Calgary City News Blog

Calgary City News Blog

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  • Calgary Fire celebrates everyday heroes for going ‘Beyond the Call’ 21 October 2016 The Calgary Fire Department recognized local heroes for their contributions to the community with an annual awards luncheon on October 20. The Officer’s Mess Hall at Fort Calgary made a striking backdrop for presenting medals and certificates to emergency personnel and ordinary citizens whose extraordinary actions saved lives and properties.

    Twenty-seven Calgarians from all walks of life were honoured for their quick thinking and decisive actions in medical emergencies, fires, avalanches and other hazardous incidents.

    Fire Chief Steve Dongworth was joined on stage by Deputy Mayor Jim Stevenson and City Manager Jeff Fielding, to hand out awards for three levels of recognition:

    • Appreciation: recognizing individuals for providing basic first aid or an act of kindness to a victim at a CFD-attended emergency scene.
    • Recognition: acknowledging individuals for their significant effort to aid in a CFD-attended situation where citizens or property are in danger. Their actions often result in injuries being avoided or property being saved.
    • Commendation: recognizing individuals for proactive actions that save lives, even if it means risking personal injury, to ensure the safety of others. The recipient’s actions go well above and beyond expectations.

    Calgary Fire Department Public Information Officer Carol Henke, who acted as the event’s Master of Ceremonies, noted that recipients represented a diverse cross-section of Calgary’s communities, which included young children, new Canadians and an off-duty firefighter. “Despite being so different, these recipients have one thing in common,” Henke said. “They all rose to the occasion and put the needs of others ahead of their own – something we can all be proud of.”

    Dallas Kaquitts performing the Honour song

    To close out the luncheon, Stoney Nakoda drummer Dallas Kaquitts performed the Honour song in a heartfelt display of appreciation.

    Firefighter and Medal of Bravery recipient Benoit St. Pierre was also featured on the CBC’s morning show The Eyeopener to recount his experience saving a group of back country skiers from an avalanche.

    Members of the public can nominate citizens, firefighters or other emergency responders for recognition by contacting 311. For more information on the Calgary Fire Department, please visit

    Submitted by Irina Mazursky, Calgary Fire

  • Alberta ushers in new era of energy efficiency 19 October 2016 By Justin Pockar, Energy and Environment Coordinator

    As the Energy and Environment Coordinator for Building Regulations at The City, it’s an exciting time for me – and for our province. For the first time in Alberta’s history, we have adopted energy efficiency requirements in our building codes.

    The National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) and Section 9.36 of the Alberta Building Code, which will come into force on Nov. 1, 2016, were adopted as part of a commitment to improve energy efficiencies in buildings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    I think the most important part of having energy efficiency standards is that they become universal. In the future, regardless of where you live, you are assured some level of energy efficiency. It won’t be a huge change, but it will be a change for the better. Buildings will have improved usability, energy performance and quality of construction.

    Codes set minimum standards, so they have a much more severe effect on lower-quality buildings than they do on the higher-quality ones. For those already constructing energy-efficient buildings, you might see some of your competitor buildings increase in cost. This makes the better, more energy efficient buildings more cost-competitive and therefore makes energy efficiency a much more sellable asset.

    What will the energy requirements affect?

    Both codes cover a wide range of building components and systems and can include building envelope, electrical and mechanical systems. Generally, the NECB applies to large commercial and residential buildings that are over 600 m2 in building area or three storeys in height, and Section 9.36 of the Alberta Building Code covers houses and small buildings.

    For single family homes, the code talks about minimum efficiency on your furnace, hot water heater, minimum standards on thermal performance for windows, walls, roofs and more. It’s basically a way to save energy on the day-to-day running of your home.

    The NECB covers all the above as well as interior and exterior lighting, more complex heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, combined hot water systems, and power distribution components and motors.

    Compliance paths

    One of the most important aspects of the new requirements is the flexibility with compliance they provide engineers, architects and designers. The new requirements give guidance while still allowing design teams to explore multiple options.

    Both the NECB and ABC 9.36 offer a design team a choice of three compliance paths; prescriptive, trade-off, and performance modeling.

    The prescriptive path requires meeting all requirements outlined in the code. It is typically the simplest compliance path to follow, but may not be appropriate for all buildings.

    The trade-off path allows for more flexibility in your design, allowing you to trade elements within a portion of the design, like the building envelope, so the overall performance is equal or better to the prescriptive path without meeting every prescriptive element found in the code.

    The performance compliance path provides the most design flexibility. You must demonstrate that your proposed design will not consume more energy than an equivalent building built to prescriptive requirements. This path is the most complex, and requires the use of a computer simulation, but offers significantly more design freedom

    Following these requirements will incur a small cost to builders. At The City, we are not naive to the difficulty that changes like this present. We’ve really tried to go out of our way to help builders adopt these new standards. We’ve put together web information for both commercial and residential buildings on what the standards are and how to comply. We’ve tried to instill a sense of flexibility and a provide paths to painless compliance.

    To learn more and to download compliance documents from The City of Calgary, visit and

    Justin Pockar is the Energy and Environment Coordinator with The City of Calgary’s Calgary Building Services Business Unit. For the past nine years in this position, he has worked to advise the construction industry on sustainable building practices.

  • 4 things you need to know this Halloween 13 October 2016

    The spookiest time of the year is coming up soon—Halloween! Calgary is coming alive with ghouls and goblins of all ages roaming around the city. Some will be in search of treats, others tricks, but everyone can find a fun way to celebrate the season!

