Calgary City News Blog


Calgary City News Blog

Full Description


  • Now accepting applications for the 2018 Calgary Heritage Authority Lion Awards 25 April 2018

    With support from The City of Calgary, the Calgary Heritage Authority (CHA) has been hosting the biannual Lion Awards since 2006. The Lion Awards recognize individuals and organizations who have undertaken initiatives, of any scale, in support of heritage conservation in Calgary.

    In 2016, winners included the Alberta Champions Society, Historic Calgary Week, Andrew Guilbert, the Cliff-Bungalow – Mission History Book, Equinox Vigil in Calgary’s Historic Union Cemetery, the 1875 Fort Calgary Interpretive Exhibit, Hunt House, Simmons Building, and the Somerville Duplex. Lorne Simpson was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on over 300 historic site projects in Calgary and southern Alberta.

    Recognizing Calgary’s heritage and history is not just about preserving the past. Maintaining a link to our past, and understanding those links, ensures we have complete communities in the future. The stories we tell reflect our values — who we are and who we aspire to be.

    “Heritage is a stewardship,” said Andrew Guilbert, a writer and journalist who was honoured with an Advocacy and Awareness Award for his work with Avenue Calgary, which has raised awareness of Calgary’s local heritage.

    “It’s something we get to enjoy because our predecessors knew its value, and it’s our responsibility to understand and share why that inheritance must be passed on after we’re gone. To be recognized as one of the many people who understand that responsibility was a great honour, and gave me a sense of connection to something larger than myself.”

    Heritage in Calgary is represented from the downtown core and beyond to surrounding communities, and the size and scale of eligible projects varies. Communities, groups, organizations, and individuals are eligible to apply.

    This year, the CHA will be recognizing one winner from each category. There are five award categories:

    Resource Conservation
    Community Vitalization
    Landscape
    Advocacy and Awareness
    Heritage Trades and Crafts

    Do you know of a project, person or group that is deserving of recognition? Please review the full application instructions and submit by May 3, 2018 at 4 p.m. To apply, please visit: www.calgaryheritageauthority.com/about/lion_awards.htm
     
    The 2018 CHA Lion Awards will be held on Thursday, August 2, 2018 at the Palace Theatre. Get your tickets now!

  • Celebrating Earth Day: Calgary Climate Symposium and five climate-smart actions 22 April 2018

    At The City of Calgary, Earth Day is an opportunity to show our commitment to environmental protection. Addressing climate change is one way that we are demonstrating that commitment by investing in cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, expanding public transit, capitalizing on renewable energy, retrofitting streetlights to LED, managing our waste as a resource, supporting innovative community design and much more. Today, we are sharing some of the highlights from our recent Climate Symposium and we’ve compiled a top-five list of climate smart actions citizens can take to celebrate Earth Day with us.

    Last month The City of Calgary hosted the Calgary Climate Symposium, bringing together community leaders, entrepreneurs, prominent climate experts and City of Calgary staff for a series of unique networking and learning opportunities.

    This was the first symposium of its kind The City has hosted and all five public events sold out. With so much interest and many requests to hear what was talked about, a playlist of videos is now available on the program website at calgary.ca/climateprogram with all of the presentations as well as feature interviews with many of the speakers.

    The symposium aimed to open up a Calgary-specific conversation about how a changing climate will impact our city, and explore opportunities for innovation and economic growth.

    “Climate change acts as a risk multiplier,” says Tom Sampson, Chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, referring to large-scale events he has responded to such as the 2013 Southern Alberta flood and the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires.

    “Alberta has become the hotbed of severe weather events,” Bill Adams, Vice President, Western Region, Insurance Bureau of Canada, explains with a bar chart showing seven of the top 10 weather-related insured loss events in Canada have been in Alberta. “Understand that you are vulnerable, understand what your specific risks are at your home and at your business, and then take steps to address those risks.”

    And while a changing climate poses risks and vulnerabilities for Calgarians, there are also opportunities.

    “Climate change should be seen as a huge opportunity rather than a threat,” says Andy Gouldson, Professor of Environmental Policy and Dean of Interdisciplinary Research, University of Leeds. “All of our work shows really clearly that addressing climate change can create jobs, improve public health, lead to better, more vibrant cities and enhance the quality of life.”

    Gouldson is part of a team at the University of Leeds who recently published the Economics of Low Carbon Development Report for Calgary, evaluating and prioritizing a list of actions in the residential, commercial, transport, industrial and waste sectors that will provide the largest impact on the local economy and global climate. This study will inform the Climate Program’s upcoming Climate Resilience Plan to be presented to Council in June 2018.

