Calgary City News Blog


Calgary City News Blog

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  • Why China’s role in the recyclable market matters to Calgary and what you can do (Hint: Keep recycling!) 17 January 2018

    There has been a lot of talk about China’s ban on foreign recyclables. But what does this mean exactly for Calgary and the Blue Cart recycling program? We break it down for you below.

    What exactly is going on with recycling in China?

    Materials like plastic and paper are recycled by manufacturers around the globe. Just like oil and precious metals, recyclables are commodities and their markets go up and down depending on supply and demand. China is one of many places where recyclables go to be turned into new products and packaging. Globally, China represents the largest recycling market. Approximately 50 per cent of the world’s recyclables have traditionally been made into something new in China.

    For many years, some companies that did not sort their recyclables properly have been sending low-quality and contaminated recyclable materials to Chinese mills and manufacturers. This behavior prompted the Chinese government to implement the National Sword program, which is aimed at improving the quality of recyclables being imported by Chinese manufacturers. Loads of recyclables are being closely inspected under this program to ensure that quality standards are met.

    While the initiative officially took effect on January 1, 2018, many third-party brokers that handle the shipping and import of recyclable materials knew it was coming and began to stop shipping materials to China in the fall of 2017. With a lot of uncertainty about how China will enforce the program, third-party brokers are reluctant to ship materials, even if they are sorted properly, for fear that the shipments will be rejected. As a result, third-party brokers are looking for other recycling markets where the rules and quality standards are clearer for them to understand. This has created a buyers’ market for certain recyclable materials around the world.

    How does this affect Calgary’s Blue Cart recycling program?

    The City works with Cascades Recovery, a private third-party company that sorts and markets the recyclables collected through City recycling programs. Some of The City’s plastics are recycled in Western Canada, whereas other materials are recycled overseas, including in China. Just like others around the globe, we are affected by this situation.

    The City is not considering putting the stockpiled material in our landfills. Even though the market is in a downturn, these materials are still highly recyclable. Just like commodities in other industries, we frequently stockpile during downturns in order to seek a better price when markets recover. Over the life of the Blue Cart program, a portion of recycling revenues have been set aside to allow The City to address volatile market conditions and situations such as this one.

    We are working with Cascades Recovery to locate new potential buyers. This includes working with them to make sure The City’s end-product is as high a quality as possible. In the meantime, we are storing the affected recyclables.

    The City can not speculate on how long the market will fluctuate but we will continue to monitor this evolving situation and adjust in the future if needed. Currently, we have been able to find enough storage space. What is important to remember is that it is a market fluctuation and we want citizens of Calgary to stay in the habit of recycling and keeping these materials out of the landfill.

    On a positive note, The City has shipped several loads of mixed paper to alternative markets recently.

    What can I do to help with recycling?

    Keep on recycling acceptable items in your Blue Cart! Follow these best practices to help make sure your recyclables can be sorted properly and improve the quality of the recyclables:

    • Bag your plastic bags before recycling. Stretchy plastic bags must be bundled into a single plastic bag and tied closed before going in the blue cart. Loose or single plastic bags jam sorting equipment and end up landfilled. They can also get into our mixed paper, making it harder to sell. 
    • Know what can be recycled in blue cart. By putting only the right things in the recycling, it makes it easier and more efficient to sort recyclables. See the list of acceptable Blue Cart items.
    • Place items in your blue cart loose. The only items that should be bagged are bundled plastic bags and separated shredded paper.
    • Clean off food and other residue. Put hard-to-clean items in your dishwasher or if you wash items by hand, use the dirty dish water to clean off food residue from your recyclables to save water.
    • Keep recyclables inside your blue cart and make sure the lid is pulled over. Your blue cart protects recyclables from rain, snow and wind and helps keep our communities litter-free.

    Bookmark calgary.ca/whatgoeswhere in your favourites! Our online search tool lets you look up hundreds of items to find the right recycling, composting or disposal option.

  • Green Line Next Steps: In-Person and Online Feedback Wanted 16 January 2018


    Since the Green Line LRT was approved by City Council in June we’ve started preparing for major construction and now we need your help!


    Starting this month, The City of Calgary will be hosting events from 16 Avenue N to 126 Avenue S.E. Construction on stage 1 is set to begin in 2020 and work has begun to develop technical documents that will guide that construction.


    We want to hear from Calgarians how you want the LRT to integrate into your neighbourhood. Over the next couple of months, The City will be hosting in-person and online opportunities for you to provide feedback on things like street furnishing, fencing, crosswalk treatments, and more.


    We also want to know how you see yourself and your neighbours using Green Line stations and plazas as community space, and what would make you feel safer using the LRT.


    There’s plenty of in-person opportunities for you to participate, but if you can’t make it out you can provide your feedback online. 


    Station design


    The City has developed a cohesive look for Green Line LRT stations that will be applied across the entire alignment. Having a consistent design for all stations along the Green Line allows The City to utilize what is known as a “kit of parts.” Green Line – stage 1 will span 20 kilometres through many different communities. The cohesive design has been developed to be easily integrated into each distinct neighbourhood, while maintaining a recognizable look along the line.

    At our upcoming sessions we’ll be introducing preliminary concepts for stations. You’ll be able to provide comments on your initial thoughts and speak to the architects who helped create the designs.  


    There’s almost 20 opportunities to see us in person! Find an event near you or participate online.  

  • Baconfest 2018 taps into Calgary’s potential look and feel in the 21st century 16 January 2018


    Calgary’s own urban planning film festival returns for its fifth year, starting January 17, 2018. We sat down with Rollin Stanley, General Manager of Urban Planning, and got his take on why everyone should attend Baconfest 2018.

    1. For those who might be unaware, what is Baconfest?

    It’s a film festival meant to get people thinking about how they can be more involved in their city and bring about specific differences in Calgary. 

    Each year we go deeper and deeper into challenges, issues and opportunities that cities are facing, predominantly in North America but, to some extent, around the world as well. The first year was about showcasing the films of Ed Bacon [renowned city planner and father of actor Kevin Bacon]. We highlighted those films to get people energized about the way cities have evolved. This year, we’re delving deeper into culture and our environment.

    2. Why should citizens care about urban planning or a festival like Baconfest?

    Don’t think about it as caring about planning, think about it as caring about what happens in your city. Think about it as caring about knowing how you can get involved, or be aware of the kinds of things that make cities work. 

    We’re really looking to expand people’s minds and get them thinking about things that impact them directly. That’s why we chose the films we did. We’re showing a bee film this year. We have to encourage bee colonization, particularly here. That’s something that has to happen. The point is to get citizens thinking about what they can do every day. 