    Calgary has no shortage of parties, activities, and deals to explore. Here are four you don’t want to miss out on.

    • Halloween Swim Coupons

      Let’s face it: the kids are going to get a lot of candy. But you can give the kids a healthy alternative that will keep them – and their parents – happy. Instead of traditional sugar-filled Halloween sweets, treat your trick or treaters with a coupon for a free swim at a Calgary facility! With one coupon, preschoolers, children and youth ages 2-17 can enjoy a free swim. For just $5, you can buy a booklet of 10 coupons. Halloween swim coupons are available to purchase online, at Calgary aquatic & fitness centres, leisure centres and at the recreation Business Services centre. More information here.

    • Halloween Boo Bags at North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre, Oct 28

      Decorate a frightening loot bag with your kids this Halloween! We’ll supply a fabulous instructor and all art supplies you need. Bags are $10 each. Kids must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver. Space is limited. To register, call 403-221-3682. This activity takes place on Friday, October 28, 4:30-6:00pm.

    • Monster Mash Halloween Bash at Village Square, Oct 28

      Come dressed in your favourite costume and join us for free creepy crafts, ghostly games, and ghouly activities. We are proud to partner with Aspen Hand in Hand Parent Link Centre and Village Square Library to provide recreational child and family-friendly events. This is a free family friendly event that takes place from 4:30-6:30pm on Friday, October 28.

    • Cemetery Tour, Oct 29

      Spend an afternoon in the cemetery before Halloween! Join knowledgeable tour guides on a walk through time to learn about the people, personalities and events that shaped the vibrant city Calgary is today. This is a free tour that takes place on Saturday, October 29, at 2pm. Meet at the Galloway House, the building near the Union Cemetery main gate. Vehicle entrance is off Spiller Rd. opposite Cemetery Rd. S.E.

    Enjoy your Halloween! Be sure to stay safe – here are some tips to make sure the holiday is a happy one for everyone in your family.

  • Main Streets: More than just streets 12 October 2016 Main streets are important to the long-term growth of our city because they are vibrant areas for people to live, work and visit. Not only do they offer a variety of diverse lifestyle choices for housing and transportation, they form part of the fabric of daily life. Main streets are more than just streets, these are the places where you grab coffee, run errands, meet friends and are unique and vital destinations.

    The Main Streets initiative aligns to the long term growth goals of the Municipal Development plan by directing growth to existing main street areas. These areas have the capacity to support future population increases and commercial opportunities, and are located along a Primary Transit Network for easy accessibility.

    To understand the unique requirements of growth in these areas, The Main Streets initiative considered:

    • Calgarian’s desires for their main street areas
    • Market demand for the location and timing of new development
    • Local planning and policy goals

    Throughout an extensive public engagement process, in which Calgarians thoughtfully provided their input, some of the most important outcomes expressed by main street users included:

    • A vibrant public realm
    • A variety of retail and small businesses
    • A unique character

    These desired outcomes were considered along with market demand (i.e. development and investment interest) and local planning (i.e. current zoning and policy goals). Based on this approach, seven main streets were identified as ready for change and redevelopment in the short-term. City planners then looked at the solutions that would work in these areas to enable desired growth and change.

    1 Avenue NE: supporting a growing population

    Community desires

    Market outlook

    Local planning/policy

    Want more community gathering spaces and a high quality street while maintaining a small town feel

    ·         868 residential units are expected to be built over the next 25 years driving commercial and retail opportunities

    ·         The Bridgeland/Riverside Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP) provides policy that promotes and encourages growth along 1 Avenue NE

    ·         Current zoning does not allow population and employment levels to fully meet MDP growth targets

    36 Street NE: enabling a more creative use of existing space

    Community desires

    Market outlook

    Local planning/policy

    Want a safe and comfortable multi-modal main street with high quality public transit facilities and more landscaping

    ·         214 residential units are expected to be built over the next 25 years, starting gradually between 2016 and 2020

    ·         Many sites have potential for larger scale projects including medium-term opportunity for residential, office and retail development

    ·         Local planning does not provide the proper framework for main street development as envisioned by the MDP

    ·         Current zoning does not facilitate mixed used development and makes more creative use of large commercial sites a challenge

    16 Avenue NW (Mongtomery) and Bowness Road NW (Montgomery): encouraging population growth

    Community desires

    Market outlook

    Local planning/policy

    Want safe and vibrant main street sidewalks, a variety of businesses and effective reuse and renewal of older retail

    ·         Both main streets have not been overly active locations for new development

    ·         Commercial and retail opportunities will be driven by population growth in the immediate area

    ·         The Montgomery Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP) provides policy that encourages pedestrian focused commercial and mixed use buildings along the main streets

    ·         Current zoning does not allow population and employment to reach MDP growth targets

    17 Avenue SE: better aligning to MDP growth targets

    Community desires

    Market outlook

    Local planning/policy

    Want more amenities, gathering spaces that showcase cultural diversity, employment opportunities, safe and vibrant main street sidewalks and improved connectivity to the city

    ·         1,794 residential units are expected to be built over the next 25 years, starting between 2016 and 2020 and gradually increasing.

