Calgary City News Blog
- Calgary firefighter to receive Governor General’s Medal of Bravery 23 April 2014 Firefighters have to be brave – they run into burning buildings and respond to emergencies that most of us would run away from. It is their job, after all. However, even when Calgary Firefighter Brian McRae, is off-duty, he remains courageous.
“We are very proud to see one of our own nationally recognized for showing such bravery,” said acting Fire Chief Ken Uzeloc.“Our firefighters show courage every time they respond to a fire or emergency, but it makes us that much prouder to see a fellow firefighter recognized for showing that same bravery and courage off the job, and in this case, on vacation!”
Firefighter spots swimmers in trouble
McRae performed his medal-worthy heroics while he was on holiday in Varadero, Cuba for a friend’s wedding. Three years ago on April 6, McRae heard people yelling and noticed they were struggling to swim in the Caribbean Sea. He grabbed two swimmers, who were from Ontario, towing them to shore.
Later that day, he returned to the beach and noticed two more swimmers struggling in the waves and again, he went into the water and brought them to shallow water safely.
National recognition in Ottawa
The Calgary Fire Department recognized McRae for his bravery in July 2011. Tomorrow, he will be acknowledged nationally when the Governor General of Canada presents him with the prestigious Medal at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
Congratulations Calgary Firefighter Brian McRae!
The Governor General awards the Medal of Bravery (M.B.) for acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances. Find out more about the awards.
- Shaganappi Trail Corridor Study open house 22 April 2014
Calgarians are invited to drop by an open house to review and provide feedback on the recommended long-term plan for Shaganappi Trail.
Date: Thursday, May 1, 2014
Time: 5 to 8 p.m. (Note: This is a drop-in session, attendees can come at any time)
Location: Varsity Acres Presbyterian Church (4612 Varsity Drive N.W.)
The plan was developed following feedback received from community members at the 2012 open house, four community conversation sessions in 2013 and meetings with local residents and community associations. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about and provide feedback on the recommended plan before it’s finalized.
Attendees are encouraged to review the highlights and feedback received from the November 2012, April 2013 and November 2013 sessions posted on the project webpage at calgary.ca/shaganappicorridor
- Census deadline extended past April 22 21 April 2014
Census data collection has been extended past the original deadline of April 22. This means that if you have not had a chance to provide census takers with your household information, you may still receive a knock on the door.
City identification badges are worn by all census takers; if it is not in plain view just ask to see it. If you’re not home, your census taker will leave a phone number where they can be reached to arrange the completion of your census. All information you provide is secure.
A big THANK YOU goes out all Calgarians that have opened their doors and called us back to make their answers count in this year’s census.
The civic census is the official count of dwelling units (ex. houses, condos, apartments) and the number of people living in these units. The City conducts the civic census every year to help us inform decisions on population-based City services, like transportation, roads, and police and fire services. Data from the census is also used by the public and separate school boards for enrolment predictions, decisions on future schools, and by the provincial government for determining grants, if they are available.
For more information on census collection, visit Calgary.ca/census.
- Understanding Flooding - Interview with Water Resources Program Manager Rick Valdarchi 21 April 2014 Water Resources Program Manager Rick Valdarchi reviews some of the different types of flooding that can occur and what The City does to prepare for the possibility of flooding each year.
Find more information at calgary.ca/floodprep
- Weigh-in on The City’s digital strategy 21 April 2014 Did you know that The City is currently working to develop a digital strategy for 2015-2018?
The digital strategy aims to foster Calgary’s digital economy, support digital literacy and improve digital access to City services. This strategy takes a cross-department view of The City’s administration and looks for ways to enhance those connections at a technological level.
The digital strategy will also be used to identify how we can better communicate and engage with Calgarians, being mindful of trends in digital and open government.
To ensure that this strategy reflects the needs of all Calgarians, we would like your input. Complete the survey by April 24 to weigh-in on what could enhance The City’s digital strategy. Your answers will be compiled and reviewed to assist in the direction we take.
