Edmonton Notes for July 28, 2019

Here are my weekly Edmonton notes:

Headlines

  • Edmonton-based Fire & Flower announced a $380 million strategic investment by Couche-Tard this week. Fire & Flower plans to significantly accelerate its growth and expansion with the funds. With such exciting news for our city, it was really disheartening to hear CEO Trevor Fencott on Ryan Jespersen’s show saying that Edmonton has been the most difficult municipality to work with.
  • The City’s credit rating has been downgraded to AA, the first drop in 15 years. "The downgrade was as a result of the city’s growing debt burden to fund more infrastructure spending, S&P analysts said, pointing to the Valley Line LRT extension to west Edmonton."
  • Two of the three shortlisted teams to build the Valley Line West LRT have backed out, prompting the City to reopen bidding. "We’re impacted by other people’s corporate decisions in this case," said Bruce Ferguson, branch manager of LRT expansion and renewal. The city initially planned to move into the next stage of the proposal process next week.
  • I’m not holding my breath, but Elise Stolte writes that we might have a growth boundary for the Edmonton region. "A task force of local mayors and councillors with the 13-member Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board have been working on the challenge for almost a year. In June, they approved, in concept, the first fuzzy line on the map for Edmonton’s agriculture or growth boundary."
  • With plenty of arena discussion taking place down in Calgary right now, CBC wonders if Rogers Place was worth it. "Tony Caterina, one of three councillors who voted against the deal in 2013, cautions against giving the arena undue credit for downtown development."
  • I really enjoyed Taste of Edmonton at Capital Plaza again this year. Count me among the Edmontonians who aren’t looking forward to a return to Churchill Square, even though as an event organizer I completely understand how much better Churchill Square is.
  • Apparently sneaker culture is growing in Edmonton. "Shane Breau, owner of The Shoe Shine Shack, discovered the city’s growing sneaker communities on local Facebook and Instagram groups, and at Edmonton’s annual sneaker and streetwear trade show Sole Good."
  • On This Spot is a new app that lets you peer into Edmonton’s past with walking tours, historic photos, and geolocation features to highlight historic areas of the city.
  • The leaky Law Courts building should have repairs finished this year. But we might still need a new building anyway.
  • Edmonton led the province with 40 finalists for the 2019 BILD Alberta Awards, ahead of Calgary which had 24. The awards will be presented September 13.
  • The Holowach tree downtown is about to turn 100 years old and Dan Rose is gathering support to recognize the tree’s historical significance. "Around 1920, Walter Holowach came home from Vienna with a horse chestnut seed in his violin case and planted it in the family’s downtown Edmonton yard."
  • In Episode 48 of Speaking Municipally we discuss affordable housing with special guest Duncan Kinney. The show is now on break until August 16!
  • Get the latest on Media, Tech, Food, Health Innovation, Music, Business, and Council with Taproot Edmonton’s latest roundups.

2018-01-06 MBB |  UofA Golden Bears vs UofC Dinos
UofA Golden Bears vs UofC Dinos, photo by Sangudo

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