    Presenters from the symposium also outlined simple steps citizens can take today to be climate smart. These are outlined in their video interviews, and we’ve compiled the top five:

    1. Install an energy efficient furnace and/or windows – Guy Huntingford, BILD Calgary 
    2. Use the My Energy IQ tool to understand your energy usage – Jeff Hilton, ENMAX 
    3. Use alternative transportation options (bike, walk, public transit) – Caroline Saunders, British Consul General 
    4. Be active in your community: participate in community gardens, car share programs and more – Anika Terton, International Institute for Sustainable Development 
    5. Be aware of your risks and prepare a 72-hour emergency preparedness kit – Tom Sampson, Calgary Emergency Management Agency
  • New Centre City banners celebrate Calgary’s connections 17 April 2018 Next time you’re entering Calgary’s Centre City, be sure to take a look at the new banners up on the bridges leading into the core and the Olympic Plaza pergola. Created by artists Mary Haasdyk and My-An Nguyen, the series of six banners build on the concept of bridges being connectors to people and places all over The City. 

    Haasdyk and Nguyen worked together to create the series over the course of 2015 and 2016, with Nguyen developing the environments and Haasdyk creating the characters within them. Each banner acts as a bridge between the different worlds and the viewer.
    “As an illustrator, storytelling is something I’m always thinking of in my work,” says Haasdyk.  “These banners have a playful side, but they merge that with the idea of showing the viewer the value of connecting with other people and our community.”

    Haasdyk and Nguyen, both local artists who attended ACAD, saw The City’s request for banner proposals and decided to submit a joint proposal for the project in 2015 when they saw the request. 


    “We really just applied on a whim,” says Nguyen. “We were surprised when we heard that we got it – we had looked at the previous artists who had won contracts and they were already well-established, whereas we had just graduated and trying to get some experience by working together.”

    Both artists say that working as a team was not without its challenges – they were able to overcome

    this by breaking up the work to capitalize on their strengths in order to create banners that would capture the public’s attention in a fresh and interesting way. Both say that it was a good learning experience, and hope that those who see the banners will use their imagination as they engage with them.

    “We didn’t want to just represent traditional environments,” says Nguyen. “We both agreed that we wanted each image to take on a fantastical element and sense of surrealism. We want to catch the viewer’s attention, and give them things to explore.”  “We also wanted a sense of celebrating our City and aspects of our history,” adds Haasdyk. “We hope that the public will see the beauty and the value of our city and our community in these pieces.”

    The banners will remain in place for one year. Visit calgary.ca/centrecity for more information on the Centre City banner project and to view past and present artwork.

  • Warm weather bringing pothole relief for Calgary drivers 16 April 2018 With the weather warming up, City Road crews are now out in full-force repairing all those pesky potholes. And we’re asking residents to let us know if you see potholes popping up in your neighbourhood.

    “About a month ago, we started to see many potholes forming on the all roads in Calgary,” says Road Maintenance Manager Bill Biensch. “Now, with the snow melting in the communities, we expect to see many more in those areas.”

    Potholes form when snow melts into cracks in the asphalt and then freezes, expanding in the cracks. As vehicles drive over these areas, the asphalt breaks away, creating a hole in the road.

    So far this year, The City has received about 2,000 service requests for potholes. Biensch says these numbers are similar to most years, but we are seeing the potholes form in a compressed time frame.

    “It may seem like more this year because crews were not able to fix any potholes this winter,” he adds. “Typically, we fix potholes throughout the winter, every time we get a chinook. But this year, we had very few warm days, so we were not able to get that work done.”

    Now that the weather has improved, extra crews have been assigned to potholes. Biensch says the extra crews will be filling about 300 potholes a week, so Calgarians should see a big improvement quickly.

    To identify pavement in need of repair, The City inspects major roads twice a month and collector roads once a month. In residential areas, however, we rely on citizens and City crews to report concerns.

    “We are asking for the public’s help in locating potholes on less-travelled streets and in laneways,” says Biensch. “Once we know about them, we can add them to our list and send crews out to fix them.”

    If residents spot a pothole, they are asked to report them by submitting a Service Request form on Calgary.ca’s Pothole Repair page or through the City 311 app, with a photo if possible.