Information on the progress of the digital strategy along with engagement results will be accessible on the engage! website. The webpage will provide key information on the decision-making process as well as background information needed to get involved.
Your participation in the planning process will help City employees write a digital strategy that is both collaborative and reflects the goals of all stakeholders.
This is only the beginning - Over the next five years, we will continue engaging citizens to continually improve our digital strategy’s initiatives.
- Emergency responders trained on expanded supply of water pumps 17 April 2014
Members of the Calgary Fire Department and Canada Task Force 2 (Can-TF2) are ready to deploy a series of water pumps in the event of future flooding.
The Calgary Fire Department and Can-TF2 purchased additional water pumps last year when Calgary experienced devastating floods. Staff were put through a series of exercises today to ensure pumps are ready to deploy and staff know how to properly use them in the event of future flooding.
“We run training exercises all the time to test equipment and ensure it is safe and operating properly when it is needed,” said Calgary Fire Department Deputy Chief Ken Uzeloc. “It’s important to ensure equipment is ready to go when our firefighters and partners need it.
Find more info at calgary.ca/floodprep
- Green your spring cleaning by composting yard waste 17 April 2014
This spring, Calgarians are encouraged to drop off their yard waste at City landfills for free so it can be composted instead of thrown away.
Between April 18 and June 1, all three City of Calgary landfills will waive fees for residential loads of leaves, branches, plants and other yard and garden material. The material will be composted at the sites, turning it back into a useful resource.“Yard waste makes up over one third of residential garbage during this time of year,” says waste diversion specialist Lindsay Seidel-Wassenaar. “When it gets buried in the landfill, it can’t be turned into soil or compost due to the lack of oxygen. It takes decades to decompose while producing harmful greenhouse gases. Composting makes fallen leaves, branches and other yard waste useful again and turns it into a product that will help new plants to grow.”Here are three tips for Calgarians to know about the spring yard waste program before they come to the landfill:
- Make sure your load only contains yard waste like leaves, branches and plants (no sod – it can’t be composted). Charges will apply if the load contains other items.
- Residents are encouraged to leave their material loose or put it in paper yard waste bags, which can be composted as well. If loads are loose, residents should make sure they are secure before transporting them.
- Before leaving for the landfill, people are encouraged to visit calgary.ca/waste or contact 311 to confirm landfill hours, locations and other details. The service is intended for residents only.
- Easter 2014 hours of operation for City of Calgary facilities 17 April 2014
Image courtesy of
Jeroen van Oostrom/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Calgary Transit will provide a Sunday level of service on Good Friday, April 18, 2014 and Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014.
Barlow/Max Bell Station will be closed from April 18 to April 20 for four-car platform extension work. Shuttle service will be in place to connect customers to their destination. Visit calgarytransit.com for details on the closure and shuttle service.
For information and schedules, please visit calgarytransit.com, call Teleride at 403-974-4000, or
Calgary Transit Customer Service at 403-262-1000.
All arenas (with the exception of Village Square Leisure Centre) and athletic parks will be closed on Good Friday, April 18, and Easter Sunday, April 20, except for any advanced bookings.
Fitness and Aquatic Centres
All Aquatic and Fitness Centres will be closed on Good Friday, April 18.
The following Aquatic and Fitness Centres are open for Free Swim (1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.) on Easter Sunday, April, 20.
Acadia Aquatic & Fitness CentreFoothills Aquatic Centre
Inglewood Aquatic Centre
Killarney Aquatic & Recreation Centre
Sir Winston Churchill Aquatic & Recreation Centre
Village Square Leisure Centre
Good Friday, April 18 – OPEN 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Easter Sunday, April 20 – OPEN 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Public Skate – 12:30 – 2 p.m.
Southland Leisure Centre
Good Friday, April 18- OPEN 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Easter Sunday, April 20 – CLOSED
No Public Skate or Shinny hockey available
The Wildflower Arts Centre will be closed from Friday, April 18 through Monday, April 21.
