The Edmonton Oilers bid farewell to Rexall Place

Tonight the Edmonton Oilers played their final game in the building they have called home since 1974. Though its future remains uncertain, Rexall Place has been an important part of Edmonton for more than 40 years.

Farewell Rexall Place

The subject of its own, drawn out arena debate, Rexall Place was eventually built in the early 1970s. It opened on November 10, 1974 and the Oilers played their first game in the building that night. They won that game over the Cleveland Crusaders by a score of 4-1. For more on the history of Rexall Place, check out this great deep dive from David Staples.

Farewell Rexall Place

In addition to tonight’s celebrations at the building itself, the Oilers and the City held a rally in Churchill Square today. All former Oilers were invited to attend, and more than 100 did. The event was hosted by City Manager Linda Cochrane and was a nice opportunity for fans to join with the Oilers to say thanks to Rexall Place.

Farewell Rexall Place

Mayor Don Iveson, Jason Strudwick, Ryan Smyth, and Mark Messier all shared a few memories and tributes to Rexall Place.

Mark Messier

I thought it was very fitting that the crowd did the wave today at the rally given that Rexall Place is the venue in which the wave was perfected.

The Oilers have been preparing for this all season long, of course. Here’s what they had to say about leaving the building earlier today:

“Hours before opening faceoff, media members and arena workers flooded the halls, snapping photos of the old barn. The current players laughed at the fond memories of their home building, while lamenting missed opportunities in recent seasons. The alumni shared stories with the media and with each other, some serious and others hilarious tellings of locker room happenings. The mood at Rexall Place’s final pre-game morning was more joyful and reminiscent than sad, but it is sure to be an emotional evening of goodbyes for all those with ties to a historic venue.”

You can see the pre-game, in-game, and post-game videos and other media here.

Farewell Rexall Place

Northlands itself also had some positive things to say about the building today:

“On behalf of our board, staff and volunteers we want to thank the Edmonton Oilers for an amazing partnership,” said Tim Reid, Northlands President and CEO.

They also pointed out that while the Oilers won’t be playing at Rexall Place anymore, there are still other events on the schedule including the 2017 Ford World Men’s Curling Championships next April which is the final qualifying event for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. But for pro hockey at least, tonight was the end.

Oilers Superfan

For the current team, next season and the brand new Rogers Place can’t come soon enough. It hasn’t been a great season, but at least they ended on a high note tonight with a 6-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

You can see more photos from the lunch time rally here.

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #197

Here’s my latest update on local media stuff:

Balloon Fluttering Upon City Scape
Balloon Fluttering Upon City Scape, photo by IQRemix, from the Spring Instagram Meetup

And here is some slightly less local media stuff:

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

You can see past Media Monday Edmonton entries here.

Edmonton Notes for April 3, 2016

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

Edmonton At Night - Building Up and Over
Edmonton At Night – Building Up and Over, photo by Jeff Wallace

Upcoming Events

Victoria Promenade

Exploring Calgary’s East Village

Sharon and I spent most of the long weekend down in Calgary, enjoying the beautiful weather and trying a bunch of new restaurants. A trip to our southern neighbour to eat has nearly become an annual tradition for us. This time we visited Cluck n Cleaver, Charbar, Shiki Menya, Pigeonhole, and returned to our favorite, Blue Star Diner. It was a great weekend!

Our visit to Charbar also gave us an excuse to explore the East Village once again, an area we last spent some time in back in 2014.

East Village

The East Village ARP notes that redevelopment of the area has “been a long-standing objective of the City of Calgary” and that the General Municipal Plan of 1979 encouraged residential development. From the ARP, here is the vision statement for the East Village:

“East Village will become a vibrant, humanly scaled and sustainable high density downtown neighborhood that respects and enhances its historical, physical and social context and reinforces a high quality of life for its diverse residents.”

The East Village area is 49 acres between Fort Calgary and the downtown and is where Calgary was founded. As development intensified elsewhere, the area was neglected for many years. But not anymore:

“Fast forward to today. East Village is in the midst of an exciting transformation. Since 2007, CMLC’s commitment of $357 million into infrastructure and development programs has so far attracted $2.4 billion of planned development expected to deliver $725 million of Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) for the City of Calgary, our sole shareholder. As developers and retailers have come to see the value of the East Village transformation, our available inventory of land has been snapped up. Today, just three parcels remain.”

