Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:
- A draft plan for the new transit strategy was released on Thursday. “The new approach to transit will have a network of high-frequency routes in the core of the city with new crosstown routes and rapid-bus commuter routes for the suburbs,” wrote Elise. The strategy will be discussed by Council on July 5 but still has a long way to go until it becomes reality. Already some drivers are worried about losing their jobs.
- The City has hired structural engineers to look into whether or not the High Level Bridge can be widened for cyclists and pedestrians. The same study will also look at the feasibility of putting an LRT connection across the bridge.
- The Downtown Bike Network (south of 105 Avenue) is now open! “A grand celebration event, Cycle in the City, will take place Saturday, August 26.” New bike lanes are great, but how about some new bike parking to go along with them?
- Edmonton’s unemployment rate fell from 8.1% in April to 7.9% in May “as the number of new jobs outweighed ongoing growth in the labour force.” The inflation rate is also down from 1.7% to 1.3%.
- The Edmonton Police Service celebrated its 125th anniversary this week. “Edmonton council under mayor Matthew McCauley signed Bylaw 15 on June 20, 1892, which provided “for the appointment of Special Constables” to keep order in the town of 700.” You can learn more about the milestone here.
- Edmonton’s new Chinatown plan calls for funding to deal with the 97 Street Bridge, to relocate the Harbin Gate, and to reconfigure Mary Burley Park.
- The June construction update from Blatchford says that “crews have made major progress installing the underground utilities that will service the first residential stage.”
- Poppy Barley is opening a new flagship store at Southgate Mall this August! Stay tuned for grand opening details.
- Paula has some news on the weed debate that is sure to heat up here in Edmonton in the months ahead. The City has a draft zoning bylaw that will be debated at a public hearing this week.
- The West Edmonton Mall transit centre has reopened after closing for a year to undergo “a massive transformation.” The larger heated waiting area now features 80% more seating space, and there’s improved sidewalks, upgrade lighting, and other improvements. The upgrade cost $3 million and the City says it was completed on-time and on-budget.
- EPCOR and Landis+Gyr have completed deployment of their new “advanced metering infrastructure and grid management” in Edmonton.
- It was a fairly big off-season week for the Oilers: Connor McDavid won the Hart Trophy, Jordan Eberle was traded to the New York Islanders for Ryan Strome, Kris Russell signed a four-year contract, and the team picked Kailer Yamamoto 22nd overall in the NHL Entry Draft.
- Paths for People is looking for an Executive Director. The deadline to apply is June 30.
- The last day to nominate a Front Yard in Bloom is June 30.
- You can share your thoughts on the Valley Line West LRT until July 7 by filling out this online form.
- For more recent headlines, check out ShareEdmonton.
Edmonton Skyline, photo by Kurt Bauschardt
- Homeward Trust is celebrating the grand opening of a new FIND Store at 123 Street and Jasper Avenue on Monday.
- Head over to Hawrelak Park for the Freewill Shakespeare Festival which continues through July 16. We went to see the Merchant of Venice on Friday night and really enjoyed it!
- Also continuing through the week is The Works Art & Design Festival and the Edmonton International Jazz Festival.
- Discuss the elephant in the room re: Canada 150 on Tuesday evening at Urban Tavern YEG with a special #MakeItAwkward event hosted by Jesse Lipscombe. See also: 4 Indigenous people share why they won’t be singing O Canada on July 1.
- The Feats Festival of Dance is on from Monday through July 9.
- Infill Edmonton is hosting Refill with Infill at the Sherlock Holmes Pub on Rice Howard Way on Wednesday evening. Have a drink and talk about infill!
- I am looking forward to the Entrepreneur Speakeasy taking place on Wednesday evening at the ATB Entrepreneur Centre.
- Blues on Whyte takes place Thursday through Saturday.
- Sand on Whyte kicks off on Friday and runs through July 8. Their new presenting partner is Boardwalk Rental Communities.
- Park After Dark takes place again on Friday evening at Northlands Park.
- Saturday is Canada Day, and this year it’s the big 150 celebration! There’s a lot going on around the city, so enjoy!
- Canada Day also marks the start of the Historic Festival & Doors Open Edmonton.
- Don’t miss Taproot’s 2017 guide to summer festivals & events for even more great events to check out!
- For more upcoming events, check out ShareEdmonton.