Another car dealership leaves the downtown core — and that's a good thing / by Tim Querengesser

On April 1, when most people post funny but fake news stories and press releases, Edmonton Motors gave urbanists in Edmonton a gift when it announced it's leaving Jasper Avenue.

And apparently it's no joke. It's happening. 

 Source: Google Maps, with apparent edits by Ian O'Donnell 

Source: Google Maps, with apparent edits by Ian O'Donnell 

The announcement hasn't garnered much attention outside chat forums, yet, but I think it's very positive news. We can talk all we want about remaking Jasper Avenue into Edmonton's Main Street, but any high street that's a multi-lane car sewer in many areas and that also sees selling cars from a surface parking lot as an appropriate use is not one anyone that people will actually engage with.

So Edmonton Motors leaving is a very big step forward in actually realizing our goal. 

Car dealerships are disappearing on Whyte Avenue and now Jasper Avenue. This is incredibly positive and only a few decades behind many other cities. Those dealerships that remain in the densest parts of Edmonton — consider the dealership on 107 Avenue — are surely now seen as prime candidates for residential and commercial redevelopment. If we want a compact, dense, livable city, we need to use space more efficiently.