Sciences, and South Campus), as a part of the South extension. From Churchill Station, the LRT travels north east towards Commonwealth Stadium and Northlands Coliseum. A second LRT line, connecting to MacEwan University, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Kingsway Mall, and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), opened in 2015. A third line under construction, the Valley Line, will connect downtown to Mill Woods.

The Edmonton Pedway is a pedestrian skywalk system that consists of bridges and tunnels connecting to various buildings and LRT stations in the downtown area.

A heritage streetcar line operates during the summer months from Jasper Avenue to Old Strathcona over the High Level Bridge.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "City of Edmonton Wards & Standard Neighbourhoods" (PDF). City of Edmonton. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 3, 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  2. ^ "Edmonton Developing and Planned Neighbourhoods, 2011" (PDF). City of Edmonton. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 4, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  3. ^ "The Way We Grow: Municipal Development Plan Bylaw 15100" (PDF). City of Edmonton. 2010-05-26. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 2, 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  4. ^ "City Councillors". City of Edmonton. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  5. ^ "Defining Canada's Downtown Neighbourhoods: 2016 Boundaries" (PDF). Statistics Canada. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  6. ^ "Defining Canada's Downtown Neighbourhoods: 2016 Boundaries" (PDF). Statistics Canada. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  7. ^ "Downtown Edmonton Community League". Downtown Edmonton Community League. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  8. ^ Kuban, Ron (2005). Edmonton's Urban Villages: The Community League Movement. University of Alberta Press. ISBN 9781459303249.
  9. ^ The heart of our city
  10. ^ "Avenue between City Hall and Churchill Square to close". CBC News. December 14, 2009. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  11. ^ Archie McLean, "Federal building to get $356M makeover",Edmonton Journal Archived 2008-07-05 at the Wayback Machine, June 18, 2008.
  12. ^ Government of Alberta Ministry of Infrastructure. "The Federal Building and Centennial Plaza Project". Government of Alberta. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  13. ^ Lawrence Herzog, "Edmontons Warehouse District",Real Estate Weekly, Vol 21 No. 25, June 26, 2003.
  14. ^ a b Bellefontaine, Michelle (June 14, 2013). "How 104th Street became the heart of downtown Edmonton". CBC News. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  15. ^ "Sobeys closing store on 104th Street". CBC News. June 26, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  16. ^ Kent, Gordon (September 15, 2014). "2020 vision: What will downtown Edmonton look like at the end of the decade?". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  17. ^ Shaw, Stewart; Parrish, Julia (13 July 2015). "Katz Group officially announces new name for downtown arena district". Bell Media Television. CTV News Edmonton. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  18. ^ Mah, Bill (12 July 2015). "Oilers CEO says Ice District a 'crisp and clean' new name for arena district". Postmedia Network Inc. Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  19. ^ "A Vibrant World-Class Destination". ICE District Properties. ICE District Properties. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  20. ^ a b "Rogers Place construction starts Monday". CBC/Radio Canada. CBC News Edmonton. 3 March 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  21. ^ "Downtown arena will be named Rogers Place". No. CM. CBC/Radio Canada. CBC Edmonton. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  22. ^ a b c "Phase One". Ice District. ICE District JV Inc. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  23. ^ Ramsay, Caley (6 September 2015). "After lengthy delay, Metro Line LRT opens to riders". Corus Entertainment Inc. Global News Edmonton. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  24. ^ a b c d "Phase One X". Ice District. ICE District JV Inc. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  25. ^ Kent, Gordon. "Stantec Tower in Edmonton set to be Canada's tallest outside Toronto". PostMark Media. Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  26. ^ "JW Marriott Hotel & Legends Private Residences". Emporis. Emporis. Archived from the original on April 19, 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  27. ^ "First high-rise tower in 20 years shapes up in Edmonton". Kasian. September 8, 2010. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  28. ^ "Defining Canada's Downtown Neighbourhoods: 2016 Boundaries" (PDF). Statistics Canada. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  29. ^ "2009 Municipal Census Summary Report of All Questions - Downtown" (PDF). City of Edmonton. 2009. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  30. ^ "2012 Municipal Census Summary Report of All Questions - Downtown" (PDF). City of Edmonton. 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  31. ^ "2014 Municipal Census Summary Report of All Questions - Downtown" (PDF). City of Edmonton. August 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 8, 2014. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
  32. ^ The University describes its plans Archived 2006-04-26 at the Wayback Machine for use of the Bay building in their press release announcing approval to purchase the building.
  33. ^ Sanderson, Kay (1999). 200 Remarkable Alberta Women. Calgary: Famous Five Foundation. p. 10. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  34. ^ History of McKay Avenue School Archived 2013-02-13 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]