Calgary City News Blog
 

Calgary City News Blog
 

  • 17 Avenue SW gets a facelift 24 August 2016
    After 30 years, we’re rebuilding 17 Avenue SW so it can continue to serve businesses and citizens for decades to come. What started out as a routine road maintenance project, turned into one of the more complex projects on The City’s docket. The biggest factor? It’s location.

    Macleod Trail S.E. to 2 Street S.W.
    Logan Tolsma, Project Manager
    In the heart of one of Calgary’s most popular places to shop, dine, and do business, one does not simply dig up the 2.5km road between Macleod Trail and 14 Street SW, replace 3m deep utilities and then rebuild the road. In addition to this work, the project includes new sidewalks east of 2 Street SW, improved sidewalk space and pedestrian crossings at all intersections, new LED lighting and a new road design.

    How is The City planning this project so the 17 Avenue SW area can continue to be a great place to visit during construction? Project manager Logan Tolsma explains, “We’re approaching this project differently because of its unique surroundings. We’ve been meeting with businesses and learning about their priorities for the past year. That includes regular meetings with BRZs and a questionnaire for businesses. It allowed us to learn about their busy times, deliveries, access, patio locations- all the things that combined, results in their success”. Tolsma adds, “In the end, this information feeds directly into the construction planning.”
    Volunteer Way (Centre Street S.) Gateway

    That intimate approach applies to how construction is now unfolding. “We actually changed the schedule once we heard that businesses wanted more predictability and lead time before construction started,” Tolsma continues. That means starting the less impactful shallow utilities this year, followed by the major work in 2017 and 2018. This two-phase approach also provides less risk to the project overall. Furthermore, a contractor will be hired seven month before the major work begins. The extra time means a better approach to planning and staging the construction in this busy entertainment district.

    5 Street S.W. Gateway
    “When it comes down to it, we want to make sure people can still get to the area safely while we’re doing this work,” Tolsma confirms. “While we can’t make the construction invisible, we can certainly do our best to make sure it respects the people and businesses that make the area a great place to be.”

    14 Street S.W. Gateway

    You can read more about the 17 avenue SW reconstruction project at calgary.ca/17avenue
  • Cycle Track Pilot Project set to reach one million bike trips (and other highlights) 17 August 2016
    Since the cycle track network opened last June, The City has been counting bicycle trips, using automated counters embedded in the pavement at 10 different locations along the network. Based on the data collected at the three middle count locations, one along each route of the network, we are set to reach one million trips this week.

    We are holding an on-street event to commemorate this milestone and to continue to educate and connect with Calgarians as they walk, drive, take transit or bike along the network. Stop by, grab a cookie and chat with our team about some of the new bike data being released and general cycle track information.

    When: Wednesday, August 17 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    Where: 5 Street and 9 Avenue S.W. by the CPR underpass


    June 2016 was the busiest month on record with 116,621 trips, and although July 2016 was the rainiest in 90 years, it was still busier than July 2015 with over 100,000 trips last month.

    Cycling census data shows a doubling of bike commuters
    The one million cycle track trips milestone comes on the heels of the release of other cycling-related data. The City of Calgary Civic Census collected information from one working adult in the household about their mode of transportation to work in 2011, 2014 and 2016. Since 2011, 58 km of new bikeways (including the cycle track network pilot) have been constructed or improved around the city. Many communities adjacent to new or improved bikeways saw an increase in cycling as a way to commute. The percentage of Calgarians that reported travelling to work by bicycle doubled from 0.87% in 2011 to 1.75% in 2016.

    According to the census data, in 2011 there were six communities which reported more than 4% of respondents commuting by bike. In 2016 there are 43. Communities like Rosedale and Wildwood have seen some of the fastest growth with more than 9% ridership, thanks in part to improvements such as the 10 Street N.W. and Spruce Drive S.W. bike lanes that were installed in 2011.

    Cordon count data shows 40% increase in bike trips since cycle tracks installed
    Every year in May, the Transportation Department conducts the Central Business District (CBD) cordon count. The cordon count is performed at 31 locations around the CBD over a three week period by counting every single person entering or exiting downtown and how they were travelling; whether on foot, by bicycle, on a C-Train or bus, as a passenger in a car, or as the driver of car.

    The 2016 data showed that during the morning peak hour traffic, travelling into downtown, cycling increased from 1.9% in 2010 to 3% in 2016. During a 16-hour period, the number of cycling trips into and out of downtown almost doubled from 9,400 in 2010 to 17,200 trips in 2016. In 1996, 61% of morning peak period trips into downtown were by automobile; in 2016, 59% of morning peak period trips into downtown are now made by sustainable or active modes.


