Calgary City News Blog


Calgary City News Blog

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  • Secondary suite successes: programs boost number of legal suites 11 January 2017 It’s a sweet time to build a secondary suite – or at least, that’s what 383 families decided after The City of Calgary introduced a development permit exemption for basement suites and an online suite registry in September 2015.

    That’s over 400 per cent more secondary suite applications than The City received previously on a monthly basis.


    “It’s a faster, cheaper and easier process to build a basement suite in areas where they’re already permitted; you can go straight to the building permit phase,” says City of Calgary Senior Special Projects Officer Cliff de Jong. “Because of that and the introduction of the registry, we’re seeing more Calgarians than ever before build a new suite or make their existing suite safe and legal.”

    Applicants can skip the development permit process entirely if they meet the rules of the Land Use Bylaw, saving up to $2,000 in application costs, which includes commissioning architectural drawings. In some instances, you may still require a land use redesignation or development permit; in which case, the fees for both are currently waived. The exemption is a pilot project that could end in March 2017, but is up for discussion at City Council on Jan. 16.

    “I think as a homeowner, it’s easy to say, ‘I can get this basement development permitted in a day, but a secondary suite development takes three months,’” says Calgary secondary suite owner Sean Hayes. “Now, with the development permit exemption, you may be able to get that secondary suite development in a day or two as well.”

    The launch of both secondary suite programs has helped to create conversations between The City and citizens in person and on social media, says de Jong.

    “We’ve been talking to people on a number of platforms and getting a lot of positive feedback about the online registry and development permit exemption,” says de Jong. “We know the process can be confusing; sometimes people are misinformed about what it takes to build a legal and safe suite. Social media is an easy way to direct them to the correct information and for us to be a part of the online conversation.”

    Calgary basement suite owner Kim Ketchum says that in particular, the online secondary suite registry has helped her talk to her neighbours about secondary suites.

    “The registry is important for the community,” Ketchum says. “I think it’s really important that the image of secondary suites is enhanced within the city. I think the registry can help do this, because my next door neighbour, somebody down the street or two blocks over can go to the website, pop in my address and see whether or not the suite is legal. When they see that it is registered, then that can help change perceptions around secondary suites and people will know all of Alberta’s safety code requirements have been met.”

    To learn more about renting or building a secondary suite, visit calgary.ca/suites

  • Calgary AfterSchool has a variety of free programs to keep kids active, creative and social 6 January 2017 With our shorter days and freezing temperatures, it’s not uncommon for the winter blues to set in. It can be a challenge to keep your child or teen active and engaged as they settle back into the school grind.

    A great cure for the winter blues is to help children and youth find new and stimulating activities to keep them active, creative and sociable. An easy remedy is to have kids or teens drop into one of The City of Calgary’s free, safe and fun after school programs.

    We have a variety of programs to get kids and youth thinking, creating, moving and socializing. Our unique programming is designed to help children and youth do better in school, stay productive, learn new skills and make new friends.

    Best of all, parents will never hear the words, “I’m bored” again.

    Held after school hours on school days, there are dozens of locations across the city.

    Give Calgary AfterSchool a try. Visit Calgary.ca/AfterSchool to find a program that’s right for you.

    Submitted by Eric Michalko, Calgary Neighbourhoods

  • What to do when snowfall turns into windrows 29 December 2016 Since snow stopped falling on December 25, crews have completed maintenance on Priority One and Two routes, which include major roads like Crowchild Trail and most bus routes. Crews continue working in accordance with The City’s Seven Day Snow Plan, which means plows are now in residential areas and playground zones.

    On residential roads, you may see vehicles “flat-blading”, which means turning the blade under a sander downward to flatten the snow to a hard pack, so it is easier to drive on. Sometimes, this results in windrows, which many Calgarians have questions about.

    What is a windrow?

    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. Flat-blading causes a continuous a build-up of snow along the side of a roadway, also known a windrow.

    While this is good for motorists, the snow left over after crews have flat-bladed can create some extra work for property owners.

    There is a windrow in front of my driveway. Who is responsible for 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 shovelling. 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.

    What does The City do about windrows?

    City forces 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. Under extreme circumstances, if a windrow is impeding a resident’s ability to enter their driveway, a crew can come by and assess the windrow and remove 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.

  • City services respond to the needs of vulnerable Calgarians during cold weather 14 December 2016 As Calgary continues to experience a deep freeze, we are working with partner agencies in Alberta Health Services and across Calgary to make sure our more vulnerable citizens have options to stay safe.

