Edmonton parks, open spaces supported by benches, picnic tables that help deliver experience

Edmonton’s parks and open spaces are beautiful. Thousands of park benches and picnic tables adorn these areas, supporting those who like to sit with a book, sit with the birds, sit with others, sit while strangers walk by, sit with the seasons—or just plain old sit. 

“Amenities, such as benches, that are installed, maintained and renewed on parkland are essential to Edmontonians’ experiences in the city,” said Brennan Link, City of Edmonton Supervisor of Playspaces and Sports Field Structures.

A picnic table at work in the Desrochers neighbourhood, October 2022.

10,000 benches 

Last year, more than 500 park benches and picnic tables were placed throughout the city. About 300 have been added so far this year. That brings the total to almost 10,000. New benches and tables have been installed in 33 neighbourhoods since January 2021.

The benches and tables do quiet and steady work for Edmontonians and visitors. They deliver views worth sitting down to look at. They’re where you might stop to tie a shoelace, or sit with a pet or a newborn, or your thoughts. They help stage picnics and birthdays and other special occasions with friends and family. Proposals, personal and business, happen with their backing. 

Benches doing their work for people in the Cavanagh neighborhood, October 2022.

New and refurbished 

In some neighbourhoods, benches and picnic tables are brand new. In others, existing benches and picnic tables are refurbished. Some benches and picnic tables are the result of community-led projects. Through the Community Led Construction Program, seating may be incorporated into other spaces such as community gardens. 

The Commemorative Bench Program (Benchmark) offers the opportunity to dedicate a commemorative plaque displayed on benches in the City’s parks and open spaces. Each year, up to 10 per cent of the Benchmark benches are new. In 2021, there were 52  Benchmark benches refurbished and six new. So far this year, there have been 47 refurbishments and eight new benches.  

City crews refurbish a Benchmark bench on Victoria Promenade, May 2020.

Year-round work

City crews work year-round to maintain and enhance Edmonton’s parks and open spaces as vibrant places where people, alone or together, can move or sit down, explore or think things over.

Benches and picnic tables help do that work.  

“When amenities are added or maintained, the areas they serve can be used as intended and to the fullest,” said Link.

Editor’s note: The pic at the top of the post shows Sam the dachshund taking in the view of the High Level Bridge from the Alberta Legislature grounds on October 18, 2022.