Touch the Water Promenade Project Stage 3: Rossdale Area - Preliminary Design

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Consultation has concluded

Thank you for participating! A What We Heard report will be posted when complete.


The Touch the Water Promenade project in the Rossdale Area will be moving forward with the next phase of design work. If you live, visit, move through or simply enjoy this area of the river valley, we want to hear from you!

Based on what we heard in Stage One and Stage Two of Indigenous and public engagement, we have refined the design for the Rossdale Area. Please review the refined design and share your feedback and perspectives.



There are lots of ways to get engaged from now until the end of the day on August 2nd:

  • Please watch our video (above) that walks through the refined design and/or take a read through the booklet. They both have similar information.
  • Then complete the online survey to provide more in-depth feedback.
  • If you have any questions, please review the FAQ document and submit your questions below. Our project team will respond within seven business days, and the answers will be posted online.
  • Attend an online session to learn more about the refined design on July 21st and 22nd. Registration links available at edmonton.ca/touchthewater.


Although a single concept design was developed for both the Rossdale and North Shore project areas, only the Rossdale Area will be moving forward with additional design work at this time. Stage Three engagement will focus on the Rossdale portion of the project. The project is not currently funded for construction.

Thank you for participating! A What We Heard report will be posted when complete.


The Touch the Water Promenade project in the Rossdale Area will be moving forward with the next phase of design work. If you live, visit, move through or simply enjoy this area of the river valley, we want to hear from you!

Based on what we heard in Stage One and Stage Two of Indigenous and public engagement, we have refined the design for the Rossdale Area. Please review the refined design and share your feedback and perspectives.



There are lots of ways to get engaged from now until the end of the day on August 2nd:

  • Please watch our video (above) that walks through the refined design and/or take a read through the booklet. They both have similar information.
  • Then complete the online survey to provide more in-depth feedback.
  • If you have any questions, please review the FAQ document and submit your questions below. Our project team will respond within seven business days, and the answers will be posted online.
  • Attend an online session to learn more about the refined design on July 21st and 22nd. Registration links available at edmonton.ca/touchthewater.


Although a single concept design was developed for both the Rossdale and North Shore project areas, only the Rossdale Area will be moving forward with additional design work at this time. Stage Three engagement will focus on the Rossdale portion of the project. The project is not currently funded for construction.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

You can:

  • Ask a question directly to the Touch the Water Promenade project team.
  • Search and view community-submitted questions and official responses.
  • Type your question in the box below and click "Submit". Answers are typically provided within 7 business days. 
  • Please also see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document in the Document Library for answers to common questions.
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    In the video, two priorities/concerns (among others) were mentioned - reduced paved areas along the river and wildlife pinchpoints. How were these both taken into consideration with this design? It looks to me like there is a lot more pavement in this design. Has consideration been given to trying to improve the wildlife corridor rather than only maintain it/not make it worse? I'm thinking of how in national parks, they create wildlife overpasses.

    Kory asked 4 months ago

    As one of three design principles, improving the ecological condition in the Rossdale Area has been a key consideration for the refined design, given the degraded state of much of the river bank in the area, and existing buildings and infrastructure which are substantial obstacles to wildlife movement. This consideration will continue to be of importance through the preliminary design phase of the project. Where technically feasible, the intent is to restore the ecological health of the vegetated riparian edge which performs important stabilization and habitat functions.  The project does not propose to remove or disturb the entire river’s edge in Rossdale, but rather to begin to restore slopes that have been degraded or otherwise had detrimental impacts from human uses that have limited their ecological functions. There are only a few places where additional infrastructure is proposed to encourage safe access to the river. This new infrastructure will also integrate vegetation and bioengineering techniques.

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    I read the additional plant and wildlife surveys will be completed in future parts of this project. Will those findings be shared with the public and can they impact the outcomes of this project?

    Kory asked 4 months ago

    The additional plant and wildlife surveys will be completed to inform both the environmental impact assessment requirements for the project, as per the North Saskatchewan River Valley Area Redevelopment Plan (Bylaw 7188), and the project design as it advances. The environmental impact assessment report and site location study require City Council review and approval in order for the project to proceed, and will be made publicly available. Please note that this additional study will only be completed for the Rossdale Area through the current preliminary design phase, as project work for the North Shore Area has concluded with the completion of the concept phase at this time.

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    In the opening of the video, it mentions that the main reason for this project is that Edmontonias wasnt more and improved access to the river valley. Where does this come from? Is there engagement reports to suggest this?

