Now's the time to weigh in on Warehouse Park design

· The Pulse
By Karen Unland
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The city is seeking input on the design of Warehouse Park, and Speaking Municipally's co-hosts happily obliged in Episode 177 of the podcast.

The 1.47-hectare park is a welcome addition, replacing a "sea of gravel, gross parking lots," said co-host Mack Male, who lives downtown. "Any green space that we add downtown is a great thing for people who live in towers. We do not have backyards."

The renderings that have circulated so far don't show a playground, though the survey does ask for input on both a children's play area and exercise amenities for adults. Male hopes those additions make the cut.

"If we're going to attract as many people as the plans call for to downtown, there's going to be kids," he said. "We're going to need some play structures."

The $42-million project, which is to open in late 2025, will be funded by the downtown community revitalization levy put in place to build Rogers Place. So it's part of the plan, not a frill, said co-host Troy Pavlek: "This is literally the perfect CRL project." (For more on how CRLs work, listen to Episode 119).

To learn more about the park, attend the online public session on May 10. To have your say, answer the survey by May 22.

A map showing where Warehouse Park will be, covering parking lots in an area bounded by 106 and 108 streets and 102 and Jasper avenues

Construction is to begin on Warehouse Park in 2024, replacing several surface parking lots north of Jasper Avenue between 106 and 108 streets. (City of Edmonton)

Pavlek and Male were also happy to hear the park will have a public washroom. They were less impressed by the city's announcement this week that it would reopen 10 LRT washrooms — only one of which is downtown — and add 12 mobile washrooms with hours restricted to 10am to 9pm, with extensions for Oilers' playoff games.

"If you're a fan, you can go to the bathroom anytime. But if you're not, you've got to wait till 10 o'clock in the morning," said Male. "As someone who lives on 104 Street ... I would be glad to have some washrooms on the street because I'd rather they go to the bathroom in the public washroom then pee all over the condo buildings, for example ... But I don't understand why we can't do that and also have these public washrooms available beyond these hours for all of the other human beings in our city."

They also discussed summer streets, snow and ice control, the High Level Bridge, and the campaign finance disclosures from the 2021 election, featuring a surprisingly high personal contribution from fourth-place mayoral candidate Michael Oshry.