All for the River Crossing Business Plan

The City of Edmonton’s Urban Planning Committee is reviewing the River Crossing Business Plan on Tuesday, September 3, 2019.

© City of Edmonton

River Crossing is located in the geographic heart of Edmonton between the downtown and Old Strathcona areas.

The vision for the River Crossing is to reflect the area’s importance to Edmontonians and its special significance to First Nations and Métis communities.

The business plan outlines 7 desired outcomes:

  1. Urbanity
  2. Transportation
  3. Destination
  4. Heritage
  5. Community
  6. Economics
  7. Environmental Stewardship

Paths for People urges the committee to approve the recommendations in this report.

The innovative and well-designed plan is an essential part of continuing the transformation of Edmonton into a city where people come first.

Our city has a one-of-a-kind river valley with an extensive system of trails and bridges. It’s North America’s largest stretch of urban parkland.

But this natural wonder lacks a central gathering place. 

The River Crossing can be a hub connecting east and west, downtown and the south side—providing this missing hub in our city. 

© The Forks

It has the potential to do for Edmonton what The Forks has done for Winnipeg—create a beautiful, connected gathering area for people, a public realm that links the past and the present while also looking to the future.

The Forks:

  • hosts more than 4 million visitors each year
  • has more than 1200 people working on-site
  • contributes more than $125 million dollars a year to the local economy

We are particularly excited about the vision for a transformed road network in the proposed River Crossing area.

Right now, the Rossdale Road area is designed almost exclusively for the movement of cars.


Most cyclists who want to follow the river from the new Walterdale bridge to Irene Parlby park end up riding on the sidewalk in front of the ball park because the road is too dangerous.

There is nowhere else for bikes to go.

© City of Edmonton

The River Crossing Business Plan sets out a realistic blueprint for making this area into a network of livable streets. Complete with acknowledgement and respect of our shared Indigenous and settler roots.

It would have space for all modes of transportation:

  • walking
  • cycling
  • transit
  • cars
  • maybe even a gondola! 

The future of urban transportation is multi-modal.

People want, and increasingly are demanding, transportation options.

Choices for how they move around their city – regardless of:

  • their age
  • mobility abilities
  • income
  • their eligibility to get a driver’s licence

Our urban places need to be designed with this in mind. That’s exactly what this River Crossing plan does.

Let’s move forward with creating this “people-first” gathering place in our central river valley, and let’s continue to make our whole city a “people-first” place.