The North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre will be closed from Friday, April 18 through Sunday, April 20.
City of Calgary Parks
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary
Park hours: The sanctuary's trails are currently closed, and will remain closed throughout 2014, due to flood damage.
The Nature Centre is closed Mondays and statutory holidays including Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Devonian Gardens will be open 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Good Friday and closed on Easter Sunday.
Fort Calgary is closed on Good Friday and reopens on Saturday, April 19, 2014. Please visit our Events Page for more info.
Gates open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily, (Zoo closes at 6 p.m.)
Due to construction, the southwest gate is closed until June 15, 2014.
Cars of the Big & Small Screen – Special Exhibit closes end of day April 21, 2014
Gasoline Alley Museum – Open every day 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Residential Garbage & Recycling Collection
Residents with Friday service will still have their blue and black carts picked up on Good Friday, April 18.
All City landfills are open regular hours (7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.) on Good Friday, April 18, and Easter Sunday, April 20.
Community Recycling Depots
Collection at Community Recycling Depots is not affected on Good Friday or Easter Sunday.
Animal Services Centre
2201 Portland Street S.E.
Thursday, April 17: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday, April 18: CLOSED/Statutory Holiday – Good Friday
Saturday, April 19: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday, April 20: CLOSED/Statutory Holiday – Easter Sunday
Monday, April 21: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
City Administrative Offices
Administrative offices will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
- Helping others is a way of life 17 April 2014 For many of Calgary’s first responders helping others is more than just a career choice; it’s a way of life on and off the job. Staff members at The City's Public Safety Communications (PSC), or 9-1-1 Centre, are no different.
“Year after year, I never cease to be amazed at the level of generosity and spirit shown by PSC employees,” says PSC Commander Steve Dongworth. “Before the police, fire department or ambulance arrives, these are the individuals who are there for citizens by connecting them with emergency services, and the amount of volunteering and charitable giving they do around that is truly inspiring.”
Last year alone, the team of roughly 300 PSC employees collectively supported more than 60 different charitable groups and initiatives. Three such initiatives were spearheaded by Sharon Koch, Heather McEachern and Craig Broadbent.
Finding ways to give back
“I will never be able to pay back the people who helped save my child’s life, but I will spend the rest of my life trying,” explains Sharon.
Sharon routinely organizes team events to support Ronald McDonald House as well as Canadian Blood Services.
“Sometimes a shift work environment makes it tough to commit to regular volunteering so I try and find ways we can make a difference as a group, either in person or through some sort of fundraising. There is never a shortage of people willing to support these efforts and I am grateful for that.”
Snacking for a cause
“All of our charities are picked by the volunteers and the staff who work here,” says Heather. “With a group of eight super-dedicated volunteers we are able to donate several thousand dollars every year.”
Chance encounter makes a difference
One day when Craig Broadbent ventured out to buy lunch, he met a man in his early 20s who was down on his luck and battling through winter with no winter coat or boots. Craig reached out to the young man by buying him coffee and food and spending time chatting.
“He was eager to have basic necessities like a place to sleep and a warm shower. I felt that I could help facilitate, if not in goods needed, at least in encouragement,” said Broadbent. “Within two weeks of meeting my new friend, he informed me that he had a job working nights at a nearby warehouse.”
Honouring those who help others
To help honour the commitment, dedication and selflessness of PSC personnel on the work they do connecting Calgarians to emergency services, Mayor Naheed Nenshi proclaimed April 13- 19, 2014, as Public Safety Telecommunications Week in Calgary.
To learn more about Public Safety Communications and the work this group does for Calgarians visit http://calgary.ca/911.
- Calgary Fire Department reminds about dangers of icy waterways 17 April 2014 The Calgary Fire Department reminds Calgarians to be cautious around ice covering bodies of water and the banks of Calgary waterways.