    Thankfully, the Government of Alberta has informed us that shelter beds are available in Calgary for those who would like to come in from the cold at night. As well, the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) has an emergency plan in place if shelters become overwhelmed. They also work with shelter and other agency partners to help ensure the needs of the homeless are met during the cold months.

    Our Community Standards Partner Agency Liaison (PAL) Team has been busy this week, along with the Calgary Police Service and the Downtown Outreach Addictions Program (DOAP) , visiting locations where homeless Calgarians have been known to sleep. These teams check up on people who may need help during the cold weather and to pass out items such as warm socks and other clothing items, and bagged lunches provided by The Safe Communities Opportunity and Resource Centre (SORCe).

    This is a time of year when we all need to watch out for one another. If citizens see a person in distress or who is unresponsive, they should call 9-1-1 immediately. If you see a person who needs help, call 311. Here are a few tips for anyone trying to help out a homeless person, or person who is struggling in this frigid climate:

    • The person you are helping may have special needs such as a mobility or emotional wellness issue, so be sure to take this into consideration before acting.
    • Always keep the person informed of what you are doing and ask for their agreement before taking any action.
    • If the person does not agree to the help you are offering, call 311 or 911, depending on the urgency of the situation, to ask for help and guidance. 

  • A look into the transformation of The City’s Historic 8 Street S.W. underpass 14 December 2016
    The 8th Street underpass opened fully to the public today. We sat down with Ben Barrington, Centre City Implementation Program Manager, to learn about what citizens can expect from this important infrastructure investment.

    Q: How does the new underpass increase pedestrian safety?


    We’ve approached safety from a number of angles which we think citizens and local businesses will appreciate. Complementing new security cameras and call boxes, are design features that include improved lighting, new sidewalks, new stairs and an interactive art installation. These elements contribute to a safer, more enjoyable, experience. Our approach has transformed, what some folks previously thought, were just poorly lit “sidewalks” into a place that is that feels much bigger,  brighter, and more welcoming and  interesting, which  substantially enhances safety.


    Q: How many people use this particular underpass?

    Situated along the 8 Street S.W. Corridor, this underpass is one of the most used by Calgarians, averaging around 9000 pedestrians a day.

    Q: What will be displayed on the public art installation?


    Panels along the sides of the s-curve installation will scroll across the snippets and fragments of Calgary’s past;  bits of old advertising, classified  ads from 100 years ago, personal  reminiscences on details of daily life. The installation will help present-day Calgarians understand a snapshot of the history of the underpasses and the role of the railway in shaping our city. As they enter the underpass it’s as if they are experiencing the past.

     An interesting aspect of this artwork is that pedestrians will have opportunity to interact with the scrolling texts using their smartphones. This feature won’t be functional until late January. By sending keywords to the controlling computer, passers-by can influence the content of the script by finding story from the data base. For example, sending the keyword “oyster” might dig up advertising copy for fresh oysters that were regularly brought to Calgary daily by rail in the 1910s.

    Q: Will other underpasses be getting similar treatment?

    Yes, in Centre City we’ve been investing in our Corridor program, and underpass improvements are the first phase of these improvements. This is the third underpass improvement project, having recently completed 5 Street S.W. and 1 Street S.W.,  and in 2017 will start construction on the 4 Street S.W. underpass. Planning for the remaining underpasses will start in the next two years.

    For more information, visit www.calgary.ca/8stunderpass.
  • Your Guide to Safe Holiday Hopping 8 December 2016 The weather outside may be frightful, but your holiday hopping shouldn’t be! Stay safe this holiday season with these helpful planning tips.

    Safety is always in style

    ‘Tis the season for holiday parties and events and we want to remind you of the different options to get around the city safely after late night revelry. Transit, taxis, limousines and rideshare can help you get where you need to go — but each mode requires a little planning.

    Taxi, limousine and rideshare:

    • Don’t wait in the cold. Know where the nearest taxi stand is located.
    • Learn the difference between fares and rates to get the best deal.
    • Respect the ride. Know your rights as a passenger and a driver.
    • Know your limits. Taxis and limousines can charge you a cleaning fee if a passenger soils a cab from having too much alcohol.

