Living in a downtown highrise has its perks, from gorgeous views to being within walking distance to shopping, restaurants and parks. However, one coveted thing that doesn’t come with city living is a backyard — until now.
The Backyard, a social yard space downtown, opened last week. It’s a space where people can meet after work for drinks or enjoy live music. Comfy lawn chairs, large picnic tables, restrooms and string lights decorate the space, but what makes the space unique are the three shipping containers that house the restrooms, bar and popup retail space.
Peter Stetsko and his wife were inspired to use shipping containers for the project after a trip to New Zealand where they saw containers being used as a temporary retail market.
“We just thought it was such a cool concept,” says Stetsko. “I said, ‘Man, it’d be really cool to bring something like that to Edmonton.'”
It wasn’t until a few years after the trip that Stetsko got serious about his idea and discovered Honomobo, an Edmonton-based company that builds homes and outdoor bars from repurposed shipping containers. The containers are the focal point of The Backyard, and feature tropical coloured murals painted by Vignettes Showcase. In front of one shipping container is a wood plank stage for live music, DJs and comedy acts.
“We said from day one that we want the downtown community to support it on a regular basis, and we want them to feel like it’s their backyard,” says Stetsko. “We’re definitely proud of what we created and the partnerships we’ve made.”
The Backyard serves drinks from local businesses and breweries, and food trucks are on location to appease your appetite. The Backyard is open Thursday to Sunday, and the lineup is announced at the beginning of each week. Jam to live music with Steven Sware on July 8 at 8 p.m. or catch a comedy show on July 9 with Lars Callieou at 9 p.m.
If you tend to go with the flow, then The Backyard’s Saturday Summer Yoga Series taught by Bonnie Parkes might align with your chakras. There are two classes taking place on July 10 at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online for $22.