Calgary City News Blog
 

Calgary City News Blog
 

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  • A difference that can be felt: Braille plaques help residents with vision loss with their garbage and recycling 21 November 2014
    Kelly Nadeau is one of the first Calgarians to receive plaques on his carts
    Taking out the garbage and recycling every week is a routine task for most Calgarians. But for residents with vision loss, it’s not quite so straightforward. Telling the difference between a blue cart for recycling and a black cart for garbage can be difficult. That’s why The City of Calgary’s Waste & Recycling Services is now offering Braille plaques to help Calgarians differentiate between their carts.

    “We first learned about the issue from the citizens who were affected by this,” says Waste & Recycling Services program coordinator Philippa Wagner. “We worked in partnership with Community & Neighbourhood Services to figure out the best solution. A City accessibility committee was also involved in providing feedback for the design and placement and that’s how we came up with the idea for Braille plaques.”

    With many vision problems to accommodate for, the new plaques are designed to meet all those needs. They contain a large raised letter – a G for garbage and R for recycling – in high contrast to help those with limited vision. There are also raised dots included for those who read Braille. The plaques are installed on the lids of carts to help users know which cart is which.

    Kelly Nadeau is the chair of the accessibility committee and one of the first residents to receive the plaques. Nadeau has a medical condition known as cone rod dystrophy that causes separation in the cones, rods, and retinas of his eyes. He is legally blind and has been living with vision loss for most of his life.

    Using touch, citizens can use the lettering to tell their carts apart

    “People don’t think about the small details that affect their lives. For me and my vision loss, I have to adapt,” says Nadeau. He uses his sharp memory to his advantage – before receiving the plaques he relied on keeping his carts in the exact same order and remembering the shapes of the lids and carts. With the addition of the plaques it makes it that much easier for him to tell his carts apart.

    “It may seem like a small change, but it’s all about giving people options to maintain their independence. It’s great that The City of Calgary is working towards accessibility.”

    Resident Kelly Nadeau speaks with City employee Philippa Wagner
    Accommodation and accessibility play a big role in breaking down barriers to help people gain independence and lead the lives they want. Nadeau is a strong advocate for independent living and universal design. “We live in a society that is continually aging and will need to be accommodated for. It’s not about special needs, it’s about equal access. It’s about making it easier for everybody,” he says. Through his work on the accessibility committee, Nadeau is also helping on projects like the extension of four-car C-Train platforms and the planning for The City’s new recreation centres.

    “If we can offer another tool to help people do their tasks, then it’s important for us to do,” says Wagner. “The Braille plaques are just one way The City is working to provide equal access to our programs and services.”

    The plaques will be installed at no charge for anyone who needs them – contact 311 to make a request.
  • 2014 Citizen Satisfaction Survey Results 20 November 2014 The 2014 Citizen Satisfaction Survey results are in and perceptions about quality of life in Calgary remain strong.




    Ninety one per cent of citizens are proud to be Calgarian. Satisfaction with City services remains high, with six City services seeing increases in satisfaction: land use planning; city operated roads and infrastructure; pathway systems; bylaw services; animal control; and community services (including community associations and not for profit groups).

    “The data shows what most Calgarians already know: we live in a great city with a high quality of life. We are proud to live here and, for the most part, we get good value for our tax dollars. I’m proud that the Citizen Satisfaction survey has consistently shown this since I’ve had this role,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

    Notable highlights include:

    • 87 per cent of Calgarians indicate their quality of life in Calgary is good;
    • 86 per cent of Calgarians rated The City’s quality of service as consistently high;
    • Close to two-thirds of citizens said The City provides good value for their property tax dollars; and
    • Infrastructure, traffic and roads remain at the top of the issue agenda, while Transit continues to hold second place.

    “Good data makes for good decisions,” said Mayor Nenshi. “The results we get from the Citizen Satisfaction Survey help City Council as we make decisions about the new four-year budget and business plan so that we can continue to serve Calgarians well.”

    The Citizen Satisfaction Survey is one way The City of Calgary can understand Calgarians’ needs and perceptions. The City is continually exploring new ways for citizens to engage with The City and provide feedback. Citizens’ View, The City’s new online panel, is another way for citizens to provide input into City programs and services on an ongoing basis. You have opinions. We want to hear them. Participate in online surveys and discussions by registering at citizensview.ca

    View the full Citizen Satisfaction Survey on calgary.ca.
  • Help us celebrate National Child Day 20 November 2014 Please join us in celebrating National Child Day and this year’s theme of: it’s our right to play. Every year Canada and nations around the world take time to acknowledge and support children and their right to be active participants in their own lives.

