Calgary City News Blog

Calgary City News Blog

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  • Find planning confusing? We can help! 1 October 2014 Have you ever wondered who decides what gets built where in Calgary? The answer is more complicated than you might think.

    Good land use planning is key to ensure our city is a great place to live, work and play. However, many different polices and decision-making bodies regulate development to achieve this goal, which can make it tough to know how and when you can effectively participate in the planning process.

    If you are passionate about land use planning but are still learning how it all works, you might be interested in some of the upcoming Partners in Planning courses. Three core courses cover the basics of the development approval process, and three elective courses cover topics like transportation planning and community character.

    The courses are free to attend, thanks to a partnership between the Federation of Calgary Communities and The City. Attend as few or as many as you like, but if you complete all three core courses and at least one elective, you will receive our Partners in Planning Certificate.

    If you would like to join us, all you need to do is register online so we know you’re coming.

    Partners in Planning Courses

    Basics of Implementation Planning
    Learn about the planning process and how to respond to development and land use applications circulated to your community.

    The Land Use Bylaw
    Learn how to navigate and understand Calgary’s Land Use Bylaw and how the rules are applied to development applications. This is an excellent overview of this important document.

    Development Appeals at the SDAB
    Learn about the appeals process, what makes a well-reasoned planning case and how to give effective presentations to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.

    Moving people and goods between places is just as important as having great places to go. Learn how The City prioritizes transportation projects, encourages transit use and cycling, and how traffic impacts are considered.

    Planning for Growth and Change
    Planning a city requires long-term thinking. Learn about The City’s 60-year land use and transportation plans and how their vision can direct growth and change. Find out how to influence the evolution of your community.

    Community Character
    Learn what creates “community character” and how architecture, building scale, landscape and their relationship with public spaces, through good design and planning decisions, can be used to strengthen and enhance community character. This course draws from the fields of urban design and heritage planning. There is a walking tour portion, so dress as appropriate.
  • The City of Calgary and Shaw Communications Inc. announce nine new Wi-Fi locations 1 October 2014 Following a successful roll-out of The City’s public Wi-Fi program, The City of Calgary and Shaw Communications have announced nine new locations where the public can access the high-speed Shaw Go WiFi network at no cost.

    Shaganappi Point LRT Station
    The new locations include:
    • Shaw Millennium Park
    • Shaganappi Point LRT Station
    • Maple Ridge Golf Course
    • Shaganappi Golf Course
    • Father David Bauer/Norma Bush Arenas
    • Rose Kohn/Jimmie Condon Arenas
    • Henry Viney/Stu Hendry Arenas*
    • Optimist/George Blundun Arenas*
    • Ernie Starr Arena*

    “We are really encouraged by the early success of the public Wi-Fi program and the positive feedback from Calgarians,” says Heather Reed-Fenske, manager, Information Technology. “Shaw has been an excellent partner and their operational team has fulfilled our desire to expand free Wi-Fi into city facilities and allow the public to use technology when visiting a park, arena, golf course, or LRT station.”

    Devonian Gardens
    Since the launch of public Wi-Fi, from May 2014 until the end of August, there have been more than 163,000 connections to the public Wi-Fi service, with total data usage peaking at more than 357,000 MB. The most popular location based on guest connections is the Chinook LRT Station, with over 63,000 users connecting to the ShawGuest hotspot. Guests logging in at Devonian have used over 930,000 minutes and over 188,000 MB of data, making it the most popular location for surfing the web for longer periods of time.

    The City will continue to expand public Wi-Fi hotspots in partnership Shaw Communications Inc., Parks, Recreation and Calgary Transit. For more information on public Wi-Fi visit
    * service available end of October 2014
  • Trinity-Paskapoo Slopes feedback goes to developers 30 September 2014 The City of Calgary has completed a detailed team review (DTR) of the proposed development for the East Paskapoo Slopes. As part of the review, we have collected your feedback through well-attended open houses and workshops, and compiled it with feedback from City staff from various departments. 159 comments have been sent to the developer for review.