    ·         Many sites along 17 Avenue SE have potential for larger scale projects including short to medium-term opportunity for residential, office and retail development

    ·         Current zoning does not match up with the City Council approved Southeast 17 Corridor: and does not allow for development to reach the growth targets outlined in the Municipal Development Plan

    17 Avenue SW (from Crowchild Trail to 37 Street SW): encouraging more commercial and retail development

    Community desires

    Market outlook

    Local planning/policy

    Want development of vacant sites and Tecumseh site, and to retain character

    ·         Approximately 3,340 homes are expected to be built over the next 25 years, starting gradually between 2016 and 2020

    ·         Potential for further retail and commercial development opportunities

    ·         Killarney/Glengarry ARP provides land use policy that support MDP goals

    ·         Westbrook Village Station Area Plan is directed by the goals of the MDP

    ·         Current zoning allows for a range of mixed use and apartment development but restricts commercial uses and there is limited opportunity for street-level access forms of multi-residential development

    37 Street SW: encouraging more commercial and retail development

    Community desires

    Market outlook

    Local planning/policy

    Want more of a destination, more vitality and better managed parking

    ·         Approximately 3,208 homes are expected to be built over the next 25 years, starting gradually between 2016 and 2020.

    ·         The Westbrook Mall site has potential for office and general commercial retail development at a larger scale than most main street sites.

    ·         The current zoning does not allow the street to grow over time to meet MDP growth targets

    Drop by an upcoming information session in October to review the proposed solutions and the specific tools and techniques that will be used to enable growth and change in these main street areas. Visit for event details.

  • 16 deserving Calgarians receive recognition at the 2015 The Calgary Awards 7 October 2016 On September 28, The City of Calgary presented 16 awards to recipients at the 2015 Calgary Awards. Mayor Nenshi and members of City Council were in attendance to recognized the many deserving recipients at the ceremony.

    The Calgary Awards showcase The City’s priorities of community, the environment, accessibility, and arts and culture. “Achievements and contributions by citizens in these areas should be acknowledged and celebrated,” said Catherine Humeny, coordinator of citizen recognitions & protocol.

    This year, highlights from the awards presentation include the Community Advocate Award presented to Patricia McLeod, the Signature Award, recognizing an individual who has brought significant recognition to the city, to Richard F. Haskayne and The Citizen of Year award to David Pickersgill for his outstanding contributions to his community.

    The Calgary Awards is The City’s official citizen recognition program established in 1994, celebrating Calgarians and local organizations for their outstanding achievements and significant contributions for improving the quality of life in Calgary. Each year, individuals, corporations, community groups, schools and organizations are nominated in five major award categories. It is one of the largest citizen recognition programs in the city.

    “We celebrated the best of who we are as Calgarians. The work our recipients do to make Calgary a better place makes us proud to live and work in this great city,” said Mayor Nenshi following the ceremony.

    The City of Calgary encourages all Calgarians to look to their neighbours, colleagues, community leaders and local organizations and businesses for those who could qualify as recipients of the Calgary Awards. Nomination applications open in the fall. For more information please visit

  • Building without barriers: Calgary’s Access Design Standards 6 October 2016 When you think about accessibility, what comes to mind?

    A person in a wheelchair? A person with vision impairment?

    What most of us may not realize is that accessibility is important for everyone and designing accessible buildings is key to creating a city for everyone to enjoy.

    Consider a mom with a stroller faced with a staircase, or an elderly person trying to open a door. We need to design buildings without barriers – and that’s exactly what The City’s Access Design Standards are meant to do.

    “The standards help create an inclusive society,” says Patrick Sweet, City of Calgary safety codes officer. “They are meant to increase the level of accessibility for all Calgarians who utilize City buildings and services.”

    The City has recently updated our Access Design Standards for all new buildings constructed on City-owned land. The Advisory Committee on Accessibility, made up of citizens who advise The City on the rights and service needs of Calgarians with disabilities, worked with members of the community to ensure all realms of disability are being considered and that the standards are meaningful and relevant to Calgarians. Approved by Council in September, the standards remove barriers by mandating design requirements that exceed the Alberta Building Code. Visit for more information.

    In addition to the updated Access Design Standards, The City also offers accessible services and programs for people with disabilities. Accessible transportation options, adapted recreational programs, emergency preparedness guides, and much more are available at

    Did you know?

    • In the 30-year span from 2012-2042, the disabled population aged 65 or older in Calgary is expected to triple from approximately 100,000 to over 300,000 citizens.
    • For the first time ever, by the early 2030s, Calgary will have more seniors than youth.

    Have your say on what an accessible Canada means to you

    The Government of Canada is consulting Canadians in-person and online regarding new accessibility legislation. Citizens are invited to participate at an in-person consultation session in Calgary on Oct. 13 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the TELUS Convention Centre (120 Ninth Ave. S.E.) in Macleod Hall A. For more information, visit

  • City of Calgary takes holistic approach to planning in iconic Inglewood/Ramsay area 5 October 2016

    The Inglewood/Ramsay area is a lively, bustling neighbourhood, with many upcoming improvements to roadways, parks and public transit, among other things.

    We know there are a lot of City projects happening in the Inglewood/Ramsay area, and we understand that all the conversation and public engagement about these projects can be overwhelming.

    We want to assure you that we are looking at the area holistically and are coordinating all of these projects, across City departments and project teams, to ensure we are working cohesively towards the same vision: building the best possible future for an iconic Calgary neighbourhood.

    The City has appointed Dale Lynch, Manager of Liveable Streets with The City of Calgary, as the project coordinator for the Inglewood/Ramsay area. Dale will be working with project teams and City departments to coordinate the design and implementation of these upcoming projects.

