What will Rossdale become? We can’t wait to see.
In Edmonton, our love for Rossdale and the potential it holds has been burning for years. This week, it burns stronger than ever as we saw people—crowds even—stepping inside the Rossdale Power Plant. It’s a place that few people have been, and for one night only, it was filled with energy and ideas.
How did those people get so lucky? Edmonton was host to the SingularityU Canada Summit this week. It’s a meeting of the minds to explore the transformative impact that technologies like AI, nanotech, and digital medicine will have on our lives and our world. EPCOR, Edmonton’s trusted utility provider and one of the main sponsors of the conference, saw this as the perfect opportunity to invite global forward-thinkers to a gathering space that sparks the imagination and ignites conversation. EPCOR’s Rossdale Power Plant and its location is a natural choice, connecting our city’s storied past with the promise of its future. DIALOG is proud to be a trusted partner for the event. Our structural engineers made sure it was safe for everyone to be there.
The SingularityU After Dark Party gave us a glimpse of how the building could be activated. Though just for one night, seeing hundreds of people in the space with live performances throughout was energizing. Now, more than ever, we are bursting with excitement as we think about what the building and surrounding area could be for the city of Edmonton.
Over the years, we’ve been fortunate to get to know the building and Rossdale Flats. Let’s start with its location, which is incredibly rich with history. The North Bank has been the site of Indigenous settlements, ceremonies, trade and games for 8000+ years. More recently, as Edmonton developed as a city, Rossdale was the early industrial heart of Edmonton.
In 1905, Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier inaugurated the Province of Alberta into Confederation in Rossdale at the Exhibition racetrack. The Edmonton Exhibition was held on the Rossdale Flats from 1899-1909.
Through our design work in Rossdale, we’ve had the honour of digging deep into the area’s history and setting the stage for a vibrant future. The West Rossdale Urban Design Plan establishes a long term vision for Rossdale, guiding development towards a highly livable and connected neighbourhood in the heart of Edmonton. This plan, along with the North Bank – Edmonton Legacy project garnered national attention with a 2010 CSLA Award of Excellence in Planning and Analysis.
The Rossdale Power Plant was designed by the architect Maxwell Dewar, and reflects the American industrial design of the early 1900s. It is the last steel and brick building of its size in Edmonton and the only power plant from this period of this scale in Alberta. It was designated as a Provincial Historic Resource in 2001, and it is recognized as one of Canada’s Historic Places by the Heritage Canada Foundation. It was added to and renovated many times to accommodate evolving technologies and growing demands. When it was decommissioned in 2012, DIALOG’s engineers and architects proudly stabilized and secured the building, allowing it to age gracefully while its future is contemplated. As part of the North Bank – Edmonton Legacy project, we re-imagined the large building as a mixed-use destination with artist studios and galleries, a marketplace and restaurants. DIALOG is also represented in the group of Edmontonians that formed Rossdale ReGeneration. They share a common passion for the building and are rallying around the idea of respecting its history while contributing to the city in a new, meaningful way.
Most recently, Walterdale Bridge has made a significant mark on the river crossing and the city as a whole. As the structural engineers, architects, and landscape architects for the project, it has been incredibly touching to see how Edmontonians have embraced this structure and place as a new icon for the whole city. Since its completion, people have flocked to the elegant arches (especially photographers!) and reconnected with the river. We hope this new experience reignites the city’s excitement for the potential of the area, and can’t wait to see what the future holds.
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