    On Nov. 20 we are hosting the following activities for children and families:
    • Free play areas at local leisure and recreation centres
    • An art’s exhibition at Wildflower Arts Centre
    • Fun and games at Devonian Gardens
    On Nov. 22  we are hosting Calgary Play Day with the following activities for children and families:
    • Free swimming and skating for children 12 and under during designated public hours at city-operated recreation facilities
    • More fun and games at Devonian Gardens
    • A carnival at Connaught School (1121 12th Ave. S.W.)
    Play is an important of a child’s day. It helps kids develop attributes such as creativity, imagination, self confidence, physical, social, cognitive and emotional skills.

    To learn more about National Child Day visit www.nationalchildday.ca And don't forget to share your activities with us on Twitter: @NatlChildDay and use the hashtag: #NCDAlberta.

    Submitted by Tracy Luther, Recreation
  • Video series continues: How to prepare your trees for winter 18 November 2014 In the first two videos of this series we discussed how to recognize tree health risks in light of the September snowstorm. Today’s video gives tips on how to prepare your trees for winter and give them some extra protection to ensure they fare well.

    Advice from Anita Schill, registered consulting arborist, includes:
    • Use mulch or leaf litter around the base of your trees. Both are great sources of mycorrhizal fungi that allow trees to draw more nutrients and water from the soil, making the root system stronger, healthier and more tolerant to adverse weather conditions.  
    • Know when to prune your particular tree species. Pruning at the wrong time can lead to fungi spores and damage your tree’s health. If you are unsure, consult a local arborist. 
    • Give your trees a deep watering in the fall to ensure they do not dry out. Doing so will also prevent root injury and disease, and will protect the tree from dehydration during chinooks.




    Watch the first two videos in this series:
    Video series helps homeowners recognize tree health risks
    Video series continues: Helping homeowners preserve and protect their trees

    Submitted by Kaila Cooper, Community Services and Protective Services
  • Sandy Beach Bridge ready to open 17 November 2014 Eighteen months after the June 2013 flood destroyed three pedestrian bridges located in Calgary’s southwest along the Elbow River, the first of the three bridges will re-open. On Sun., Nov. 23, at 12 noon, Mayor Nenshi will cut a ribbon officially opening the bridge. Calgarians are invited to be part of this opening celebration and be one of the first to cross the new bridge.

    “Because they were such an important transportation link in the community, and for all Calgarians, The City of Calgary made it a priority to replace these bridges ,” says His Worship, Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “The re-opening of these bridges represents a very tangible example of how The City, and the communities most affected by the flooding, continues to recover from the 2013 flood.”

    In addition to being replaced in record time, the bridges have been built to today’s engineering standards, which are much more stringent than when the original bridges were built (Rideau Park Bridge was the oldest being built in 1934). “Higher engineering standards, combined with flood resistant design features, will help with the bridges’ ability to not only withstand any future floods but, in general, last a long time,“ says project manager Charmaine Buhler. The new bridges have been built to have a 100-year life span.

    “For example, the new bridges are higher than the old bridges, which will allow more water to flow through, plus the new bridge decks are above the level of the 2013 flood. The bridge supports can withstand high river flow, and the concrete decks are able to withstand debris impacts,” adds Buhler.

    Anyone attending the event is asked to use the west side entrance to Sandy Beach Park. The road leading into the park is at 50 Ave and 14A St. S.W. There is limited parking in the park. People are encouraged to ride bikes and walk to the event. All dogs must be on lea
    sh.

    The Rideau Roxboro Bridge will open Nov. 28 and The Riverdale Avenue Bridge is expected to open soon after. The landscaping for all three bridges will be finished in the spring/summer of 2015. To view time lapse sequences of the major components of the re-building process, such as the installation of the towers, suspension cables, and bridge decks, and for other project information, please visit www.calgary.ca/elbowbridges.
  • New flex change rooms for City-operated arenas 17 November 2014 UPDATED November 17, 2014

    In 2013, City-operated arenas saw more than 40,000 hours of ice time with hockey accounting for more than 70 per cent of all bookings. Built mostly in the 1960s and 70s, these arenas have long been an important part of the amateur hockey scene in Calgary.

