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  'The Arches' downtown Red Deer

Forth Junction Project
Red Deer Ground
Transportation Themes

Forth Junction Project Vision Sharing Historical Perspective Ground Transportation
Heritage Preservation
Forth Junction
Heritage Society

Current Rail Heritage Preservation

Red Deer Ground Transportation Themes

Mintlaw Linear Park Proposal

Rails to Trails

The development of railway and transit themes in downtown Red Deer
includes Alexander Way and 'the Arches'

Existing historic transportation icons

CPR railway staion downtown Red DeerIn many respects Red Deer is already celebrating its railway and transit heritage. 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 James Ross.

Recently the modernized downtown transit terminal and parkade was named Sorensen Station, named after Central Alberta's primary transit pioneer -- Gordon Sorensen.


Alexander Way

AlexanderSince 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 on the former site of the CPR railyards. Eventually the street will be extended west across 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.
Alexander Way signThe 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 both the Calgary & Edmonton Railway and the Canadian Northern Railway.

Our vision for Alexander Way is consistent with the city's vision 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 modes could 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 also 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'.

'The Arches' under construction
'The Arches'
Meanwhile, the Central Alberta Historical Society has been actively working on a project called 'The Arches', already constructed, that represents a stylized railway roundhouse. It will soon have panels around each pillar describing the impact of the railways in the history and development of Red Deer.
CPR park fountainIn 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 (2011)

Current Rail Heritage Preservation            Red Deer Ground Transportation Themes 
Forth/Tuttle-Mintlaw-Sylvan Lake Linear Park Proposal            Rails to Trails
Railway Icons of City of Red Deer         Railway Icons of Red Deer County          Railway Icons of Central Alberta

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