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DebraW
27-09-2007, 03:41 PM
Make river valley a major attraction: Mandel
Mayoral incumbent proposes to spend $10 million a year

Susan Ruttan, edmontonjournal.com
Published: September 27, 2007 3:28 pm

Mayor Stephen Mandel has pledged to spend $10 million a year to turn Edmonton's river valley into a major attraction for tourists and local residents alike.

Mandel took the media on a boat trip down the North Saskatchewan today to announce his latest re-election plank, a 10-year plan to make greater use of the river valley.

Among Mandel's ideas:

- Have water taxis take passengers from Louise McKinney Park near the Shaw Conference Centre down to Fort Edmonton Park.

- Allow some small businesses, such as cafes, in a few areas of the valley near downtown.

- Put revenue from leasing city-owned land in the valley to such businesses into a river valley endowment fund. This fund would be used for the valley and would be managed by a community foundation.

- Create beaches on the small lakes at Rundle Park and Hawrelak Park.

- Install a funicular lift at Louise McKinney Park to give people an easy way to get down the cliff.

- Lobby the provincial government for money to build an aboriginal heritage park as part of Fort Edmonton Park.

- Lobby the government for improvements to the legislature grounds so those grounds are better tied to the river valley.

- Pressure the government to proceed with improvements to the Royal Alberta Museum.

Mandel said environmentalists and lovers of the natural beauty of the river valley need not worry. He has no intention of spoiling those assets, he said.

[email protected]

© Edmonton Journal 2007

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bdejong
27-09-2007, 04:03 PM
Good, good, good!!

DanC
27-09-2007, 09:21 PM
Finally!

DebraW
27-09-2007, 10:01 PM
A watery platform
Mandel outlines plans for developing river valley

Thu, September 27, 2007
By DANIEL MACISAAC, SUN MEDIA

Mayor Stephen Mandel says “River City” will never replace “City of Champions” as Edmonton’s handle – but that if he has his way, the North Saskatchewan River will come to play a much more prominent role in the lives of Edmontonians.

Mayor Stephen Mandel has big plans to develop Edmonton's river valley at a cost of $10 million a year over 10 years. (Daniel MacIsaac/Sun)

“Our city has done a wonderful job of protecting and preserving the best urban park in North America,” Mandel said. “But we can do more to increase its accessibility to our citizens, improve its value as a tourist asset and even to create some targeted recreational and commercial activities, such as boutiques, cafes and restaurants.”

Running for re-election Oct. 15, Mandel presented a watery platform Thursday, outlining a river-valley development strategy he says would cost the city $10 million a year over 10 years.

Proposed plans include an artificial lake in Rundle Park, upgrades for recreational trails, improved access to the valley through a funicular at Louise McKinney Park and more docking space for small boats alongside attractions like Fort Edmonton. The province might also contribute money for projects like the Royal Alberta Museum.

Mandel says the proposals are based in part on strategies developed over the years – including by the River Valley Alliance. He says that if re-elected, he’d bring them before city council as soon as possible.

But one man who says Mandel’s got it all wrong is Richard Merry, executive director of the Edmonton Greener Communities Association. He says he’s “dead-set against” any project that promotes more river traffic.

“The river valley is one of the few quiet places in the city,” Merry said. “Development and the sound of motor craft would destroy the valley for walkers and bikers.”

[email protected]

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DanC
27-09-2007, 10:04 PM
A watery platform
Mandel outlines plans for developing river valley

Thu, September 27, 2007
By DANIEL MACISAAC, SUN MEDIA

Mayor Stephen Mandel says “River City” will never replace “City of Champions” as Edmonton’s handle – but that if he has his way, the North Saskatchewan River will come to play a much more prominent role in the lives of Edmontonians.

Mayor Stephen Mandel has big plans to develop Edmonton's river valley at a cost of $10 million a year over 10 years. (Daniel MacIsaac/Sun)

“Our city has done a wonderful job of protecting and preserving the best urban park in North America,” Mandel said. “But we can do more to increase its accessibility to our citizens, improve its value as a tourist asset and even to create some targeted recreational and commercial activities, such as boutiques, cafes and restaurants.”

Running for re-election Oct. 15, Mandel presented a watery platform Thursday, outlining a river-valley development strategy he says would cost the city $10 million a year over 10 years.