You can see the current East Village ARP in PDF here. The City of Calgary is currently in the process of updating the East Village ARP, first approved in 2001 and last updated in 2010. That process has been underway for a couple of years now and is expected to wrap up later this year, with the draft available for public review this spring.

East Village

We made the ten minute walk to the East Village from our downtown hotel. We entered via 7 Avenue SE which meant that Celebration Square, or CSquare, was one of the first things we saw. It is meant to “provide a mid-day sunshine break to folks in nearby offices or residents returning home from downtown” and features a curved wooden bench, a small stage, and a striking design. “The Veil’s architectural baffles animate the movement of passing trains,” the website says.

National Music Centre

This is the year of music in Calgary as they are hosting the Juno Awards this weekend. Later this year, the brand new National Music Centre will open in the East Village. Just a short walk up from CSquare, you can’t miss the NMC’s unique look. Construction on the project began in 2013:

“Designed by Allied Works Architects of Portland, Oregon, NMC is imagined as a living instrument, a destination and a new kind of cultural institution. The 160,000 square foot, $168 million project is being built around the historic King Edward Hotel – Calgary’s legendary home of the blues – and straddles 4th Avenue SE via an overhead passageway that leads to another vast building.”

A little further away we came across one of the community gardens that has been established in the East Village. Living in the East Village right now would be exciting with all of the changes taking place, but it will be a few more years before the urban village vision is realized.

East Village is Growing

For instance, a grocery store is yet to appear, but one is coming. “The dream team of RioCan Investment Trust and Embassy BOSA are partnering to develop two new residential towers at 6 Avenue and 3 Street SE which will be anchored by a full-sized Loblaws store, as well as other retail tenants.”

Simmons Building

We were perhaps most looking forward to checking out the redeveloped Simmons Building, which just opened last summer and now features Charbar, Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters, and Sidewalk Citizen Bakery. Restoration efforts began in 2008 on the historic building:

“Formerly a factory warehouse for a national bedding manufacturer, the Simmons Building snoozed beside the Bow River for decades before CMLC took up the restoration challenge. The occupancy of the Simmons Building by three local food and beverage champions puts in place an important piece of CMLC’s retail strategy for East Village, which calls for approximately 100,000 sq ft of Village Format retail – a ‘boutique’ style of retail that tends to be more intimate and service-oriented than Urban Format retail, which in East Village will add up to about 300,000 sq ft and include such categories as grocery, home improvement and general merchandise.”

On a Friday night, the building was busy, and it just so happened that Edmonton’s own Poppy Barley was hosting a pop-up in the building that weekend! The bike racks were well-used and there were lots of people out enjoying the plaza.

Sunny Snow

Inside the building, we had a great meal at Charbar! Our favorite dish was probably the picante dry-cured chorizo, served with pickled vegetables, but the entire meal was delicious.

Charbar

The inside of the building reminded me a lot of the Mercer Warehouse, with the exposed brick, beautiful wooden beams, and hardwood floors. With a Phil & Sebastian’s I could definitely see myself hanging out in the building frequently.

Simmons Building

The Simmons Building is located right along the RiverWalk Plaza, part of a beautiful pathway that runs along the river and connects to Calgary’s larger pathway system. Before dinner, we walked along it and made our way to St. Patrick’s Bridge which has been nicknamed the “skipping stone” bridge. It was under construction the last time we had seen it.

East Village

The bridge connects to St. Patrick’s Island which is described as “a beautifully revitalized 31-acre backyard.” Among its many features is Bloom, a public art installation on the west side near the bridge.

Sharon

Our short walk back into downtown after dinner offered a great view of the colorfully lit Calgary Tower. It was a great evening in the East Village! We’ll definitely be back to see more of the area’s evolution.

Calgary Tower

You can see more photos from our trip to Calgary here.

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #196

Here’s my latest update on local media stuff:

U of A pre-budget consultation 4516
Mayor Don Iveson speaks at the Province’s pre-budget consultation

And here is some slightly less local media stuff:

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

You can see past Media Monday Edmonton entries here.

Edmonton Notes for March 27, 2016

Happy Easter! Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

Spring Snow
Spring Snow

Upcoming Events

Edmonton Tower Lights
Edmonton Tower Lights

Federal Budget 2016, Sprawling Edmonton, Riverview Name Debate

Here’s the latest entry in my Edmonton Etcetera series, in which I share some thoughts on a few topical items in one post. Less than I’d write in a full post on each, but more than I’d include in Edmonton Notes. Have feedback? Let me know!

