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October 22, 2017
May 29, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Monday, May 29, 2017

What's up in our city

Written by Jeff Samsonow

 

Welcome back from the weekend, Edmonton. I hope you didn’t have to spend it picking up windblown debris that landed in your yard or favourite river valley paths. Alright, let’s jump into what appears to be going on in the city.

We’re making more money than everyone else and more women are working. Calgary isn’t fairing as well as Edmonton, which is unfortunate to hear but, I hope, means we’re doing the right kinds of things to keep diversifying our economy from oil and gas for cases like these sorts of downturns (or, heaven forbid, green energy actually comes on strong and wipes out those other energy industries).

Our city council will be talking this week about refurbishing Northlands Coliseum, or tearing it down and building something new (gee it would have been nice to have thought of all this while building a new arena downtown). Both options cost us money, but it might actually be cheaper to build something from scratch. Either way, it’s doubtful the project really does much to change the neighbourhood around the arena and Northlands, since it likely ends up being a giant hockey-focused training centre and rinks.

Speaking of arenas… let’s talk about legacy-building in the downtown.

Edmonton’s proposed 80-storey is tower is “out of scale” with the city and neighbourhood, and that’s according to the guys building the thing. Also, the many costs associated with building western Canada’s tallest building on top of old coal mines does not fill me with hope the apartments will be affordable enough to actually bring in a diverse mix of people to the east downtown neighbourhood of The Quarters.

Will this be “the development catalyst we’ve all been waiting on”?  Yes and no. I think it could be if it follows on the big and brash plans of our new arena district and generates some more investment. But, no, if we want to talk about a place people live and enjoy as a community.

Hey, it’s not just you. One of the city’s E-Park machines don’t work 2-3 times every day in the city.


Summertime news

The City is looking at what to do about motorized boats in Whitemud Creek. They’ll need the federal government to help with enforcement, since waterways aren’t under municipal government’s rules.

Edmonton’s many spray parks will be open 9 to 9 this summer.

Someone is poisoning our trees!

Puppers on patios? Yes, please!


Saying goodbye

MacEwan University’s outgoing president is looking back at his time at the school as it grew into its place downtown.*

One of Edmonton’s longest-running shops has closed its doors after repairing clocks and watches for nearly 50 years. (It took a lot of willpower not to use a time pun…)


One more time

I mentioned a series on housing and homelessness in the Friday Headlines, but it’s such an important issue that I’m doing it again. I hope you’ll check out the series from Postmedia Edmonton’s city hall reporter, Elise Stolte. (And Alberta Views just had a big story on housing too.)

The main story takes the overall look at issues our city needs to tackle, and could become election issues for all or some wards.

The series also includes looks at Hope Terrace and Canora Place, two of our city’s success stories.

One of the side stories looks at the idea of simply paying to place people in our many vacant apartments. And there could be lessons from Calgary on building more affordable and supportive housing, both in terms of zoning requirements and the discussions that happen with neighbours.


Public engagement

Edmonton City Council meets today, beginning at 1:30 p.m. You can see the agenda online. The meeting will stream live from council chambers.


*We updated our mention of the MacEwan president because the school isn’t looking for a new president. It already found one in Dr. Deborah Saucier (and we even mentioned that back in March…silly mistake).

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