    3. What do you hope that people will gain by attending?

    There’s this family that comes every year. They bring their son – he’s asked some of the best questions! I think he’s 9. We gave citizens an opportunity to submit their own stories a year ago. We had a gentleman submit one who runs a soccer club here in the city. He immigrated to Calgary from Africa and we got a chance to look at what he’s doing to help kids in the suburbs get involved. We have citizens across all age and ethic spectrums. That’s not planning, that’s participating in the life of a city and that’s what we hope people will go away with. An eye for those kinds of opportunities to participate and the desire to do so.

    4. What are the top three reasons someone should attend Baconfest?

    Well, the top reason to attend is because attendees will get to enjoy some terrific bacon (yes, real bacon)!

    And if that’s not enough, the second reason to mark your calendar is because joining us ensures you have a voice in the conversation about the future of Calgary and how we can all make a difference. 

    And third, Baconfest is a great opportunity to get informed about emerging trends and challenges facing cities like ours. 

    5. Anything you’d like to add, in closing?

    The theme this year is about the future of the city. We’re looking at it through three lenses. Its form, its culture and the environment. Our goal is to show how these three factors have to come together to make sure that what happens as we grow, happens in harmony. We have become a destination city and that opens up new doors for us, new opportunities. We want to show people that they can think more broadly. If a fraction of the people who attend start patronizing restaurants on 17th Ave S.E. where they may never have been, we’ve achieved a really great thing. 

    For more information on the film lineup and event details visit Calgary.ca/baconfest.

  • Improvements to 1 Street S.W. celebrated 8 January 2018
    Victoria Park BIA Executive Director David Low

    Even though winter has now arrived in Calgary, David Low, Victoria Park Business Improvement Area’s Executive Director, is still eager to get out on his daily walking tours. These days he seems to be more energized than ever after his walks.

    That’s because the project to improve the streetscape along the Beltline’s 1 Street S.W. corridor between 10 Avenue to 17 Avenue S.W. is now substantially complete.

    Low says the City of Calgary has done an outstanding job of improving the streetscape and in connecting with the businesses and property owners along this corridor. “I’ve appreciated how the project team put such emphasis in working with all the stakeholders while working hard to complete these improvements over the past six months.”

    The City and Victoria Park BIA will jointly celebrate this important milestone on Thursday, Nov. 9 as City and BIA representatives plan to distribute cookies at the corner of 1 Street and 13 Avenue S.W. starting at 4 p.m.

    On Friday, Nov. 10 an ‘experiential’ lighting demonstration will be held on 1 Street between 12 and 13 Avenues from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. We’d like to hear your feedback about how these state-of-the-art colour changing lights add to the streetscape atmosphere.

    Improvements to the corridor include:
    • wider sidewalks & prominent crosswalks
    • upgraded LED pedestrian and street lighting
    • 41 new tree plantings
    • additional bike racks & 14 new on-street parking spaces
    • centre median with a banner pageantry program.

    “These improvements build on the character of the blocks located between 12 and 14 Avenues, extending that streetscape design along the full length of the corridor,” said Graham Gerylo, Urban Strategy project manager with the City. “This work has created a safer, more comfortable and inviting environment for the thousands of pedestrians and transit riders that travel along 1 Street each day.”

    New banners along 1 Street SW

    The City accelerated capital funding for this project as part of the City’s economic stimulus efforts. Final project costs are estimated to be around $5 million, which is more than $1 million under the original budget estimate. Both Gerylo and Low agree that the project is an investment in the street and local economy with the goal of continued community revitalization by attracting private developments, new businesses and more residents to the area.

    For more details on the project, visit www.calgary.ca/1stcorridor.

  • Let’s celebrate Calgarians who improve life for people with disabilities 8 January 2018
    Every year, the Advisory Committee on Accessibility (ACA) celebrates and recognizes Calgarians who are improving the quality of life for persons with disabilities through the ACA Annual Awards program.

    These awards celebrate the areas of advocacy, design, and accessible transportation. The deadline to nominate an individual or business for their contributions is Friday, December 1, 2017.

    Read on to learn more about the winners of the 2016 ACA Awards, and the work they’ve done to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities.

    2016 ACA annual award recipients and special guests.
    ·                     The Access Recognition Award was awarded to Darlene Boyes of Calgary Recreation for her expertise in supporting the Recreation Accessibility Study. The study audited 45 City-operated facilities and recommended improvements to increase accessibility. Darlene’s passion, advocacy and expertise help ensure City facilities are physically accessible, welcoming and inclusive.

    ·                     The Advocacy Award recognized Mark Burzacott of Between Friends, an organization dedicated to creating social, recreational and self-development opportunities for people with disabilities to connect, grow and belong. Through Mark’s work, he removes barriers of isolation and participation. He recently developed a Sensory Room, a therapeutic space for members, at the Between Friends Camp Bonaventure.


    ·                     The Ella Anderson Accessible Transportation Award was given to Stephen Hansen for the formation of Access Calgary, now Calgary Transit Access. A visionary in accessible transportation, he was instrumental in creating Access Calgary in 2001 to ensure people with disabilities could use transit to meet their diverse needs. Today, Calgary Transit Access provides over one million trips each year to nearly 15,000 Calgarians that are unable to use Calgary Transit services due to a disability.

    For more information about what The City is doing to improve accessibility, visit calgary.ca/accessibility, and don’t forget to submit your nominations by December 1, 2017.

  • Keep your pets safe this holiday season 8 January 2018 The holiday season is a joyful time for many who want to include their pets in the festivities by sharing treats from the dinner table and having them be a part of the celebrations. This season also means that dog owners are often taking their pets outdoors in below zero weather conditions.

    Here are some tips to keep your pet safe indoors and outdoors this winter:

    Adventures outdoors: walks and trips to off-leash parks

    • Check the temperature and forecast before you leave the house to ensure that you and your pet are properly prepared for the winter weather conditions. (Paws, ears and tails are all susceptible to frost bite, similar to exposed human skin.) Consider purchasing your pet booties or paw covers.
    • Picking up after your dog is vital no matter the weather conditions. Dog waste attracts mice, coyotes and other wildlife to urban areas. While it can be more difficult to pick up dog waste from snow, it is still the law. Gloves (versus mittens) can be easier to maneuver poop bags
    • Even if there is snow on the ground, dogs are only allowed off-leash in designated off-leash areas. Your pet must be leashed in parking lots and on shared pathways. If you’re unsure due to snow or other elements, keep your dog leashed until you’re certain.
    • Dogs are often excited about fresh snow! No matter the season, owners must ensure their dog is under control at all times. This means the dog must remain at a distance where they will respond to owner voice, sound or sight commands. It means the dog must not chase, threaten or attack people or animals.
    • If travelling with your dog in a vehicle, remember that when the engine is turned off, your vehicle essentially becomes a refrigerator (temperatures drop significantly).
    • City dogs are domesticated and not necessarily climatized to extreme weather conditions. Even northern breeds aren’t necessarily used to being outside for extended periods of time in freezing temperatures. Use caution.
    Indoor festivities: considerations for homes with pets
    Food

    • Leftover food that is rich, spicy or fatty can be hard for pets to digest.
    • Many foods are toxic or harmful for pets, including: turkey bones, artificial sweeteners and other baking ingredients, chocolate and alcohol.
    • Secure the lid on your garbage can or put your garbage outside right after the meal.