    Take a look at the Trinity-Paskapoo Slopes Detailed Team Review Summary and find the full technical
  • Accessory units and affordable housing in a growing city 30 September 2014 Many people in Calgary consider our city as world class, modern, having taken our place in the world of great places. Yet, one of the challenges for many Calgarians is having an affordable place to live.

    Will breaking down the barriers to accessory units solve our housing challenges? No. But it can play a big role towards a comprehensive solution. YYC has made gains, and a simple change, waiving the $5,000 processing fees has generated a big up-tick in applications and legalization of some our unknown illegal units.

    We all have a role to play in educating everyone about the potential to have an ongoing supply of accessory units that can go a long way to making this city, a place that offers everyone the opportunity to live in safe, affordable places so that they can establish themselves and provide the knowledge, skills and creativity to keep growing this city.

    Read the full blog written by Rollin Stanley, General Manager of Planning, Development And Assessment at The City Of Calgary.
  • Anderson Station TOD redevelopment project takes its next steps 25 September 2014 The City has recently submitted an Outline Plan and Land Use Application to redevelop the Anderson Station land site.

    The land area consists of 20 acres, currently making up Anderson LRT station, bus terminal and park and ride. Future plans for the space include roads, parks, building specifications, and other desired land uses in the Anderson Station area.

    Following several public engagement events and working in consultation with various City departments, the goal of this proposed plan is to establish a model transit and pedestrian-oriented destination in south Calgary where people can live, work, shop, learn and play.

    The final vision is guided by a number of design principles, namely to:

    • Maximize connectivity to and through the site to minimize traffic conflicts and increase transit access;
    • Balance height and scale of development between residential areas to the west with commercial areas to the east;
    • Build walkable streets that encourage multi-modal access, safety, and access to buildings;
    • Pursue a blend of uses that keep the site active throughout the day and week, and serve the surrounding neighbourhoods;
    • Create memorable public and green spaces;
    • Provide for flexible development blocks that respond to change in market conditions;
    • Design for year-round use and livability;
    • Connect to and expand the regional pathway network; and
    • Orient higher buildings towards MacLeod Trail to create an urban boulevard.

    View the latest project summary and proposed concept images of the redeveloped area.

    Following this submission and a review of any recommended changes, a final application will be presented at Calgary Planning Commission in early 2015.

    For more information on the Anderson TOD development and the wider station area plan please visit Anderson Station TOD policies and plans and

    Related blogs

  • Towers, cables and deck panels are up at Sandy Beach and Rideau Park Bridge! 25 September 2014
    Sandy Beach deck panels in place and the large crane used to do the job. Photo courtesy The City of Calgary; photographer Wes Raymond.

    Work is progressing quickly on the project to replace the three pedestrian bridges on the Elbow River damaged in the flood of 2013. The progress is most evident at Sandy Beach and Rideau Park Bridge where the towers are now up, cables have been strung and a giant crane has installed the deck panels. Crews are currently working on Riverdale Avenue Bridge with deck panel installation starting Tues., Sept. 30.

    See tower and deck panel installation
    Several online time lapse sequences of bridge piling, tower and deck panel installation bring the work that has been done to life. Visit to view the time lapse sequences plus photos of construction progress and updated construction schedules.

    “Although it looks like the bridges are done when the bridge decks are in place, there is still a lot of work to do before the bridges can be safely open for use,” says Project Manager Charmaine Buhler. “We need to fine tune the alignment of the deck panels, fabricate and install bridge railings, construct concrete back walls and approach slabs, and reconstruct the pathways that lead to the bridge.  There is also landscaping and general finishing work to be done.”

    Buhler adds, “Everyone also needs to remember that the areas around all three bridges are construction zones and will remain so until the construction is done. However, the project is still on track to have all of the bridges open and ready for use by the end of December.”

    Sifton Boulevard closure
    Installing the deck panels at Riverdale Avenue Bridge requires the closure of Sifton Boulevard between 7 and 8 Streets S.W. The large crane used to install the deck panels must sit in the middle of the road. The closure will last from Sept. 29 until approximately Oct. 4.