  • How snowpack affects river flood risk 9 April 2018
    Bow river snow pack, Centre Street Bridge

    While skiers and snowboarders celebrated the season’s higher-than-average snowfall, some Calgarians have been less enthusiastic, concerned that all this snowfall – once it melts – may increase our risk of river flooding. That risk is what The City of Calgary’s River Engineering Team monitors.

    “We track weather and river conditions year-round,” says Sandy Davis, planning engineer. “We work with Alberta Environment’s River Forecast group, who also monitors conditions and river flow forecasts on an ongoing basis.”

    And while the snowpack within the watershed that feeds the Elbow and Bow Rivers is higher than average for this time of year (approximately 120% of our average snowpack), Davis explains it is not too unusual, nor does it significantly increase our risk of river flooding.

    “The important thing to remember is that, in Calgary, a high snowpack alone does not cause our rivers to flood,” says Davis. “There are many factors that influence our flood risk, the most important one being heavy rainfall upstream of Calgary.”

    The data Davis’s group collects shows many other years in which similar high snowpacks did not result in river flooding. For example, in 2017, a high snowpack and a warm spring led to a quick melt and high river flows. While that prompted a temporary boating advisory on the Bow River, there was no flooding.

    “The main driver of river flooding is heavy rainfall events, which are challenging to forecast because we are so close to the mountains,” explains Davis. “We can usually see large rain events about five to seven days out, but they may change course and may not hit our area. At the same time, once a large rainfall event is on its way, we may only have 24 hours or less to fully understand its scale.”

    These kinds of rainfall events are most likely to occur mid-May through mid-July, so it is important for citizens to be aware of their risks and, if they live, work or commute in flood-prone areas, to be prepared to respond on short notice, if required.

    For more information on how to understand, prepare and stay informed about flood risk, visit calgary.ca/floodinfoand sign up to receive our e-newsletter, which will be distributed biweekly throughout flood season.

  • First phase of City Charters complete 6 April 2018

    The first phase of City Charters for Alberta’s two largest municipalities has been completed, providing the cities with the ability to adapt municipal laws to better fit their needs.

    This phase of City Charters gives more flexibility and autonomy to Calgary and Edmonton, to improve administrative efficiency, support community well-being, empower environmental stewardship and enable smarter community planning. It also aims to strengthen the relationship between our large cities and the province, while providing better service to citizens.

    Examples of what the first round of city charters could mean for The City and residents include:

    • Sending electronic assessment and tax notices to citizens who ask, instead of paper copies; 
    • Establishing a municipal administrative tribunal system to streamline and improve customer service for transit and parking bylaw infractions; 
    • Varying parts of the Traffic Safety Act to allow for the use of variable speed limit signage; 
    • Developing mandatory municipal climate change adaptation and mitigation plans; 
    • Working with Edmonton and the province at collaboration tables to find solutions to common issues, such as planning. 

    What’s next for City Charters?

    The second phase of City Charters will focus on a new fiscal framework to ensure each city’s economic future is secured for decades to come. Over the coming months, Calgary, Edmonton and the province plan to develop a long-term revenue sharing agreement and make legislative changes this year.

    To learn more, visit the City Charters page on Alberta.ca.

  • Public Service Announcement: #YYCSnowMelt – Get ready for it 12 March 2018

    The weather forecast indicates that warm weather can be expected for Calgary this weekend. The warm weather combined with the large amount of snow received in recent weeks will likely result in significant snow melt and this could create challenges for all of us.


    Here are some tips to protect your home and your family this weekend:

    1. Shovel snow away from the foundation of your home and window wells to prevent seepage into your basement. 
    2. If you are moving or piling snow, check furnace and exhaust vents to make sure snow and ice are not blocking them. Carbon monoxide can build up within your home as a result. 
    3. Ensure your downspouts (eavestroughs) are clear and pointed away from your home/foundation. 
    4. Once the snow begins to melt and the storm drain is visible, clear snow away from the storm drain. 
    5. Once the melt begins, you can clear away snow from the storm drain. If you find that the storm drain is iced over, do not try to remove the ice yourself. Call 311 and a crew will clear the ice for you. Don’t chip away at ice on storm drains as you may damage it or injure yourself. 
    6. If water pools by the storm drain, give it 90 minutes to drain. The City of Calgary has special devices in the storm drains that allow the water to drain slowly and not overload the stormwater system. 
    7. If you see pooled water on a roadway, be careful – don’t drive through deep water as you can’t see potentials risks or conditions that might be unsafe. 
    8. Check the function of your sump pump. 