Federal Budget 2016

The Government of Canada introduced Budget 2016 today, saying it is “a plan that takes important steps to revitalize the Canadian economy, and delivers real change for the middle class and those working hard to join it.” The budget projects a $29.4 billion deficit. Here’s a video titled Restoring Hope for the Middle Class that highlights some of the budget commitments:

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) called the budget “a big win for Canadians” and says it will “transform the way we build cities and communities and marks a new era of federal-municipal partnership.” They like the investments the government is making in housing, transit, and green infrastructure, as well as the “new cost-sharing funding model” that will have a shorter-term impact while longer-term funding agreements are worked out.

Mayor Don Iveson is the Chair of FCM’s Big City Mayors’ Caucus. Here’s what he had to say:

“This budget and the new, stronger working relationship between the federal government and municipalities really marks a new way of getting things done for Canadians. This introduces a new era of collaboration which will see us build stronger cities and a stronger Canada.”

The budget outlines a five-year, $11.9 billion infrastructure spending plan. There’s a focus on public transit, with $3.4 billion over three years being invested according to each province’s share of national ridership. For Alberta, with 10.28% of Canada’s public transit ridership, that works out to just over $347 million. There’s also an increase in eligible costs for public transit projects up to 50% which is a big improvement. Another $2.3 billion of the infrastructure plan will go to affordable housing over two years, $739 million of which is for investments in housing for First Nations, Inuit, and Norther Communities. About $112 million of the affordable housing allocation is to help cities tackle homelessness.

Budget 2016 extends EI regular benefits by 5 weeks, but only in three of Alberta’s four EI regions – not in Edmonton. That’s because we did not experience a large enough increase in our unemployment rate between March 2015 and February 2016. Provincially the changes could be worth about $380 million.

Like all cities, Edmonton faces major challenges around the maintenance and replacement of aging infrastructure. Budget 2016 includes funding of $50 million for infrastructure management and measurement, which should help cities collect the data required to inform decision-making. Getting a better handle on the project will be a good thing.

Sprawling Edmonton

As mentioned a couple of days ago, Council is revisiting the discussion about sprawl in our city thanks to a report that projects the City will face a $1.4 billion shortfall after building out the three Urban Growth Areas. On top of this, another $8.3 billion in non-residential assessment growth is needed to maintain the current ratio of residential to non-residential tax assessment. That’s the real reason the City is pursuing annexation, though you won’t find it in the “three reasons for annexation”.

Edmonton from Above
Edmonton from Above, photo by Dave Cournoyer

In an editorial this week, the Journal wrote:

“Now is not the time to add to chills in the development industry, but the status quo is not a good option either.”

We need to stop worrying about the development industry and worry instead about Edmonton. Mayor Iveson put it like this in a recent blog post:

“This is a critical conversation happening in cities all across Canada; I intentionally use the word ‘critical’ because Edmonton is simply not financially sustainable under our current growth model.”

The word “sprawl” is carefully avoided in both the editorial and the mayor’s post. But that’s what it is.

Riverview Name Debate

One of the three Urban Growth Areas is Riverview, where planning for neighbourhoods is well underway. Names were proposed for five neighbourhoods, and both the developers and the Naming Committee agreed on two: Grandisle and White Birch. The other three names proposed were “The Uplands”, “Red Willow”, and “River’s Edge” but the Naming Committee went with “Balsam Woods”, “Golden Willow”, and “River Alder” instead. The developers appealed, which is how the issue came before Council today.

Paula Simons wrote about the issue with her signature brand of wit:

“If the developer’s chosen names are poor, the city’s aren’t much better. Balsam Wood sounds like something you use to build model airplanes. River Alder doesn’t trip off the tongue and west Edmonton already has an Aldergrove. It’s hard to take sides in this fight when both sets of names are so depressingly bland.”

We already have The Uplands of Mactaggart too.

Today, after an amusing debate, Council approved the developers’ proposed names. In discussing the importance of names, Councillor Loken said:

“If someone doesn’t like the name of a neighbourhood, they’re probably not going to live there…But Red Willow, Golden Willow? I don’t know.”

Maybe that’s how we can solve our sprawl problem!