“As the weather keeps changing, it's difficult to assess how thick ice might be or how much it has melted.
“It's best to stay safe and stay off.”
Accidentally falling through ice can happen very quickly and the danger of hypothermia or other injuries can be very serious.
Recent incidents were close calls for several Calgarians
At the end of March, a Calgary woman was rescued from the water after she followed her dogs into Elliston Lake, where they had fallen in. And this month, two boys were rescued after falling through ice covering a pond in Valleyview Park.
“If you see anyone who has fallen through the ice, please call 9-1-1 and do not attempt to go out into the water. Stay on shore and encourage them to kick and pull themselves on the ice until help arrives.”
Stay safely back and keep pets on a leash
The Calgary Fire Department also suggests keeping a safe distance from river banks and lake shores when you can see ice in the water or around shores and banks. When taking pets to parks or on walks close to waterways, keep them on a leash so they don’t fall through the ice.Henke says if you do fall through ice into water, stay calm, control your breathing and keep your head out of the water. Call for help and try to pull yourself onto the ice on your stomach and roll towards the shore where the ice may be thicker.
- Attainable Homes Calgary Corporation launches its first inner-city development 16 April 2014 Mayor Nenshi and Ward 7 Councillor Farrell officially launched Attainable Homes Calgary Corporation’s first inner-city development yesterday, unveiling the renderings and announcing that 25 attainable units will be available for eligible Calgarians.From left to right: Kevin Harrison and Jeremy Sturgess (Sturgess Architecture), Paul Steckler (Lexington Development Management),
Councillor Druh Farrell, Mayor Naheed Nenshi, David Watson (Attainable Homes Calgary Corporation)
This is an artist’s rendering based on current development concepts.
Changes may be made to materials and build style during the course
of construction without notice.
AHCC President and CEO, David Watson, said the project will change the way many people see attainable housing in the city.
“This is a smart design and it proves that attainable homes can be cutting edge, while still maintaining a price point that is achievable for households earning a moderate-income,” said Watson. “I would like to thank Lexington Development Management and The City of Calgary for enabling us to offer one of the first examples of laneway housing and one of few examples of live/work units to be built in Calgary.”
This is an artist’s rendering based on current development concepts.
Changes may be made to materials and build style during the course
of construction without notice.
Mount Pleasant 1740 is currently under construction and possessions are anticipated in the first quarter of 2015.
About Attainable Homes Calgary Corporation
Attainable Homes Calgary Corporation (AHCC) is a non-profit organization and wholly owned subsidiary of The City of Calgary that connects developers, builders, lenders, lawyers and insurance companies to bring down the upfront costs of buying a home. It provides three key elements that help make the dream of homeownership a practical reality for moderate-income Calgarians: attractive home prices, forgivable equity loans, and a shared appreciation plan that provides homeowners with a financial stake in the equity of their new homes.
For more information, visit www.AttainYourHome.com
About the builder
Lexington Development Management Inc. is a Calgary-based consulting and development management company that specializes in multi-family residential projects.
For more information, please contact Lexington Development Management President, Paul Steckler, at 403-971-9122 or email email@example.com
About the architect
Sturgess Architecture is an award-winning, Calgary design firm, celebrating over 30 years of architecture and urban design. As a 15-person collaborative of architects, designers, technologists and assistants the firm operates as a studio office, where all members of the staff are aware of the phases and details of every project.
For more information, please visit www.sturgessarchitecture.com
- City of Calgary launches new commuter information portal 15 April 2014
Calgary.ca. The portal, called Getting Around Calgary, is dedicated to providing quick and easy travel information for Calgary commuters.
Inside commuters will find how to get to and from their destination with information, tools and resources about the various travel options available within Calgary. Whether you choose to walk, ride your bike, take transit , carpool or carshare, Getting Around Calgary will have you on your way allowing you to choose the most convenient, cost effective and environmentally sustainable way to travel.