    You may already be familiar with many of the projects: the replacement of the 12 Street S.E. bridge, Riverwalk, Bend in the Bow, streetscapes, and the Green Line LRT, to name a few. There are also several new projects and changes to the area that you won’t have heard about yet, including the closure of 8 Street S.E.

    We have confirmed that 8 Street S.E. will closed to traffic in the future, though the timing of the closure is yet to be confirmed. The City is working closely with Canadian Pacific Railway to facilitate the closure. This closure is not expected to have significant impact to traffic operations in the area, and we are beginning to identify other area improvements that might now be possible due to the road closure.

    Finally, we’d like to thank you for your patience and your input as we work to plan the future of the Inglewood/Ramsay area.

    Visit for more information and for details about upcoming opportunities for engagement.

    UPDATE: Statement of Clarification RE: future 8 Street S.E. closure, south of 9 Avenue SE

  • When nature meets the city; living with wildlife 5 October 2016 As Calgarians, we are urban dwellers – living in one of Canada’s largest cities. We are community focussed and we believe in preserving the environment, leaving a legacy of sustainability for future generations. Our communities and neighbourhoods are important to us, and we are constantly improving these special places where we live, work and play. Our communities are also home to a rich variety of wildlife that also lives here.

    The abundance of wildlife and habitat in Calgary makes our city uniquely both urban and natural. Visiting our natural area parks such as Weaselhead Flats, Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and Griffith Woods is a great place to watch wildlife.

    We are fortunate to live in a city full of wildlife, however there can be conflict at times. But always there is a desire to foster and live in a healthy, sustainable environment. To support this, The City of Calgary signed the Durban Commitment, becoming the third Canadian city to formally join an international program aimed at improving and supporting biodiversity in our city.

    This is the first in a three part series about Calgary’s biodiversity.

    Pests or wildlife?

    Today’s focus is about those critters such as rabbits, skunks, magpies and mice, that can take up residence in our yards, under our decks and sometimes even inside our homes.

    These creatures are constantly searching for resources that provide food and habitat, and sometimes they find what they need in our yards! Desirable elements that provide food and shelter can increase the risk of wildlife becoming a nuisance. Following some basic guidelines will help ensure that wildlife remain in the wild, not in our back yards.

    How can we ensure wildlife do not become pests?

    • Do not provide a food source. Food left in yards for pets or birds can attract nearby wildlife. Keep the area under your bird feeder clean and tidy. 
    • Overflowing or easily accessible garbage can attract wildlife. Keep garbage in tightly closed and secured waste disposal bins.
    • Keep landscaping tidy. Overgrown grass can provide habitat for wildlife. 

    There are numerous organizations involved with fostering a healthy co-existence between Calgarians and wildlife in the city. Contact the appropriate organization to assist with any wildlife concerns.

    Want more info?

    More tips on how to prevent wildlife from becoming pests will be posted on The City of Calgary’s facebook page throughout October. Stay tuned!

    Submitted by Corinna Baxter, Calgary Parks

  • To tunnel or not to tunnel – what City Council’s decision means for Calgary 5 October 2016 Today, City Council approved a fully tunneled LRT route in Calgary’s downtown core. The approval was made “in principle”, contingent on the overall funding for the Green Line program.

    The fully tunneled route would see the Green Line LRT run underground from the CP tracks in the Beltline, under 2 Street S.W., and under the Bow River. The line would resurface north of 16 Avenue N along Centre Street N.

    Why is the tunnel decision so important?

    The “in principal” decision to tunnel the Green Line LRT route in downtown takes us one step closer to finalizing the design of this LRT line and refining the overall cost estimates. It also shows City Council’s commitment to building the best project for Calgary’s future.

    What happens next?

    Public engagement and technical design is ongoing on the route alignment in the Beltline, and along the northern portions of the Green Line. The project team is evaluating four alignment options in the Beltline, including a tunneled option under 12 Avenue S, which was approved today for further investigation. Visit our online engagement to provide your input on the Beltline route! A final Beltline recommendation will be made to City Council’s Transportation and Transit Committee by December 2016.

    Final recommendations on the full 46 kilometre Green Line route, procurement strategy and construction staging will be made in June 2017.

    What’s the deal with funding?

    The Green Line will be a long-term investment in Calgary’s future, and will likely be constructed in phases over a number of years. Discussions are currently progressing among all three levels of government to determine the overall funding for the program.

    Federal Government: In July 2015, the Government of Canada announced support for the Green Line for up to $1.53 billion from the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund. The City is awaiting application guidelines to be released in order to apply for this funding.

    Provincial Government: Funding discussions are ongoing with the Government of Alberta. The City applied for funding through the Province’s Green Transit Incentives Program (GreenTRIP) on August 31, 2016.

    Municipal Government: In December 2015, The City committed $1.56 billion over 30 years, contingent on receiving support from the Provincial government.

    For more information visit

  • Planning Chinatown: Listening to the Community 29 September 2016

    Over the last four months, The City’s Planning Chinatown team has been engaging Calgary’s Chinese community and other stakeholders to understand how to preserve Chinatown’s unique cultural identity while shaping a vibrant and mixed-use area that can be enjoyed by all for years to come.

    Earlier this summer, the project team went out into the community to gather input on the future of Calgary’s Chinatown. Through online engagement, a walking tour and pop-up events, more than 3,600 ideas from nearly 2,000 participants were gathered and analyzed.

