5th Anniversary Issue: What’s Next?

Five predictions about the next five years.

In Between The Lines

Plans for new LRT lines show a more urban style of transit, with stations every 400 to 800 metres instead of one to two km (typical of the existing lines). This will make stations more accessible by foot, park-and-rides less practical and Edmontonians better connected.

Whyte Nights

For decades, Whyte Avenue was the only stronghold for storefront retail, but a downtown revival matched with steep lease rates in the area already has businesses such as the Paint Spot and Eden Lilly rethinking where to set up shop. Old Strathcona’s laid-back atmosphere will still see the majority of foot traffic, but it will be even more hospitality-based, since retailers can’t afford to be there.

Golden Boy

Oilers left-winger Taylor Hall is poised to become a top NHL goal-scorer, provided he stays away from those Gordie Howe hat tricks. Young as he is (19), he could be a leader to other up-and-comers like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. But will he stick around to lead them to another Stanley Cup final, or be lured by the greener pastures of other cities?

Renewed Architecture

Architecture critic Trevor Boddy says, “Edmonton has been home to significant architectural invention for a city its size, but remoteness and a near-total shunning of self-promotion means the world knows little of it.” With the praise earned by the AGA, the upcoming Alberta Hotel and an uptick in public discussion about architecture, Edmonton will get some more face time on the national design stage.

Returning Speculators

According to Re/Max agent Ed DePrato, a quarter of all Edmonton home sales in 2006 were going to speculators and aspiring investors. “All of those [speculators] are now licking their wounds and trying to get out from under the real estate they paid too much for.” Now, speculative purchases are about one in 50 sales. But with the rebounding market expect a return of fair-weather investors.

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