    Décor

    • Poinsettias, Christmas cactus and holly are toxic to cats and dogs. 
    • Secure your Christmas tree if you have pets that like to climb.
    • Hang breakable ornaments higher on your tree.
    • With natural trees, make sure pets don’t drink the water.
    • Shiny tinsel and ribbons are appealing for cats, but if swallowed can cause serious injury or lead to surgery. 
    • Unplug holiday lights and extension cords prior to leaving your home. 
    • Don’t put candy or chocolates under the tree.  

    Socializing

    • While hosting parties, give your pet a safe and quiet place to retreat.
    • Be mindful as guests come and go as it’s easy for pets to slip out unnoticed.

    It is important to call your veterinarian or take your pet directly to an animal health facility if you suspect your pet has eaten any toxic foods or substances. Check out the Responsible Pet Ownership Page for additional pet safety tips and information about off-leash areas.

  • Windrows: what they are and what to do about them 8 January 2018

    What is a windrow?


    This winter Calgary has seen some powerful snowfalls. And more snow brings more concerns about windrows and the trouble they cause for Calgarians.

    According to The City’s Snow and Ice Control Policy, crews are mandated to maintain the driving lane on residential streets to a safe, reasonable winter driving condition. Crews do this by “flat-blading,” turning the blade under a sander downward to flatten the snow to a hard pack so it is easier to drive on.

    While this is good for motorists, the snow left over after crews have flat-bladed, can create some extra work for property owners. The reason is because flat-blading causes a continuous a buildup of snow along the side of a roadway, also known a windrow that can be difficult to remove, especially if left too long.

    There is a windrow in front of my driveway, who’s clearing it?

    The clearing of windrows in front of driveways left by snow plowing equipment is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner, much like sidewalk shoveling. Plow operators make every attempt to keep driveways clear or keep windrows as small as possible, but any spillage that does occur is the responsibility of the property owner to clear.


    What does The City do about windrows?

    City crews do their best to keep windrows small by evenly distributing the snow on either side of the road, however, after heavy snowfalls windrows can build up. If a windrow is taller than 30 centimetres and impeding a resident’s ability to enter their driveway a crew can come and assess the windrow and remove it if required.

    Citizens should contact 311 if they have concerns about a windrow.

    Visit calgary.ca/snow for more information on how The City clears snow.

  • It’s beets: City uses beet brine to combat icy roads 19 December 2017
    If you see brown on the roads this winter, don’t be alarmed – The City of Calgary is trialing beet juice mixed with salt brine as an anti-icing agent.
    Beet brine has an organic compound in it that reduces the corrosiveness in comparison to road salt. Beet brine has been tested in small amounts in Calgary before but Central District Manager Jim Fraser says this year, Roads will be doing a much larger trial of the liquid anti-icing material on city streets and on the cycle tracks.

    “The beet juice uses the carbohydrate, or sugar, from beets mixed with brine, a salt/water mixture, to create something that will stick to the road when put down and break that bond of snow and ice to the surface,” says Fraser.

    To facilitate the new trial, The City has acquired a new brine tank that can hold 40,000 litres of beet juice. Roads also now has a two-ton drip truck with plow to spray the brine.

    “We will be able to load not only this truck but any of our other trucks including our Drip Tank mounted on the Tandem as well as all the liquid tanks included on the sanders,” says Fraser.

    The beet juice/brine mixture has been used in provinces across Canada including British Columbia for highway maintenance. Fraser says it been proven to be very effective material for snow and ice control.

    “The small tests we have done in the past have been very promising. We are hoping by doing a larger trial, we can really see the benefits this year.”
  • SAIT student community planning project on display in Municipal Hall atrium 15 December 2017
    Students in the architectural technology program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) investigated the potential of the residential – grade-oriented infill (R-CG) land use district for a capstone project in their final year.

    These projects explored rowhouse developments on both corner and mid-block locations. The students each completed architectural plans for a single parcel. These plans were then rendered into three dimensional models using a 3D printer. The models were then arranged into a city block configuration to provide a sense of the potential mass and design of a rowhouse block referencing the R-CG rules.

    Some architectural technology @sait students did their capstone project on the potential of the R-CG land use district & it’s on display in the Municipal Building until next Friday.

    Thanks to the students & their instructor, Marc Bussiere, for sharing the models. #yycplan pic.twitter.com/1qbSvXEpsS

    — City of Calgary (@cityofcalgary) December 15, 2017

    The city block model based on the residential – grade-oriented infill (R-CG) land use district is on display in the atrium of the Municipal Building from December 14 to December 22, 2017.

    The class based their designs on a sample block on 20 ave NW in the community of Capitol Hill. This location was chosen respecting community planning work that was completed in the Capitol Hill community to amend the North Hill Area Redevelopment Plan and subsequent city initiated land use amendment to the R-CG district.

    Many thanks the students of the residential capstone project (ARCH 390) and their instructor, Marc Bussiere, for sharing these models.

  • Green Line LRT: All Aboard 15 December 2017
    2017 has been an eventful year for the Green Line. The City has been working closely with Calgarians  over the last three years on planning the long term vision for the Green Line LRT, including setting the route and station locations. This year, the full 46 kilometre vision was approved by Council, and funding commitments were made by all three levels of government. Council also approved the first stage of construction, which includes building 20 kilometres of track from 16 Avenue N to 126 Avenue SE; 14 stations (including four underground stations); four park and rides; a new maintenance and storage facility; and a new fleet of light rail vehicles. Since these approvals, the team has been hard at work mapping out next steps and ramping up Green Line construction projects.  

    We need your help to move this project from vision to reality.



    First things first: please subscribe to our email distribution list. This is the best way to ensure you’re getting the latest Green Line information from The City. We won’t always send snail mail about engagement opportunities and construction activities, so subscribing to receive our regular email updates is best. 