    Transit:

    • Find the fastest route with a little planning and get regular updates on transit service.
    • Special holidays call for special service. Calgary Transit is once again providing extended service on New Year’s Eve. CTrains and 12 major bus routes will be running until 3 a.m. from downtown.

    And remember, the winter weather can cause all sorts of delays, so although your plan may involve traveling from your car into a heated parkade, Frosty the Snowman may have a different plan in store. It’s a good idea to always prepare for inclement weather by ensuring you have warm clothing and winter boots in the car!

    Make it to the party. And then make it home. Safety is always in style.

    Have a safe and festive holiday season!

  • City launches annual Snow Angels campaign 7 December 2016 With more snow in the forecast, it seems winter is here to stay for a while. The snowy weather brings with it the need to keep walkways clear of ice and snow, something that is challenging and dangerous for many older adults and others with limited mobility.

    Today we launched the 13th annual Snow Angels campaign asking Calgarians to help neighbours in need this winter. Being a snow angel is a great way to get out, meet your neighbours and help build community spirit.

    “We can all be Snow Angels – it’s simply neighbours being neighbourly and clearing the walkways for people who may not be able to do it themselves,” says Geoff Moore, program coordinator. “Snow Angels has two parts: help shovel someone’s walk and, recognize someone who shovels walks.”

    Keeping walkways free of ice and snow helps all community members move safely through neighbourhoods. For many Calgarians, this means getting out of the house and exercising, connecting with neighbours, and showing what it means to be a community.

    “For most pathways it is just a few extra minutes of shovelling to help a neighbour – especially if you get to it before foot traffic packs it down,” says Moore. “You wouldn’t believe how much it means to those with limitations.”

    If someone has cleared your sidewalk, we would love to know so we can recognize them as a Snow Angel. You can nominate your Snow Angel online or by calling 311.

    All nominated Snow Angels are officially recognized by Mayor Nenshi and entered into a prize draw. For more information, visit: calgary.ca/SnowAngels.

  • Safety on the roads a shared responsibility this season 6 December 2016 After an unusually warm and dry fall season, it’s finally starting to look like winter in Calgary. With snow on the ground and colder temperatures in the forecast, The City is reminding Calgarians to be prepared for winter driving conditions.

    “The accumulation of snow and ice on the roads can impact traction. This winter, take a bit more time to get where you’re going so that you can get there safely,” says Roads Maintenance Manager Bill Biensch.

    Crews are out there working hard to maintain our streets, but we need your help. Here are a few ways you can help keep everyone moving safely this winter:

    • Move your vehicle from designated snow routes during a snow route parking ban.
    • Winterize your vehicle and consider installing snow tires.
    • Clean snow and ice off your vehicle and ensure your headlights and windows are clear.
    • Leave extra distance between you and vehicles in front of you, including equipment such as sanders and graders.
    • Give yourself extra time to reach your destination.
    • Remove snow and ice from the sidewalk in front of your home within 24 hours after the snow stops falling. 

    When planning your commute this winter, make sure to stay informed about weather, road conditions, and traffic flow, too.

    Follow @yyctransport on Twitter for frequent snow clearing updates, road closures, and incident alerts. If you have questions about road conditions, traffic or other road projects, we’ll find you the answers.

    Visit Calgary.ca/snow, a one-stop-shop for all things related to snow and ice control. Find out if a snow route parking ban is in effect, see a map of pathways that are cleared of snow, and learn about the Seven Day Snow Plan.

    The new map at Calgary.ca/roadconditions shows traffic camera images and plow progress across the city to help you keep moving safely and efficiently.

    Take advantage of calgarytransit.com to sign up for email alerts, teletext, teleride, and download the mobile app. Follow @calgarytransit on Twitter frequent services updates and answers to any of your transit questions.

    Although there may be a few more months of cold weather ahead, we can work together to keep all Calgarians on the move safely this winter.

  • Cycle track pilot project summary 5 December 2016 The Council-approved 18 month Cycle Track Network Pilot Project will end in December. The final report and recommendations from Administration will be presented to the Standing Policy Committee on Transportation and Transit on December 8, 2016 and then to Council on December 19, 2016. At these meetings, Council will determine the future of the network.

    The public can attend and speak at the December 8 meeting or submit a letter with their comments about the pilot. The December 8 meeting will be held in Council Chambers and will begin at 9:30 a.m. People interested in submitting a letter or presenting at Committee can find out how to do so online.