    “The team was thrilled with the level of involvement from the community,” said Allison Chan, Planning Chinatown project manager. “We spent the summer listening to those who live, work and visit Chinatown and have heard many different viewpoints about how Chinatown should grow and change over time. With such a large and diverse community it’s important to consider all opinions, they are both helpful and welcome.”

    The ideas collected in Phase 1 were sorted into broad themes and formed a set of draft planning principles, which were then reviewed by stakeholders during Phase 2 of the project.

    “Over the past two weeks, we’ve held four interactive workshops as well as an open house and heard from nearly 300 participants,” continues Chan. “The sessions were well-attended by a diverse group of stakeholders, who reviewed the guiding principles and shared honest feedback about the issues and opportunities affecting the community.” Although the group was diverse, a common theme emerged, Chan explains, “Almost everyone agrees it is vital that Chinatown retains its distinct cultural look and feel.”

    The feedback will be collected and summarized in a report to Council on December 5, 2016. To learn more about Planning Chinatown and to stay connected, visit or subscribe for email updates.

  • Calgary builds resilience with help from global network 26 September 2016 In May of this year, Calgary was selected to join 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation as part of the final wave of cities to join the global network.

    100RC was launched by The Rockefeller Foundation in 2013 to enable 100 cities across the globe to better address chronic stresses and increasing incidents of acute shocks being faced by cities in the 21st century.

    This week begins Calgary’s first official step as part of the 100RC Network – with a kick-off visit from Calgary’s 100RC Liaison and Advisor, Katya Sienkiewicz, Associate Director for City and Practice Management at 100RC.

    This visit will give The City an opportunity to understand her role, learn more about the 100RC program and Calgary’s role within the network. We will spend the week orienting Ms. Sienkiewicz to City Administration and identifying action items to prepare for the next step in the program.

    “This is an exciting time for The City,” says Christine Arthurs, Director of Resilience & Infrastructure Calgary. “Being part of 100RC means we will be able to tap into resilience experts around the world to elevate the resilience work that is already underway at The City and in Calgary.”

    The next few years will be full of exciting opportunities as we participate in the 100RC Network. Without question, being a member of this global network will yield great benefits for The City, the community, our citizens and the region.

    It is Calgary’s time! We will collaboratively rise to the challenge of building a more resilient city, and apply our learnings, strategies and vast support networks to achieve that goal.

  • Green Line committee update – what was approved and what it means 22 September 2016
    Council’s Transportation & Transit Committee has approved a fully tunneled LRT route in Calgary’s downtown core. This recommendation will now be taken forward to Council on October 3 for a final decision.

    Since December 2015, the Green Line team has been studying five possible routes in downtown to find the best way to integrate the Green Line into Calgary’s core, and connect across the Bow River to the communities along Centre Street North. After extensive analysis and public engagement, the fully tunneled option was found to be the best investment in Calgary’s future.

    The fully tunneled option would see the Green Line LRT run underground from the Beltline, under 2 Street S.W., and under the Bow River. The line would resurface north of 16 Avenue N along Centre Street N.

    Why is underground the best recommendation for Calgary?
    While this option requires significant up-front investment, it offers the best opportunities for future generations of Calgarians. It allows us to maintain the pedestrian, cycling and vehicle connections in the core, while enabling future development to occur unhindered in our city’s economic centre.

    Consider this:

    • All five options evaluated in the downtown core would require some length of underground tunnel in order to connect with the existing Red and Blue LRT lines. It would not be possible to connect with these lines with a street-level system due to technical challenges with operating three intersecting LRT lines in addition to the existing road network, and the requirement to be under or over Canadian Pacific Railway’s main line.
    • The fully tunneled option enables the road, cycling and pedestrian network to remain intact in downtown.
    • The fully tunneled option reduces potential impacts to Prince’s Island Park and the Bow River valley.
    • The cost of the options varies from $1.5B (street level) to $1.95B (fully tunnelled).
    • The fully tunneled option was highly supported by the public, and stakeholders including Chinatown BRZ, Crescent Heights Community Association, Eau Claire Community Association the, local developers and residents.

    What happens next?
    The Green Line team will now continue their analysis and public engagement on the route in the Beltline. We are currently reviewing 10 Avenue and 12 Avenue S as potential routes. As per Councillor Woolley’s amendment to the recommendations at Committee, the Green Line team will explore both surface and underground options along both 10 Avenue and 12 Avenue S. A final recommendation for the Beltline is expected to be brought to Committee in December 2016.

    Public engagement is ongoing to refine the route in the north, and land use policy planning is now being refined in the southeast. Final recommendations for the full Green Line route alignment will be brought forward by June 2017.

    We often get questions about the expected price tag of the Green Line – so we thought we’d provide you with an update on what we know to date.

    Where we started: Earlier in the planning process, it was estimated that the Green Line could cost between $4.5 and $5 billion. This estimate was based on per-kilometer costs of past LRT lines in Calgary, and did not include the results of public engagement, a full analysis of land requirements or the recommendation for underground stations. 

    Where we are today: As of today, we know that there will be four underground stations and a tunnel in the downtown core. Public engagement and design is ongoing on the route alignment in the Beltline and along the northern portions of the Green Line. Once the route alignment is refined in these areas, cost estimates will be adjusted to reflect the updated route and land requirements.

    What’s the deal with funding?
    The Green Line will be a long-term investment in Calgary’s future, and will likely be constructed in phases over a number of years. Discussions are currently progressing among all three levels of government.