    If you can’t find your storm drain, use our interactive map to locate it.

  • City approves the sale of six development sites to non-profit affordable housing providers 12 March 2018
    In the most significant sale of City-owned land to affordable housing providers in The City’s history, the City of Calgary has approved the sale of six development sites to:
    • HomeSpace Society, 
    • Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta; and, 
    • Homes for Heroes Foundation (in partnership with the Mustard Seed and ATCO Group).

    Each non-profit organization demonstrated strong track records as affordable housing providers in Calgary by meeting a specific set of criteria including demonstrated experience in multi-residential development and operating, managing or selling non-market housing.

    The sites are located in the communities of:
    • Hillhurst Sunnyside, 
    • Albert Park/Radisson Heights, 
    • Forest Lawn; and, 
    • the Downtown Commercial Core. 

    Each non-profit met requirements for eligibility to receive funding from The City’s Housing Incentive Program (HIP) and a dedicated addition from the Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) SEED Funding program, marking a meaningful collaboration between the two levels of government.


    The City’s Real Estate & Development Services business unit was instrumental in the success of this land transaction process, having released The City-owned land at below-market value to support non-profit housing providers in the development of more affordable units.


    This initiative is expected to yield up to 165 new affordable homes, helping to provide safe and stable housing to more Calgarians.




    Affordable Housing Provider

    Address

    Community

    Homes for Heroes Foundation

    902-912 36 Street S.E.

    Forest Lawn

    HomeSpace Society

    3725 10 Avenue S.E./1104 36 Street S.E.

    Forest Lawn

    Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta

    1305/1313 36 Street S.E.

    Albert Park/Radisson Heights

    Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta

    1523-1527 36 Street S.E.

    Albert Park/Radisson Heights

    HomeSpace Society

    344 14 Street N.W.

    Hillhurst Sunnyside

    HomeSpace Society

    933 5 Avenue S.W.

    Downtown Commercial Core

  • As Rocky Ridge Recreation Facility Opens, Work Continues at Seton Facility 12 March 2018
    [From Left to right: Kurt Hanson, Manager of Community Services for The City of Calgary; Mark Asberg, Director of Service Delivery for the Calgary Public Library; Michael Connolly, MLA for Calgary-Hawkwood; Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi; Shannon Doram, President and CEO of YMCA Calgary]

    On February 1, 2018, the Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge celebrated its grand opening, with guests including Mayor Naheed Nenshi, MLA Michael Connolly, Councillors Ward Sutherland, Joe Magloiocca and Sean Chu, YMCA Calgary President and CEO Shannon Doram, and citizens from the area.
    Initial response to the new facility has been overwhelming – since opening, the facility has signed up over 9,400 new YMCA members, justifying The City of Calgary’s research that a recreation facility was sorely needed in the area.


    Mayor Nenshi speaks at the Grand Opening of the Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge.
    The Shane Homes YMCA is the third of four new recreation facilities to be built in underserved areas of the City. The Great Plains Recreation Facility and Remington YMCA opened in Calgary’s southeast in 2016. The City has overseen the planning, design and construction of all four new recreation facilities – 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). In all cases, there were few recreational opportunities in the area before construction of the new facility.

    The last of the four new facilities, in Seton, is currently under construction. This facility will open in early 2019 as a community hub in a dynamic area surrounded by a future high school and regional park. The new facility was designed with input from a thoughtful engagement process with local community associations and area residents.

    Within the walls, construction on the 330,000 square-foot facility is moving briskly, on-time and on-budget. Amenities will include a 50-metre, 10-lane competition and diving pool, a water park and leisure pool, a surf simulator, two ice rinks, 3 gymnasia, a fitness centre with studios, a 200-metre running track, art-making and studio space, a 250-seat theatre, and a 25,000-square-foot full-service library.

    The facility will be managed by the Calgary YMCA, who won a competitive bid to operate and maintain the space. This innovative model ensures the sustainability of the facility without the need for additional tax dollars to fund staffing, maintenance or other operational costs.

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


    Photos of Seton:

    View of the main atrium and the future 25,000 square-foot library
    View down the main hallway, toward the main atrium. The competition pool is on the left, and the twin arenas to the right

    Looking down on the future competition pool

    View of diving platforms. A temporary floor has been erected over the deep end of the pool.

    The future recreation pool area, including the recreation pool (R), lazy river (centre) and posts for a waterslide (L). Behind the lazy river is the foundation for the surf simulator.