    Results
    The cycle tracks give Calgarians a safer and more predictable way to travel by bike to downtown destinations. Over the past 18 months, the project team collected data on 82 performance measures while monitoring the operation and safety for all road users. Many of the performance targets were met and a report summarizing the results is available online. Here are a few highlights:

    The primary performance measures for the pilot were:

    • Percentage of people cycling, walking and driving satisfied with the pilot (evaluated using a random phone survey)
    • Safety (evaluated using number of collisions)
    • Bicycle volumes (evaluated using automated counters and manual data collection)
    • Travel time for cars during the peak periods (evaluated using GPS and stopwatch trials)
    • Incidents of unlawful bicycle riding (evaluated using manual observation)

    We found the following results for each of these metrics:

    Satisfaction
    A third-party telephone survey was conducted city-wide in September 2016 to track awareness, understanding, attitude and support for the project.

    • 46% – 54% of people ‘liked’ their most recent driving experience on the routes (51% – 60% in 2014) 
    • 65% – 82% of people ‘liked’ their most recent cycling experience on the routes (12% – 71% in 2014)

    The survey also found that 67% of people support the cycle track pilot and 68% support the Stephen Avenue bicycle pilot. The same survey was conducted in 2014 and 2015, and support remained consistent.

    Safety
    Safety along the network was closely monitored during the pilot period. Collision information was collected by Calgary Police Service, and during one year of the pilot (June 18, 2015 – June 18, 2016) there were 39 reported collisions between a bike and car and zero fatalities along cycle track corridors.

    We reviewed locations where an incident occurred and put in dashed green paint, changed parking or added signs to raise awareness of potential conflicts at these locations.

    Bicycle volumes
    We have been using automated counters to count the number of bike trips taken each day since the network opened. To date, there have been 1.2 million bicycle trips since June 2015, based on the data at the three middle count locations. Ridership has tripled along the network, and the number of women and children riding has also increased.

    Travel times
    We anticipated travel time for drivers would increase on the roads with cycle tracks, since typically we had to remove a driving or parking lane to create the bikeway. The Transportation Department recorded travel time for drivers travelling from one end of each cycle track to the other for each route, during the morning and evening rush hours. They found that the longest delay was 90 seconds, on 12th Avenue from 11 Street S.W. to 4 Street S.E. during the morning drive.

    Incidents of unlawful bicycle riding
    Overall, unlawful sidewalk riding has decreased from an average of 16% (before the cycle tracks) to 2% after the cycle tracks. There were no observed instances of careless riding or near misses on Stephen Avenue during the time the data was collected.

    You can learn more at our presentation to Committee on Thursday or visit calgary.ca/cycletracks.

  • Recognizing Calgarians who improve life for people with disabilities 2 December 2016 With upcoming Federal Government accessibility legislation and the increasing need for more accessible services, what can we do to make Calgary a more inclusive city?

    Today we celebrated International Day of Persons with Disabilities by recognizing local organizations and innovators who are leading the way to improve life for people with disabilities in Calgary.

    2016 ACA annual award recipients and special guests.

    “People with disabilities have so much to contribute to our communities and our economy,” says Nabeel Ramji, a member of the Advisory Committee on Accessibility (ACA). Nabeel works as the Manager of Strategic Atlantic and Real Estate Finance at Strategic Group. He also has cerebral palsy. “This is why we chose the theme of ‘Live, play, work and thrive in Calgary’ for this year’s event. Regardless of one’s ability, as a community we can collaborate to ensure that everyone has access to equal opportunities towards a full and active life in Calgary.”

    Awarding Calgarians who make a difference

    Mayor Nenshi recognized the contributions of those who work tirelessly to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities in Calgary. The winners of the ACA’s annual awards are:

    • 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.

    Sandra Jansen provided greetings on behalf of the Government of Alberta and Sheila Serup presented two 2016 Awards of Excellence to Ms. Lynn Wheadon and Dr. Dorothy Badry on behalf of The Premier’s Council on the Status of People with Disabilities.

    These awards acknowledge only a small fraction of the total contributions by Calgarians to support the well-being of people with disabilities in our city.

    Making accessibility a priority for everyone

    Minister Kent Hehr spoke about the importance of developing an upcoming Canadian Accessibility Act. Nicole Jackson of Accessible Housing talked about Accessible U which includes toolkits and practical information about accessibility in the residential environment. Councillor Druh Farrell concluded the formal portion of the event by sharing how The City is improving accessibility. Attendees had the opportunity to meet with local organizations who support a variety of disabilities in Calgary, including Deaf and Hear Alberta, CNIB, Accessible Housing, Between Friends and March of Dimes Canada.

