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Downtown ARP approved by Council

Planning & Development presented the Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan (Bylaw No. 23/016) before RMWB Council on Sept. 12, 2023, followed by a Public Hearing before it was approved by unanimous vote. To read the Plan, click here.

About the Downtown ARP

The downtown ARP provides a roadmap for the revitalization of downtown Fort McMurray. It informs future development for things like parks, housing and retail, active transportation and other measures to build downtown as an attractive destination for all residents of Wood Buffalo.

The ARP is a legal plan that sits within a planning hierarchy of provincial and local documents including the Municipal Development Plan and the Land Use Bylaw. There is a current ARP for the downtown (City Center ARP, 2012), which is no longer reflective of the region’s circumstances or needs.

The new downtown ARP aligns with the 2022 – 2025 Council’s Strategic Plan. Supporting downtown visualization to identify and coordinate municipal investment and improvements. By aligning with Council’s strategic plan, the ARP will provide the framework for a revitalized downtown that meets the needs of residents, attracts visitors and investment, and is a point of regional pride. The Downtown ARP will be accompanied by an Action Plan which includes short-, medium-, and long-term goals that will be monitored for indicators of success throughout its 10-year lifespan.

2023 Draft Downtown ARP Review

2023 Draft Downtown ARP Review

CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

The comments received during the public engagements that took place in 2019 and 2020, helped to create the five categories that are the basis of the Downtown ARP. The five categories of the Downtown ARP will guide downtown visualization for the next 10 years. As you take this survey, you will be prompted with information about each theme before sharing your feedback. If you have additional comments, please use the final question of the survey to include your thoughts.

If you would like to read the proposed plan in its entirety before completing this survey, please click here.


CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

Keyano Survey

Consider the area around the college: What amenities, services, and/or businesses in the downtown do you think would enhance a positive student experience? The Municipality is developing a Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP) which supports the revitalization of downtown and guides future development. Imagine what could enhance the area surrounding the college and within downtown by completing this short survey. Your feedback will be considered for the Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan.

Thank you to those who participated in this engagement. You can learn more about this project below, or subscribe to Participate Wood Buffalo to stay connected (or get involved) with future engagement projects impacting our region.

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Guiding Principles

The ARP process has defined a set of seven guiding principles that will drive the plan, future policy decisions and implementation strategies.


The Downtown will motivate the community by creating opportunities for celebrations, activities, outdoor use, shopping, and daily errands. The ARP recognizes that is the people is the one main component that creates successful places. As the hub of Fort McMurray and the Municipality, the Downtown must provide services for residents’ everyday life and experiences that can be enjoyed by visitors and tourists.

Creating a space focused on inclusivity will ensure that the community can access and move within the downtown by car, bus, bike, foot, stroller, or wheelchair.


The Downtown must provide a safe, inviting and inclusive environment. Every decision and action should support an overall positive image of the downtown. The sense of place cannot be attributed to one factor, but it is rather a combination of amenities, building façades, lighting, character and theming, sidewalks and various detailed elements.

The authenticity and cohesiveness of the Downtown are further defined by the wide range of activities, events, public art, and locations that support and promote local culture, heritage, and diversity.


The Plan must recognize that no detail, initiative or idea is too small. The transformation of the Downtown will take time; every initiative, policy, project and decision will be a building block towards the ultimate vision as presented in this Plan.


The Plan recognizes that health, education, commercial, religious uses and recreation are fundamental services and amenities within the downtown. A diverse group of people living, working, playing, shopping and serving their daily needs is essential to the social, economic and health benefits of the Downtown.


A realistic economic approach needs to be recognized. The Plan will focus on draw areas, create a purpose, and build upon the image of the Downtown to energize the private sector. The congregations of people within the Downtown is critical to support the businesses and services offered.

The ARP will develop a framework that supports the growth and resilience of current and future opportunities in Downtown.


Downtown Fort McMurray encompasses a large geographic area. The plan draws activity into the Downtown and prioritizes revitalization in four focus areas—recreation, residential, commercial and service—based on the existing concentration of uses.


The ARP will be a guiding document for the downtown over the next 10 to 15 years. A successful plan must be implementable and be able to be monitored with short, medium- and long-term action items.