The development of
and transit themes
in Red Deer
- Alexander Way and 'the Arches'
many respects Red Deer is already celebrating its railway and
Three icons have been preserved -- the 1910 CPR railway station
which has heritage designation from all three levels of government
and is now an office building, the 1909 CPR steel railway river
bridge which is also designated a historic resource and is now part
of the Trans Canada Trail, and one of the 1911 ACR bridge piers
along Taylor Drive that once supported a railway bridge over the
Calgary and Edmonton Railway.
The two main intersecting roadways in historic downtown Red Deer are
named after the two men who determined where the Calgary and
Edmonton Railway would cross the Red Deer River and ultimately the
location of the future city of Red Deer -- Rev. Leonard Gaetz and
Recently the modernized downtown transit terminal and parkade was
named Sorensen Station, named after Central Alberta's primary
transit pioneer -- Gordon Sorensen.
2005, the Red Deer Downtown Business Association has worked with the
City of Red Deer to transform 48 Street into a pedestrian-friendly
cultural corridor called Alexander Way. The street connects a
multi-use park on the east side of downtown on land that was once
used by the Canadian National Railway with another park on the west
side of the downtown. Eventually it will be extended west over
Taylor Drive through the new Riverlands redevelopment to Bower Ponds
across the river and link up with the city's well-used trail system.
The branding features 'Alexander', a fictitious railway worker, that
will guide people through future features of the street.
street was once called Alexander Street, named after Alexander
McKenzie who built the original Red Deer CPR station during 3 weeks
in 1891. He was the brother of William McKenzie, co-creator of the
Canadian Northern Railway.
Our vision for Alexander Way is that it become a transit and
pedestrian corridor linking Bower Ponds, the Red Deer River, the
Waskasoo Park trail system (including the Trans Canada Trail), the
future redeveloped Riverlands, historic downtown and the proposed
Rotary Recreation Park promenade.
A variety of transit can be offered including regular transit,
rubber-tired trains, modern trams, heritage street cars or even a
monorail. An at-grade crossing of Taylor Drive could be controlled
by railway-themed flashing lights and gates.
The concept is consistent with the Greater Downtown Action Plan,
River Valley and Tributaries Park Concept Plan and the Downtown
Recreation Park Master Plan. It also blends well with the current
theme, the new Sorensen Station Transit Terminal, the upgrading of Gaetz Avenue and 'The Arches'.
Meanwhile, the Central Alberta Historical Society has been actively
working on a project called 'The Arches' representing a stylized
railway roundhouse. It will have panels around each pillar
describing the history of Red Deer with a significant portion
devoted to the impact of the railway in the development of the city.
front of 'The Arches' is the original fountain that was once located
in a large park near the old CPR railway station.
'The Arches' is located in Centennial Park on the west side of
historic downtown with linkages to Alexander Way, the historic CPR
station and the trail system that passes by the ACR pier.
Forth Junction Vision for Riverlands and Alexander Way