  • 3804 businesses open in the first half of 2016; numbers holding strong 12 August 2016
    Business in Calgary may not be booming, but it’s not busting either, according to City licensing data.

    Calgary’s seen an increase of 293 more new business licenses taken out in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period last year. This could be attributed to a boost in home-based and consulting businesses, says City of Calgary Business Registry Coordinator Sherry Bourque.

    “Anecdotally, we’ve seen more people come in for these types of businesses, perhaps to make some extra cash on the side in a fluctuating economy and use their expertise in a different way,” says Bourque. “But for both businesses licenses opened and closed overall, the numbers we’re seeing are pretty status quo.”

    New business licenses taken out by quarter, from 2013 to 2016

    Closed, moved or changed address business licenses by quarter, from 2013 to 2016

    If you’re thinking about operating a business in Calgary, The City’s online registration system can help you determine what approvals, permits and licenses you may need. Visit bis.calgary.ca for more.
  • The Fall Recreation Program Guide helps you stay active and save money 8 August 2016 Registration for our fall programming starts today, with nearly 3,500 options to get you and your family up, out and active.

    In the Fall 2016 Program guide, you’ll find a wide variety of wallet-friendly programs in art, fitness, sports, sailing, nature, and much more. Our goal is to make sure that everyone can get active, regardless of their financial situation.

    All programs are priced to be affordable, and the program guide also lists several programs you can try for a toonie -  so you can see if you like the class before registering.

    Our Fair Entry program is also available to qualified individuals and provides fee assistance to recreation programs and services throughout Calgary.

    Programs are suitable for all ages from prenatal to active aging; and all levels of ability ranging from adapted fitness to marathon training. Some of the fun and affordable programs you’ll find this season:


    • YYC Barre fitness class – try the new fitness technique that’s gaining recognition across the country
    • Snorkelling – to get you ready for that next trip to the beach 
    • Ballet classes for kids – or adults
    • Programs just for the winter holidays – for when the kids aren’t in school
    • Rock climbing – did you know there’s a 40 ft outdoor climbing wall at Beltline Aquatic & Fitness Centre?
    • Learn how to make your own teapot
    • Introduction to sailing – life can be a breeze 
    • Free family events throughout the city
    • Parent & baby fitness
    • “Real Men Do Yoga”

    So get planning, and give us a call at 403-268-3800. Or visit us online to find more programs and to register today.

    Submitted by Joshua Hesslein, Calgary Recreation

  • Preview in the Plaza - get a sneak peek at some hot musical acts this August 3 August 2016 Did you know this year is the Year of Music in Calgary? To help keep the party going we have organized a number of free concerts in Olympic Plaza from noon to 1 p.m. So grab your lunch and maybe even your dancing shoes and come on down.

    Add a little Latin spice

    Wednesday, Aug. 3 come down to hear the acts kicking off this year’s Expo Latino. International recording artist Natalie Castro and Grammy-nominated Cuban superstar Wil Campa with his orchestra will be entertaining anyone who comes to Olympic Plaza. 

    East meets West

    Wednesday, Aug. 10 Plaza goers will get the chance to The Futhers. This Iranian band will be sharing their unique blend of Middle Eastern folk melodies and contemporary western music. The band will then be playing at the Tabestoon Festival, happening Aug. 12 and 13 if you find you want to hear more. 


    Take a short break to the Caribbean

    Thursday, Aug. 18 we are previewing the rhythmic reggae of Aktivate. This group is Calgary-based and will be performing later that week at Reggaefest, which runs Aug. 19 and 20.

    Learn more about the Year of Music at visitcalgary.com/push-play or check out our events calendar for more information on different festivals and events around Calgary, including other free music events such as our Music in the Park
  • Road paving is heating up - long weekend construction blog 28 July 2016
    Heading into the long-weekend, paving is heating up across the city.
    “Paving is essential for maintaining our roadways. It helps restore a smooth surface and keeps the base layers intact to prevent costly and large impact roadwork from happening down the line,” says Chris McGeachy, Communication Advisor, Roads.
    The long weekend is always an excellent opportunity for crews to get work done without the large volume of 9-5 traffic during the week. Here are some areas where motorists can expect delays this weekend:

    NE
    • Edmonton Trail is being paved from 16 Avenue N.E. to 42 Avenue N.E. on Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Motorists can expect a single lane of traffic in each direction during the work.

