Reason #76 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

The Quarters

By Emil Tiedemann

If you don’t go downtown on a regular basis, there’s a good chance you have no idea what “the Quarters” is. I frequent the downtown, and yet I had no recollection of the City working on such a game-changing project, until years after plans commenced. 

When you think about the actual scale of this enterprise, it’s surprising how it has sort of flown under the radar for many, perhaps most Edmontonians. It is 100 acres of urban space on the eastern edge of the downtown that will be transformed over the next 10-20 years into five distinct precincts, all within walking distance of the natural amenities of the river valley. 

Hyatt Place Hotel opened on Jasper Avenue & 95th Street in 2017, as the first major construction project in "the Quarters."

Between 92nd & 97th Streets and 103A & Jasper Avenues, the area will be converted into the pedestrian-friendly and environmentally-sustainable Quarters, split into the Civic, Five Corners, Heritage, and McCauley Quarters, and then linked by the Armature district. 

The City’s plan is to turn this ignored inner-city region - known so long for its poverty and high crime rates - into a diverse and inclusive community with family services, park and green spaces, trendy cafes and pubs, boutique shopping, cultural opportunities, rooftop gardens, and housing for up to 20,000 people. 

And of course, there’s the 12-storey upscale Hyatt Place Hotel that is serving as a sort of catalyst for the area’s redevelopment. The $45 million Hyatt is the first hotel in the downtown in several decades, a sign of the extensive growth in the region, and the perfect way to ignite the Quarters as a whole. 

The City has pumped $56 million in infrastructure upgrades and new construction for the Quarters, in order to spur further investment into what is expected to be one of Edmonton’s most vibrant districts. It’s an extravagant vision that seems fit for our ever-progressive and ever-evolving town, where lofty ideas are attained and don’t just fall by the wayside. #yegquarters

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