  • Joint Permit Assistance Program a welcome relief 24 September 2014 More than a year after the Alberta flood, a Calgary senior feels hopeful for the first time as rebuilding finally begins on her home.

    Janet Boyd says her renewed optimism is due, in part, to the financial support she is receiving from a program jointly funded by the Canadian Red Cross and The City of Calgary. Called the Flood Permit Grant Program, the initiative is being offered to residential property owners in Calgary who are facing financial challenges repairing, restoring or rebuilding their homes after the June 2013 flood.

    Photo credit: J. Keith Howie, Canadian Red Cross
    Launched on May 1, 2014, the program covers the costs of new City permits for such things as building, electrical and plumbing work required when repairing or rebuilding properties. Up to $7,000 in permit assistance per property is available to eligible home owners.

    When the disaster occurred, Boyd evacuated her home with only a suitcase, expecting to be back in a few days. Instead, she lost everything when the Elbow River spilled its banks and filled her ground-floor, two-bedroom suite to within four inches of its ceiling. Since the flood, the feisty senior has had to rent accommodations while also struggling to pay mortgage and condominium fees for her flooded Mission-area home and any additional costs not covered b insurance or the Disaster Recovery Program.

    As workers began framing new walls for her suite recently, Boyd explained that it has taken a year to navigate insurance and other challenges.

    “It was so overwhelming. I just didn’t know where to start, what to do next. That’s why I am so grateful to the Red Cross because mentally and financially, they have been so wonderful to me.”

    The joint permit grant program for flood-impacted homeowners is welcome assistance, said Boyd. The initiative is covering approximately $1,500 in fees for plumbing, electrical and building permits.

    “It’s been great, we went straight to the front of the line at city hall and had all her permit costs covered,” said Boyd’s son, Peter, who is helping his mother with the rebuilding process.

    Photo credit: J. Keith Howie, Canadian Red Cross
    Janet said every dollar helps when people are trying to manage on a budget. “Not everyone has huge savings and we are really very grateful to The City and Red Cross for helping out in this way.”

    Now that she has the required permits, Boyd is looking forward to the rebuilding and restoring what few possessions her son was able to retrieve.

    “My furniture, my photos and mementoes that I had saved all my life, everything was destroyed,” Boyd recalled recently, picking through two crates of silt-covered belongings that her son, Peter, managed to rescue.

    “I just can’t look or I’ll be sniffling,” said Boyd of the crates, which hold a bowl she got from her mother and a teddy bear her son had as a child. “It’s all coated in mud. It’s almost impossible to get that fine dirt off.”

    Calgarians interested in applying for the permit program can contact Red Cross at 1-866-696-6484. Red Cross will work with each applicant to discuss and assess their unique situation and needs. The permit program is not retroactive but Red Cross can work with families and individuals struggling to meet other needs.

    Read more about Janet Boyd's story on the Canadian Red Cross website.
  • New Central Library design details unveiled 23 September 2014
    On Sept. 23, the final design details of Calgary’s New Central Library were shared at a media event hosted by the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC).

    The event featured speakers from the three organizations involved in the project - The City of Calgary, the Calgary Public Library and the CMLC, the project’s developer.

    The architectural design team of Snøhetta + DIALOG showcased the library’s features through a 3-D animation, illustrating how the input provided by more than 16,000  Calgarians over the past two years has been incorporated into the library’s design, amenities and function.

    Today’s release of the design marks a significant milestone in the delivery of the project. Calgarians can access the 3D rendering of the design online at

    Library by design

    Planning for the New Central Library began in 2004 as the institution approached its centennial with City Council's $40 million commitment towards the project.

    In 2011, Council further paved the road toward a New Central Library by directing reductions in the provincial property tax toward a new Community Investment Fund earmarked for financing community infrastructure such as libraries and recreation centres. 

    An investment in community

    In 2013, Council committed $135 million from the Community Investment Fund toward the New Central Library. The Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) funds the remaining $70 million required for the project’s total $245 million cost.