    Ogden Station Area Rendering – Opening Day 2026


    Tell us how you want to see the Green Line integrated into your community.



    We’re refining the design of the Green Line and want your input on safety and security, aesthetics and landscaping, and access to stations. From January to March 2018, we’ll be hosting sessions and online opportunities where you can provide feedback on how the LRT will look and feel in your community. Input collected from the public will be reflected in the technical documents that will guide the construction of the Green Line.

    Subscribe to our email distribution list and watch for Facebook ads and other promotions in your community in the new year for session details, dates and times. 




    Lynwood/Millican Station Area Rendering – Opening Day 2026
    Green Line construction projects in your community



    Calgarians living or working along Stage 1 of the Green Line will have already started to see construction activity along the future Green Line route. These construction activities include items like utility relocation, environmental remediation and land preparation. Doing this work now means it will be easier to build the Green Line LRT tracks and stations in the future. 




    Construction on sludge line relocation near 130 Avenue S.E.


    A full list of the projects under construction, in design or undergoing public engagement is available at www.calgary.ca/GreenLine.

  • Midfield Mobile Home Park: What You Need to Know 9 December 2017
    Update: On December 8 2017,  the of Court of Queen’s Bench recognized the validity of The City’s September 2016 termination notice in relation to the closure of the Midfield Mobile Home Park and dismissed the application for a declaration that The City breached the tenants’ Charter rights.  Given this outcome, Midfield tenants will be permitted to remain on their mobile home sites until February 19, 2018 as determined by the Court. The City is holding a number of Calgary Housing Company (CHC) homes in order to ensure that Midfield tenants have immediate access to support if needed. The City recognizes that this remains as a challenging time for remaining Midfield tenants and will continue to compassionately support these tenants in their efforts to secure new accommodations.


    Update: On November 22, 2017 the Court of Queen’s Bench heard an application challenging the validity of a September 2016 termination notice in relation to the closure of Midfield Mobile Home Park. The Justice advised that the decision will be rendered on December 8, 2017, and another update will be made to this blog at that time.

    As of November 22nd, 171 pads in Midfield Mobile Home Park are currently vacant and 12 pads are occupied. Of those that are occupied, approximately three tenants are finalizing plans, one was obtained through the court process as it was abandoned and one is currently involved in a court process. Approximately seven tenants have not yet come forward with a plan to move.

    *** 

    In May 2014, tenants of Midfield Mobile Home Park (Midfield) were provided over three years advance notice of City Council’s decision to close the mobile home park on September 30, 2017.

    Closing Midfield was a necessary reality as the sanitary sewers and the water main are 40+ years old and now at significant risk of catastrophic failure. Such a failure would cause immediate and extreme disruption to the lives of all tenants. It would also result in significant costs relating to emergency response and accommodation. Simply put, The City could no longer delay closure.

    The decision to close Midfield Mobile Home Park was not taken lightly. Over the years, much consideration had been given to the future of the park and more importantly, the welfare of its tenants. However, it became clear to City Council and Administration that Midfield’s closure was the only viable option given the poor and deteriorating state of the park’s infrastructure.

    In closing Midfield, we recognize that Calgary is losing a very close-knit community, one with a rich history and one where neighbours take care of each other. It is an unfortunate outcome; we empathize with Midfield tenants and will continue to work to make them aware of the available support, resources and housing options.

    A Brief History of Midfield

    Midfield was first developed on land leased from The City in 1968 by a private developer who subsequently turned over its operations to The City in 1973. Calgary Housing Company has been operating Midfield since 2001. A 2002 engineering report initially identified the deteriorating state of Midfield’s entire infrastructure (ie. sewers, water main) and recommended replacement.

    Initial discussions with Midfield tenants regarding the park’s infrastructure took place in 2005 at an information session hosted by The City. This was followed by an open house and special meeting with a Committee of Council in 2006 that provided tenants with an opportunity to discuss six options being considered by The City to address the failing infrastructure. In 2007, The City committed to operating the park and repairing the infrastructure to the year 2012 while a relocation plan was being developed.

    In 2009, The City acquired land in east Calgary for the purposes of developing a new mobile home park (ie., East Hills Estates). Midfield tenants were informed of these intentions in March 2010. However, re-examination of the East Hills Estates development plan and its projected costs revealed significant challenges and increasingly prohibitive costs. This eventually led to the difficult decision by City Council to cancel the project in 2013.

    In 2014, tenants were informed of the decision to close Midfield on September 30, 2017 and of the cancellation of the East Hills Estates project. Recognizing these decisions would be highly disruptive and difficult for Midfield tenants, The City opted to provide them access to a multitude of resources and supports that met their specific needs. This work has been ongoing over the past three-and-a-half years.

    Midfield will close on September 30 2017. Afterwards, while The City will undertake legal proceedings regarding remaining tenants, The City will continue to work to make those tenants aware of available housing options and to connect them to appropriate resources specific to their individual needs

    Closure Facts

    • Replacement and/or repair of Midfield’s infrastructure is impractical and prohibitively expensive, given the logistics of removing the mobile homes and other structures in order to access the water and sewer lines beneath. 
    • Over the years, the cost to repair, maintain and operate Midfield have only increased over time.
    • Approximately one-third of the inspected portion of the sanitary network is in an advanced stage of deterioration, requiring urgent action.
    • Midfield is being closed to disconnect and remove the failing water and sanitary sewer network and to remove any existing improvements.

