Edmontonians celebrate new barrier-free access to the River Valley
December 9, 2017

The governments of Canada and Alberta have worked with the City of Edmonton to recognize the importance of investing in infrastructure that encourages active lifestyles, promotes inclusivity and improves community connections.

Today, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, was joined by David Shepherd, MLA for Edmonton-Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Shannon Phillips, Minister of Alberta Environment and Parks, His Worship Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton, and Larry Wall, Executive Director of the River Valley Alliance, to attend the grand opening of the Mechanized River Valley Access.

“On behalf of Edmonton’s City Council and the residents of Edmonton, we thank our funding partners for this investment in our city. The Mechanized River Valley Access creates a unique space from which to experience our beautiful River Valley and an opportunity for those of all abilities to access and enjoy our city’s greatest asset,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “We celebrate the opening by officially naming the facility the 100 Street Funicular. The bridge lookout will hereby be known as the Frederick G. Todd Lookout, named after the 20th Century landscape architect who envisioned Edmonton’s River Valley parks system.”

“Investing in public infrastructure is critical to developing inclusive and vibrant communities and paving the way for economic growth and middle-class job creation. It is my pleasure to mark the completion of the Mechanized River Valley Access, another exciting milestone in the River Valley Alliance Capital Program,” said The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi. “By allowing more people to enjoy the River Valley trails, this initiative will contribute to healthier lifestyles and a better quality of life for Edmontonians.”

This project has created an accessible connection from Edmonton’s downtown to the scenic River Valley trail network. Work involved building a staircase from 100 Street by the Hotel Macdonald to the Low Level Bridge area of the trail below. An adjacent funicular accommodates bikes, trailers, strollers and specialized equipment like wheelchairs and mobility scooters. There is a promenade halfway down and a grassy rest area featuring functional art. There is also a new pedestrian bridge with a lookout over the North Saskatchewan River offering unparalleled views of the City’s signature River Valley.

“The Government of Alberta is proud to support the River Valley Alliance and the City of Edmonton for the Mechanized River Valley Access project,” said The Honourable Shannon Phillips. “This initiative will allow more Edmontonians and their families to enjoy Edmonton’s world-class metropolitan River Valley park system.”

“The opening of this Mechanized River Valley Access (funicular) demonstrates the power of partnership with all levels of government to bring this fantastic amenity to fruition. Through the financial commitment of the seven municipalities to the RVA Plan of Action, and funding from both the provincial and federal governments, the funicular adds a whole new level of accessibility for the less mobile to enjoy our beautiful River Valley,” said Larry Wall, Executive Director of the River Valley Alliance. “This, and many other amenities we have opened this year, will continue to make our River Valley connected and accessible to all citizens, enhancing the quality of life we enjoy. Congratulations to the City of Edmonton in adding this exciting feature to our River Valley.” 

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada contributed $8 million to the $24 million Mechanized River Valley Access project. The remainder was funded by the Government of Alberta, provincial grants, and the City of Edmonton.
  • Overall, the federal government is contributing up to $30 million towards the River Valley Alliance Capital Program. 
  • The Government of Canada will invest more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
  • $25.3 billion of this funding will support public transit projects, including $5 billion that will be available for investment through the Canada Infrastructure Bank. 
  • The Mechanized River Valley Access project features Edmonton’s only funicular, which will be free to the public and operate during regular park hours. The project is 260 metres (850 feet) from the top of the promontory to the trail landing.  
For more information:

Media contact:  
Communications Advisor
City of Edmonton
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
Press Secretary
Alberta Environment and Parks
Communications Coordinator
River Valley Alliance

Infrastructure Canada 
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Twitter: @INFC_eng