    The library will be located at the centre of the East Village corridor –positioned between the Glenbow Museum, Fort Calgary, the Epcor Centre, and the new National Music Centre. It will be a landmark building that exemplifies design excellence and environmental sustainability; a community space that fosters thought, collaboration and dialogue, and versatile venue for public art, performances, cultural enrichment and innovation.

    Partnering on the project

    The City of Calgary is proud to partner with the Calgary Public Library and CMLC in bringing this project to life.

    The New Central Library is anticipated to open in 2018. For more information visit

    Submitted by Cathy Davis, Strategic Services, Community Services and Protective Services

  • Nourish your body and your mind at the "green zone" 23 September 2014
    On Thursday, September 25, Hoodoo Foodoo and Yummi Yogis will be serving up thoughtfully prepared, fresh, local fare in front of Old City Hall.

    Chow down on wholesome, healthy eats between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.  Join our Facebook event for detailed updates.

    Soak up the sun, and enjoy the benefits of vitamin D, with lunch and learning outside. 

    City staff and Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Foodservice (LEAF) representatives will be on-site to talk about recycling, composting and how to be environmentally conscious.

    Submitted by Carissa Vescio, Animal & Bylaw Services
  • Together... We Are Calgary: The Leadership Strategic Plan 23 September 2014 Earlier this week, City Manager Jeff Fielding presented to Council a new strategic plan for The City of Calgary.

    The plan lays out five key directives which will guide the organization over the next several years. With Council’s approval of these directives, The City of Calgary will begin a new journey related to the implementation of this work.

    Administration will:
    1. Establish a cooperative and meaningful relationship with Council
    2. Develop a cohesive leadership culture and collaborative workforce
    3. Better serve our citizens, communities, and customers
    4. Focus immediate and collective attention on planning and building a great city
    5. Strengthen the Corporation’s financial position

    Implementation of these directives will have impacts on the entire organization. This will cause a rethinking of how work outcomes are to be achieved by The City at all levels from administration to front line staff. City Council will also have a role to play.

    The title of the presentation, Together... We Are Calgary, captures how The City and community pull together in times of need. It also reflects how City staff are able to focus their energies on successful outcomes when we work together as ‘One City’ with ‘One Voice’ – as seen in the response to the 2013 flood and other crises. As part of this journey, The City will be making a concerted effort to improve collaboration across the organization at all times. The unprecedented population growth facing Calgary over the next several years will be the key driver in enhancing levels of cooperation.

    The organization will not be undergoing a major restructuring. The City will continue serving citizens and customers in ways that meet their expectations now and in the future, but will also look to improve how it does business.

    The approach to planning and building a great city will be significant, due to the new reality facing Calgary – projected population growth of up to 40,000 new citizens each year for the next four years. This will require all of The City’s departments to work together to ensure it is well positioned to respond. A new initiative will bring together representatives from all departments to determine and implement collaborative solutions for growth.

    The City will be required to think creatively about how to serve a community growing at a rate that exceeds previous projections. That journey has begun.

    View the full Together, We Are Calgary Leadership Strategic Plan presentation document.
    View the video from the City Manager's presentation to Council.
  • Cultural Transformation - focusing on outcomes for citizens 22 September 2014 After two years, 200 sessions and 6,000+ engagements with City staff, Council and citizens, the Cultural Transformation Project has wrapped up.

    Due to your generosity, we have documented a great deal of information to support our understanding that we are at our best when we are:
    • Focused on outcomes for citizens, and
    • Working together – with team members, across silos and with citizens.
    Both of these cultural strengths were embedded into City Manager Jeff Fielding’s recent presentation to Council, titled Together, We are Calgary.

    “It has been an absolute privilege to learn from our colleagues about who we aspire to be and, to also be honest about what stops us from working together or focusing on outcomes," says Beth Gignac, project lead. "Now that we have that knowledge, it’s time for each of us to be take our individual responsibility seriously and implement what we know into our systems and day-to-day work."