    Federal Government: In July 2015, the Government of Canada announced support for the Green Line for up to $1.53 billion from the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund. The City is currently awaiting application guidelines to be released in order to apply for this funding.

    Provincial Government: Funding discussions are ongoing with the Government of Alberta. The City applied for funding through the Province’s Green Transit Incentives Program (GreenTRIP) on August 31, 2016.

    Municipal Government: In December 2015, The City committed $1.56 billion over 30 years, contingent on receiving support from the Provincial government.

    Stay tuned over the coming months to learn more about the cost estimates as they become further refined. Visit to find out how you can get involved in the public engagement process.

  • Centre Street North paving project to begin this weekend 22 September 2016
    In order to extend the life of one of Calgary’s busiest roadways, Roads crews will be paving Centre Street North between 7 Avenue and Beddington Boulevard N.E. starting this weekend.  

     “We’ve identified sections of the roadway that are in immediate need of rehabilitation along Centre Street and hope to have the work completed over the next couple of weekends,” says Chris McGeachy, spokesperson for Roads.

    Due to the scope of the work, crews will have to close various lanes which will have an impact on traffic.

    “To maximize efficiency, we will begin work on localized sections of the northbound lanes this weekend, weather permitting, and then turn around and head southbound the following weekend,” adds McGeachy.

    The first weekend closures will be focused on the northbound lanes, with milling work starting on Friday, Sept. 23.
    • Milling on Centre Street N will take place on Friday, Sept. 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. from 7 Avenue to 16 Avenue. The road will be reduced to a single lane in each direction at various areas throughout this closure. Police will be onsite to detour traffic when milling work occurs in the intersections
    • Milling and paving work will occur from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25. During these times, the northbound lanes of Centre Street will be closed and two way traffic will be in place in the southbound lanes between 7 Avenue and Beddington Boulevard N.E. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes when possible.
    While the schedule for the following weekend (Sept. 30 – Oct. 2) has not been finalized, motorist should expect to see similar closures in the southbound lanes during that time.

    The City of Calgary’s Surface Overlay program helps rejuvenate our transportation network and provide a smooth surface for road users. For more information on paving, visit
  • The new Green Line LRT: Shaping the way we move 15 September 2016
    Over the past 20-30 years the city of Calgary has seen tremendous growth, both in jobs and population. Since the creation of Calgary’s first LRT line in 1981, Calgary has grown from a city of 600,000 to over 1.2 million people. Transit ridership has followed the expansions of the LRT network, averaging 320,000 passengers per day in 2016; the highest LRT ridership per capita in North America. Now with the Green Line LRT, we have another opportunity to plan for future growth of the city by providing Calgarians with even more ways of getting around.

    At our last speaker series session, the team explored “Building transit villages” and on September 20 you’ll learn more about the past, present and future of mobility options in Calgary and hear how the panelists shaped mobility in their respective cities.

    Panelists include Tamim Raad, former Director of Strategic Planning and Policy at TransLink, Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation authority, Brian McCarter, Principal at ZGF Architects in Portland, Oregon and Allison Brooks, Executive Director of the Bay Area Regional Collaborative in San Francisco, California.

    We hope you’ll join us for a brief presentation followed by our panelists who will be answering your questions on mobility trends.

    Tuesday September 20, 2016
    Glenbow Museum Theatre,
    130 9 Avenue S.E.,
    Doors open at 5 p.m., presentation starts at 5:30 p.m. 
    Event concludes at 7 p.m.Light refreshments will be available, seating is limited so please arrive promptly

    Upcoming in the series (more details coming soon):

    • Calgary’s Potential – October 2016
    If you missed the previous sessions, watch the video recaps:

    Follow the Green Line story on Twitter @yyctransport #GreenLineYYC, and for more information on the project, visit For questions about the Green Line project, please email

  • Working Dogs Day: Getting to know the hero beneath the vest 14 September 2016
    Ever wondered about the dog beneath the uniform? The police dog chasing down a bad guy or searching for a missing person? The therapy dog comforting a hospital patient? The guide dog helping its owner safely navigate a busy intersection? 
    Wonder no more! Working Dogs Day takes place on Saturday, September 17, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Bowmont Off-Leash Park (5550 85 Street NW). This free, family-friendly event gives everyone the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with working dogs from 20 organizations from around the province. It is also a perfect opportunity to learn more about responsible pet ownership and positive dog-people interactions. 

    Working dog organizations 

    Working dogs are the heroes of the canine world. Like dogs everywhere, they offer support, care and companionship. But unlike other dogs, they are specially trained to offer professional, often life-saving support, as service, detection, police, military, search and rescue, therapy, compassion and guide dogs.

    Fun for all the family

    Bring your own dog to Working Dogs Day and treat him or her to free nail trimming. Learn tips and techniques from our on-site dog behaviour and pet first aid specialists and The City’s P.U.P.P.Y. team
    The Canine Good Neighbour Program Certification program will be offered to family dogs on a first-come, first-serve basis. Attendees will also be treated to agility, rally, carting, scent and disc demonstrations. 
    Surprise VIPs and celebrities will be in attendance and there will also be door prizes and a White Hat Ceremony.