    NW
    • Crowchild Trail N.W. will have lane reductions in both directions at the University LRT Station beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, July 30. Motorists can expect reduced speeds and delays in the area. This closure remains in place until 4 a.m. on Monday, August 1.
    • Banff Trail N.W. will be closed to all northbound traffic at 16 Avenue N.W. beginning at 11:30 p.m. on Friday, July 29. This closure continues through 4 a.m. on Tuesday, August 2 and accommodates work on the Banff Trail C-Train station.
    • The exit ramp from northbound Crowchild Trail N.W. to Northland Drive N.W. is closed beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 28. This closure continues until 10 p.m. on Monday, August 1 and accommodates paving.
    • Centre Street N will be reduced to a single lane in each direction at 31 and 32 Avenue N.W. beginning on Saturday, July 30 at 6 a.m. This closure continues until Sunday, July 31 at 8 p.m. and accommodates utility work.

    SE
    • Centre Street S is closed between 6 Avenue and 8 Avenue S.E. beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 29. This closure continues until 5 a.m. on Tuesday, August 2 and accommodates construction.

    SW
    • Anderson Road S.W. will be paved between 14 Street S.W. and Macleod Trail. There will be various lane closures along this stretch daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. beginning on Saturday, July 30. These closures also occur daily during these hours on Sunday, July 31 and Monday, August 1. Motorists should expect delays in the area and use alternate routes when possible.
    • 17 Avenue S.W. between 8 Street and 9 Street S.W. will be closed beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 29. This closure continues until 5 a.m. on Tuesday, August 2 and accommodates deep utility installation. Eastbound traffic will be detoured to north and southbound 9 Street S.W. to 14 Avenue S.W. Westbound traffic will be detoured north of 8 Street to 14 Avenue S.W. and south on 9 Street to 17 Avenue S.W.
    Intersection Approach Paving
    From 5 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, July 30 there will be a various lane closures in certain intersections as part of the intersection approach paving program. Motorists should expect delays in the area.
    • 16 Avenue at 6 Street N.E.
    • 16 Avenue at Deerfoot Trail
    • Memorial Drive at Deerfoot Trail
    For more information on all these projects and more, visit Calgary.ca/paving.
  • Five places to catch 'em all 27 July 2016
    So you’ve decided to catch 'em all and are walking around the city, getting your daily exercise, and fulfilling your gaming goals, but do you know where to go? 

    We’ve made a list of the top five places where you’ll find more than just Pokémon!

    1. Prince’s Island Park
  • Bees and trees - the dynamic duo 27 July 2016 Bees play a vital role in sustaining our ecosystem; it is estimated bees pollinate one third of everything we eat. In order to do that, bees need to have large food sources in one location.

    That’s where trees come in.

    Trees act as a one-stop food shop for bees. In fact, trees have huge quantities of nectar close together, making it easier for bees to buildup stores to turn into honey. Trees and bees work in harmony: bees need the flowers from the tree for food, while the tree needs the bee to reproduce. Bees also collect resin from coniferous trees and help with their nest construction. It’s pretty sweet stuff.

    How you can help

    The easiest way to keep our bees happy is to keep our trees healthy. Healthy trees are essential for nectar and pollination. This includes consistent watering, mulching, pruning and monitoring trees for pests. For more information on healthy tree care, visit calgary.ca/trees.

    Want to plant a tree for the bees? Until Sept. 1, The City is partnering with local retailers to help you save 10% off your next tree purchase.

    Calgary trees that bees love (just to name a few):
    • Wolf Willow 
    • Crab-apple
    • Lilac
    • Red Elder 
    • Maple
    • Cherry
    • Poplar

    Added bonus: most of them are fruit-flowering, so (after the bees do their work) you can reap the rewards.

    One more un-bee-lieveable fact: The City has set up mason bee houses at orchard sites to increase the colonization of the orchards by mason bees.

    Submitted by Erin Smith, Parks
  • New railings, surfaces, and glass panels for City bridges 25 July 2016 Warm, dry conditions in Calgary over the summer means it’s the best time for bridge maintenance.

    City crews and engineers maintain bridges through both routine and preventative types of maintenance to keep motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians safe. Make sure you know which bridges are currently undergoing work so you can plan your route.

    Peace Bridge Trolley
    Peace Bridge
    There are six broken glass panels on the Peace Bridge that need to be replaced, and the City has partnered with a contractor to come up with an innovative solution to replace them. Using a cart that runs along the top of the bridge, panels will be lowered into place with a rope suspension system. This unique strategy will be benefit pedestrians, says Senior Engineer Craig MacFarlane. “Replacing the panels with ropes from the top of the bridge means there will be no scaffolding in place. The bridge will remain fully open to pedestrians whenever work isn’t being done.” The bridge will be closed from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. while the panels are being replaced, but these closures will not occur every night. Work is expected to finish by August 10, 2016.

