Edmonton shares future plans for Coliseum site

The city finally allowed media cameras into the old Coliseum building before the building was demolished on Friday.

In December, the council approved funding for demolition of the building beginning in 2025.

Demolition is expected to take 18 to 24 months.

“A lot of the work is going to be removing everything that’s inside. We’ve seen a lot of wires, but there’s still a lot of equipment and furniture left,” Pascal Radousseur of the city of Edmonton told reporters. All of these have to be removed,” he said. .

“Then you have to tackle the toxics. Asbestos, mold, lead paint, all of these things that were common in the 1970s. and it should take place in 2026.”

mice, pigeons, bats

The building has been decommissioned for several years and has been home to some wildlife in that time.

Eugene Gyfori, City of Edmonton, said: “There are old vents that animals can still get in and cooking vents.”

Ladourceur says special care will need to be taken to get rid of bats under the Wildlife Act.

Former broadcast control room of the former Edmonton Coliseum.

“You can get rid of them, but you have to do it at a certain time in the reproductive cycle and you have to be able to move them.”

The building is home to a long history of Edmonton Oilers hockey, but physical memorabilia has been removed, evident in the old Oilers locker room.

The former Edmonton Oilers locker room in the old Coliseum.

The Edmonton Oilers Dressing Room in the old Coliseum building.

“There was nothing left. Everyone had a pretty strong sense of nostalgia for this locker room,” Gifoli said.

“Several players have been able to get their own lockers. Ryan Smyth apparently has a couple in his place.”

Members of the media noted how much smaller the old locker rooms were than the new ones at Rogers Place.

“73 was the right number for an NHL team in 1972, but it’s completely different than it was in 2016. The ceiling height, the size, maybe the number of lockers, everything. It was the locker room of the League,” Gifoli said.

Before the building was decommissioned, Ladouceur says the building was used briefly by the Edmonton Police Department.

“EPS was using this facility very early on for tactical training, which was conducted in 2017 or 2018.”

Members of the media also found old shell casings used in drills at the building on Friday.

Edmonton police training bullet case found inside the old Edmonton Coliseum.

Due to the location of the building, demolition of the Coliseum will be mechanical instead of using explosives, Ladouceur said.

“Think of a crane, a large mechanical device that allows you to reach the various layers of demolition required.”

“It’s not a good environment for implosion. It’s very difficult to manage the debris, especially with the LRT right next door and a large transport corridor.”

Funds for demolition will not be available until 2025, so the building will remain dormant for another two years.

The stand of the Old Coliseum Building in Edmonton, February 24, 2023.

During that time, the city spends about $1.25 million annually on maintenance and operations.

“It’s very important to keep the heating on because if you don’t heat the building, you can create a lot more problems. Pipes can burst. There’s still water here.” and we have to maintain a certain level of operations, but we are trying to minimize it,” Ladouceur said.

The seating area of ​​the old Edmonton Coliseum.

For safety reasons, it cannot be used for any other purpose.

“Occupation requires a certain level of permission, so we are currently using it minimally.”

The former food service area of ​​the old Edmonton Coliseum.

Future plans for the site

The city is preparing to sell parcels of former Notlands land for new development. Edmonton Exhibition Land.

The development will be a mix of residential and mixed-use properties.

Lovey Grewal, Project Leader for Edmonton Exhibition Land, said: “We are now imminent and weeks away from selling the first development parcel in a private industrial development.”

The development will be built by private partners and the city will add roads and necessary infrastructure.

The land where the Coliseum is located will be very different from what it is today.

“There are plans to build a new LRT station here at 119 Avenue, by the Coliseum where it stands. and mixed and high-density housing and mixed-use development.”

According to Grewal, there are talks of commemorating the country’s hockey history in some way, but no firm plans yet.

“This area will be served by a private industry partner, so in the end it will be up to them to decide how they want to be honored, whether it’s this building or the history of the entire exhibit. increase.”

The Edmonton Expo Center will remain in its current location and will not be redeveloped.

The entire project is expected to take 20 to 30 years to complete.

Using Evan Klippenstein’s file from CTV News Edmonton.

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