    Hero volunteers

    Working Dogs Day is part of The City’s Off-Leash Ambassador program, which was launched in 2013. This program features volunteers who promote the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw and encourage positive pet interactions and safety in our off-leash parks. 
    Ambassadors act as community liaisons and positive role models in off-leash areas, providing education, demonstrations and discussions. They are the heroes of the Off-Leash Ambassador program and their hard work helps make this program and all its supporting events possible.
    For more information about Working Dogs Day or how to become an Off-Leash Ambassador, visit
  • New eLearning modules help Calgarians ReTree YYC 8 September 2016 As fall sets in and leaves change colour, it’s easy to see the beauty of our city’s trees. But the benefits of a healthy urban forest go far beyond aesthetics: trees clean the air, improve our health, absorb noise and increase property value.
    screen shot of eLearning module

    For these reasons – and so many more – we want to keep our urban forest growing for future generations to come. In fact, The City’s goal is to increase our tree canopy from 8.23% to 20%.

    Our tree canopy includes every tree in our city – from streets, parks, public spaces and backyards. And with over 50% of Calgary’s trees located on private land, we need your help. Events like the 2013 flood and the 2014 Snowtember storm damaged much of our urban forest, reducing our canopy cover. ReTree YYC has been working hard to prune and replace public trees, and support Calgarians’ efforts of caring for trees in their yards.

    Now we’ve launched new eLearning modules to further support citizens in growing our urban forest. We want to give Calgarians the tools to plant new trees and care for the ones we already have. They’re free, and available 24/7 to do at your own pace.

    second screen capture of eLearning module

    The first module “Right Tree, Right Location” focuses on:

    • The types of trees that work for you.
    • Where to plant safely in your yard.
    • Step by step instructions for planting a tree.
    • How to care for your tree after it’s been planted.

    Did you know: Early fall is a great time to plant, as the tree is focused on root growth, instead of new leaves – and trees are often less expensive to purchase at the end of the growing season.

    Check out the module and learn more about what you can do to help ReTree YYC!

    Submitted by Erin Smith, Calgary Parks

  • Becoming the city we imagined 8 September 2016 This month marks 10 years of work towards a shared view of Calgary’s future through the imagineCALGARY Urban Sustainability Plan.

    The plan includes a 100 year vision along with numerous long-term goals and targets, with a vision of making Calgary a great place to make a living, a great place to make a life.

    10 Years ago, over 18,000 Calgarians contributed to the goals and aspirations of imagineCALGARY. The resulting award-winning plan envisioned a community in which Calgarians would:

    • be connected to each other, our communities, and beyond;
    • have a lighter footprint on the earth; and
    • sense a vibrant, healthy, and strong community fabric.

    Fast forward to today and the vision and core principles of imagineCALGARY have become deeply rooted in much of what we do as The City of Calgary and as a community.

    As a community-owned plan, many people, organizations and businesses continue to work towards, or in the spirit of, the imagineCALGARY goals that are now embedded throughout The City’s plans (such as the Municipal Development Plan, the Calgary Transportation Plan, the 2020 Sustainability Direction), and long-term sustainability goals for City business units such as Waste and Recycling, Water Resources, and Parks, to name a few. In addition, community efforts such as the Calgary Economic Development Strategy, Calgary Arts Development Strategy, Calgary’s community driven poverty reduction strategy (a.k.a. the Enough 4 All Strategy), and the Calgary Board of Education’s Sustainability Framework.

    As our city evolves, emerging efforts continue to contribute towards our long-term vision. Initiatives related to innovation, community and economic resiliency, as well as initiatives that address climate change, all contribute to the imagineCALGARY vision and core principles.

    To highlight people, places, projects, and movement being made towards the goals and aspirations of the imagineCALGARY plan, we’ll be sharing 10 stories via the imagineCALGARY Twitter account and website. Watch for the storyboard display in the City Hall atrium from September 19-23!

    We’re excited to continue working with Calgarians and community partners every day to help ensure Calgary remains a great city to make a living, and a great city to make a life.

  • Accessibility Awards: Nominate someone who improves the quality of life for people with disabilities 7 September 2016 Do you know an individual, group or organization whose work or services improves access for Calgarians with disabilities? If so, we want to celebrate them and their accomplishments.
    Accessibility Awards

    Since 2009, we have been handing out the annual accessibility awards to recognize people who create an accessible and barrier-free city. Leanne Squair is the Issue Strategist that supports the Advisory Committee on Accessibility which sponsors the awards.

    “Improving accessibility benefits everyone, especially as our population ages,” says Squair. “There are many people – including businesses and organizations – who are breaking down barriers for people with disabilities by raising awareness, using universal design, or applying innovative technology in our community. These awards recognize and celebrate Calgarians who are doing this important work.”

    Nominations are open for the 2016 annual accessibility awards until Nov. 18. Submit a nomination for any of three categories:

    The Advocacy Award

    The Advocacy Award recognizes an individual or group of people who have improved the quality of life for people with disabilities.

    Previous award recipients include Constable Christine Robinson (2013), Westside Recreation Centre (2014) and Accessible Housing’s RAD Renovations Program (2015).

    The Access Recognition Award

    The Access Recognition Award acknowledges how an individual or group, through universal design, has improved access for persons with disabilities in Calgary. This award covers improved physical access and/or technology or products.

    Previous award recipients include Calgary Hard of Hearing Association (2013), Calgary Emergency Management Agency (2014) and the Fairmont Palliser Hotel (2015).

    The Ella Anderson Accessible Transportation Award

    The Accessible Transportation Award celebrates an individual or group whose work makes public transportation more inclusive in our community. This award was created in memory of Ella Anderson, who served on the Advisory Committee on Accessibility, and positive attitude and willingness helped to shape a more inclusive, customer-focused public transportation service.

