The lakeside community of Sylvan Lake
is one of Canada’s fastest growing communities and is home to Alberta’s second largest marina. In 2005, the Town initiated an Area Redevelopment Plan
to guide future development of its downtown and lakeshore areas. The goal was to achieve social and economic benefits while maintaining the environmental integrity of town’s unique natural setting. A challenge was to balance the needs of a diverse population base, which includes year-round and seasonal residents, local businesses and tourists. After consulting with the community, we developed concepts for expanding the marina, redeveloping Centennial Park and transforming Lakeshore Drive from a provincial highway to an attractive, functional urban street.
Key planning principles were an enhanced pedestrian environment, integration with the lakeshore and compatible intensification and development. Following the completion of the Waterfront Area Redevelopment Plan, the Town prepared a conceptual redesign of Centennial Park, Lakeshore Drive and the pier, in order to create a year-round pedestrian oriented and walkable environment. The Province of Alberta had recently transferred jurisdiction of Lakeshore Drive (Highway 11A) to the Town, which was a key component to increasing public access and park space within the Plan's area. The Province had also committed to the transfer of Centennial Park – a major green space along the lakefront.
The project received a 2009 Award of Merit from the Alberta Association of Canadian Institute of Planners.