It was a hot weekend in Edmonton with temperatures above 30 degrees – how did you beat the heat? Or maybe you decided to make the most of it and spent it outdoors! We might have some rain to start the week but then we’re back to hot weather, so be sure to work and play safely, and never leave children or pets unattended in a vehicle. You can see the forecast here.
Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:
- Bill 1, An Act to Renew Democracy in Alberta, was unanimously passed by the Alberta Legislature this week. It bans corporate and union donations to political parties, effective June 15, 2015.
- The new Ivor Dent Sports Park, named after former mayor Ivor Dent, is now open in southeast Edmonton at the corner of Ellerslie Road and 50 Street. The 138-acre park features 24 fields for soccer, rugby, cricket, field hockey, football, lacrosse, and more. The City’s contribution to the park was approximately $25 million, with $9.9 million coming from MSI funding.
- It’s official: Connor McDavid was selected 1st overall in the 2015 NHL Draft by the Edmonton Oilers. He got wear the new orange jersey that the Oilers feature at seven home games this season.
- In other Oilers news this week: they acquired Cam Talbot from the Rangers, traded for defenceman Eric Gryba, sent their 16th and 33rd overall picks to the Islanders in exchange for Griffin Reinhart, the 2015-2016 season schedule was released, and they fired most of their scouting staff.
- Edmonton’s new Poet Laureate is Pierrette Requier, “a bilingual, Franco-Albertan poet whose work bridges English and French.” Her two-year term will start on Wednesday. Here are 5 questions with our new poet laureate and some thoughts from outgoing poet laureate Mary Pinkoski.
- The Edmonton Public School Board is considering leaving the Alberta School Board Association, which apparently could save the board $200,000 a year.
- Council has approved the first special area zones for Blatchford. Construction on the first stage of development is slated to begin later this year.
- EPS has completed a three-year study to assess the effectiveness of body worn video and have decided to “proceed with a graduated deployment of cameras to specialized police units.” The coordinator of the project called the study “the most comprehensive in Canada to date.”
- In case you missed it, EPS released a thank you video in memory of Constable Woodall.
- A ban on pesticide use on City property was approved by Council this week, but with a few exemptions.
- The deadline to nominate someone for the 2015 Front Yards in Bloom program is Tuesday, June 30! Last year more than 3400 yards were nominated. You can nominate a yard here or by calling 311.
- Father’s Day was also #DIYcity and #yeglongday here in Edmonton, and Make Something Edmonton has recapped everything that went down.
- For more recent headlines, check out ShareEdmonton.
- There are just a couple more days left for The Works.
- The Freewill Shakespeare Festival continues at Hawrelak Park this week.
- The second annual BaconFest YEG takes place on Tuesday, this time at the Jubilee.
- Wednesday is of course Canada Day! As usual you’ll find events all over the city, with the big fireworks finale taking place over the river valley starting at 11pm. You can see a full listing of Canada Day events here. Also check out 25 things to do with kids on Canada Day.
- Unfortunately Team Canada didn’t make it to the semi-finals, otherwise they’d have been playing Japan on Wednesday night at Commonwealth Stadium. Instead, the defending champs will take on England. The bronze medal game takes place here in Edmonton on Saturday.
- The Edmonton International Street Performers Festival kicks off on Friday at Churchill Square!
- Color Me Rad is two days this year, so watch for the colored powder on Friday and Saturday.
- Saturday in St. Albert is the first ever Seven Music Festival at Mission Park.
- The Historical Festival & Doors Open Edmonton starts on Sunday.
- If you were planning on going to the drive-in movies at TELUS Field this week, you might want to get a refund as the events have been put on hold due to a lack of permits.
- For more upcoming events, check out ShareEdmonton.
Canada Day Information
The fireworks are scheduled to start at 11pm in the river valley. You can’t watch them from Kinsmen Park, but some of the best locations include the Alberta Legislature grounds, Victoria Park, Ezio Faraone Park, and Government House Park. If you’re willing to pay, TELUS Field is offer $4 admission to the baseball game after the 8th inning.
Keep in mind there will be lots of road closures in place on Wednesday starting at around 9pm and continuing until at least 12:45am. There will be limited on-street parking with meter hooding and no stopping signs going into place early in the day. You can see the full list of road closures here. The City is encouraging everyone to walk, bike, or take transit.
There are a few good viewing areas that will be accessible on foot only, including River Valley Road, Queen Elizabeth Park Road, and 109 Street between Saskatchewan Drive and the High Level Bridge. The High Level Bridge itself, as well as the Menzies LRT bridge, will both be closed.
As for transit, all regular bus routes will be operating on a Sunday schedule. The LRT will be running on a 10 minute frequency. For the fireworks though, certain routes will have increased service, including the 1, 5, 8, and 9.
If fireworks downtown aren’t your thing, you can see a full listing of Canada Day events here.
Thanks to plenty of construction taking place downtown and preliminary work on the Valley Line LRT, permanent changes to 29 downtown bus routes took effect today:
“Most changes are minimal with bus stops only being moved a block or two. The biggest changes take place along 102 Avenue between 95 Street and 103 Street. No buses will be running along this corridor.”
This also affects drivers, as 102A Avenue has now been changed to accommodate two-way traffic. I often took the bus on 102 Avenue, so I’ll have to go see where all of my stops have moved to. Be sure to give yourself a bit of extra time.
Downtown routes weren’t the only ones affected this weekend as ETS also made its summer service changes. These changes are in effect until the end of August and largely consist of the removal of school service and reducing the number of buses used for morning and afternoon peak times. Six routes – 46, 165, 167, 186, 187, and 188 – have been cancelled for the summer.