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #195

Here’s my latest update on local media stuff:

  • Heather Boyd’s report into accreditation of news media for the Province has been released. You can download the 122 page PDF here. The report recommends that the Province “avoid developing a specific government media policy” and that it should instead “be guided to various degrees by convention, common sense and a desire to keep access to legislative proceedings as open to as large a number of citizens as possible.” In the Executive Summary, the report states: “Most, but by no means all, of the people interviewed for this report felt that there are no circumstances whatsoever under which a government should decide who gets to ask it questions.” The government has accepted all of the report’s recommendations.
  • Andrea Sands is leaving the Edmonton Journal to work as a communications consultant for the Edmonton Public School Board. She tweeted that it’s not all doom and gloom for local journalism though. “There are some great new reporters coming soon to the Journal so I look forward to reading.”
  • The winners of the 67th National Newspaper Awards will be announced at a ceremony here in Edmonton on Friday, May 27. The bad news? There are no Edmonton-based nominees. The Globe and Mail led the way with 19 nominations.
  • Marty Forbes is working on a new podcast with Jungle Jim Jerome. Called “Jungle Talk”, the project is set to debut “in the next month or so.”
  • Marty also notes that Len Theusen is retiring after a long career in local media, at 630 CHED, K-LITE (Capital FM), and most recently as an account rep at The Bear. Here’s a photo from the recent celebration event at MKT.
  • Lots of online news sites have started banning anonymous comments, but should they? Karen Unland and Linda Hoang spoke to CBC Edmonton about the issue this week.
  • Episode 34 of the Seen and Heard in Edmonton podcast features Paul Matwychuk, “a writer, editor and film aficionado who compares and contrasts movies in the most erudite way on Trash, Art, and the Movies.”
  • Twitter turned ten years old today! Lots of people revisited their first tweets to celebrate, including Global Edmonton.
  • Danielle Paradis wrote about “the deluge of abuse against student journalist Kate McInnes” that came in response to a critique published in The Gateway of the 5 Days for the Homelessness campaign. “McInnes is determined not to be silenced. She’s written more than 50 pieces for the Gateway and plans to be an editor next year.”
  • Here’s a guest post at the Meet the Media blog by Debra Kasowski asking if traditional media are worth it. “Media shapes our lives and influences how we think which in turn influences our behaviour and attitudes toward issues and events,” she wrote.
  • Speaking of #MeetTheMedia, you can register for the event taking place on April 15 here. There are already 28 people signed up.
  • Edmontonian Lindsey McNell is a filmmaker, writer, actress, and director and last year she was selected to represent Canada at the Cannes Film Festival. She says Edmonton needs an advocate, like a film commissioner, to bring more attention to the industry.
  • Calgary journalist Andrew Ng, who worked in Edmonton from 2008 through 2013, kept a notebook of “just about every story…and every person” he worked on and talked to over a two-year period in our city. “It sits on my desk now as a journal of my career as a journalist.”
  • The next Edmonton Podcasting Meetup takes place on April 9 at Variant Edition Comics & Culture and will explore making your podcast audience happy.

Gibson-Block & Hyatt
Edmonton Journal on the Gibson-Block

And here is some slightly less local media stuff:

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

You can see past Media Monday Edmonton entries here.

Edmonton Notes for March 20, 2016

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

Above the Blue
Above the Blue, photo by Dave Sutherland

Upcoming Events

Walterdale Bridge
Walterdale Bridge, photo by IQRemix

Coming up at City Council: March 21-25, 2016

Council is back to Committee meetings this week, with a very full agenda and some big ticket items to be discussed.

City Council Swearing In 2013-2017

Here’s my look at what Council will be discussing in the week ahead.

Meetings this week

You can always see the latest City Council meetings on ShareEdmonton.

Program & Service Review

Administration has come forward with a project plan for the program & service review that Council has requested. All City services will be reviewed a high-level and some will be identified for a deeper analysis to determine if the service could be reduced or stopped, provided differently or enhanced, or if new services are recommended. The City anticipates evaluating “approximately 30 programs and 200 services, which could be compared with services in other jurisdictions” using the Municipal Reference Model. The evaluation will focus on relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency:

  • “Relevance is why we are doing things.”
  • “Effectiveness is doing the right things.”
  • “Efficiency is doing things well.”

The review will start this year and will take until December 2018 to complete. Costs associated with the work in 2016 are expected to be $600,000 which “will be funded from existing resources leveraging currently planned service reviews.” The City is proposing three pilots in 2016 to “test the approach and identify improvements in the project methodology.” Additional costs for 2017 and 2018 will be determined after the pilot reviews are complete.