    Previous award recipients include Karim Rayani, manager of Calgary Transit Access (2013), Calgary Transit’s Travel Training Program (2014) and Jim Brown (2015), a long serving board member for Calgary Handi-bus.

    The annual accessibility awards will be handed out in a public event close to the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in December. Stay tuned for more details.

    To nominate an individual or organization for an award, and to learn about some of The City’s accessible services and programs, please visit

  • Roads wraps up another successful season of summer maintenance 6 September 2016 City crews finished spring-cleaning our roads in early May, which meant getting a head-start on summer maintenance work. Despite heavy rains in July, crews have kept busy over the last few months with pothole repair, boulevard maintenance and gravel lane repair.

    “Having warm weather early in the season gave our crews a great opportunity to fill extra potholes and get a jump on asphalt repair. This work helps keep motorists, pedestrians and cyclists safer all year round,” says Roads Maintenance Manager Bill Biensch.

    Here’s a look at some of the maintenance work done on City streets over the past few months.

    Pothole Repair

    Potholes can pop up on any of Calgary’s roads, even after a mild winter. When water seeps through cracks in the asphalt, it freezes and expands, causing the road surface to rise. Melting ice then leads to an empty space beneath the asphalt. The weight of vehicles driving over the asphalt causes the surface to collapse, creating a pothole. While major roads are inspected regularly, crews rely on citizen reports to 311 for potholes on residential roads.

    In May, June and July, crews filled over 3,600 potholes across the city, with nearly half of those potholes being filled in July. Crews were also able to fill some potholes throughout the 2015-2016 winter season when the weather was warm and dry.

    Go online to report a pothole on City roads.

    Boulevard Maintenance

    The Roads boulevard crew had a busy summer maintaining over 1,400 hectares of green space that runs along roadways. Boulevard maintenance includes mowing, managing pests, landscaping, and cleaning up litter. Between May and August, our boulevard crews:

    • Collected over 2,000 bags of garbage on the boulevards and 900 bags of prohibitive noxious weeds.
    • Planted and maintained 65 annual planters along the cycle track network
    • Planted 125 larch tree seedlings along Sarcee Trail 
    • Scouted locations to plant 4,000 trees across the city in 2017

    Gravel Lane Repair

    Every community across Calgary is inspected as part of the gravel lane repair program. Crews inspect gravel lanes to see if it is necessary to re-grade them, to address issues like potholes and drainage.

    To date, crews have inspected and completed re-grading of gravel lanes in over 100 communities across the city, with several more scheduled to be done in September and October.

    Click here to see the full gravel lane repair schedule.

    As fall approaches, crews will be completing summer maintenance projects and preparing for the inevitable first snowfall. Stay up to date on all Roads projects by following @yyctransport on Twitter.

  • Labour Day weekend construction – what commuters need to know. 1 September 2016

    Long weekends are an opportune time to get construction done without impacting the 9-5 weekday commuters. While motorists may notice several projects around Calgary, these closures can happen for a variety of reasons.

    This weekend, paving continues on Silver Ridge Drive N.W., 14 Street N.W. and Edmonton Trail N.W. Keep in mind this work is weather dependent and rain could cause delays. For more information on paving, visit
    • Edmonton Trail N.E. will be reduced to a single lane in each direction between 4 Avenue N.E. and 16 Avenue N.E. from 5 am to 10 pm on Saturday, Sunday and Monday this weekend.
    • 14 Street N.W. has moved into phase 3 of 4 of paving work – traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction from Kensington Road to 5 Avenue N.W.
    • Silver Ridge Drive N.W. will be closed to through-traffic between Silvercrest Drive N.W.  and Silvercrest Crescent N.W. beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturday. This closure remains in place until 7 p.m. on Monday and accommodates paving work.
    LRT Maintenance Work

    LRT maintenance work will occur on 14 Avenue N.W. This will affect certain bus/train routes, for more information visit

    • 14 Avenue N.W. is closed between 14 Street N.W. and 19 Street N.W. beginning at 10 p.m. on Friday. This closure continues until 11:59 p.m. on Monday and accommodates LRT maintenance work.

    Water Services utility work

    48 Avenue N.W. is reduced to a single lane in each direction at 23 Avenue N.W. and there will be no access to westbound 23 Avenue N.W. via 48 Avenue N.W. This closure remains in place until 8 p.m. on Sunday. Local access will be maintained in the area. This closure accommodates water services utility work.

    • Elbow Drive is closed at 75 Avenue S.W. beginning at 7 p.m. tomorrow (Sept. 2). This closure remains in place until 5 a.m. on Monday and accommodates water services utility replacement. Motorists will be detoured around the closure via signage, and are advised to expect delays and use alternate routes when available.
    Deep underground utility work
    • 5 Avenue S.W. is closed between Centre Street and 1 Street S.W. beginning at 7 p.m. Friday (Sept. 2.) This closure remains in place until 5 a.m. on Tuesday.
    • There will be a two-way setup on 4 Avenue S.E. between 1 Street S.W. and 1 Street S.E. beginning at 7 p.m. tomorrow (Sept. 2). This setup accommodates a detour around construction at Centre Street S, which will be closed between 4 Avenue S.E. and 6 Avenue S.E. during this time. This closure remains in place until 5 a.m. on Tuesday and accommodates deep utility work. Motorists are advised to expect delays and use alternate routes when possible.


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