    2014 saw an eight per cent increase in enrolment
     for women and girls’ hockey in Calgary.
    With the increase in the number of female hockey players, there is a need for new amenities to accommodate co-ed and female teams. Recognizing this need, we've now incorporated plans to upgrade existing change rooms or add additional "flex change rooms" to our list of upgrades at City-operated arenas.

    A flex change room is versatile enough to accommodate many sports and host athletes of all genders at different times. For example, a flex change room, which has amenities for all genders, can be used by a female sports team in the afternoon and a male sports team later the same evening. By design, they are smaller than typical locker rooms, which also makes them ideal for facilities where availability of space is an issue.

    “There are more than 1,100 girls playing hockey in Calgary and more than half of them play in the men’s stream,” says Kevin Kobelka, executive director for Hockey Calgary.

    More flex change rooms on the way

    Two flex change rooms were added at Ernie Starr Arena in 2013. Rose Kohn Arena received additional flex change rooms earlier this year. Work is currently underway to add a flex change room at Shouldice Arena.

    “When you have men and women playing together on a team, one change room is insufficient. It’s a long road ahead but we’re making it a priority to include these amenities as part of future enhancements,” says Thomas Hansen, manager of Capital and Asset Management, for The City of Calgary, Recreation .

    Upgrades to aging arenas ensure longevity

    Existing flex change rooms are also being upgraded at Optimist and Murray Copot Arenas. Village Square Leisure Centre and Stew Hendry arenas will receive new change rooms in 2015, and Frank McCool in 2016.

    “Our arenas are aging and there is work to be done to ensure the longevity of these facilities. It’s exciting when the work also responds to a new user dynamic, like more women and girls enjoying Canada’s sport,” says Hansen.

    We operate 12 arenas with 19 ice rinks throughout Calgary. These facilities cater to a range of user groups including hockey, ringette, figure skating and broomball.

    More about our arenas,

    Submitted by Jessica Ranger, Recreation

  • ‘Tis the season to be active – Winter recreation registration starts today 17 November 2014 As excitement and anticipation build with the approaching holiday season, don’t let cold weather or holiday preparations keep you or your family from being active. Registration for our winter recreation programs is now open - to register, visit calgary.ca/recreation or phone 403.268.3800.

    “It’s easy to get caught up in the holidays, between family, friends and other commitments, time can really be crunched,” says Erik Van den Eynden, busy father of two, as well as, Recreation’s customer service and technology lead.

    “We've taken this into consideration and expanded our family programming – this means that parents and kids can register in courses together.”

    One of our holiday programs, Winter Village, allows you to spend quality time with your children while creating your own custom clay village. Some of our January offerings include programs such as; Dad and Me Move, Aikido – Family Introductory, and Capoeira for Everyone!

    “We’re really excited to help Calgarians have more family time,” Van den Eynden continues, “Besides having fun together, there are many benefits to being active together – like strengthening our family ties and beating the post-holiday blues.”

    In addition to our family programs, we offer more than 12,000 registered programs that cater to everyone in your family. Super Hero Sport Squad for your lil’ guy? Babysitter training course for your tween? A Teapot intensive? Six pack abs? Or new this year –  RRSP: Retirement Recreation Success Plan – which ensures you’re physically fit well into retirement. Customize your family’s winter activities today with My Rec Guide.

    Submitted by Lisa Fleece, Recreation
  • Keeping Calgarians on the move this winter 14 November 2014
    calgary.ca/snow
    calgary.ca/snow
    The City of Calgary has learned a lot from last year's record breaking snowfall and is taking a coordinated approach to help keep Calgarians on the move this winter.

    The main hub for all City snow event information is calgary.ca/snow. Visit the website to find out if a snow route parking ban is in effect, get up-to-date info on snow and ice clearing, and learn how to report snow issues.

    In the videos below, City staff explain the seven day snow event plan and other important information for citizens to know this snow season.

    Snow and Ice Control - Roads
    Bill Biench, Maintenance Manager, Roads, explains changes to better maintain Calgary’s roadways and keep Calgarians on the move.




    Snow and Ice Control - Parks
    Duane Sutherland, Pathway Lead, Parks, explains that crews are committed to clearing snow on pathways and sidewalks adjacent to parks within 24 hours of when the snow stops falling.



    Snow and Ice Control - Bylaws
    Damien Cole, Manager, Animal & Bylaw Services, explains how bylaws help keep our walkways safe.



