The Pulse: July 16, 2021

Here's what you need to know about Edmonton today.

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  • 25°C: A mix of sun and cloud. Hazy. Wind becoming east 20 km/h near noon. High 25. Humidex 27. (forecast)
  • 53: Doctors are cautiously optimistic, as new COVID-19 cases continue to stay low. Only 53 new cases were reported on July 14. (details)

Local housing price forecast boosted

Local housing price forecast boosted

By Paul Cashman Paul Cashman in the Business Roundup

Royal LePage has raised its forecast for housing price growth in the Edmonton market this year after increases in its benchmark price for both new and resale homes during the second quarter of 2021.

"Real estate activity in Edmonton has not been this brisk in 15 years. Buyers who have not been able to find what they are looking for or who have not been successful with offers are hoping that the summer months will be less competitive," Tom Shearer, owner of Royal LePage Noralta Real Estate, said in a news release announcing the latest aggregate price trends.

The median price of a single-family detached home increased 16.1% to $467,000 in Q2 and the median price of a condominium rose 12.9% to $201,000 during the same period. The overall market rose 11.3% to $430,000 in the second quarter of 2021.

"The shift in demand remains towards value and it's putting significant upward pressure on home prices in Edmonton's suburbs and neighbouring communities," Shearer said.

Royal LePage is forecasting that the aggregate price of a home in Edmonton will increase 7% in the fourth quarter of 2021 – up from its 4% price rise prediction in April – compared to the same quarter last year.

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By Michelle Ferguson Michelle Ferguson

Water bottle filling station

Five temporary water stations are now operational as part of Edmonton's extreme weather response

By Mack Male Mack Male

Five temporary water bottle filling stations have been installed around Edmonton as part of a new pilot project aiming to keep vulnerable people safe during hot weather.

With ongoing high temperatures and heat warnings in Edmonton, the city's extreme weather response, activated on June 25, remains in place. The decision was made in consultation with more than 25 agencies who are part of the Sector Emergency Response collaboration.

Dehydration was the primary concern raised during the development of Policy C620 Supporting Vulnerable People During Extreme Weather Conditions, which requires the city to respond in extreme heat conditions.

The water stations use fire hydrants as a water source. Edmonton Fire Rescue Services was involved in planning the pilot project, and confirmed that the selected hydrants were safe and that modifying them would not affect fire fighting operations.

The five locations for the pilot are:

  • Giovanni Caboto Park, 109 Avenue at 94 Street NW, east side
  • Michael Phair Park, 104 Street, north of Jasper Avenue
  • Parkdale Square, 118 Avenue, east of 82 Street
  • Butler Memorial Park, 100A Avenue, east of 158 Street
  • Strathcona Farmers' Market, 83 Avenue, east of 104 Street

"The city wanted to place the taps where vulnerable residents have the most difficulty getting water during extreme heat," spokesperson Carol Hurst told Taproot.

Hurst added the city used input from social agencies and open data to pinpoint potential fire hydrant locations.

The city made the water stations itself, so the pilot cost $14,000. The funding came from the $7.85 million that city council approved on April 9 for its pandemic homelessness response. EPCOR isn't charging for the water.

"EPCOR crews will be checking the water-fill stations each day to ensure they are properly maintained," Hurst said.

The pilot project will run until Oct. 31 and could be expanded in the future.

"If it goes well, we would look at whether additional locations would benefit from access to water as part of our extreme weather response," Hurst said.

Podcast pick: Crow Reads Podcast

Podcast pick: Crow Reads Podcast

By Andy Trussler Andy Trussler

Crow Reads Podcast, formerly titled An Eloquent Bitch Podcast, has released its first episode following its rebrand and new partnership with Read Alberta. The show also recently joined the Alberta Podcast Network.

For its debut episode since the rebrand, host Rayanne Haines brought on poet and publisher Ellen Kartz to discuss the evolving social landscape for writers, pursuing personal aspirations, and facilitating dialogue within Canadian publishing.

With a focus on Alberta's literary world, Crow Reads unpacks pertinent social issues with intersectional Canadian writers, editors, publishers, and agents. Haines and her guests discuss feminism, inclusion policies, Canadian literature, and mental health. Crow Reads says it aims to celebrate "the people who are making things happen in the literary world."

You can tune in for monthly episodes on Anchor, Spotify, Apple or Google Podcasts. Episodes run between 50 minutes and just over an hour, so like a good book, you can cozy up and enjoy the conversation.

You can listen to podcast picks from Taproot on Listen Notes or Spotify.

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