Skip to main content

'Break-ins, robberies': Whyte Ave businesses ask for more police, money for broken windows

A broken window on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton on September 26, 2023. (John Hanson/CTV News Edmonton) A broken window on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton on September 26, 2023. (John Hanson/CTV News Edmonton)

Fed up with violence, theft and shattered glass, a group of business owners in one of Edmonton's signature neighbourhoods is making a public plea for help.

On Tuesday, the Old Strathcona Business Association (OSBA) launched a letter campaign encouraging the city and the provincial government's Edmonton Public Safety and Community Response Task Force to help make the area safer.

"We are facing huge challenges with public safety that go well beyond what we, as a non-profit association, can do," executive director Cherie Klassen wrote in a press release.

"We recognize that the challenges we face in Old Strathcona are multifaceted which is why we need the provincial and municipal governments to step up."

The association is asking for "7-day/week policing" and an "outreach street team" to work with businesses, marginalized populations and law enforcement.

It's also asking for new City of Edmonton grants for security cameras and tamper-proof waste bins as well as more money for broken window support.

Since that grant was established, dozens of businesses have applied and nearly $10,000 has been paid out, the association said, while insisting more is needed.

"We've had several break-ins, robberies, and safety incidents over the last few months that have negatively impacted our new business," said Cory Richard, owner of clothing store Lewis Mayhem.

"The cost of repairing our space coupled with having to upgrade our security makes it nearly impossible for us to operate a business on Whyte. It takes a person 30 seconds to smash out a window and it takes six months for a business like ours to recover from the cost of that action."

The OSBA applauded a recent government announcement promising downtown prosecution teams and a crackdown on open-air drug use, but the association said more needs to urgently be done in Old Strathcona.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the public safety and emergency services ministry said the task force will continue to work with Edmontonians, including those in Old Strathcona, to improve safety but he did not commit to any additional resources for the area. Top Stories

Ontario doctors disciplined over Israel-Gaza protests

A number of doctors are facing scrutiny for publicizing their opinions on the Israel-Hamas war. Critics say expressing their political views could impact patient care, while others say that it is being used as an excuse for censorship.

'No concessions' St-Onge says in $100M a year news deal with Google

The Canadian government has reached a deal with Google over the Online News Act that will see the tech giant pay $100 million annually to publishers, and continue to allow access to Canadian news content on its platform. This comes after Google had threatened to block news on its platform when the contentious new rules come into effect next month.

Live updates

Live updates Hamas frees 10 Israeli women and children, 4 Thai nationals

Ten Israeli women and children and four Thai nationals held captive in Gaza were freed by Hamas, and Israel followed with the release of a group of Palestinian prisoners Thursday. It was the latest exchange of hostages for prisoners under a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza war. Two Russian-Israeli women were also freed by Hamas in a separate release.


opinion Don Martin: With Trudeau resignation fever rising, a Conservative nightmare appears

With speculation rising that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will follow his father's footsteps in the snow to a pre-election resignation, political columnist Don Martin focuses on one Liberal cabinet minister who's emerging as leadership material -- and who stands out as a fresh-faced contrast to the often 'angry and abrasive' leader of the Conservatives.

Stay Connected