    The City of Calgary’s Advisory Committee on Accessibility provides advice on important issues that impact the needs of people with disabilities, including building design, transportation and services.

    Happy #IDPD2016 everyone! For more information about what The City is doing to improve accessibility, visit calgary.ca/accessibility.

    Watch footage from the ACA annual awards and International Day of People with Disabilities event.

  • New Open Data Portal Now Live! 30 November 2016 On the heels of being named one of the top “Open Cities” in Canada by the Public Sector Digest in their annual Open Cities Index report, The City of Calgary has launched an upgraded Open Data Portal with enhanced data analysis features, new data visualization tools, and API capabilities for easier app development for developers.

    This new Portal allows us to share more, better data with citizens, while also allowing citizens to interact with our data in new, more intensive ways.

    “Where the old Open Data Catalogue gave citizens access to download our data, the new Portal allows citizens to really take
    a deep dive into our data and interact with it in a more intense way,” says Leader of Intellectual Property & Access Marketing in Corporate Analytics & Innovation Dale McNamee. “We’re excited to keep growing the number and types of datasets that we make available on the Portal and, of course, to see what new developments will come from them.”

    With the launch of the new Open Data Portal, The City will be retiring the old Catalogue at the end of the year. To make the transition to the new Portal smoother for users, we’ve migrated the current catalogue to archivedata.calgary.ca, which will remain live until December 31, 2016.

    Interesting in seeing the different kinds of datasets that The City makes available to the public for free (and without restrictions)? Visit the new Open Data Portal today!

    Fast facts about open data

    • “Open data” refers to data that is made available for free, without restrictions (anyone can use it) and can be used for any purpose, including commercial use
    • The City of Calgary joined the ‘open data movement’ in 2010 to provide centralized and easy access to City data
    • The City’s old Open Data Catalogue received an average of 14,000 downloads and 7,000 unique visitors every month. With the new Portal, these numbers are anticipated to increase significantly.
    • 22 mobile apps have been created and brought to market using The City’s open data, and combined have over 750,000 downloads
  • Calgary’s Southwest Ring Road: connecting people and communities 29 November 2016 With work beginning in the 1950s to determine its location, followed by 60 years of planning and design, we’re now only months away from crews breaking ground on Calgary’s Southwest Ring Road (SWCRR). For the next five years, the Government of Alberta’s recently hired contractor Mountain View Partners, with its subcontractor KGL Constructors, will work to complete the new 21 kilometre highway. Travelling between Highway 8 and Macleod Trail S.E., the SWCRR makes our city’s road network better.
    Westhills Way, behind the Westhills shopping area, opening 2020.

    “We’ve been waiting a long time for this missing piece in our road network and we’re excited to see it move forward”, says Julie Radke, Manager of ring road integration. “But we have a lot of work to do to make sure this piece of ring road fits with our existing roads.”

    The City of Calgary’s to-do list includes four new road connections at Westhills Way, 90 Avenue S.W., Southland Drive, and 162 Avenue S.W. The City is also improving four existing roads:

    “We’ve already completed the new Westhills Way connection and we’re on schedule to begin work on four other road projects in 2017”, explains Radke. “We’ll finish our work one or two years before the ring road opens, but that means there’s no doubt they’ll connect and be ready on opening day.”

    When completed, The SWCRR will connect to major highways and the existing Stoney Trail, improving the road network for reliable goods movement, more options for traveling around the city, and shortened travel times for people driving between communities and popular destinations in and outside Calgary. It’s a big part of Council’s priority, A City that Moves.

    More information on the SWCRR:

    Public information sessions
    Tuesday, Nov. 29, 5-8 p.m. at Calgary First Church of the Nazarene – 65 Richard Way S.W.
    Wednesday, Nov. 30, 6-9 p.m. at Bishop O’Byrne High School – 333 Shawville Boulevard S.E.

