Edmonton park named for Jan Reimer, city's first female mayor

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The City of Edmonton has named a park after former mayor Jan Reimer, whose community service included working to preserve the North Saskatchewan River valley. (CBC - image credit)
The City of Edmonton has named a park after former mayor Jan Reimer, whose community service included working to preserve the North Saskatchewan River valley. (CBC - image credit)

A river-valley park in west Edmonton is being named in honour of Jan Reimer, the first woman elected mayor of Alberta's capital city.

The park will be part of existing river valley parkland close to the Oleskiw neighbourhood, located near the Terwillegar Park footbridge, the city said in a news release Thursday.

The name had been proposed to recognize Reimer's achievements in her service to the community, particularly her work to preserve the river valley.

"A lifelong Edmontonian, during her public-service career she dedicated herself to advancing important civic initiatives," said Erin McDonald, chair of the city's naming committee.

"Through the lens of history, it is clear that Jan Reimer had a significant impact on Edmonton."

City of Edmonton
City of Edmonton

Reimer is currently executive director of the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters.

Born in Edmonton in 1952, she was elected to city council as an alderman in 1980. She was re-elected in 1983 and in 1986.

In 1989, she was elected mayor. Reimer won a second term in 1992. In 1995, she ran again but lost narrowly to Bill Smith.

During her time on council, Reimer advocated for changing the title of alderman to councillor. She worked for improvements to the city's waste management system, such as eco stations and the collection of recyclable materials.

She worked on initiatives to improve the water quality of the North Saskatchewan River, to preserve the river valley and extend the trail system.

She helped establish the Edmonton Arts Council and the Aboriginal Advisory Committee.

Reimer was recognized as an Edmontonian of the Century in 2004 and has received the YWCA Women of Distinction Award and the Governor General's Award.

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