Construction begins on Edmonton’s End of the World development

Click to play video: 'Edmonton’s so-called ‘End of the World’ to see changes made to it'
Edmonton’s so-called ‘End of the World’ to see changes made to it
WATCH ABOVE: A site in Edmonton's river valley that's come to be known as The End of the World will be much different in a few months. Vinesh Pratap explains – Oct 22, 2018

A popular lookout over the North Saskatchewan River known to Edmontonians as “End of the World” is about to go through some major changes.

Construction on the lookout, now called Keillor Point, began on Monday morning.

The site is located at the top of the riverbank on Saskatchewan Drive in the Belgravia neighbourhood, above the former Keillor Road.

Design work for the project includes construction of a staircase, hand railing, a formalized viewing area and a granular trail. The changes are meant to improve safety and accessibility at the popular picturesque viewpoint.

LISTEN BELOW: Belgravia Community League president Michael Cohen on the Ryan Jespersen Show

Members of the Belgravia Community League have been working hard with the city on the project. After years of people using the space to party, the chair of the Keillor Point committee said it’s nice to see construction is underway to create a safer space for everyone.

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“It’s time to make it safe and the plan that is in place now will do that, and it’ll be a beautiful community asset,” Roger Laing said.

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“In every change, there’s pluses and minuses. Yes, there might be more traffic and more parking but it will be folks coming to enjoy the river valley, which is why it’s here. We’re happy and lucky to be able to live near this river valley, and it’s quite appropriate for us to be sharing it with others.”

Design rendering of the Keillor Point lookout project. Formerly known as End of the World. Courtesy, City of Edmonton

City council approved engineering work on the lookout in 2017, after safety concerns were raised.

The lookout sits above what’s left of Keillor Road, which was closed to traffic in 1994 before crumbling into the river due to erosion.

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The area has been off limits for over a decade, but that didn’t stop people from accessing the site anyway.

“I cannot believe no one has fallen off this thing and died,” Mayor Don Iveson said during council debate in July 2017.

“Something has to be done here. Anything less is unacceptable.”

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Funding for the $1.5-million project was approved this past September. Construction of the staircase and viewing area is expected to be complete in late 2018 or early 2019. Final details and landscaping will be finished next spring, weather dependent, the City of Edmonton said on Monday.

The area remains closed off to the public while construction is underway.

Watch below: A unique location in our city is off limits, but the city is looking at making changes. Vinesh Pratap filed this report when the discussion began in 2015.

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