    Snow and Ice Control - Parking
    Wes Hogman, General Manager, Calgary Parking Authority, explains the new automated vehicle enforcement process on Snow Control Routes during Snow Events.

  • Saddle Ridge Fire Station opens for community Nov. 15 12 November 2014 Looking to meet Calgary firefighters and learn about fire prevention and safety? Come out to our Calgary Fire Department community open house on Saturday, Nov. 15 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

    This Saturday, the Calgary Fire Department will be hosting an open house at Saddle Ridge Fire Station 32 (800 Saddletowne Cir. N.E.).

    Come and visit with the crew, try on some firefighter gear, and learn what it’s like to be behind the wheel of a fire truck!

    Join the station captain, his crew, Sparky the mascot and community leaders for a day filled with entertainment and hands-on learning for the whole family.

    Activities will include:

    • Fire station tours with the captain and crew
    • Meet Sparky the dog, the Calgary Fire Department mascot 
    • Interested teens can learn about the Calgary Fire Department Fire Cadet program
    • Live fire extinguisher practice—can you put out the fire?
    • Historical fire truck display 
    • Balloon animals and face-painting for kids
    • Animal & Bylaw Services Animal Rescue vehicle
    • Calgary Police Service vehicles
    • And much more!

    For more information and updates, join our Facebook event.

    Submitted by Danielle Vlemmiks, Calgary Fire Department

  • Calgary Transit launches new and improved website 10 November 2014 Calgary Transit launched a new and improved website today featuring real time bus information and vastly improved trip planning functionality.

    New features include:
    • Real-time bus information - enter a bus stop number to view bus locations
    • Teletext and Teleride in real time
    • A responsive design that adapts to any screen size, including smartphone, tablet or desktop computer
    • A new trip planner that uses Google Maps, as well as an optional advanced trip planner that uses Calgary Transit software
    • Site content available in multiple languages


    Advances in technology have raised our customers’ expectations and the new website plays a key role in closing the gap between those expectations and the services we provide. We look forward to continuously improving service and the overall experience for all Calgary Transit customers.
  • Video series continues: Helping homeowners preserve and protect their trees 7 November 2014 Our trees are critical to preserving and protecting the natural environment, and to help homeowners we are sharing a second video in a series on tree health.


    The elm tree is common in Calgary as one of the only shade trees to thrive in our climate. However, it is susceptible to Dutch Elm Disease (DED). DED is caused by a fungus spread by the elm bark beetle and can quickly wipe out large numbers of elms.

    Alberta is one of the few regions that remain DED-free, a status that you can help to protect.

    Three things property owners can do to help keep their elms healthy:
    1. Replace the grass at the tree base with mulch to keep roots cool, conserve water and provide nutrients. 
    2. Water during dry spells in the summer and generously before the ground freezes. Even if the ground looks dry come February or March, water from the fall soak will still be protecting the roots.
    3. Keep them pruned so they are free of wood that is dead or dying.



    Elm tree owners are also encouraged to comply with provincial regulations on DED prevention and control measures.
    • Do not prune elm trees between Apr. 1 and Sept. 30 when elm bark beetles are active. 
    • Only transport elm wood to a City landfill.
    • Never store or scavenge elm wood for firewood.
    • Pruning elm trees during the ban or storing elm wood is subject up to a $5,000 fine or six months in jail under the Alberta Pests Control Act.
    More about caring for your elm trees and preventing Dutch elm disease:
    City of Calgary
    Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development 
    Society to Prevent Dutch Elm Disease

    Watch the first video in the series.

    Submitted by Donna Bertrand, Community Services and Protective Services




  • Another stretch of flood damaged pathway along Elbow River reopened 7 November 2014
    Approximately one and a half kilometres of damaged pathway along the Elbow River across from the Stampede Grounds has now been restored and reopened to the public after the 2013 flood.

    “Entire chunks of the pathway in the area broke away and fell into the river when the flood waters hit,” says Pathway Lead Duane Sutherland, City of Calgary. “The pathway is an important route along the Elbow River for commuters and other users, so it was critical to make the area safe again.”

    A combination of traditional techniques such as rip rap boulders, and bioengineered bank stabilization techniques called gabion and crib wall structures were used to restore and stabilize the riverbank so the pathway could be rebuilt. 