    Summary of City Support and Resources

    • Through the Midfield Closure Program, The City is assisting Midfield tenants with costs associated in relocating. This included a lump sum payment of $10,000, legal fees up to $500, and up to $10,000 to cover the cost of either moving or demolishing a mobile home. 
    • Whether in meetings or through one-on-one conversations, City staff, along with an external agency, have been making themselves available on a daily basis to help tenants with their specific needs, to answer their questions, and to connect them to appropriate resources. In the Midfield office, tenants have access to information on housing options and to a computer to help with housing searches. 
    • The Calgary Housing Company (CHC) has provided extensive support to Midfield tenants in finding potential alternative housing arrangements, including a concerted effort on CHC’s part to tour Midfield tenants through CHC properties. Various CHC staff have been onsite throughout this process including CHC Leasing Agents who continue to meet with Midfield tenants to provide information about CHC housing options and to help them complete CHC applications and forms. 
    • Perhaps more importantly, CHC has concerned itself with those tenants with low-moderate incomes in Midfield, as well as anyone else who requests help from CHC. In addition to making the availability of a new housing development in Bridgeland known to qualifying tenants on rent reduction, CHC staff have reached out to those same people to ensure they are aware of available housing options and connect them to appropriate resources. 
    • As result of these their efforts, CHC has been able to place 15 Midfield tenants in CHC accommodations thus far. CHC staff will remain available with information and assistance concerning housing options through the completion of the closure process. 
    • For well over three years now, the services of Homewood Health have also been made available to Midfield tenants. In addition to providing counselling and social support services, Homewood Health provides information on other rental or housing opportunities, connects Midfield tenants to social and housing agencies and resources, and provides assistance in completing what can be cumbersome applications and form. 
    • Over the years, Homewood Health has made concerted efforts to reach out to Midfield tenants. They have held housing information sessions where various housing providers were made available on-site to meet with tenants and review the numerous housing options available. In 2014 and 2015, Homewood Health called all Midfield tenants who were seniors, on AISH or rent reduction program to offer their support and counselling services. Finally, Homewood Health will reach out to remaining Midfield tenants once more, via door knocking, to offer their services before the September 30th closure date. 
    • As vacant lots become more commonplace with fewer ‘eyes on the street’, security and safety becomes a concern. Given this, The City introduced on-site security at Midfield which is now 24/7, and have installed fencing around Midfield this summer as an added security feature. 
    • Calgary Neighbourhoods will offer additional social work supports to Homewood Health, who is contracted to provide counselling and support to tenants, should capacity to meet the need of residents within the timeframe of September 30th become an issue. 
    • The City has frozen rent increases since 2008 to enable Midfield tenants with an opportunity to save money to pay for costs associated with their moves and finding alternative accommodations. 
    • The City has made an Advisor available to counsel Midfield tenants on financial and debt management matters on an as-requested basis. 
    • The City is making assistance available to those Midfield tenants who need help packing their belongings. 

    Frequently Asked Questions


    Why is Midfield Park closing?

    Midfield is closing because it is challenged by aging and failing infrastructure. Unlike typical residential neighbourhoods, the water and sewer lines are located underneath the tightly spaced mobile homes, making access, repair and/or replacement of those lines impractical. It would also be prohibitively expensive given that accessing that infrastructure would require that the mobile homes, garages and other structures be removed.

    Did Council consider other alternatives to closing the park?

    The status of Midfield Park has been debated for many years by City Councils who have taken great care and consideration in evaluating the situation. As far back as 2005, The City has engaged Midfield tenants towards considering several options in addressing the Park’s many challenges. Considerable time was taken to closely review and evaluate all feasible options before Council was in a position to make a final decision.

    Why did The City decide not to pursue development of the new park East of The City?

    City Council reviewed the feasibility of the East Hills project and determined that there were several outstanding planning issues relating to:

    • the preparation and approval of the area structure plan; 
    • the extension of utility services to the East Hills Estate lands; 
    • provision of a fire station in the vicinity of East Hills Estate lands; and 
    • provision of storm water management for the entire area. 

    Additionally, East Hills Estates could not be completed in the time frame originally proposed. Lastly, but most important, the costs to complete the East Hills Estates had increased significantly from the original estimate and budget. As result, City Council determined that the project was not feasible.

    In making the decision to close Midfield Park, was consideration given to the welfare of its tenants?


    Council did take into account the challenges faced by the tenants but it also has a responsibility to balance that with the interests of all Calgarians. Accordingly, Council opted to inform tenants three years in advance of Midfield’s closure, to provide assistance through the Midfield Closure Program, and to provide social services and housing supports through Homewood Health and Calgary Housing Company. Private operators will not generally provide this level of support when closing a mobile home park.

    Are Midfield tenants being assisted financially to help them move?

    Tenants were offered the Midfield Closure Program which includes a lump sum payment of $10,000, legal fees up to $500, and a maximum of $10,000 to cover the cost of either moving or demolishing a mobile home.

    Why isn’t The City offering market value for tenant’s mobile homes?

    The City opted not to buy out tenants’ mobile homes. Instead of buy-outs, The City opted to assist Midfield tenants through the Midfield Closure Program, which includes a lump sum payment of $10,000, legal fees up to $500, and up to $10,000 to cover the cost of either moving or demolishing a mobile home. Tenants who own their mobile homes have the option of relocating them if it is feasible to do so.

  • Getting you there: 21 projects we completed in 2017 7 December 2017
    With 2017 coming to a close, we’re finishing 21 transportation projects that will make getting around Calgary better today and for years to come. Work underway in all four quadrants results in city-wide improvement of traffic management, goods movement, transit reliability, and safe, comfortable travel for everyone. Here are the highlights:

    Acting Director of Transportation Infrastructure, Kerensa Fromherz, goes into details, “It’s been a big year for us. The Glenmore Trail/Ogden Road and the Bowfort Trail/Trans-Canada Highway interchanges are key to improving how we move goods in and around Calgary. The new 12 Street S.E. bridge (opening celebration on Dec. 9!) means maintaining that Bow River crossing for another 100 years, plus it creates a much better pathway space. Our road upgrades on 1 Street S.W., 61 Avenue S.W., and at the 16 Avenue/Home Road N.W. intersection are in popular places, so the sidewalk and crossing upgrades mean a safer space for people walking and a more predictable space to drive.”
     Looking west at the new 61 Avenue S.W./Chinook pedestrian bridge (opening celebrations December 8!)
    The 21 projects make up a $400 million investment to help manage traffic and help people move around the city. Fromherz explains, “We look at getting the best value for the investment not just for today, but how an interchange, like at Macleod Trail/162 Avenue, or an intersection upgrade, like at 16 Avenue/29 Street N.W., will work as development happens around it in the short and long term.” But it’s more than just value for the future: “We were also able to take advantage of the market to get good prices on material and put people to work,” Fromherz adds. More than 3,200 jobs were created by these projects.
    Looking east at the redesigned Zoo Road, pathway and flood mitigation measures
    With these transportation projects touching 30 communities, improvements are also happening at the community level. People living in the residential neighbourhoods around the Bowness Road, Northmount Drive and East Memorial road improvements now have a more comfortable place to walk and cycle in areas that can also be busy driving roads.
    These projects, along with 223 km of new pavement on Calgary roads, help manage traffic better and connect people between their communities and destinations. Offering safe, affordable, and reliable options to travel around Calgary is important to developing and growing a resilient and vibrant city for decades to come.
    See the full list of 2017 projects:
  • Ammonia Use and Safety in Calgary 15 November 2017 On October 19, 2017 three people were killed following an ammonia leak at an ice arena in Fernie, British Columbia. This tragedy gave rise to some questions from the public and news stories emerged in Calgary on November 6, 2017 that sought to investigate the relative safety of Calgarians, especially those living next to large facilities that utilize ammonia as central to ice rink operations.