    Constructing the Ring Road: final design, schedule and traffic detours
    Web page: SWCRRproject.com
    Email: info@SWCRRproject.com

    Constructing Calgary’s connections and road improvements:
    Web page: Calgary.ca/swrr
    Email: yyc-rr@newsletters.calgary.ca

    History and location of the ring road (interchanges, bridges and roads):
    Web page: sw-crr.ca
    Email: email@sw-crr.ca

  • Calgary’s Winter Recreation Guide will help you stay warm this winter 29 November 2016

    As the winter chill begins to set in this year, Calgary’s Winter Recreation Guide has hit stands and online at the Calgary.ca website, offering thousands of ways to help you and your family stay warm and active through the colder months. And with a range of beginner classes that won’t hurt your body, your pride, or your wallet, the adage “no pain, no gain” has never been less true.

     

    Here are some fun beginner classes that we recommend to help make those winter months fly by:

    • Dance 101 for adults  
    • Skating and Hockey courses for both adults and kids
    • Drawing for the Completely Intimidated  
    • Improvisation courses
    • Golf (yes, we have indoor intro courses through the winter for kids and adults!)
    • Potter’s Wheel Basics
    • Belly Dance
    • Strength for Women  
    • Burlesque – Girls’ Night Out
    • Karate, Aikido or Tae Kwon Do 
    • Rock climbing

    For those new to fitness routine, just getting back in, or rehabilitating after an injury, we also offer a range of gentle fitness courses, which you’ll find in the guide.

     

    Joining a class doesn’t have to break the bank – all programs are priced to be affordable, and our Fair Entry program also provides fee assistance to qualified individuals. There are a number of programs at Village Square Leisure Centre that you can try for just a toonie. We want you to be more creative and active more often, and our winter programs can help you do just that.

     
    Registration begins today – pick up a copy of the program guide at your local Calgary Recreation facility, or customize your own at Calgary.ca/recreation.
     
    Register soon to ensure your space, and don’t forget to let us know how you stay active on Facebook or Twitter using #GetMovingYYC!
  • Updating our Civic Sport Policy – we want to hear from you! 29 November 2016
    A lot has changed since 2005. For one thing, you could visit Blockbuster on a Friday night to rent a movie. The top tech trends included dancing to your own ‘Ipod’ and flipping your Motorola Rzr cellphone. And, if you are a sports fan, then you likely remember the incredible (and misleading) performance by Lance Armstrong at the Tour de France. You may also remember that in 2005 Calgary was the first municipality in Canada to adopt a policy aimed at fostering sport.

    Updating our Civic Sport Policy.

    Council approved the Civic Sport Policy in 2005 but since then our population has grown by nearly 500,000 people. Along with this growth, there is increased demand for accessible sport opportunities and quality sport amenities. It’s for these reasons The City is looking to refresh this policy and ensure it continues to be meaningful for Calgarians.

    “We are looking to see how the policy has shaped sport opportunities in Calgary and how we can do better,” says Greg Steinraths, manager of Sport Partnership in Calgary Recreation. “Whether it’s amateur or professional sports, our goal is to clearly understand our role and how The City can better facilitate and support the broader sport delivery system.”

    We want to hear from you! There is no doubt that sport plays an incredibly important role in the cultural fabric of our city. Moreover, sport provides significant economic and social benefits, which is why we are asking for input from stakeholders such as Sport Calgary, Calgary Sport Tourism Association and sport organizations.

    So far, we’ve talked to a lot of individual Calgarians too! From education providers, and volunteers from the LGBTQ community, to new Canadians and amateur athletes but now we’d like to hear from you. Whether you’re involved in sport or not, are a coach, ref, or a parent whose children participate, please review what we’ve heard so far and give us your thoughts on the future of sport in Calgary.

  • GetMovingYYC with free events across Calgary 28 November 2016

    Sedentary lifestyles are on the rise. On average, Albertans sit almost 9 hours per day (2015 Alberta Survey on Physical Activity).


    Together, with our community recreation partners we are challenging Calgarians to break the cycle and to move more.


    Simple actions have big impact

    Moving more doesn’t have to be a life changing commitment to ‘exercise’. In fact, making small, simple changes to your everyday routine can significantly improve your health. It’s as simple as taking the stairs instead of the escalator; cycling instead of driving; standing instead of sitting; or going for a walk instead of watching TV.

    Join the movement

    #GetMovingYYC is an awareness campaign aimed at turning the curve on sedentary behaviour by getting more Calgarians more active more often. Over the course of the next week, (Nov. 26-Dec.3) Calgarians are invited to participate in free events being hosted across the city. 

    Join the movement and the conversation. Use #GetMovingYYC on social media and show us how you move! For a schedule of free events and fun ideas on how to stay active visit calgary.ca/getmoving.