    A gabion wall structure is made up of several rock baskets stacked together. Soil and natural plant materials, like live willow stakes, are layered between the rocks. A crib wall structure uses interlocked cedar logs further strengthened by live willow stakes.

    Live plants are more resilient

    “What makes these techniques unique and innovative is the use of live natural plant materials, like
    Gabion wall interwoven with live natural willow stakes.
    the live willow stakes in combination with the structures,” says Sutherland.

    When the live natural plant materials grow out, they grow back into the bank and better reinforce it, making it more resilient and less likely to break away during future high water events. It also provides habitat for fish and other river life. 

    Back to their original state

    The structures also help create a softer, more natural appearance for the area than when typical rip rap boulder bank armour is only used. The aim is to return natural and green spaces back to their original state as closely as possible so we can continue to enjoy the city’s beautiful rivers and landscapes.

    In addition to repairing the pathway and stabilizing the river bank, we also capitalized on the opportunity to widen the damaged pathway from 2.5 to 3.0 metres when it was rebuilt – maximizing the design and construction efforts already mobilized in the area. 

    Thanks for your patience

    Crib wall with cedar logs and live willow stakes.
    “We’re really pleased with the outcome of this project and the opportunity we had to give such an important pathway link back to citizens, not only new but improved,” says Sutherland. 

    “Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we worked to rebuild this pathway, and for continued patience and cooperation as we go on to finish up other pathways and riverbanks.”


    More information and updates on the flood recovery efforts

    Submitted by Erin Martinez, Parks
  • Cycle Track Network – A chance to check out the tracks opening July 2015 6 November 2014 The Cycle Track Network pilot project is making tracks, and beginning the week of November 10, the public will have an opportunity to check out the plans at a number of information sessions being held around the city.

    The one-year Cycle Track pilot project, which was approved by City Council in April 2014, will create 5.5 kilometres of separated cycling lanes and 700 metres of share space on Stephen Avenue in downtown Calgary.

    Since August, the project team has been meeting with businesses and residents that are adjacent to the track routes of 5 Street, 8 Avenue, 9 Avenue and 12 Avenue. These one-on-sessions have been important to address access issues with individual buildings and work towards fine tuning the designs.

    Communications Advisor Jody Crowe, a member of the project team, shares his experience of meeting with these stakeholders:

    “For the most part, the businesses and property owners are very grateful that we’re taking the time to meet with them and listen to their concerns. We recognize that there are some who feel very enthusiastic about the cycle tracks – and some not so much – but sharing the plans and timeline as we move forward will encourage those who are excited to use it and those who are unsure, an opportunity to visualize the final product.”

    In total, six information sessions will be held for the public to view the plans and ask questions to the project team. The first phase of construction has begun this fall with minor modifications to traffic signals. Final construction will begin in Spring 2015, with the new cycle tracks scheduled to open in July 2015.


    To learn more about the Cycle Track pilot project routes, please visit calgary.ca/cycletracknetwork
  • Final weekend for Leaf and Pumpkin drop-off locations 6 November 2014 We’re heading into the final weekend for the annual Leaf & Pumpkin Composting Program and the last opportunity for Calgarians to make use of the convenient seasonal drop-off locations for their leaves, pumpkins and storm-damaged tree debris.

    Tree debris mulching at Spyhill Landfill 
    The seasonal drop-off locations across the city opened earlier than usual this year to accommodate tree debris from the snow storm in September. The last day those locations will accept leaves, pumpkins and tree debris is Sunday, November 9.

    “We’re grateful to our depot hosts for helping Calgarians clean up after the storm by allowing us to open early and accept huge amounts of branches in addition to the leaves and pumpkins but now they need their space back for their community activities,” said Dave Griffiths, Director of Waste & Recycling Services.

    City landfills will continue to waive fees for storm-damaged tree debris until the end of December 2014 as long as loads are not mixed with garbage and other materials. City landfills will be closed on Sundays starting November 16.

    If you are unable to get to the drop-off locations or landfills, you can put small branches (no thicker than three inches and cut into three-foot lengths) inside black carts, or tie them together and set the bundle next to your cart for pick up if your bin is full. However, branches put out with the garbage will not be mulched.

    Aerial view of tree debris at Shepard Landfill 
    As of November 3, City landfills had received almost 23 million kg (23,000 tonnes) of tree debris from the storm cleanup. That’s more material in two months than the typical amount of yard waste received in a year for mulching and about 10 times the amount of leaves and pumpkins that are collected for composting every fall. All of the tree debris will be mulched and some will be used in City parks and trails. Waste & Recycling Services will develop a broader plan over the winter for other possible uses.