Proposed plans include an artificial lake in Rundle Park, upgrades for recreational trails, improved access to the valley through a funicular at Louise McKinney Park and more docking space for small boats alongside attractions like Fort Edmonton. The province might also contribute money for projects like the Royal Alberta Museum.

Mandel says the proposals are based in part on strategies developed over the years – including by the River Valley Alliance. He says that if re-elected, he’d bring them before city council as soon as possible.

But one man who says Mandel’s got it all wrong is Richard Merry, executive director of the Edmonton Greener Communities Association. He says he’s “dead-set against” any project that promotes more river traffic.

“The river valley is one of the few quiet places in the city,” Merry said. “Development and the sound of motor craft would destroy the valley for walkers and bikers.”

[email protected]

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Right, walkers and bikers own the river valley...no room for anyone else.
Sensible development for the parks system is in dire need.

RichardS
27-09-2007, 10:19 PM
Right, walkers and bikers own the river valley...no room for anyone else.
Sensible development for the parks system is in dire need.

COULDN'T AGREE MORE.

The_Cat
27-09-2007, 10:19 PM
I think of Edmonton Transit could get a fleet of boats, they could stop at a variety of points - Rundle Park, Capilano Park, Riverside Golf Course, Louise McKinney Park, Walterdale Park/Alberta Legislature, Victoria Park/RAM, Hawrelak Park/Valley Zoo, Fort Edmonton and Terwillegar Park. This would give a lot of Edmonton area people a reason to park and ride.

Also, I'd like to see a summer stop at the LRT Bridge on the South Side of the River.

Perhaps the River Valley could have a hotel tower next to the Royal Alberta Museum. It could be built in the River Valley, with an elevator going up from the river, stopping at RAM/Government House, continuing up to about 500 feet. The top level would give a panoramic view of downtown, the U of A, and east and south views of the river valley. I know there was a similar proposal with the Husky Tower back in the sixties, but I think this could sell.

travis
27-09-2007, 10:40 PM
^If I would be against such a hotel, I wonder what Glenorans would have to say about it? :lol:

m0nkyman
27-09-2007, 10:45 PM
Interesting how many of the ideas in the first story have been discussed here on C2E...

RichardS
27-09-2007, 10:56 PM
...and people think the Mayor and Council don't look...

Sonic Death Monkey
27-09-2007, 11:21 PM
But one man who says Mandel’s got it all wrong is Richard Merry, executive director of the Edmonton Greener Communities Association. He says he’s “dead-set against” any project that promotes more river traffic.

“The river valley is one of the few quiet places in the city,” Merry said. “Development and the sound of motor craft would destroy the valley for walkers and bikers.”


Yeah cause God forbid anyone other than walkers and bikers get to enjoy this river valley.

kcantor
28-09-2007, 08:04 AM
But one man who says Mandel’s got it all wrong is Richard Merry, executive director of the Edmonton Greener Communities Association. He says he’s “dead-set against” any project that promotes more river traffic.

“The river valley is one of the few quiet places in the city,” Merry said. “Development and the sound of motor craft would destroy the valley for walkers and bikers.”


Yeah cause God forbid anyone other than walkers and bikers get to enjoy this river valley.
or anyone other than edmonton queen or the folk festival to experiment with how far one can amplify and project sound up and down the river valley. :)

i totally agree - it will be nice when the "vested interests" that seem to control our river valley extend to the rest of us and allow for year round interaction...

as an aside, there has been a very interesting addition to TO's waterfront in the past year - an "artificial" sand beach at (although above) the water's edge. i will try and post some photos when i get back as it could work very well at numerous edmonton locations including louise mckinney park.

also interesting that one can now see decent sized fish again from their waterfron (although i'm not sure i would want to dine on them as of yet).

Blueline
28-09-2007, 08:09 AM
More housing (some with moorage) in the valley?

Brentk
28-09-2007, 08:36 AM
very exciting...good to see this happening.

amanzano
28-09-2007, 09:05 AM
I think of Edmonton Transit could get a fleet of boats, they could stop at a variety of points - Rundle Park, Capilano Park, Riverside Golf Course, Louise McKinney Park, Walterdale Park/Alberta Legislature, Victoria Park/RAM, Hawrelak Park/Valley Zoo, Fort Edmonton and Terwillegar Park. This would give a lot of Edmonton area people a reason to park and ride.



Why has nobody thought of this before? Ride the river to work! only problem would be that our parks would be full of parkers, but I'm sure there's ways around it.

mick
28-09-2007, 10:56 AM
Excellent!

