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A ‘Beautiful Building for Beautiful People’

Groundbreaking ceremony held for Boyle Street Community Services’ new facility in downtown Edmonton

A ‘Beautiful Building for Beautiful People’

Groundbreaking ceremony held for Boyle Street Community Services’ new facility in downtown Edmonton

Published 01-03-24

Submitted by Enbridge Inc.

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Artist rendering of Boyle Street Community Services’ future King Thunderbird Centre in downtown Edmonton.

It will be a beautiful building for beautiful people.

Located in the heart of Edmonton, Alberta, an abandoned building will be transformed into King Thunderbird Centre, a state-of-the-art, climate-resilient facility to support people experiencing poverty and homelessness in the city’s downtown core.

“When people are exhausted, when they’re hungry or they're living on the streets, the design of a facility can have a significant impact on their ability to get the services they need,” says Laurel McCalla, Boyle Street Community Services’ director of development, who’s leading the $28.5-million capital campaign.

“The intention is to create a beautiful building for beautiful people—people who are often lost, forgotten, underestimated, stigmatized,” she explains.

The groundbreaking took place on Nov. 3 at the future centre’s site in Edmonton, which is within Treaty 6 Territory and within the Métis homelands and Métis National of Alberta Region 4. Elder Cliff Cardinal, who serves on the capital campaign committee, led an Indigenous ceremony at the event.

The project is eight years in the making—but the need has been there for decades.

Since 1971, BSCS has delivered its social services out of makeshift locations. For more than 30 years, the organization’s primary space was in an abandoned banana-ripening warehouse with no windows. It was visibly crumbling, had flood damage, and was inaccessible for the people they serve.

“We've always had to work against our infrastructure, against the deficiencies of our facilities,” McCalla explains.

With the centre, BSCS will have for the first time a purpose-built space to deliver its life-changing services.

Enbridge was proud to support this BSCS capital campaign with a $500,000 Fueling Futures grant.

Through our grant programs, we seek to help create vibrant communities. BSCS’s work in its new facility will make a lasting, meaningful contribution to the city and will help empower individuals, including a large number of Indigenous people.

With the head office of our Liquids Pipelines group based in Edmonton, we also see this grant as a way to show our commitment to finding solutions to complex issues in Edmonton’s downtown core.

“About 75% of the people we serve downtown are Indigenous,” McCalla says. “We wanted to ensure that (the centre) is a place of healing and refuge for them.”

King Thunderbird Centre’s design incorporates Indigenous influences, inspired by Indigenous ways of knowing and being. Architectural features, for example, pay tribute to the medicine wheel, as do the building’s colours.

The centre has been planned and designed “in collaboration with our community. Not for them but with them,” McCalla notes. “Our community has always been at the forefront.”

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Enbridge Inc.

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About Enbridge

At Enbridge, our name spells out our mission: a bridge to a sustainable energy future. That bridge safely connects millions of people around the world to the energy they rely on every day, fueling quality of life. Whether it’s natural gas, oil or renewable power, the energy we deliver through networks spanning North America and our growing European offshore wind portfolio helps to heat homes, feed families, fuel vehicles and power industry. We’re investing in modern energy infrastructure to sustain access to secure, affordable energy. We’re also building on two decades of experience in renewable energy to advance new low-carbon energy technologies including hydrogen, renewable natural gas and carbon capture and storage. We’re committed to reducing the carbon footprint of the energy we deliver, and to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Enbridge’s common shares trade under the symbol ENB on the Toronto (TSX) and New York (NYSE) stock exchanges. To learn more, visit us at

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