    Prince’s Island Park Bridge
    Prince's Island Park bridge scaffolding
    From July until October 2016, crews are installing a new non-slip walking surface on the bridge that connects Prince’s Island Park to Memorial Drive. This new surface is being installed on the bridge in sections, which means the bridge will remain open to pedestrians throughout the work. Watch for scaffolding where the work is being done, and make sure to dismount from your bike.

    Penbrooke Meadows Pedestrian Bridge
    The pedestrian bridge that connects Penedo Way S.E. over the railway tracks is closed for repairs until September, but is expected to re-open before the start of the school year. In order to keep kids safely travelling over the railway tracks to get to school, the pedestrian bridge will undergo:

    • concrete repairs,
    • installation of new treads and grating on stairs, and
    • railing reinforcement.

    Throughout these projects, make sure to watch for crews and give them plenty of room to work. These are just three of over 400 bridges managed and maintained by The City. Learn more about the City’s annual bridge maintenance projects.
  • All aboard the Bowness Park mini train 25 July 2016 CHUGGA chugga chugga CHUGGA chugga chugga CHOO CHOOOOOOO!

    Can you hear that? It’s the sound of the Bowness Park mini train returning to the park .You’re invited down for free train rides on Thursday, July 28 to help welcome back this popular attraction.

    In 2013, the most recent Bowness mini train was damaged by the flood. A significant amount of work was required to fix the train and we’ve taken the time to make it better than ever. New parts were either sourced or built; a new diesel engine was installed, the body was sandblasted and painted. The new paint job is modelled after Canadian Pacific Railway’s luxury transcontinental passenger train, The Canadian, which was introduced in 1955.

    Bowness Park is one of Calgary’s oldest parks, dating back to 1912. The first miniature train came to the park in the early 1950s and began offering rides to park visitors. Although the original mini train was moved to Vancouver Island in the 60s, other styles of mini trains continued providing train rides in the park. The Bowness mini train has always been a constant and highly valued activity of the park. 

    So remember to mark your calendar for Thursday, July 28 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Free train rides will be offered to adults and kids alike! Free boat rentals will also being offered that day. Regular fares and hours of operations for mini train and boat rentals resume July 29. 

    For more information on the mini-train visit the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre and for more information on Bowness Park and its redevelopment visit us at calgary.ca/bownessredevelopment.

  • Giddy up n' go! Your guide to getting around Calgary this Stampede 7 July 2016 Put on your boots, throw on a cowboy hat and grab your sheriff badge because it's that time of year again...The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth! The City will be there to help you get there, get around and stay safe. Yahoo!

    STAMPEDE WEEK


    Biking & walking
    Cycle your way down to the Stampede grounds using the city centre cycle track network or ride along part of Calgary's 800 kms of pathways and bikeways.

    From July 1 - 17 there is a daily cycling restriction on Stephen Avenue from 10:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. If you are riding your bike, please dismount and walk it during this time.

    24 Hour CTrain Service
    Effective tonight, 'round the clock CTrain service and discounted day passes will be available for Stampede week.

    CTrain Schedule during Stampede:
    • Every 5 - 8 min. - 6:00 a.m. to 12:45 a.m.
    • Every 30 min. - 12:45 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.


    Road closures
    There will be a number of road closures to accommodate events all over the city during the Calgary Stampede (July 8-17).

    PARADE DAY


    Parade day road and parkade closures
    Road and parking impacts on parade day will include several parking lot closures. Spectators travelling to the Stampede Parade are encouraged to walk, bike or use transit to get into the downtown core.

    Taking transit to the parade
    During the parade about 350,000 float-fanatics line the 4.5 km parade route, so many downtown transit routes will be on detour. Road closures and bus route detours become effective at 7:30 a.m.and end around 12 p.m.

    Find a comprehensive list of bus detours and info on how to take transit to the parade on Calgary Transit's website.

    Viewing the parade
    The City has reserved and will monitor eight accessible Stampede Parade viewing zones along the parade route for people with mobility challenges (canes, walkers, wheelchairs, scooters) and their friends/families.

    Space is limited, so get there early! Look for barricades and signs. If space remains in the viewing areas after 8 a.m., they will be opened up to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

    THE CITY IN ACTION


    Street sweeper critters have been a Stampede tradition for nearly 15 years, bringing joy to parade goers and youth at the Children's Hospital that are unable to travel to the Stampede parade --  the most rewarding event of the year, according to street sweeper operators.

    City staff collaborate across many departments to ensure the event flows smoothly and safely:
    • Parking and traffic control will be coordinated by the Calgary Parking Authority (CPA), Roads, Calgary Police Service (CPS) and Animal & Bylaw Services (ABS).
    • Calgary Emergency Management Agency will open the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and activate the Municipal Emergency Plan during the Stampede Parade to monitor and assist as required. 
    • CPS have collocated their Tactical Operations Centre in the EOC. This will help to ensure the facilitation of a collaborative, coordinated and multi stakeholder response.
    • Fire, ABS and CPS officers will be onsite and in communication for the duration of the Parade for immediate response.