However, I think I would draw the line at building houses or hotels in the valley. Lets keep that to the top of the banks.

DanC
28-09-2007, 11:58 AM
Excellent!

However, I think I would draw the line at building houses or hotels in the valley. Lets keep that to the top of the banks.
Already is a Hotel in the Valley. Just so happens to be in Ft. Edmonton...oh the horror.

What would be wrong with another boutique hotel similar to that somewhere along the valley?

mick
28-09-2007, 12:17 PM
Given that I support the limited development proposed by Mandelin, you can leave the anti-development mock sarcasm out of your response, cheers. If you would like to re-read the thread, there was a proposal for a tower hotel in the RV and a proposal for bank side housing. I was responding to those proposed ideas, both of which would bring a need for more access roads (unless you want to service both entirely from a river frozen half the year) and which I would not personally support.

As for a boutique hotel in the river valley, it would depend on how you define boutique (i.e. number of rooms), the proposed location, scale, height, design, and where you want to put the parking - I would guess UG would be difficult, so would that not mean a surface lot? Personally, my least favourite part of the RV is the Quesnell crossing and associated traffic noise and lovely large surface lot for FE park.

DanC
28-09-2007, 05:21 PM
Given that I support the limited development proposed by Mandelin, you can leave the anti-development mock sarcasm out of your response, cheers. If you would like to re-read the thread, there was a proposal for a tower hotel in the RV and a proposal for bank side housing. I was responding to those proposed ideas, both of which would bring a need for more access roads (unless you want to service both entirely from a river frozen half the year) and which I would not personally support.

As for a boutique hotel in the river valley, it would depend on how you define boutique (i.e. number of rooms), the proposed location, scale, height, design, and where you want to put the parking - I would guess UG would be difficult, so would that not mean a surface lot? Personally, my least favourite part of the RV is the Quesnell crossing and associated traffic noise and lovely large surface lot for FE park.
Mock sarcasm or not, it sounded like you were opposed to any sort of hotel development. I just wanted to emphasis what is already there and how very well it works.
I don't think you can associate the large parking lot with the hotel inside Fort Edmonton alone, obviously the two scales are completly different.

If the same hotel were build in Laurier or Hawrelak, really if not underground, there may be a lot for a dozen or so cars? Like I say, sensible commercial development is needed to really make the Valley an attraction. When its your number one asset it really has to have a broad appeal.

I think it will be very easy to strike a balance, so long as ridgid and strict zoning is in place and that all developments are subject to review for appropriateness, need, services provided and asthetics.

This isn't slash and burn the forest, its an attempt to widen its appeal.

DebraW
02-10-2007, 12:15 PM
The North Saskatchewan River is for more than bikers and joggers. It should be accessible to all citizens. A restaurant with a view and more boat docking spaces near the downtown would be great.

snakes on a blog
02-10-2007, 03:44 PM
how would many of the above proposals (i.e. boutique hotel, river boat launches, restaurant...etc.) affect the NSR as one of the few remaining wildlife corridors in the prairies? How would these proposals affect the noise level, and hence the enjoyment most of the current valley users have?

grish
02-10-2007, 04:39 PM
it's all in the details. If those things are placed where there is already development such as at Rossdale or near Louise McKinney park then the wild-life corridor and the wilderness aspect of the river remains virtually untouched. If we start tearing up the shorelines to put hotels and boat launches, then even the biggest proponents of making the river more accessible will go up in arms and stop that.

DanC
02-10-2007, 05:32 PM
how would many of the above proposals (i.e. boutique hotel, river boat launches, restaurant...etc.) affect the NSR as one of the few remaining wildlife corridors in the prairies? How would these proposals affect the noise level, and hence the enjoyment most of the current valley users have?
Its all about balance. There is a way to add to what is there without ruining it.

24karat
02-10-2007, 05:37 PM
I am SO in favour of Mayor Mandel's river valley dream. I hope it
becomes reality some day soon.

kona
02-10-2007, 09:18 PM
It would be great to be able to go for a run on a nice summer day and enjoy a tasty frappucino close to the river!

w00t
11-10-2007, 02:27 PM
I think one of the best things they could ever do is put in water fountains along the length of the valley and also the ravines. There is nowhere to get water along the way... which is a pain for distance runners or just recreational walkers. There are a few places such as park buildings, but it's not enough.

Ubiquitin
19-11-2007, 11:20 PM
Its been months since this was proposed, any updates?