Urban Growth Areas: Integrated Infrastructure Management Planning

Edmonton’s three Urban Growth Areas are Decoteau, Horse Hill, and Riverview. When considering a build-out over a 30-40 year time frame starting this year, the highlight is that the three areas “are anticipated to require approximately $1.4 billion in capital investment by the City.” On top of that, “a developer infrastructure investment of approximately $3.8 billion” is required. But we know that new neighbourhoods do not pay for themselves. “The projected cumulative shortfall over the 50 year analysis period for the build-out of the Urban Growth Areas is anticipated to be in the order of $1.4 billion.”

projections

There’s a lot of detail in the report and a good discussion about the balance of residential and non-residential land in Edmonton. We have about three times more residential land than non-residential land, but non-residential taxes are 2.5 to 3 times more than residential, so they each contribute about 50%. Here are some other highlights:

  • “For the City as a whole to maintain the current ratio, there needs to be approximately $5 billion of non-residential assessment for every $20 billion in residential assessment growth.”
  • “It should be noted that the trend in Edmonton over the last few years has been an increasing burden shifting towards the residential tax payer as the residential class takes on a greater proportion of the total assessment base. The residential share of property taxes has increased from 48.7% in 2005 to 50.8% in 2015.”
  • “Based on the analysis completed, in order to maintain 25% non-residential assessment ratio, the Urban Growth Areas would require an additional $8.3 billion in non-residential assessments throughout the City of Edmonton, over and above the commercial and business employment areas planned within the Urban Growth Areas.”
  • “It is uncertain at this point whether this magnitude of non-residential assessments can be achieved within the City’s existing industrial areas and may be largely dependent on the timing and type of development to be constructed in the Edmonton Energy and Technology Park.”
  • “Should this level of non-residential assessment not be achieved over the build-out of the Urban Growth Areas, the City may need to consider changing the current residential to non-residential tax split from an even split to a higher percentage from the residential area, which would increase residential contributions and better reflect the costs of the City’s current built-form.”

As a result of all of this, “the City will need to continue its efforts to promote greater density, more effective utilization of infrastructure, and grow the industrial and commercial sectors in order to balance the City’s overall assessment base.”

Administration is working on a Growth Modelling Framework that would proceed in four phases through 2019. While it may be a useful tool, that seems awfully late to be available considering development of all three areas is already well underway.

Valley Line LRT Updated Tax Levy Requirement

Apparently the winning bid from TransED Partners to build and operate the Valley Line LRT came in at $2.2 billion, about $500 million less than the City was expecting. As a result, the City is recommending the 0.8% tax levy scheduled to start this year should be dropped to 0.6%, which would translate to savings of $4.25 for the typical homeowner. Another option could be to grow the LRT reserve fund faster.

Instead of a rebate to homeowners, the Amalgamated Transit Union would prefer to see the money spent on transit. “It’s capital money that was intended to flow into transit,” ATU President Steve Bradshaw told Metro. “What we’re saying it was intended for transit and it should stay for transit.”

Traffic Shortcutting Pilot Project

Here’s the background on this one:

“In the fall of 2015, a Traffic Shortcutting Pilot Project was undertaken in the communities of Crestwood, Newton, Ottewell and Ormsby Place to develop a streamlined process to address localized shortcutting and speeding concerns. The traffic management measures of the pilot project included speed humps, speed tables (speed hump with a flat top), driver feedback signs, the review of traffic signal timings and the restriction of vehicle access (Ormsby Place only).”

About a third of respondents to a questionnaire felt the measures benefited their community, while a quarter felt the measures improved traffic safety. The report highlights a number of lessons learned, including:

  • “Project Coordination: Projects should be coordinated with other capital projects to minimize construction costs and more efficiently engage the public.”
  • “Community Awareness: Need to first build broad public involvement and engage communities before addressing traffic concerns.”
  • “Roles and Responsibilities: Establish clear roles and responsibilities for Administration, public stakeholder groups, including decision-making at key points in the process.”
  • “Process Flexibility: Every neighbourhood is unique, thus a flexible process can be tailored to the specific needs of a community.”
  • “Project Timelines: The process needs to be responsive to community needs in a timely manner and adequate time must be allocated to properly engage the public and complete comprehensive before and after traffic studies.”