    Accountability for coaching the implementation of our culture throughout our organization will soon transfer to Human Resources and examples of collaborative initiatives taking place with our front line operations staff in Parks, Roads, Waste & Recycling, and Water are being celebrated and shared.

    “There is still a lot of work to be done and everyone who has contributed their ideas to the project has provided the blueprint for the way we will work together moving forward,” Gignac adds. “If anyone is interested in learning more or joining one of the communities of practice we've helped put in place I hope they won’t hesitate to contact me directly."

    The Cultural Transformation Project was the largest staff engagement in The City’s history. On behalf of our organization and each participant, the team was honoured to receive the Platinum Facilitation Impact Award from the International Association of Facilitators, as well as Organization of the Year from the International Association of Public Participation.
  • Tree debris clean-up enters next phase 22 September 2014 The clean-up from the snow storm is entering the next phase as crews focus on removing tree branches and debris from the hardest hit communities.

    Since the storm, crews from Parks, Waste & Recycling Services, Roads and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development have been focusing on the priority safety hazards. Parks, which is leading the cleanup effort, has identified the hardest hit communities

    On Saturday, September 20, crews began doing sweeps of all residential front streets and back lanes to collect and remove tree debris starting in Renfrew, Bridgeland and Lake Bonavista.

    “We will start in the communities with the greatest amount of damage from the storm and move down the list from there,” said Nico Bernard, Parks Operations Manager and leader of the cleanup effort. “Our goal is to do one complete sweep of the streets and lanes in all affected communities to remove as much debris as possible before winter weather sets in.”

    Two types of crews will collect debris from communities. Light crews with rear-loader garbage trucks will pick up smaller materials while heavy crews with loaders and tandem trucks will collect the larger debris. All material collected will be mulched for future use.

    Please note:

    • Citizens are asked to move their vehicles off the street in the targeted communities so crews can access the piles of tree branches and debris.
    • Citizens should watch for signs indicating the streets where crews are working.
    • Please give crews enough space to work safely and continue to watch for hanging branches and any hazards in your neighbourhood, parks and other public spaces.

    The City will post information on identifying which communities crews are working in and which ones are next in line.

    The City thanks Calgarians for their patience and reminds citizens that City landfills will remain open extended hours from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. to accommodate debris drop-off and will waive disposal fees for tree debris.

    Leaf & Pumpkin drop-off locations are accepting tree debris, but we recommend taking loads directly to the landfills to minimize handling. Citizens bringing leaves to drop-offs are asked to use paper yard waste bags as they can be mulched along with the other material. Drop-off locations are for residential use only. Commercial haulers should take their loads to City landfills.

    Find more information on
  • Dog lovers invited to Working Dogs Day event 19 September 2014 Come down to Bowmont Off-Leash Park between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. tomorrow, Sept. 20, to meet working dogs from around the city and learn about responsible pet ownership.

    Working Dogs Days will feature demonstrations from working dogs and their handlers from the Calgary Police Department, Calgary Fire Department, Animal & Bylaw Services, Calgary Search & Rescue Association, PADS Calgary (Pacific Assistance Dogs Society), PALS (Pet Access League Society), Canada Border Services Agency and RCMP Police Dog Services. Attendees can also learn about dog recall training and pet first aid.

    Working Dogs Day is part of The City of Calgary’s Off-Leash Ambassador program which was launched in 2013. The program relies on volunteers to help promote the Responsible Pet Ownership bylaw and teach dog owners about positive pet interactions and safety. This is accomplished through education, demonstrations and discussions led by the ambassadors who act as positive role models in off-leash areas.

    “The Off-Leash Ambassador program is a great example of community and volunteerism,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Once again, we see success when The City and its citizens collaborate —together, we ensure healthy and safe off-leash areas for Calgarians and their pets.”

    Councillor Ward Sutherland, who is a long time community volunteer, will attend the event to show his support of the Program and meet the working dogs.