    Kory asked 4 months ago

    City Council’s direction to advance design for this project, and the design principle to improve access to the river and river valley, were informed by previous City engagement including public and Insight Community surveys on river usage and activities, for the draft River Access Strategy and Principles, the previous initial engagement for the Touch the Water project and  the idea of the North Shore Promenade between 2012 and 2018, as well as for Breathe: Edmonton’s Green Network Strategy, and the previous two stages of engagement for the Touch the Water Promenade project.

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    What kind of research or studies were looked at and reviewed for decisions about wildlife corridors in the project areas?

    Kory asked 4 months ago

    Detailed fisheries and aquatic habitat studies and surveys have been completed on-site, including river basin scanning and modelling. Environmental overview studies of the project area were completed, which reviewed and researched the following information:

    • An existing biophysical study has been completed for the Rossdale Area and this was incorporated into the overview studies.

    • Desktop review of existing project area information, including aerial imagery and environmental and topographic geographic information systems (GIS) data.

    • Existing governmental data sources including Alberta Conservation Information Management System (ACIMS) online data map

    • Fish and Wildlife Management Information System (FWMIS). 

    • Desktop review focussed on the Valued Environmental Components (VECs) identified in the City of Edmonton’s “A Guide to Completing Environmental Impact Assessments” (i.e., surface water, groundwater, fisheries, geology/geomorphology and soils, vegetation, wildlife and historical resources).

    • Site reconnaissance of the project area.

    • Qualitative assessment of the potential interaction of the elements of the proposed concept design with documented conditions and resources in the project area.

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    The name "touch the water" seems like it was completely ignored. Kilometers of railing and the entire path is pretty much the same elevation where the current path is? I still cant step down to touch the water except for a small cramped corner at Rossdale? Very disappointing. It also looks weirdly over-engineered with those stilt posts everywhere. I was expecting a riverfront/waterfront like in: - Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax... Extremely disappointed with the entire concept except for the work done at Government house park. The entire river valley road stretch should be a sea wall, or at the VERY least have points where once could actually step down to the water? I'm so disappointed, how do you miss the mark every single time Edmonton.

    maxarmstrong asked 4 months ago

    Thank you very much for sharing your feedback and concerns.  The project team will be reviewing all feedback received during this phase of engagement in order to further develop and adjust the design, including how people will be able to access and interact with the North Saskatchewan River. 

    We’ve heard through the previous two stages of engagement that providing better and direct access to the River is important, as long as user safety is prioritized and the removal of existing vegetation is minimized as much as possible. Engagement feedback and technical study results to date have not been supportive of creating a continuous paved pathway and platform along the water’s edge (e.g. Vancouver’s seawall). Based on this feedback, the refined design proposes a number of new ways to interact with the River in the Rossdale Area, including:

    • opportunities to sit and watch the river and enjoy the natural beauty 
    • Users can walk out and over the river on a series of overlooks that are accessible to different ages and abilities
    • More adventurous users can scramble down to the water’s edge and get into the river 
    • A tie-up for kayaks or other hand powered watercrafts is provided for those arriving to site from the river

    The project team has reviewed recently completed and well-liked waterfront public spaces in a number of other cities, including many of the examples you’ve noted. However, the intent of the project design is to create a space that is unique to Edmonton and fits within the local river valley context and draws inspiration from those aspects of Edmonton’s river valley that people value. 

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    Why have you not considered a Develpment similar to Discovery Canyon Tube Park in Red Deer. This would bring both local residents and tourists to the river valley for more than just walking trails. We have plenty of trails now add something more people would actually use instead of catering to bikes and joggers.

    Greg Norman asked 4 months ago

    Thank you very much for your question, the example you’ve shared and your feedback regarding the project’s refined design. The project team will be reviewing all feedback received during this phase of engagement in order to further develop and adjust the design, including planned uses and activities. 

    The refined design for the Rossdale Area proposes a range of spaces that offers a variety of experiences, uses, and things to do in the area beyond running, rolling or biking. For example, there are spaces proposed to get down to the water to touch it, to sit back and enjoy the view  and to tie-up a kayak or canoe. Gathering spaces are proposed for get-togethers of different sizes and types. There are also proposed opportunities to play in or near the river, and to learn and experience more about the history of this area of the river valley. Finally, there are proposed future connections to the Rossdale Power Plant and Pump Houses which, if redeveloped in the future, could house publicly accessible uses such as restaurants, cafes, galleries and more. Additional future opportunities for programming, events, and animation of the public space will be explored as the design advances.