Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:
- Katz refused to show up at City Hall on Wednesday which made Council’s decision to cease negotiations on the downtown arena and to explore other options that much easier. Administration is expected to come back with a report outlining alternatives to working with the Katz Group, including have the City build the arena itself. Here’s the brief statement from Daryl Katz in response. See also: How to build an arena in Edmonton.
- Perhaps the bigger story of the week was the decision to build the Southeast LRT using a P3 model. As if that wasn’t enough cause for concern, they’re also hoping to have the private entity operate the line too, despite plenty of evidence that such a move would not result in the desired benefits (more on that this week). Council also announced the newly-formed LRT Governance Board to oversee construction on the Southeast to West LRT line.
- On Thursday, the City’s strategy for transforming Edmonton into a world-leading winter city was released with a small event on 104 Street. The WinterCity Strategy is slated to be presented to the Community Services Committee on Tuesday.
- Rating agency DBRS has confirmed our city’s high credit ratings of R-1 and AA.
- A new report from TomTom ranked Edmonton number one out of twenty-six cities in the U.S. and Canada when it comes to tackling traffic congestion, with an overall 7% decrease over the last year.
- Congratulations to the winners of the City of Edmonton’s Small Business Eco Challenge!
- Our city’s urban tree canopy has received national recognition with the Urban Forestry Award, part of the Communities in Bloom Awards. The City maintains about 309,000 ornamental trees.
- The French Quarter and Area is the city’s newest BRZ after receiving an $85,000 grant from Council to cover startup costs. That’s just one of the things Council was up to this week.
- Negotiations between ETS and the U of A over the price of the next U-Pass have stalled.
- Three Edmontonians were honored with the Alberta Order of Excellence this week: Rosaleen Zdunich, Irving Kipnes, and Robert Westbury.
- With roughly a year to go until the next municipal election, talk about who’s running is starting to heat up. It’s all speculation though until Mayor Mandel announces his plans early next year.
- It sounds like the first Edmonton Expo was a big success, with upwards of 12,000 people attending. In comparison, Calgary’s first Expo sold 2500 tickets.
- Uh oh, looks like smog is becoming a problem in our city, at least downtown and in the east.
- Did you enjoy the first snowfall accumulation of the year? There’s not much out there right now, nor is there much more in the forecast. It is feeling quite a bit cooler outside, however!
Lovely shot of the Muttart Conservatory with the skyline in the background. Photo by Funtographer.
It may be controversial, but the Talus Dome at night looks pretty impressive:
Photo by Sean Gordon.
Here are some upcoming events:
- Cavalia has been extended again and now runs until October 28.
- Edmonton Opera’s Aida kicked off on Friday, with two performances remaining on Tuesday and Thursday.
- Looking to get into the Halloween spirit? The Farm of Fear started this weekend with more opportunities to attend starting Thursday.
- A reminder that the non-statutory public hearing on the Citywide Food & Urban Agriculture Strategy takes place on Friday at City Hall. I hope to see you there!
- The Edmonton Ski & Snowboard Show takes place on the weekend at the EXPO Centre.
- Don’t forget, the City Market Downtown has moved to its winter home inside City Hall!
- This Saturday is the Sturgeon Valley Food & Wine Festival at The Enjoy Centre.
- Still no NHL to watch, but the Oil Kings are in action at home twice this week. Saturday they host Kelowna, and Sunday they host Vancouver. The Oil Kings have won seven of their thirteen games so far this season.
- For more upcoming events, check out ShareEdmonton.
Down the Fall Path. Photo by RandallTT.