    “An event that celebrates volunteers, specifically the ambassadors that support our off-leash parks, is wonderful. The free dog recall training, first aid and service dog demonstrations are a brilliant addition to the event and a great way to educate citizens on how to keep our off-leash parks safe and fun for all of us,” he said.

    For more information about responsible pet ownership, up-coming Off-Leash Ambassador events and registering to become an Off-Leash Ambassador, visit or follow Animal & Bylaw Services on Facebook.

    Please note: the area where the event will be held has been cleaned of tree debris from the recent storm and has been deemed safe. However, we urge all event attendees to be mindful of potential hazards, look up, stay away from large trees and be aware of surroundings.

    Submitted by Tara Norton-Merrin, Animal & Bylaw Services
  • Making things simpler with Cut Red Tape 19 September 2014 Simple, innovative, flexible, outcome-focused and measurable. These are the guiding principles behind The City’s Cut Red Tape program aimed at removing unnecessary red tape for citizens and businesses.

    Since the program began in 2010, there has been an estimated 90,000 hours in time saved. But the biggest impact has been the difference it has made for the people that use City services. Whether it’s a citizen looking for low-income assistance or a food truck operator needing a business permit, the program has helped cut down barriers and make it easier for people to interact with The City of Calgary.

    These highlights are just the beginning of a larger trend within the organization to continually improve services and focus on results. Cutting red tape may have started off as a program, but is the way we will conduct business from now on.

    Take a look at our Cut Red Tape video above, which was recently produced to highlight a few stories and successes of the Cut Red Tape Initiative. It was first shown to council in Jeff Fielding’s recent presentation where he indicated he would like to see the Cut Red Tape principles embedded into how we work.
  • Infographic: 2014 September Snow Storm & Tree Debris Clean Up 18 September 2014
    For more information visit

  • Treat your taste buds at the “green zone” food trucks TODAY 18 September 2014

    The Aglio E ‘Olio  and Yummi Yogis food trucks will be parked in front of The City’s Administration Building (Old City Hall) TODAY. 

    Come down between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and experience the fabulous food.

    Aglio E ‘Olio is Calgary’s first authentic and organic pasta truck and Yummi Yogis prepare health conscious meals and offer gluten-free and dairy-free options. 

    Celebrate the reappearance of summer with lunch and learning alfresco. 

    City staff and Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Foodservice (LEAF) representatives will be on-site to teach Calgarians about the importance of recycling, composting and simply being more environmentally conscious. Join our Facebook event for detailed updates.

    We look forward to seeing you.

    Submitted by Carissa Vescio, Animal & Bylaw Services
  • Emergency Operations Centre closure and update on tree debris clean-up 17 September 2014 Below is raw video from the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC). Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Acting Director of Calgary Emergency Management Agency, Tom Sampson announce the closure of the EOC. Director of Parks, Anne Charlton then discusses how The City will lead tree debris clean-up moving forward.

  • Three tips for damaged tree care 17 September 2014 Thousands of Calgary's trees were recently damaged in an unseasonal snowstorm. City crews continue to clear the debris while actively taking steps to protect and restore our urban forest. While communities have been pitching in, picking up and pulling together, additional steps should be taken to promote healthy yards before winter.

    We recommend consulting with a certified arborist, but have also created a how-to video to assist citizens with their clean-up and tree preservation efforts.

    Please only attempt the following steps if you are comfortable, are familiar with the tools, and have appropriate personal protective gear. Also remember that seniors and those physically unable to clear tree debris, can connect with City Links by contacting 311.

    1. Assess
    Where possible, consult with a certified arborist, but you can begin the process by considering the following:
    • Look up and look out to check for potential hazards.
    • Is the main trunk of your tree broken? This tree likely can’t be saved and should be cut down.
    • Are major limbs still remaining and the trunk unbroken? Are at least 50% of the tree’s branches still intact? If so, then there is a good chance that your tree will survive.

    2. Prune
    Pruning is more than just cutting off dead branches, it can help your tree grow and increase its chances of survival. Do not attempt any work that is beyond your skill and comfort levels. Visit The International Society of Arboriculture website for more information and a complete listing of certified arborists.