    Other Useful Info

  • Quiz: Test your summer safety IQ 6 July 2016 It’s officially summertime and the outdoors is calling. Get the most out of our city’s fantastic offerings by taking a few minutes to check your summer safety IQ.

    On the water 

    You’re packing for a day of rafting on the Bow River. You’ve got snacks, lots of bottled water to keep hydrated and plenty of sunscreen. What else do you need?
    1. Weather forecast.
    2.  A hat.
    3.  Cell phone to call for help if needed.
    4.  A life jacket.
    5.  All of the above.
    Carol Henke, Public Information Officer
    for Calgary Fire hams it up.
    While items one through three are all really good ideas, hands down, the most important thing to bring is a life jacket. Wearing a life jacket while boating, rafting or using any other kind of watercraft on waterways within city limits is required by law. Plus, it’ll save your life if you get into trouble.

    Missing from this list is alcohol. It’s illegal to have alcohol on any watercraft and it will impair your ability to react if something unexpected happens. For more tips on enjoying the water safely and responsibly, check out calgary.ca/watersafety.

    Into the fire

    A friend is bringing over a guitar and you’ve got all the fixings to make s’mores over a fire in the backyard pit. You’ve checked calgary.ca/firepits to make sure no fire bans are in effect for Calgary. Your next concerns are your neighbours and staying safe. What can you do to stay on your neighbour’s good side and have a safe, fun time?

    1. Only burn clean, dry wood to keep the smoke down and mitigate any environmental issues.
    2. Stay with the fire at all times.
    3. Request a playlist from your neighbour so your guitar friend only plays songs they like.
    4. Keep the noise down after 10 p.m. and make sure your fire’s out by 1 a.m.

    You’re super thoughtful if you chose number three, but appealing to your neighbour's musical tastes isn’t necessary. You do, however, want to make sure you’re complying with numbers 1, 2 and 4 which reflect Calgary’s fire pit and noise bylaws. There are a couple other requirements you’ll want to be aware of.  Please check them out at calgary.ca/firepits before you strike that match.

    In the air

    You’re enjoying the view from your friend’s condo balcony on the 6th floor. You’re a smoker but your friend’s not so she doesn’t have an ashtray for you. When it’s time to butt out, you:

    1. Put your cigarette out in the closest flower pot
    2. Toss it off the balcony
    3. Ask for a bit of water to douse your butt before putting it in the garbage

    The two definite no-no’s here are the first and the second choices. Flower pots contain flammable material that has caused more than one devastating fire in Calgary. It’s also incredibly dangerous to toss your cigarette butts over the balcony. You can’t control where they land or who they may  land on.

    More on safely disposing of cigarette butts, or go to calgary.ca/homesafety.

    Now that you’re summer safety IQ is in top form, join our Facebook event and tell us what you’re doing to get the most out of your summer safely and responsibly.

    Submitted by Donna Bertrand, Customer Service & Communications



  • Come meet the goats of Confluence Park 5 July 2016 For the past three weeks, a herd of approximately 100 goats have been dining on weeds in Confluence (West Nose Creek) Park as a pilot to test grazing as a tool to manage City park land.

    Come kid around with us

    A drop-in meet and greet is planned at the park for Saturday, July 9 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Everyone is invited. Come pet the animals, see the baby goats, and ask us questions. Our staff and educators will also be on site to answer questions about land management, weed control and the use of goats in these activities.

    Watch go(at) pro videos here

    Please dress appropriately for walking on uneven ground. We also ask those attending to wear clean clothing and shoes, especially if they've been around other livestock, and to consider leaving dogs at home. This is to promote the good health of the herd at Confluence Park.

    Parking is available at the Beddington Trail lot; on-site staff and signage will provide direction to the goats.

    It’s go(at) time

    Early indicators are that this pilot has been successful. So far we’ve learned that goats can be used without disrupting our visitors’ enjoyment of the park, whether on foot, on bicycle, or with a leashed dog.

    Preliminary signs also indicate that the goats have done an excellent job targeting a significant volume and variety of invasive weeds such as Canada thistle, hound’s tongue, and hawkweed.

    We look forward to seeing you at the meet and greet. And if you are interested in learning more before Saturday please visit us online at calgary.ca/goats. Or join the meet and greet Facebook event.