    A view from the top of the future waterslide

    One of the two arenas under construction

    The future gymnasium space on the lower level, surrounded by the running track on the upper level.
    Seton Recreation Facility – exterior under construction (October 2018).
  • Spring and summer recreation program registration now open 28 February 2018 Say goodbye to winter with The City’s spring and summer Recreation programs, open for registration on February 26, online, in person and over the phone.

    Not sure what programs are available? Our Spring/Summer Recreation Program Guide is now available; pick up a hard-copy or browse programs online. The guide contains hundreds of recreational opportunities to get you and your family more active, more often.


    “The City of Calgary has a variety of programs to help you get outside and get moving as the weather warms up in our city,” says Brad Herman, recreation program specialist with The City of Calgary.

    With dozens of facilities located throughout the city, including two leisure centres, 12 aquatic & fitness centres, seven golf courses, a soccer centre, a sailing school and more, there are many convenient locations for you and your family to take part in a variety of fitness related recreational programs, close to home.

    3 steps to registering

    1. Create or update your account
      – Create or login to your account on calgary.ca/liveandplay
      – Make sure all information is up-to-date
      – Once you have an account, you can call 403-268-3800 to add family members
    2. Find your program
      – Pick up our Recreation Program Guide or browse programs online at calgary.ca/liveandplay
      TIP: Don’t want to select a specific program date/time? Leave the date selection blank, so you can see all of the options
      – Write down your desired program course IDs
    3. Register for your program
      – Online with a credit card (Debit & VISA debit not accepted): calgary.ca/liveandplay
      – By phone: 403-268-3800
      – In person: Calgary Recreation Customer Service, Southland Leisure Centre or Village Square Leisure Centre  

    Join us and get moving!

  • FAQ: 2018 property/business assessments and Customer Review Period 24 January 2018

    On January 4, 2018, The City mailed over half a million property and business assessment notices. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the process and how it may affect you.

    Where can I find my property’s assessed value?

    You can find the assessed value of your property or any other Calgary property online using Assessment Search. You do not have to log in to search for assessed values, however, for more detailed information (including your previous year’s assessment, your tax information and specific property details) you can log into Assessment Search using your City myID account.

    For more information on how to use Assessment Search, see the help guides for property owners and business owners.

    How is my property assessed?

    Your property assessment notice sent in January is based on your property’s market value, the amount it likely would have sold for last July 1, and improvements to its physical condition as of Dec. 31.

    Assessors look at many factors including your property’s details such as age, location, lot size, additions or renovations and sales of similar properties in the neighbourhood in the last three years.

    Your assessed property value goes through internal checks and balances and a provincial audit before the notice is mailed to you in early January.

    What if I don’t agree with the assessed value?

    If you have any questions or concerns about your assessment, contact Assessment at 403-268-2888 during the Customer Review Period from Jan. 4 to March 12, 2018.

    Your assessor may be able to resolve your concerns without the need to file a formal complaint.

    Changes can only be made to your 2018 property assessment if you inquire about it during the Customer Review Period.

    Changes cannot be made to your tax bill mailed at the end of May.

    If you still disagree with your assessment, visit the Assessment Review Board for more information and/or to file a complaint online.

    Formal complaints with the Assessment Review Board can only be made between Jan. 4 and March 12, 2018.


    How does my assessment affect my property taxes?

    Your property assessment is used to determine your share of taxes, relative to all properties in Calgary, to meet The City’s budget needs.

    Once Council has set the tax rate, your assessment is then multiplied by the tax rate and the result is your share of property tax shown on your tax bill.

    Assessments are based on the fair market value of your property last July 1. Real estate data on all properties sold in Calgary in the previous three years are analyzed. Your individual assessment comes from the analysis of sold properties in your neighbourhood that are very similar to yours.

    Your property tax can change from year to year if your property’s assessed value increases or decreases greater than the change in the overall assessment base or if additional revenue is needed by The City to provide services.

    You can search for your current property assessment using Assessment Search.

    Learn how your property is assessed.

    More information

    Where can I get more information?

    If you have questions about property tax, contact 311.
    For tax related FAQs, visit Property tax and assessment Frequently asked questions
    You can learn more budget, assessment and taxes at calgary.ca/ourfinances.
    Assessment information – calgary.ca/assessment
    Property tax information – calgary.ca/propertytax
    Tax Instalment Payment Plan (TIPP) – calgary.ca/TIPP
    Property Tax Assistance Program (PTAP) – calgary.ca/ptap

  • 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.

 




Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.