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Blog

images of our city: ezio farone park

Matthew Dance

Everyone knows Ezio Farone Park.  Its the park at the top of the stairs adjacent to the Glenora Club, and is a node between the southside and downtown; the top of the bank with the river valley.  I lived for years at 100 Avenue and 110 Street and love how cycling and pedestrian traffic flows north / south through Ezio.  On winter days while walking down to the Kinsmen, I could feel the temperature drop as I descended down the stairs into the River Valley.

Ezio Farone park is named after Constable Ezio Farone, a member of the Edmonton Police Service who was killed in action on June 25th, 1990 (from Crime and Punishment website here). While the park is lauded by the running and stair walking community, it is more than just a stairway to fitness heaven. Ezio Farone is a hub of transportation and offer some of the best views of the River Valley, the University and the High Level Bridge. Just check out a Flickr Search to see the great views offered by the park. Furthermore, Ezio provides the best vantage point for the Canada Dat fireworks, as is evident from Flickr.

But, more importantly, Ezio's place in Edmonton is based on several design choices that I think work in the park's favour.  The park flows north to access points at (1) 110 street, (2) to the bike trail that parallels 109 street, and; (3) pedestrians can walk up 111 street.

The central part of the park has a few paved trails that connect with the High Level Bridge, stairs adjacent to the Glenora Club, and paved paths that run to the west adjacent to the Victoria Golf Course.  It is a true urban park offering great access and is used by people seeking exercise (boot camps, stair running), strolling or simply sitting around.  Walking up 100 street offeres access to one of the heritage communities in Edmonton, and to the Grandon LRT station.

Up on the right near the Copper Pot restaurant stands a parkaide next to a hight rise building.  A section of the parkaide is distinguished because it is constructed out of clinker brink, by Peter and Olga Figol. Clinker brick is baked at a very high temperature rendering the bricks denser and less pores that normal bricks, they also represent an 'Arts & Crafts' style.  Clinker bricks are not used as building materials, and are rarely seen in Edmonton.

 

 

The escalators from track level to the Grandin Station feel deep and steep, and when you emerge from the tunnel on a summers day, you are met by tall mature trees and an urban environment that is saturated with green space . This community, part of Oliver, flows well from the River Valley, through Ezio Farone and connects with Jasper Ave a few blocks to the north.  Groceries, local and chain coffee shops and cloths shopping are all accessible within a short walk. While each of these elements on its own is not remarkable, in combination they allow this community to shine.