A separate report provides an update on the Community Traffic Management Plan pilot program in the Prince Charles and Pleasantview Communities. Activities are ongoing in Prince Charles, but the trial in Pleasantview was removed in February. The lessons learned through those two pilots were broadly similar to the others noted above.

“Since the mid-1990s, this is the fourth time Pleasantview has been through a Community Traffic Management Plan. This is the second time Prince Charles has been through a Community Traffic Management Plan since 2000.”

In 2003, Council adopted a set of guidelines for the community traffic management process that “established selection criteria to be used as a means of prioritizing communities for traffic management initiatives.” Only Pleasantview and Prince Charles have met the requirement to demonstrate sufficient community support since that time, but citizens in over 30 neighbourhoods have requested the initiation of a community traffic management plan. The City is now reviewing these guidelines. “Establishing criteria for community support and thresholds for traffic volumes, speeds, and shortcutting in an evidence-based approach, provides a means of addressing the growing city-wide demand for community traffic management initiatives in a more planned, efficient, consistent, and equitable manner.”

All of the lessons learned and other input will be considered in the development of a Policy on Traffic Shortcutting and a Community Traffic Management Policy, currently slated to be ready for Council’s review in June.

Telus Field

It looks like the uncertainty over the immediate future of Telus Field is coming to an end. The Edmonton Prospects Baseball Club has been selected as the preferred proponent to operate and maintain Telus Field and they’re looking to sign a four-year deal with the City to do just that. They would pay an annual license fee of $20,000 per year, in addition to operating and maintenance costs. The City would still be responsible for preventative maintenance, waterproofing, snow removal and parking lot maintenance, and utility costs related to the City’s office space in the building.

The City is still working on a longer-term vision for Telus Field as part of its plan for the River Crossing area, expected to be delivered in 2018. The River Crossing area encompasses land redevelopment in West Rossdale, repurposing of the Rossdale Generating Station, and other items. “This plan will take an integrated approach to advancing change in this unique and complex area,” the report states.

What the Truck?! at Telus Field

In addition to the agreement to operate Telus Field, the Prospects are requesting permission “to secure a new naming sponsor for the facility.” They need Council’s approval to start looking for a new sponsor, and even once they find a willing partner, the Naming Committee and Historical Board must be consulted and Council will have final approval. The Prospects need the sponsorship revenue to help support the operation of the ballpark.

Other interesting items

  • It is recommended that Council approve a funding agreement with the Argyll Velodrome Association and the Society of the Edmonton Triathlon Academy for the Coronation Community Recreation Centre project. Council had previously approved $112.26 million for the project.
  • A majority of partner facilities, festivals, and events would prefer the City is to mandate the establishment of designated smoking areas rather than mandate smoke-free events and facilities.
  • The Dogs in Open Spaces Strategy “will enhance off-leash sites and provide safe and enjoyable experiences for park users.” A new report outlines recommendations made by the strategy and notes that Administration will now develop an implementation plan.
  • The Naming Committee previously approved five neighbourhood names for the Riverview ASP but Stantec is appealing and has suggested the committee “neglected to consider the wishes of the majority landowners in these neighbourhoods.”
  • A report on zoning options for high quality main streets identifies the following as qualifying main streets: Jasper Avenue, Whyte Avenue, 97 Street, 101 Street, 107 Avenue, 109 Street, 118 Avenue, 124 Street, Stony Plain Road.
  • In an effort to better support residential infill, the City is recommending a new Community Standards Infill Compliance Coordinator, amendments to the Community Standards Bylaw 14600 to inroduce weekday construction restrictions, and amendments to the Traffic Bylaw 5590 to improve current development practices and address community concerns about infill construction.
  • A progress report on joint efforts between the City of Edmonton and the City of St. Albert on the possibility of integrating transit systems considers five models and recommends returning in Q3 2016 with more detail.
  • Edmonton currently classifies roadways as “local”, “collector”, and “arterial” and applies Complete Streets Guidelines on top of that. Administration has reviewed this classification scheme, and after comparing with other cities like Ottawa, Calgary, and Toronto, has recommended the status quo. It further noted “that roadway classification is neither used as a tool nor viewed as a solution to shortcutting and speeding issue.”
  • Council is slated to receive a verbal status update on the Metro Line LRT on Wednesday, and will also receive a private contractual update.

Wrap-up

You can keep track of City Council on Twitter using the #yegcc hashtag, and you can listen to or watch any Council meeting live online. You can read my previous coverage of the 2013-2017 City Council here.