    Submitted by Corinna Baxter, Parks

  • LEDs streetlights to brighten downtown core this summer 5 July 2016 The City has finished converting over 30,000 streetlights across Calgary to energy efficient LED lighting. 99 residential neighbourhoods are now being lit up with LEDs from Current, powered by GE, and crews will be replacing streetlights in the downtown core over the summer months. Once the lights have all been installed in central Calgary, the program will be 50% complete. That means over 40,000 LED lights will be illuminating the city.

    Calgarians can expect to see lights being replaced in the Beltline, East Village, Chinatown, and the commercial core after the sun goes down throughout the summer and fall. In November, the crews will move back to installing in residential areas.

    Why the switch to LED? There are plenty of benefits to using LED streetlights, including:

    • The whiter colour of the light helps make objects appear more clearly.
    • The amount of spilled light is reduced, ensuring light is focused on the roads and sidewalks.
    • Short term and long term reductions in costs, maintenance work, and energy consumption

    Roads Director Troy McLeod encourages Calgarians to look for the new lights in their neighbourhoods. “Our new LED lights have made a significant difference in nighttime visibility, and these lights will save Calgarians money in both electricity consumption and lifecycle maintenance.”

    In addition to better lighting, the conversion to LEDs will save the City of Calgary over $6 million in annual maintenance costs. Once the program is complete, over 80,000 LED lights will be installed, and energy consumption will be half when compared to the previous lights. That’s the equivalent of taking over 5,500 vehicles off the road.

    For more information about LEDs, including details about the warmer light used in residential areas, visit the project page and FAQ.
  • Long weekend construction closures: July 1 - July 3 30 June 2016
    Long weekends give us the opportunity to get extra work in and minimize the disruption to commuters.
    In addition to some ongoing large infrastructure projects such as the Trans-Canada Highway/ Bowfort Road N.W. Interchange, the Glenmore Trail / Ogden Road S.E. Interchange, the Crowchild Trail/Flanders Avenue S.W. and the Macleod Trail 162 Avenue S projects, there are a number of other projects happening which Calgarians should be aware of. Keep in mind, weather can play a factor in construction, and schedules can change due to inclement weather.
    Northeast

    Edmonton Trail is scheduled for paving this weekend, weather permitting. Motorists will be impacted on Saturday and Sunday.

    • Edmonton Trail N.E. is reduced to a single lane in each direction from 16 Avenue N.E. to 14 Avenue N.E. from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 2.
    • Edmonton Trail N.E. is reduced to a single lane in each direction between 14 Avenue N.E. and 4 Avenue N.E. from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 2.
    • Edmonton Trail N.E. is reduced to a single lane in each direction between 5 Avenue N.E. and Memorial Drive from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 3.
    For more information visit Calgary.ca/paving.


    Southeast


    • Barlow Trail between 50 Avenue S.E. and 61 Avenue S.E. will be closed from 6 a.m. Friday, July 1 until 9:00 p.m. Saturday, July 2 for C.P Rail replacement, paving repairs and concrete work. Local traffic will be detoured to 52 Street S.E. via 50 Avenue S.E. and 61 Avenue S.E. to bypass the construction. Alternate routes are recommended as delays are expected.
    • Northbound Bonaventure Drive S.E. is reduced to a single lane north of Lake Bonavista Drive S.E. beginning at 7 a.m. on Friday, July 1. This closure continues until 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 2 and accommodates road work.
    Southwest

    • 2 Street S.W. is closed between 15 Avenue and 18 Avenue S.W. beginning at 7 a.m. on Friday, July 1. This closure remains in place until 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 3 and accommodates construction.
    • 14 Street S.W. is reduced to a single lane in each direction between 17 Avenue S.W. and 19 Avenue S.W. beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturday, July 2. This closure continues until 10 p.m. on Sunday, July 3 and accommodates construction.
    We would like to thank motorists for their patience during road construction, and remind them to slow down in construction zones. For more information on road closures, visit Calgary.ca/trafficinfo, or for up to the minute closure information, follow @yyctransport on Twitter.