Calgary commuters will also find links to up-to-date road reports, pathway and bikeway maps and transit route and schedules so you can avoid congestion and get to your destination safely and conveniently.
Interested in reducing the environmental footprint of your commute? Getting around Calgary also provides information about work options like telework for reducing and even eliminating peak hour commutes. You can even take part in various programs and partnerships and track the benefit your alternative commute has on the environment while reducing congestion for all Calgarians.
To find out just how easy getting around Calgary can be, visit Calgary.ca/gettingaroundcalgary.
- Mayor Proclaims April 13-19 as Public Safety Telecommunications Week 15 April 2014
Before the police, firefighters or paramedics arrive, The City of Calgary’s emergency communications officers (ECOs) are there.
Each year, Public Safety Communications (PSC) personnel evaluate and dispatch required resources for nearly one million 9-1-1 and non-emergency calls for the Calgary Police Service, Calgary Fire Department and Alberta Health Services.
As the ‘first’ of the first responders, ECOs serve as the critical link between citizens and the emergency help they require.
Mayor Nenshi's proclamation
In honour of the important work these individuals do and in celebration of National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has proclaimed April 13-19 as Public Safety Telecommunications Week.
Public Safety Communications was established in 2006, integrating emergency communications officers from the Calgary Police Service, Calgary Fire Department and Calgary Emergency Medical Services. The unique model sees more than 300 trained ECOs connecting citizens with The City’s nearly 3,500 firefighters, police officers and paramedics.
For more information on Public Safety Communications visit http://calgary.ca/911.
- Calgary welcomes new City Manager 14 April 2014
Today, The City of Calgary was introduced to our new City Manager, Jeff Fielding.
“It was important we cast a wide net to find the best person to lead this organization. Council and I are very pleased to find such a qualified candidate in Jeff Fielding,” said Mayor Nenshi. “His public service experience, including a history working for The City of Calgary and his citizen-focused approach will serve The City of Calgary, and Calgarians, well.”
Fielding is a seasoned municipal administrator who's brought innovation and excellence to cities across Canada since beginning his career in municipal government in 1978. Currently, Fielding is the City Manager of the City of Burlington, and will begin his role with The City of Calgary on June 2. Prior to that, he was City Manager with the City of London for nearly eight years.
"I am excited and honoured to be chosen to lead an exceptional organization in a world-class city,” said Fielding. “I have always been drawn to Calgary because of its vibrancy but I was drawn to this role based on the direction The City is taking,” he added. “I’m looking forward to working with Administration to support the Mayor and Council. Together we’ll continue to deliver the daily services Calgarians need and prepare to meet their expectations for the future.”
- Making sense of the census on City Matters 14 April 2014 Census takers will continue collecting data throughout Calgary neighbourhoods until April 22.
Paul Denys, Leader of Election and Census, explains in the video below what the census is and why it is so important to participate in the annual count.
For more information on census collection, visit Calgary.ca/census.
- Helping Calgarians prepare for high water: A message from our Mayor 14 April 2014 The City continues to take steps to prepare for potential flooding this year and citizens should too.
Calgarians can go to a new website at calgary.ca/floodprep for up-to-date information on the spring high water season and what is happening in our community. The site contains information on what The City is doing to prepare for high water season and what steps Calgarians should take to prepare themselves and protect their families in the event of future flooding.
“We are committed to continue sharing information with the community as it becomes available and to helping Calgarians take steps to prepare for future flooding,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “We can’t prevent flooding but we can improve our readiness and response should there be any flooding.”
In addition to the website, The City's planning a series of videos and public information sessions designed to keep Calgarians informed.
Updates are also available through The City’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, our Newsroom, email alerts and mobile app.
Calgarians can also listen for Alberta Emergency Alerts and sign up for provincial notifications at www.emergencyalert.alberta.ca.
- Video Update: City of Calgary flood resiliency and spring preparations 10 April 2014 The City is committed to helping Calgarians recover from last year’s flood and prepare for the possibility of future floods.
