Letter from the Editor

SEPTEMBER 15, 2014 — You don’t have to look too closely to see the changes happening in your neighbourhood.

High-rises grow in former front yards. Offices sprout in parking lots. Boutiques blossom in small bays. Look down and you might spot a bike lane. Look up and you’ll recognize the growth potential dangling from cranes, and lingering in the spaces between them.

There are many questions arising from these development and demographic changes. That’s why the community leagues in Oliver and Downtown are collaborating on a new magazine called The Yards.

As its editor, I’ll make sure you still get the important community news and notices that this newspaper has always provided, but you’ll also get original reporting from professional journalists on hyperlocal issues. It will make sense of the urban planning jargon and esoterica that is confusing but critical nonetheless.

The Yards will help you make more informed decisions the next time you write your city councillor or attend an open house, but it will also entertain. You’ll hear about celebrated restaurants and shops opening around the corner, get real estate tips and meet the fascinating personalities that help make the area vibrant.

And when I say the “area,” I don’t just mean the communities flanking Jasper Avenue. I mean central Edmonton. With the ultimate goal of creating a more vibrant core, the magazine will promote connectivity and collaboration with its surrounding neighbourhoods.

Places like Queen Mary Park. That’s where I live. But I work Downtown, buy my groceries in Oliver and patronize the businesses that speckle all three.

However, my passion for central Edmonton is as much professional as it is personal. I often write about urban issues in Metro, where I’m a weekend columnist, and frequently contribute stories about city life to Avenue, where I was an associate editor.

I’m thrilled to work with the leagues, an editorial board made up of community members and stakeholders. We’re confident you’ll come to appreciate and trust The Yards.

As for the name? It’s a loving tribute. Both to the CN rail yards that ran through the area just a generation ago, and the role central Edmonton has always played, as a gathering place for the whole city.

See you in December. — Omar Mouallem