  • 5 reasons you definitely should NOT go to #OCanadaYYC festivities 29 June 2016
    1. You may be overwhelmed with your own Canadian-ness.
      Break your toques out and get ready to cheer your friends over pints of maple syrup (ok, maybe don’t get THAT excited, we hear maple syrup doesn’t go down that well as a drink). With events like our Aboriginal Powwow at Prince’s Island Park, cultural performances at Chinatown, and chances to dress up like a Mountie at Fort Calgary, at some point you will find it SO impossible not to gush with pride for our great nation that you’ll be finishing every sentence with “eh”.
    2. You might fall into a food-truck coma. With delicious treats from food trucks at Fort Calgary and Prince’s Island Park, we can’t guarantee you won’t fall into a delicious and satisfying food-truck coma. Indulge in refreshing gelato, flavour-packed Asian noodles and mind-blowing perogies. Fort Calgary will also be hosting a pancake breakfast and the first 1000 people at Eau Claire Market will get free ice cream.
    3. Your selfie game will be so strong your friends will unfollow you.
      Give a new meaning to #squadgoals by rep’ing Canada’s colours with 1,000 of your closest friends at the Living Flag photo opp. Send the most patriotic snaps you can with our #OCanadaYYC Snapchat filters. And get gym-selfie ready by hitting the free fitness classes at Prince’s Island Park. By the end of the day, your friends will be wondering how they can ever top your real-Canadian selfie game.
    4. You’ll discover so many great Canadian bands, that your next playlist will be too big for your phone. Experience a true Fallback Friday by checking out 80s & 90s hits from The Grapes of Wrath. Deep-dive into synthy indie-pop tunes from the Zolas. And folk-rock it out to the sweet sounds of Joel Plaskett Emergency. You’ll be so spellbound by the talent at the Riverfront Stage that you’ll be racing home to create a great Canadian playlist. But even if the playlist won’t fit on your phone, you can rest comfortably in knowing you got to experience it all live.
    5. Our fireworks might – quite literally – take your breath away.
      Nestle into your favourite fireworks watching spot, tune into 101.5 Kool FM and Wild 95.3 FM for music synchronized to our fireworks show, and end #OCanadaYYC with a bang. With a backdrop of Calgary’s skyline and the Canada Rockies, it’s likely that you’ll be left breathless, at a loss for words, or even shedding a single tear as you watch fireworks ignite the horizon.
    Submitted by Regan Ogilvie, Customer Service & Communications


  • New technologies increase accessibility for pedestrians 24 June 2016 Most Calgarians are familiar with the chirping sound that accompanies the pedestrian walk signal at many of Calgary’s intersections. These sounds are referred to as an accessible pedestrian signal (APS), and they help pedestrians with visual impairments to safely cross the street. Currently, there over 150 accessible pedestrian signals across Calgary. A new pilot program is hoping to add a few more intersections to that list, and use new technologies to make Calgary intersections more accessible.

    The City is piloting new accessible pedestrian signal technology at six different intersections across the city. New features include:
    • A locator tone, which is a soft audible beeping sound. It will always be on to help visually impaired pedestrians identify a crosswalk with accessible features.
    • Arrows that will indicate to pedestrians which direction they are crossing. The arrows have tactile features and vibrate when the walk signal is on, which helps pedestrians who are hearing impaired.
    • Audible tones that automatically adjust to ambient noise. Currently APS are only programmed to be used during certain hours of the day to minimize disruption to nearby residents overnight. Automatic adjustments to ambient sound will allow the APS to be activated at all times.
    Project manager Janet Ho says the project will benefit all Calgarians. “These new signals are a simple and effective way to make the city more accessible. Everyone should feel safe when they’re crossing the street, and these new accessible signals will help with that.”

    Two of the six new signals have been installed, with four more to be put in shortly. Over the next three months, the City will monitor how the new signals are being used to evaluate how the program will move forward.

    You can find the new APS located at:
    • Northmount Drive and 4 Street N.W.
    • 12 Avenue S.W. and 9 Street S.W.
    • 13 Avenue S.W. and 4 Street S.W.
    • Richmond Road and 50 Street S.W.
    • 7 Avenue S.E. and 1 Street S.E.
    • Riverbend Gate/Riverglen Drive and 18 Street S.E.

    For more information about the new signals, visit calgary.ca.


  • Transport industry hails new S.E. connector road 23 June 2016 For Gene Orlick, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA), the completion of the 61 Avenue Extension in Calgary’s southeast industrial area couldn’t come soon enough.

    Gene Orlick
    “We’re extremely pleased The City of Calgary has completed this connector project as it provides an accessible east-west link for motorists and truckers alike,” said Orlick, who is also owner of Orlick Transport Services.

    “This effectively accomplishes the goal of reaching the major distribution centres and transportation corridors in southeast Calgary on a timely basis, and alleviates a great deal of congestion on Stoney Trail allowing motorists to move freely.”

    “The motor transport industry will certainly benefit from this new roadway.”

    Orlick was one of the participants at an opening event that was held earlier today, June 23, to celebrate the completion of a new road which will help to open up an area in southeast Calgary to industry and business. The 61 Avenue S.E. Extension officially opens to traffic on June 24.



    The project included the construction of a two-lane road from the existing flyover at Southeast Ring Road to 68 Street S.E., a new four-lane road from 68 Street to 57 Street S.E., and a new four-lane bridge over Forest Lawn Creek.