    The City of Calgary operates facilities with refrigeration equipment with safety as the top priority. The City operates 12 arenas using ammonia. All City of Calgary arena staff are trained in best practices in working with refrigeration systems, preventative maintenance and emergency procedures. In the unlikely event of an ammonia leak, City of Calgary facilities are equipped with a multi-alarm system which is triggered when ammonia levels rise above normal.

    In terms of overall safety, the Calgary Fire Department is actively involved with ammonia safety planning, prevention and has a dedicated Hazardous Materials Response Team of trained firefighters that can respond at any time to mitigate the situation.


    According to Calgary Fire Department incident data, the overall incident trend on ammonia within Calgary has been a decreasing one with 12 of 20 incidents occurring 2012-2013, with two per year 2014-2016 and one incident in 2017 to date. Most were refrigeration issues at commercial or industrial facilities. There have been 3 incidents in the past 5 years in Calgary relating to ice rinks specifically, none involving casualties.

    Apart from its own facilities, The City of Calgary does not manage, regulate or inventory ammonia at the sites where it is used: ammonia is not a municipal responsibility but is provincially and federally regulated. Notwithstanding, The City undertakes significant efforts on multiple fronts to ensure public safety, evidenced in part by the decreasing trend in ammonia incidents within Calgary.



    The use and operation of ammonia is provincially and federally regulated and enforced. The City of Calgary operates facilities with refrigeration equipment with safety as the top priority. This includes working with all ammonia owners and operators by assisting with emergency response, prevention and planning on an ongoing basis. 

    What are these safety measures?

    Safety is our number one priority at all City of Calgary facilities. As part of our safety procedures, our staff monitor and conduct daily ammonia level checks as part of their duties. In addition, our staff also conduct regular safety drills. The City of Calgary also has emergency response plans in place for a variety of scenarios, including an ammonia leak.

    Apart from its own facilities, The City of Calgary is not mandated to regulate or inventory ammonia at private sites. However, through working with the province and other regulatory and safety partners, the Calgary Fire Department helps ensure public safety on ammonia in three specific areas:

    • fire safety plans with building owners, including site visits and on-site training in collaboration with operators. 
    • inspections to comply with Alberta Fire Code. 
    • hazardous materials emergency response, as needed. 

    What happens if there is a leak?

    All City of Calgary arena staff are trained in best practices in working with refrigeration systems, preventative maintenance and emergency procedures. As part of our safety procedures, City facilities staff conduct daily ammonia level checks as part of their duties. In addition, staff also conduct regular safety drills. In the unlikely event of an ammonia leak, The City of Calgary facilities are equipped with a multi-alarm system which is triggered when ammonia levels rise above normal.


    Have there been any leaks at these City-owned facilities in the past?

    Yes, there have been three minor incidents in the past five years in Calgary relating to ice rinks specifically, none involved casualties. One of these three incidents occurred in July 2015 when an alarm indicated an elevated level of ammonia in the compressor room at Rose Kohn Arena. This was caused by a small release of gas. The City staff member followed safety procedures by shutting down the compressors. The emergency ventilation system was then turned on. As a safety precaution, our City staff member evacuated the few people in the arena. There were no injuries to citizens as a result of this incident.


    What about ammonia at other facilities in Calgary?

    It is expected that all building owners and operators follow safe handling and storage procedures, as per provincial and federal guidelines and regulations. Calgary Fire actively works with ammonia operators as part of its Fire Safety Plan program to assist with operator emergency response plans, which will often involve a site visit involving crews operating at the nearest local fire station as well as Calgary Fire’s Hazardous Materials Response Team. This promotes familiarization and helps the facility operators to understand why the information is important, and they can meet and work with their first responders. These plans also include other chemical storage or use information.


    Why doesn’t The City track or enforce ammonia as a hazardous substance?

    As a municipal body, The City of Calgary is not empowered to govern hazardous materials. The operation of ammonia refrigeration plants is regulated provincially by Municipal Affairs under the code “Pressure Equipment Safety Regulations” and more generally by Alberta Environment for larger installations. Design and operation of refrigeration plants is also regulated by Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standard. And above a specific quantity threshold, Environment Canada E2 Regulations prescribe detailed response plans. In effect, there are several layers of provincial and federal regulations for the operation of ammonia refrigeration plants. As a municipal organization, the Calgary Fire Department is not a regulator of controlled chemicals and products, so while we have awareness of where product is, we do not keep an inventory count of ammonia at industrial and facility sites in Calgary.


    Is there an ammonia safety problem in Calgary?

    Although the Calgary Fire Department cannot regulate the use or track inventory of ammonia in private facilities, calls responding to ammonia leaks are tracked. The overall incident trend on ammonia within Calgary has decreased with 12 of 20 reported leaks happening in 2012 and 2013, with two per year 2014-2016 and one incident in 2017 to date. Most were refrigeration issues at commercial or industrial facilities. None of these leaks involved casualties.


    If I have questions related to a privately-owned ammonia operator, where can I find more information?

    Any questions about those facilities must be directed to the respective facility. However, in accordance with the Emergency Management Act, The City of Calgary does not support reporting specifics on hazardous material volume or location. The Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) supports the restricted circulation of such information pertaining to where ammonia is stored, and the volumes at that site, due to security issues.

    If you have any questions about City of Calgary facilities, please call 311.

  • Historic City Hall wrap: protecting workers and the building from the elements 1 November 2017
    As the temperatures plunge in Calgary this winter, the heritage rehabilitation of Historic City Hall continues full force ahead, regardless of ice, snow or sleet.
    What is the purpose of the enclosure around Historic City Hall?
    In May, 2017, the building was enclosed in a standard protective covering that contains the construction crew, equipment and materials. The enclosure provides overall project cost avoidances and plays a key role in the fulfillment of project timelines as the heavy duty wrap shields the workers from outdoor elements and keeps in heat, allowing us to work year round regardless of weather. In addition, this enclosure – which allows no water penetration – is vital in helping to protect the sandstone and exposed building components from the weather.
    Inside the wrap, the crew working on Historic City Hall will remain warm throughout the winter. In order to ensure that building components don’t freeze – and that our mortar cures properly – the temperature inside the wrap is a minimum of 10 degrees Celsius, rising to about 20 degrees in the upper floors.
    By protecting the workers and building from outdoor elements like snow, rain and extreme heat, we are able to work year round and avoid costly weather-related project delays. As well, enveloping the entire building at once as opposed to covering individual portions as work progresses is far more cost effective. The cost of the enclosure in its entirety – including materials, printing, and installation – was approximately $165,000 or $5.16 per square foot. This equals about $55 per day over the remaining three years that it will be in use.
    Why is there imagery on the enclosure?
    Imagery on protective enclosures is an industry standard for long term heritage rehabilitation projects, particularly when a building will be hidden from public view for years. Because Historic City Hall will literally be “under wraps” until 2020, we thought it fitting to use imagery that replicates the original appearance of City Hall. Given the Canada 150 celebrations that took place on Olympic Plaza and the Municipal Plaza this year, the imagery is also a fitting tribute to Canada’s historic anniversary.