  • Evaluate concepts for the south end of Shaganappi Trail on November 24 21 November 2016

    Shaganappi Trail has long served as a vital link in Calgary’s transportation network.

    It’s time to think of the future and how it can better serve citizens. That’s why The City of Calgary is conducting a transportation corridor study that will identify short- and long-term recommendations for the south end of Shaganappi Trail.

    Citizens shared their concerns and ideas on how to improve the study area starting last year. The study is currently in Phase 2: Concept Development and Analysis. Join us at the open house on Thursday, November 24 at the Foothills Academy (745 37 St. N.W.) to help evaluate preliminary concepts for the study area.

    “The infrastructure was built in the 1960s and is the remnant of a freeway plan that was never built,” says Project Manager Lei Ma. “The study will help us understand how to reconfigure the roads to better meet the needs of the community and Calgary’s transportation network for the next 30 years.”

    There will also be an opportunity to provide input online around the same time. The input received throughout the engagement, along with technical review, will help us identify a set of recommendations to present to Calgarians in spring 2017.

    To learn more about the study or to sign up for email updates, visit calgary.ca/southshaganappi.

  • Saying goodbye to Car 2001 – our very first LRV 17 November 2016

    On September 20, Calgary Transit began the decommissioning process on Car 2001 – the very first Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) to arrive in Calgary.

    It was made by German manufacturer DUWAG and was delivered to Calgary Transit on April 18, 1980. The grand opening of the CTrain was on May 25, 1981 with Mayor Ralph Klein at the helm of the first train.

    Car 2001 was in service for 35 years and has travelled over 2.5 million kilometres during that time. It’s had 44 new tires, 514 routine maintenance and service inspections, the bogies (the framework carrying the wheels and axels) were rebuilt four times and the body was refurbished once in 1998.

    Decommissioning the vehicle involves removing the items of value so they can be reused to keep other LRVs running.

    Over the next few years more of these original LRV cars will be retired as Calgary Transit increases their inventory of the new Mask CTrain cars. Calgary Transit is still considering whether to keep one of the old cars for historical purposes. That decision will be down the road if funding becomes available.

  • City’s new pothole innovation could save thousands on road repairs 17 November 2016 From May to August of this year, The City’s 14 asphalt hot boxes filled over 5,000 potholes. The hot boxes are a single-purpose piece of equipment, and can’t be used without an operator.

    “Our crews started looking for a multi-functional piece of equipment,” says Roads Maintenance Manager Bill Biensch. “There were products on the market but they did not fulfill all our requirements.”

    So instead, a City-specific design was created. With a focus on increasing utilization of City fleet, Fleet Services, in collaboration with Roads, designed a new slide hot asphalt carrier that can be slipped onto the box of Snow and Ice Control (SNIC) trucks. After about 350 hours of engineering time and 800 hours of manufacturing, Fleet Services developed a prototype asphalt hot box that would slip into the back of the truck was delivered.

    “By using the SNIC trucks, which are parked in the summer, we turned these units into multi-purpose trucks that can be used year-round,” said Majid Asefi, Fleet Operations Manager. “This saves The City a significant investment in purchasing the additional chassis that was previously required.”

    The redesigned unit, which was fabricated in-house at the Fleet Fabrication and Welding shop, also allows the Roads crews to use the recycled asphalt pulled up from construction zones. After collecting the asphalt, recycling it is a four-step process:

    1. Apply emulsion (a liquid solution) to the asphalt carrier
    2. Apply emulsion to the asphalt
    3. Load the asphalt carrier with material
    4. Bake at ~ 350 °F for 8-12 hours

    After these four simple steps, the asphalt is ready to reuse!

    Crews can let the material bake during peak traffic periods in the afternoon, then get back out on the roads in the evening to start filling potholes. The baking process can occur without an operator while crews attend to other maintenance work, which makes the machines even more efficient. Crews can recycle up to four tonnes of asphalt each time the cycle runs, at a total cost of just $29 per tonne. For every tonne recycled, we save $141.

    The first trial used asphalt from manhole work in the southwest, which was re-purposed for a pothole in Charleswood. With a successful trial under their belts, crews are looking to turn more trucks into multi-purpose pieces of equipment. If two trucks could each recycle three tonnes of asphalt each day, crews could re-use almost 100 tonnes of asphalt every month, saving around $14,000.