    Ward 9 Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra also attended the opening and said, “The completion of this project provides for better transportation of people, goods and services, and will energize growth of future and planned development in the area.”

    “I’m also excited that the project provides for pedestrian movement along 61 Avenue, including a Regional pathway which will ultimately connect with Ralph Klein Park,” added Carra.

    Mac Logan, The City’s General Manager of Transportation, stressed the emphasis on environmental protection and improvements.

    “The project team made sure that the sensitive environmental elements were well protected, recognizing that the project would have some affect on local wetlands. Working with Alberta Environment and The City’s Parks department, all mitigation strategies available were applied to minimize any impacts.”

    Some of the key environmental protection initiatives included construction of a longer bridge over Forest Lawn Creek to allow for safer movement of animals along the creek and upgrades to the wetlands area along 61 Avenue.

    For more details, go to www.calgary.ca/61AveExtension.
  • Award-winners build bridges of understanding between cultures 23 June 2016 Shawna Cunningham and Jolene Houle are passionate about their Aboriginal culture, what it means for their communities and for all of Calgary.

    Left to right: Shawna Cunningham, Mayor Nenshi and Jolene Houle
    Today, the Calgary Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee (CAUAC) and The City of Calgary recognized these two exceptional women with the Chief David Crowchild Memorial Award and Aboriginal Youth Achievement Award respectively.

    These awards honour those who build bridges of understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures. 

    2016 Winner of Chief David Crowchild Memorial Award

    Shawna Cunningham is an educator with a focus on Aboriginal student success and empowerment. She is currently the director of the Native Centre at the University of Calgary. As director, Shawna expanded the centre from a place for gathering to a robust hub that offers programming and creates awareness for the greater university community. 

    Shawna’s efforts have built cross-cultural learning and understanding between traditionally Western academia and Indigenous Knowledge and Aboriginal Ways of Knowing. Shawna continues to promote Indigenous cultural activities and ways to non-Indigenous Calgarians inviting all people to attend and learn together.

    “This award speaks to collaboration, culture, and community and I am very honoured to have been selected,” says Shawna. “I’ve spent most of my professional career working with and for Aboriginal students in the post-secondary system and have seen the disparity between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community in the areas of education and employment."

    "To close the gap, I believe we need to seek out and build strong collaborative partnerships with Aboriginal and non-aboriginal organizations to ensure our youth have a bright future, full of opportunity and a sense of pride, peace, and wellness.” 

    2016 Winner of CAUAC Youth Achievement Award 

    Fifteen-year-old Jolene Houle is a Grade 11 student at Bishop O’Byrne High School. 

    She has been attending the Metis Calgary Family Services Society Aboriginal Students Program for four years and is passionate about sharing her Aboriginal culture with teachers and classmates. She actively works to raise awareness about both her culture and the social issues facing Indigenous people. 

    Jolene is a keen learner and has become a mentor and guide for other students in the program passing on her love of learning through teaching others. She demonstrates the values of the program through her continued participation and her eagerness to find extra ways to continue being involved. 

    This summer Jolene is taking part in the “Summer Media Program,” learning how to make and tell stories. Jolene has also been appointed as a delegate for the Miss Teen Canada Globe Pageant. She plans to showcase her culture, one of her talents and give a speech about mental health with a focus on Aboriginal youth. 

    “This award means a lot to me because it acknowledges my hard work to help others and their well being,” says Jolene. “It’s important to me to be involved in my culture because it positively affects my daily life and I feel blessed by having a relationship with the Creator.” 



  • Youth get unlimited summer recreation access for $50, half price with a youth transit pass 21 June 2016 If you are a youth aged 7-17 years, the Summer Youth Passport is your ticket to unlimited swimming, skating and gym activities at all City of Calgary Leisure Centres and Aquatic & Fitness Centres – all summer long.

    The Youth Passport costs $50 for access to City of Calgary recreation facilities and is valid from July 1- August 31.

    The offer gets even better if you present a valid (July or August) Calgary Transit youth pass at the time of purchase. With proof of purchase of a transit pass, the Summer Youth Passport is only $25.

    And there is no shortage of things to do. From outdoor activities, such as cycling our pathways or visiting our spray parks, to bubble soccer or rock climbing - there's a boundless supply of activities, indoors and out, to make the most of summer in Calgary.

    If you’re looking for inspiration, check out our essential summer activities list.

    Summer is a great time to get active. Share your summer adventures with us on Twitter using the #getmovingyyc hashtag. Follow us on Facebook for more active summer ideas.

    Time to pull out the sandals, put on the short sleeves and apply the sunscreen – it's summer!

    Submitted by Trudy Jardine, Calgary Recreation