Makeover in the works for downtown Kelowna alley

Melbourne, Australia's Kimber Lane.
Image Credit: Shutterstock

KELOWNA - A stretch of downtown Kelowna alleyway could soon get a permanent, big city make-over.

Real estate services manager John Saufferer, in a report to Kelowna city council, is recommending the city turn the stretch of alley near The Sails off Bernard Avenue, into what amounts to an urban park.

“The Bernard Avenue laneway is a prominent, yet underutilized public space in the heart of the downtown,” Saufferer says.

A previous temporary “parkette” installed in 2013 and dubbed the Laneway Project enjoyed good local support, Saufferer says, with some 200 people signing a petition in support of a permanent pedestrian laneway.

Saufferer says the project would look for the same ambience as some successful laneway projects from around the world including Kimber Lane in Sydney, Australia and the Green Alley program in Chicago.

Toronto’s is beginning its own Laneway project, with plans to convert several underutilized alleyways over the next few years.

Plans are for city staff to spearhead a collaborative process to develop a plan for the space. Known as place making, it would involve consultation with such players as the Downtown Kelowna Association, local business and residents.

From that, council would receive a recommendation for a specific plan with capital costs and other details.

Council will consider the laneway plan at Monday’s public council meeting at 1:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 23 in Kelowna city hall.

The alleyway off Bernard Avenue is under consideration for development as an urban park.
The alleyway off Bernard Avenue is under consideration for development as an urban park.
Image Credit: Google Streetview

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

Editor's Note in response to allegations from Vernon RCMP Supt. Jim McNamara
Editor’s note: • Watch shifts at the Vernon detachment have fallen to as low as three roadable officers. • The department suffers from chronic understaffing. • Sources, who we trust and who have knowledge of the s

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