    Visit calgary.ca/waste or contact 311 for landfill and drop-off locations.
  • Bowness Park partially reopens Monday, Nov. 10 5 November 2014 Before winter officially settles in, you can take advantage of some of the last days of fall and enjoy Bowness Park again beginning, Monday, Nov. 10.

    Skating party planned to celebrate the opening in the new year.
    “We wanted to reopen the park to give Calgarians one last chance to enjoy it before winter truly sets in,” says Doug Marter, manager of Planning and Development. “We hope Calgarians will be able to get out to the park to see and enjoy its new features.”

    The entire west side - including a new centralized parking lot, renovated picnic areas, and new central square - will be open to the public.

    The central square features a new sitting area and gathering space near the lagoon to give park users a place to sit, relax and put on their skates.

    Dust off those skates

    Yes, you heard it right! Skating will be available at the park this winter, depending on how the weather cooperates.
    We're looking for an operator for the new facility.

    Construction on a new concession, which will include a tea house/cafe, rental shop and public washrooms, has also been completed. The City is now looking for an operator for the new facility and hopes to have one selected by mid-November.

    Better experience and better for the environment

    All of these areas and amenities are part of a project, which began in 2012, to enhance park visitors’ experiences and the park’s environmental health.

    The east end of the park will remain closed throughout the winter and is expected to reopen next summer (2015). The park’s historic and well-loved mini train will even be back by next fall (2015).

    As for a reopening event, The City's Parks department is currently working with the Bowness Community Association to plan a skating party early next year. More details will be available at calgary.ca/parks and through the Bowness Community Association.

    More on Bowness Park.

    Submitted by the Parks Communications team

  • How to keep your family safe from carbon monoxide 5 November 2014 As the weather gets colder, Calgarians are turning on more appliances that can cause carbon monoxide (CO) to build up in homes.

    To help everyone stay safe this winter, the Calgary Fire Department is joining Alberta’s Office the Fire Commissioner and ATCO Gas to promote Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week , Nov. 2 to 8, 2014 and share important safety tips.

    Simple steps can be taken to help keep your family safe from CO gas, such as:
    • Ensure fuel-burning appliances, chimneys and vents are cleaned and inspected by professionals every year before cold weather sets in.
    • Ensure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, fireplace and other fuel-burning applicances are always clear of snow and other debris.
    • Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.
    • Ensure all portable fuel-burning heaters are vented properly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 
    • If you, or anyone in the house, experience symptoms of CO poisoning or your CO alarm goes off, leave the house immediately and call 9-1-1.

    “CO gas can be very dangerous. It is colourless, odourless and deadly,” said Calgary Fire Department Public Information Officer Carol Henke.

    The symptoms of CO gas poisoning are similar to the flu, including headaches, nausea and dizziness as well as confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and, in cases of prolonged exposure, death.


    In 2013, the Calgary Fire Department received more than 1,800 calls related to carbon monoxide. During the cold months, including November, December and January, the highest number of CO calls were received, making up 33 per cent of the annual total.

    More information on CO safety.

    Submitted by Bridget Cox, Calgary Fire Department

  • Next phase of engagement for Prairie Winds Park begins October 29 4 November 2014 UPDATED: November 4, 2014

    The next phase of public engagement for Prairie Winds Park redevelopment is starting up soon, and we want to hear what you think. Prairie Winds Park is located in northeast Calgary's Westwinds community.

    "Sounding board" at the park during Phase 1 consultations.
    On Oct. 29, 2014, we are holding a public workshop at the Falconridge/Castleridge Community Association Hall (95 Falshire Drive N.E.) from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to hear what you have to say about the three preliminary design concepts for the park.

    Three concepts will be shared - coming soon!

    Each of the three concepts has been designed based on feedback received during the first phase of public engagement. During initial engagement, we heard from park users and other citizens that the park’s current infrastructure and pool needed work. So, within each concept you can see how this input has been incorporated into three unique designs for the park.

    Throughout this phase of engagement (from Oct. 29 to Nov. 23, 2014), we are asking park users and other citizens to review each concept and tell us which one they prefer and why.