On Wednesday, April 9, Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Bruce Burrell, Director of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency and Rick Valdarchi, Program Manager with Water Resources outlined
the status of our ongoing flood recovery initiatives as well as how we’re preparing for the possibility of future flooding.
Beginning Monday, April 14, Calgarians are invited to visit calgary.ca/floodprep for the latest information on flood preparation, river and stream flow advisories and community information sessions.
- Hundreds of youth line up for job opportunities with local employers 9 April 2014
Youth and young adults were lined up for hours before the doors even opened as The City of Calgary kicked off its 16th Annual Youth Hiring Fair. The fair was held at Stampede Park’s BMO Centre.
“Helping young people get off on the right foot is so important,” says Arlas Gilles, a Youth Hiring Fair organizer with The City of Calgary. “This event provides opportunities for youth to get the experience they need to build confidence and skills in the job market. A strong and productive workforce ultimately benefits our city as a whole.”
Only hiring fair exclusively for youth
Mike Schmidt lined up hours ahead
Today’s event features more than 5,000 full-time, part-time, seasonal and career opportunities offered by over 80 local employers.
Mack Skorpack of Shakers
“It seems like there will be a lot of jobs here - a lot of big companies,” said Schmidt as he waited for the doors to open. “I heard there will be on-the-spot interviews.”
More than 80 local employers on hand
Employers, such as Shakers Fun Centre, were equally happy to see so many qualified young people with the potential to fill needed roles within their organizations.
“We hire 40-50 positions around this time of year for summer jobs,” said Mack Skorpack of Shakers. “It would be ideal if we could fill those positions here today.”
For more information regarding the Youth Hiring Fair and opportunities to participate next year, visit www.nextsteps.org.
More photos can be found on Flickr!
- Citizens encouraged to provide input for Municipal Government Act review 9 April 2014
The Government of Alberta is undertaking a review of the most important piece of legislation for municipalities – the Municipal Government Act (MGA). The MGA outlines how every municipality in Alberta operates, how municipal councils function, how municipalities serve citizens, and how citizens work with their municipalities.
This review will focus on three main areas:
• Governance and Administration
• Planning and Development
• Assessment and Taxation
Although the MGA has been previously amended in response to new trends and issues, this is the first comprehensive review of the legislation since 1995. Since then, Calgary has grown tremendously and now faces a variety of challenges and opportunities that didn’t exist before. The goal of this review is to ensure modern and effective legislation is in place for municipalities, citizens and businesses in Alberta.
The City of Calgary will participate in the MGA review and the Government of Alberta’s consultations being held in Calgary from April 9 to 11.
Calgarians are also encouraged to participate in this important process.
To provide your input in person, attend the public open house on April 10 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel in Calgary (6620 36 Street N.E.).
Visit the MGA review website to register for the open house session, or find other ways to get involved online. Registration preferred, although not mandatory, for the open house.
- The City of Calgary partners with Calgary Horticultural Society Garden Show 8 April 2014 Being YardSmart is about enjoying an inviting, beautiful yard that’s low maintenance, low cost and easy on the environment. Following basic YardSmart principles will set you up for gardening success in Calgary.
Whether you are new to gardening or are an advanced gardener, get inspired and prepared for the 2014 gardening season at this weekend’s Calgary Horticultural Society Garden Show at Spruce Meadows.
The City is fortunate to have the Calgary Horticultural Society as one of our partners, and together we collaborate on projects such as community gardens, gardening workshops and producing brochures that support gardening enthusiasts during our short growing season.
$15 admission ($10 for Calgary Horticultural Society members) includes
- Access to the Gardeners' Marketplace with over 90 exhibitors
- Cooking demos by Atco Blue Flame Kitchen
- Planting demos - with lots of free plants to give away, over 300 burpee home gardens veggie plants
- Advice from Gardeners helping Gardeners
- Special presentations
- Family activities
- Display Garden Competition and our Art in the Garden Container Competition