    Where else have they used images like this on historic buildings?
    Examples of other heritage projects that are using or have used imagery on enclosures include: the Washington Monument, the U.S. Capitol Building and the U.S. Supreme Court Building (all in Washington D.C). This interesting article in Smithsonian Magazine describes some of those facades. New York’s Plaza Hotel had imagery on its enclosure during its renovations as did New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art. Like Calgary’s Historic City Hall, the Sydney Town Hall in Australia had a similar imaged façade during its heritage rehabilitation. Philadelphia’s Independence Hall is another good example of imagery used during a historical restoration.
    Both the scaffolding and the enclosure surrounding it are expected to remain in place until February, 2020, near the planned project conclusion of July, 2020. Please visit Calgary.ca/HistoricCityHall for project updates and historic photos and stories of Historic City Hall. 
  • Rocky Ridge Recreation Facility construction reaches key milestones 31 October 2017

    On October 20, the new Rocky Ridge recreation centre reached a key milestone and was handed over to the Calgary YMCA. The new facility, Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge, officially opens to users on Jan. 15, 2018.

    The coming months will see the facility’s new operator, YMCA Calgary, move into the space and furnish it with all the amenities it will need to open to the public. YMCA Calgary won a competitive bid to operate and maintain the space. Providing services in a City-owned facility ensures the sustainability of the facility without the direct need for additional tax dollars.

    The project recently reached Substantial Completion, meaning that the facility is ready to be occupied apart from any last fixes and finishes required to ensure that the facility functions as expected. A few final pieces of the construction, such as the outdoor skatepark and finishing the park spaces, will be completed over the course of the summer of 2018.

    The new facility brings much-needed recreational opportunities and public space to Calgary’s northwest. Situated in a natural park and reconstructed wetland, the 284,000-square foot building will provide individuals, families and teams access to indoor pools and a waterpark, an ice skating surface and an NHL-sized hockey rink, a fitness centre, 3 full gymnasiums, 160-metre running track, library, art making and display spaces, a 250-seat theatre, childcare and much more. The award-winning design was created with input from local community associations, aboriginal groups and residents through a thoughtful engagement process.

    The Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge is the third of four facilities to be completed in communities across Calgary – a total investment of $480 million. A portion of the cost was contributed by the Government of Alberta as part of the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI). The Remington YMCA and Great Plains Recreation facility opened in 2016. The Seton facility is scheduled to be completed in late 2018 and open to the public in Q1 2019.

    For more information and a full amenity list, please visit calgary.ca/recreationprojects.

  • Canada Task Force 2 returns from full-scale training exercise in Virginia 30 October 2017
    The Calgary Emergency Management Agency’s Canada Task Force 2 (CAN-TF2) disaster response team recently returned from participating in a full-scale heavy urban search and rescue (HUSAR) exercise with one of the leading disaster response teams in the United States, Virginia Task Force 1. CAN-TF2 members trained from Oct. 23-26 mentored by an elite and experienced international team, to further build its HUSAR expertise and capability to respond to a simulated earthquake in Nepal.

    A contingent of 74 volunteer members, including all heavy urban search and rescue specialties and members of the Incident Management Team, received incredible hands-on training in a variety of roles and scenarios using field facilities in Fairfax County, Virginia.  This experience was a unique and rare opportunity to learn from highly skilled teams, utilize state of the art training facilities, and work through complex HUSAR incidents. Scenarios were realistic, challenging and resulted in many lessons for future operations. 



    “We are so grateful to our funding partners to make training opportunities like this possible, keeping members trained to international standards and at the ready to help others when the call comes in,” says Tom Sampson, Chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency.

    The associated expenses were funded by the Alberta Emergency Management Agency, Public Safety Canada and the Kinsmen Club of the Stampede City.

    For more information, visit the CANTF2 webpage.



  • New City Council is sworn in 25 October 2017 The new Calgary City Council was sworn in on October 23, 2017. The Swearing-in Ceremony took place in the Municipal Building Atrium and the newly elected Council was led in by a bagpipe-led procession.

    Fifteen members of council were sworn in, including four newcomers, Jyoti Gondek (Ward 3), George Chahal (Ward 5), Jeff Davison (Ward 6), and Jeromy Farkas (Ward 11). Following the ceremony, an official photo of the new Calgary Council was taken on the atrium steps. Mayor Nenshi addressed the public following the ceremony; you can watch the full address below.

  • Update on Centennial Planetarium space 20 September 2017 The City of Calgary has been pleased to work with Contemporary Calgary over the past three years to work towards their vision to see the transformation of the former Centennial Planetarium (the former location of the Science Centre) into a future art gallery. This iconic building has both heritage status and symbolic value for Calgarians.

    In 2014, Contemporary Calgary was identified as the highest ranking candidate in the Request for Expression of Interest that sought ideas on arts, culture and heritage users of the building, although no applicant had the financial and organizational capacity to renovate and operate the planetarium. At the time, Contemporary Calgary was a recent amalgamation of three organizations (Art Gallery of Calgary, the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Calgary). The City developed an innovative approach with Contemporary Calgary to enable them to phase their move into the building to coincide with their development as a single organization, and to facilitate their capacity to progressively improve the planetarium space.

    This innovative plan included:

    1. The City renovating the planetarium to base building standard for $24.5 million by 2018.
    2. Leasing 8,000 of the 42,000 square feet of the planetarium to Contemporary Calgary now to replace their existing space.
    3. The City operating the renovated planetarium for an interim period as a multi-tenant cultural facility.
    4. Allowing Contemporary Calgary to lease the entire building after the interim period, subject to Contemporary Calgary satisfying the conditions described below.

    This approach would relieve Contemporary Calgary from the burden of having to operate the entire 42,000 square foot building and responsibility for the base building renovation. This would allow Contemporary Calgary to focus on fundraising and building their operational capacity.