    Ways to provide feedback on the concepts

    Feedback can be provided in-person at the public workshop on Oct. 29 or in the park on the sounding boards, online, via text to 311-431-5333 or email at info@prairiewindspark.ca. Citizens can also join the conversation on Twitter using #prairiewindspark.

    All the feedback collected during this phase of engagement will be used to develop a final park design concept.

    More about Prairie Winds Park.

    Submitted by Erin Martinez, Parks

  • Protecting public safety with landmark ruling under Alberta’s Building Code 3 November 2014 The City of Calgary takes public safety seriously, making Canadian history today with a landmark ruling under the provincial Building Codes legislation.

    On November 3, 2014 Provincial Court Judge Heather Lamoureux ruled that William Engineering Canada Inc. is accountable for its involvement in repairs undertaken at the Rocky Mountain Court building parkade, 221 6 Ave SE, in the summer of 2011.

    Marco Civitarese, Chief Building Official for The City of Calgary, and Ola Malik,
    Municipal Prosecutor, stand outside the Provincial Court House,
    following a historic ruling for public safety
    “Public safety is our utmost concern”, says Marco Civitarese, Chief Building Official and Manager of Building Regulations. “We always seek compliance to Alberta’s Building Code, and our partnerships with industry have made construction sites safer in Calgary, however when prosecution is warranted, we will seek enforcement under legislation,” notes Marco.

    The City created the Safety Reponses Unit (SRU) in 2009 to address unsafe construction sites in Calgary. The SRU leads a Coordinated Safety Response Team with the objective of protecting public safety by identifying issues, investigating incidents and correcting unsafe issues. The SRU has implemented a number of construction safety measures in Calgary that promote site safety, public awareness and have made Calgary a national leader.

    “We’re pleased with Judge Heather Lamoureux’s ruling today,” says Ola Malik, The City’s municipal prosecutor who conducted the 3-week trial. “Engineering firms, like other parties who are involved at the various stages of a construction project, have independent obligations to satisfy in the design and execution of a construction project,” adds Malik.

    The City appears to be the only jurisdiction in Canada that is actively prosecuting breaches of the Building Code and obtaining significant fines.

    A sentencing hearing is being scheduled for a later date.
  • Public-inspired concept for new cemetery 3 November 2014 Since May, we have been working with citizens to come up with a final concept for a new City cemetery situated to the east of Ralph Klein Park in Calgary's southeast. After months of listening and working together, the preferred final concept is now ready to be shared.

    Final concept developed with your help. Thank you!
    “The input we received from citizens really helped inform and inspire a final concept for the new cemetery,” says Gary Daudlin, Cemeteries superintendant, Parks.

    “For instance, people asked us to consider including spaces that build off and enhance the prairie landscape of the new cemetery’s location, while also maximizing the mountain views."

    Views of both prairie and mountains

    "So, we added linear shelter belts and native plant species to the design, as well as selected key locations for future buildings to focus attention on the breathtaking views of the mountains.”

    The final concept also incorporates public feedback on accessibility by featuring a looped road and a north/south vehicle access route to facilitate traffic flow, ceremonial events and pedestrian circulation.

    Some details still being worked

    Wherever possible, we incorporated the desires and addressed the concerns people expressed through public engagement. But, a concept is exactly that, a concept. Some suggestions on where to put specific burial sections or arrangements of space are still being worked out.

    “Feedback like this will help us develop a more detailed design for the new cemetery and the construction specifications,” says Daudlin.

    Expected to open in 2016

    Work on the detailed design will occur over the winter with construction planned to go out for tender spring 2015.

    The new cemetery is expected to open in 2016 and will be the first new cemetery to be built by The City since 1940, when Queen’s Park Cemetery opened in Calgary’s northwest.

    More on the new cemetery, the engagement process and the feedback received.

    Submitted by Erin Martinez, Parks
  • The City sells 66 acres of land to Home Depot 3 November 2014 The City is pleased to announce that Home Depot Canada Inc. is the successful purchaser of 66 acres of city-owned land located on the Dufferin North Industrial Park, west of Stoney Trail and 68 Street S.E.

    The Home Depot facility will contribute to Calgary’s strong economic growth through the creation of a wide variety of jobs plus the increased investment in other local support services needed to maintain operations.

    As part of the City’s 2013-2022 Industrial Land Strategy five per cent of proceeds from gross industrial land sales will go to the Public Housing Reserve in support of affordable housing in Calgary.



    Find more information at calgary.ca/OLSH
 


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