    3. Package
    There are many options available for tree collection and disposal, including visiting a City landfill, accessing one of 33 leaf & pumpkin drop-off locations, or stacking tree debris as close to the edge of your property without impeding roads, pathways or sidewalks.

    For the latest updates, visit
  • Ensuring wood is suitable for burning 16 September 2014 As citizens work to clear their yards and communities from tree debris as a result of last week’s snowfall, questions have come up about alternative uses for tree branches and debris.

    Tree debris collected on your property, or that you have collected as a result of cleaning up in your community is for your discretional use. The City would prefer that you bring it to one of our three landfills, dispose of it at any of the 33 community pumpkin & leaf drop offs or stack it for The City to collect, however if you choose to keep it please be aware that only clean, dry firewood is permitted to be burned in fire pits. Burning prohibited materials can cause dense smoke and offensive odours to neighbouring properties. It can also lead to false fire calls.

    More specifically, when using outdoor fire pits, you cannot burn:
    • Wet or unseasoned wood
    • Leaves, brush or yard waste
    • Treated or painted lumber
    • Lumber products containing glue or resin
    • Garbage
    • Rubber, tires or plastic
    • Animal carcasses or parts

    The wood gathered as a result of last week’s event needs to be ‘seasoned’ before it is suitable for burning. Cut and dry any wood for burning, as wet wood will cause creosote build-up in your chimney, which can lead to a chimney fire, or if burning in an outdoor fire pit, an abundance of smoke and odour. Small branches and leaves are not appropriate to burn and should be disposed of properly – at a City landfill or at any of the 33 leaf & pumpkin drop-off sites.

    There are many resources on-line that can assist with describing methods to ‘season’ wood.

    Find information on bylaws related to fire pits, as well as information on filing complaints. Please note that the City of Calgary does not permit open burns.
  • Tree debris collection and disposal options 16 September 2014 There are many options available to Calgarians for tree debris collection and disposal:

    1) It is recommended that citizens visit a City landfill as landfill operations are best equipped to deal with all sizes of tree debris. All three City Landfills will accept tree debris from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Garbage and recyclables will only be accepted up to 5 p.m. Tipping fees continue to be waived for all tree debris that is not mixed with other garbage. Landfills are not experiencing line-ups at this time.

    2) Citizens can access all 33 of The City’s leaf & pumpkin drop-off locations to dispose of tree debris. Please ensure that you dispose of manageably-sized tree branches to ensure your safety and the safety of those picking the loads up from the depots. Depots are accessible 24hrs a day however; a City staff member is on-hand at most depots during regular working hours (between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.) to assist citizens with unloading their debris.

    Example of stacked branches beside blue & black carts
    3) Citizens can stack tree debris as close to the edge of their property without impeding roads, pathways or sidewalks. This includes:
    • Stacking branches neatly where you normally place your black and blue carts (front roadways or in back alleys/laneways). Please note that tree debris will not be picked up at the same time as your residential garbage/recycling pick up as pick up of tree debris needs to remain ‘clean’ and will require specialized equipment.
    • Stacking branches neatly and placing on your front yard or driveway, near the sidewalk but not impeding access is acceptable.
    • Stacking branches neatly on a residential boulevard or median - not impeding access to adjacent roadways or sidewalks is acceptable. Please be mindful of risks associated with adjacent traffic activity if using this option.
    • Stacking branches neatly in back lanes or alleyways - not impeding access to roads or walkways is acceptable.

    Example of stacked branches on residential boulevard
    Ideally, stacked tree branches are no more than 4ft in length. However, the City appreciates the efforts and cooperation of citizens and the collection and stacking of branches in any of the above mentioned scenarios is appreciated.

    Please be patient as City crews will take some time to get around to all areas of the city. Ideally and if citizens are able, preference is for collected branches to be brought directly to the City landfills and secondly, to one of the 33 leaf and pumpkin drop-off locations.

    Thanks to everyone for pitching in to clean up our city.

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