    The City shares Contemporary Calgary’s vision to become the prime tenant for the building once key milestones and criteria have been met. From the beginning of our discussion with Contemporary Calgary, The City has made it clear that in keeping with Council-directed policy, the following criteria must be met:

    1. The Society provides confirmation that it has raised 90% of the capital dollars required to undertake tenant improvements for the project (current estimate to upgrade the planetarium from base building to gallery status is $32 million).
    2. The Society provides evidence, through audited financial statements and business plan, that its operating model will not require annual operating funds from The City. 
    3. The Society’s business plans, financial statements and governance structure meet The City’s requirements for leaseholders of City property.

    As a diligent steward of public property, The City requires all leaseholders to meet these conditions before entering into long-term lease agreements. Contemporary Calgary was aware of these criteria and requested that these criteria, along with confirmation that The City supported Contemporary Calgary’s vision, be set out in a letter from The City to share with potential donors. This letter was provided to Contemporary Calgary on Aug. 25, 2017.

    To help Contemporary Calgary achieve its vision, The City:

    1. Undertook, at a cost of $2.3 million, a study of the requirements to bring this 50 year old structure up to the standard of a contemporary cultural space.
    2. Developed a model for the planetarium as a multi-tenant cultural hub that would enable Contemporary Calgary to achieve Phase 1 of its plan, while simultaneously achieving the milestones that would enable it to enter into a longer lease for the entire building.
    3. Allocated $24.5 million of Cultural Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding to renovate the base building. 
    4. Accepted the Society’s proposal to lease a portion of the building for three years with an option to renew, and to renovate 8,000 square feet of space to create a gallery for contemporary art. Access to parking and service areas are including in the short-term lease.
    5. Enabled Contemporary Calgary to hold fundraisers in the building over the past years by absorbing the opening and operating costs for these fundraisers.

    The partially-leased space, named “Temporary Contemporary,” was considered Phase 1 of achieving Contemporary Calgary’s vision. This phased approach was mutually agreed to, and promoted to Calgarians through Contemporary Calgary’s successive fund raisers.

    Over the past few years The City has made a significant investment in time and finances to support Contemporary Calgary’s vision, and is fully prepared to continue supporting this organization as it builds capacity to achieve its long-term vision. However, we would respect Contemporary Calgary’s decision to not proceed, and will continue our renovation of the Centennial Planetarium to become a multi-tenant cultural hub.

  • Volunteer opportunities with Calgary Parks this fall 13 September 2017
    With fall just around the corner, Calgary Parks is looking for volunteers to help take care and prepare City green spaces for winter. Throughout September and October, there are three different opportunities Calgarians can participate in.

    September 16 – Tree wiring in Pearce Estate Park

    Beaversplay an important ecological role in Calgary’s waterways, but they can also present some challenges especially when it comes to trees. The City’s practice is to strike a balance between the health of our parks and the well-being of beavers. So, to make trees and river parks unappealing to beavers, The City wraps tree trunks with metal wire. But we can’t do it alone.
    On September 16, citizens can volunteerwith Calgary Parks to help wrap trees in Pearce Estate Park.

    September 23 – Tree planting in Creekside Park

    Calgary Parks is partnering with TD Bank Group, as part of their TD Common Ground initiative, to plant trees in parks across the city. An opportunity to volunteer with this event on September 23 from 9 a.m. to noon at Creekside Park (12330 Symons Valley Rd NW) is now open to the public. To volunteer, please visit calgary.caand register under the TD Tree Days event listing.

    October 13 – Woody debris clean up in Griffith Woods

    Join The City of Calgary to help clean up wood debris in Griffith Woods. While some woody debris is beneficial, too much can negatively impact the forest. This volunteer opportunity is a way for citizens to help the natural environment and forest in the park remain healthy, and learn more about this sensitive and significant park. To learn more about volunteering for this event, visit Calgary Parks.
    The City offers many other opportunities for citizens to get involved in their community and help look after the city we all love. Consider becoming a volunteer, and visit calgary.ca for a list of wide range of volunteer experiences you can choose from. 
  • Questions about your water meter? We’ve got answers. 7 September 2017

    In most homes, there is a water meter that measures how much water is used each month, and the homeowner is then charged for the water used, as reported by the water meter.

    How do I know my meter is accurate?

    Water meters are mechanical devices – water needs to pass through the meter in order to record consumption. The City uses water meters that meet industry standards. Before The City receives meters, all meters are tested by the manufacturer at three different flow rates before distribution to certify the meter’s accuracy. The City also owns a state-of-the-art Water Meter Test Bench manufactured by MARS Company, an industry leader in meter testing technology. Calgary is one of a few municipalities to have that technology, and while other municipalities also test their meters, The City also measures the weight of the water passing through to further verify the accuracy of the meter.

    In rare cases, meters can register slightly higher volumes at certain flows than what is flowing through. In that rare event it would be a negligible increase, and it would be much more likely for a meter to register lower water consumption, as water meters tend to slow down as they age. This would result in a lower bill for the customer, not higher. Also, in this case it would not likely be a one-month error but rather show as a continuing pattern.

    It’s important to know that about 99.5 per cent of our over 350,000 customers receive monthly bills that reflect regular water consumption levels within their average range.

    Here is Chris Huston, Manager of Drinking Water Distribution, explaining how The City manages and maintains water meters for citizens.

    How can I check to see if my meter is operating properly?

    Your meter is typically located in the basement where your water service enters the home. The meter has numbers (looks similar to an odometer on a car) and a dial called a flow register. The dial and numbers shows water consumption. It’s easy to check if your meter is registering flow: have someone turn water on in the house, and watch as the flow register turns and registers consumption. If the flow register is turning and all fixtures are off, this could indicate that you have a leak. Use the high consumption checklist on calgary.ca/waterservices to help troubleshoot the cause.

    Who can I contact if my water bill is much higher than usual?

    Every situation is unique, but it’s not unheard of to see an increase in your water use from one bill to the other. You can visit enmax.com/water for more information or visit calgary.ca/waterleaks for a high consumption checklist that is an easy guide to help determine higher than usual water use.


    What can I do to make sure I don’t experience an unintentionally high spike in my water bill?

    Checking for leaks in and around your home will help ensure that you aren’t unintentionally consuming water. If you do find a leak or issue, it is important to fix it as soon as possible to avoid a high water bill associated with higher water use. Visit calgary.ca/waterleaks for a high consumption checklist, and for ways that you can save water. There are even more tips and ideas on how to save water around your home at calgary.ca/waterconservation.

    Do you have more questions about your water meter or billing? Visit our FAQ here.

 




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