    As the temperature cools down, crews may soon switch to snow and ice control. To prepare for next year’s summer road work, Fleet Services has refined the initial design and is currently building six additional units.

    For more information, visit the City’s Roads Maintenance program page.

  • Animal Services adopt-a-thon offers special rates to find your fur-ever friend 17 November 2016
    There’s only a few days remaining in the Animal Services adopt-a-thon which ends on Sunday, November 20. Making the choice to adopt a dog or cat from Calgary Animal Services is not only a great option for finding the perfect furry companion, it also helps reduce the number of homeless pets in Calgary by giving a loving animal a fur-ever home.
    Many studies show that pet ownership can improve your overall health by easing feelings of loneliness, providing opportunities for socialization and even just encouraging you to get outside and exercise. While there are many benefits for people, making a pet part of your family is a big commitment. Like people, pets have very different personalities, and physical and social needs. If you are considering pet adoption, we recommend spending time researching and finding the pet that best suits your family situation, your lifestyle and your stage in life. By taking time in the beginning, you can find the perfect pet for you.  

     During the adopt-a-thon, adoption rates are half price:

    • $100 for dogs
    • $75 for cats

    November is also Senior Pet Month at The City. Senior pets are dogs and cats that are seven years and older. To help celebrate this special month, we’re offering extra special rates for seniors adopting senior pets.

    Drop by our Animal Services Centre at 2201 Portland St. S.E. We’re open every day:

    • Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m
    • Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

    You can also visit our web sites to view our adoptable catsand dogs.

  • City recognizes Bullying Awareness Week and National Child Day 16 November 2016
    This week (November 13 to 19) is Bullying Awareness Week in Canada. The City of Calgary is helping Calgary’s youth tackle this problem by partnering with the Dare to Care Bullying Prevention program and local schools and teachers to educate children on prevention.
    Bullying is a form of youth violence that can have lasting impacts on young people and lead to

    serious mental health issues that can last throughout a person’s life. Despite the seriousness of this issue, it is estimated that only four per cent of students who experience bullying report it to their teachers, parents or other adults. Supporting youth through skills-based programs is an effective way to help young people, both victims and bystanders, do the right thing by reporting bullying and knowing how to act when it happens

    Six tips to help prevent bullying

    Kids, parents and teachers all play a role in preventing bullying. Here are six tips from the Dare to Care Bullying Prevention program for dealing with bullying. 
    • Try and look calm and confident, even though it can be difficult. Some bullies are trying to get you to look upset and you can take away their fun by refusing to give them what they want.
    • Think about when the bullying happens. If possible, avoid that place or person, and try and get support from friends so you aren’t on your own.
    • Write down the name of the people involved in the bullying behaviour, what they are doing and when it happens. Remember, if the mean-spirited behavior only happens once or twice it is conflict. If it happens for a week or longer, it is bullying. Knowing the difference between conflict and bullying is important.
    •  Keep talking and get support from your teacher, youth worker, friends and family. It’s a myth that telling will only make it worse. In reality, bullying can be stopped if adults and peers get involved.
    • Avoid cyberbullying by challenging yourself with these three questions:
      • Could I show the picture or words to the persons face?
      • Would I be O.K. if someone sent that picture or those words to me?
      • Could I show it to everyone in the school, and to my parents and grandparents
    • If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” then delete and walk away. Do not send!
    • If you are hurt or your belongings are damaged, keep evidence to show an adult.

    National Child Day wraps up Bullying Awareness Week

    On Sunday, Nov. 20, The City is also celebrating National Child Day, and this year’s theme, ‘It’s Our Right to Belong,’ is a perfect way to wrap up Bullying Awareness Week. We’re celebrating with the Winterfest event at Ralph Klein Park. Here are some examples of the great free activities and entertainment for the whole family from 1-3 p.m.:
    • Get creative in our crafts room
    • Join a guided park tour
    • Test out your birdwatching skills
    • Make some memories in the Belonging Photobooth and find out more about bullying prevention
    • Join firefighters to learn about fire safety

    Looking for activities close to your community? We are offering free public swims on National Child Day for children and youth under 18 at our fitness and leisure facilities at select times across Calgary.

    The City also supports everyone’s right to belong in Calgary communities through Fair Entry – programs and services for low income Calgarians . Here children and adults who qualify will find a one-stop service to receive special pricing on everything from bus passes, to recreation and other City programs and services.

 




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