The Pulse: May 9, 2022

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

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Essentials

  • 11°C: Mainly sunny. Increasing cloudiness in the afternoon. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h in the afternoon. High 11. UV index 5 or moderate. (forecast)
  • 0-4: The Oilers lost to the Kings in Los Angeles. The series is tied 2-2 returning to Edmonton. (details)
  • 7pm: The Oil Kings take a 2-0 series lead (following a 5-0 win in Game 2 on Saturday) into Red Deer against the Rebels. (details)

A map showing where Warehouse Park will be, covering parking lots in an area bounded by 106 and 108 streets and 102 and Jasper avenues

Now's the time to weigh in on Warehouse Park design


By Karen Unland Karen Unland

The city is seeking input on the design of Warehouse Park, and Speaking Municipally's co-hosts happily obliged in Episode 177 of the podcast.

The 1.47-hectare park is a welcome addition, replacing a "sea of gravel, gross parking lots," said co-host Mack Male, who lives downtown. "Any green space that we add downtown is a great thing for people who live in towers. We do not have backyards."

The renderings that have circulated so far don't show a playground, though the survey does ask for input on both a children's play area and exercise amenities for adults. Male hopes those additions make the cut.

"If we're going to attract as many people as the plans call for to downtown, there's going to be kids," he said. "We're going to need some play structures."

The $42-million project, which is to open in late 2025, will be funded by the downtown community revitalization levy put in place to build Rogers Place. So it's part of the plan, not a frill, said co-host Troy Pavlek: "This is literally the perfect CRL project." (For more on how CRLs work, listen to Episode 119).

To learn more about the park, attend the online public session on May 10. To have your say, answer the survey by May 22.

Continue reading

Headlines


By Mack Male Mack Male

  • In a new release issued last week, the policing committee of the Criminal Trial Lawyers' Association said that data from the city suggests "there is not a significant change in transit disorder" from January 2021 through February 2022. The committee said it "expects that transit disorder will be an important piece of leverage that the EPS uses in its case for a budget increase." City council is slated to receive a report on the Edmonton Police Service funding formula on May 18. University of Alberta criminologist Temitope Oriola told Postmedia that it is essential "that we get at the heart of the issue with empirically verifiable stats and facts, and as much as possible, we avoid fear communication."
  • Tenants of the Strathearn Centre strip mall near 87 Street and 95 Avenue — including Juniper Cafe & Bistro — were given notice recently that their leases would be terminated to make way for the first phase of a planned redevelopment project. Tenants have until Nov. 1 to vacate the building. The Strathearn Heights project was approved by council in September 2021.
  • Dozens of people marched from City Hall to Chinatown on Sunday to raise awareness about anti-Asian racism which organizers say increased significantly during the pandemic.
  • According to NAI Commercial's market report for the first quarter of 2022, Edmonton's retail vacancy rate decreased for the fifth straight quarter, falling to 4.2% from a high of 5.2% in early 2021. "There are many more entries into food retailer options, with the delivery trend continuing, with the amount of ghost kitchen space being demanded as well," president Chad Snow told Postmedia. The industrial market is also showing signs of recovery, but the office vacancy rate has climbed to 9.3%, with downtown rising even higher to 10.9%.
  • Edmonton's unemployment rate dropped from 7.1% to 6.9% in April, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada. "We're starting to see the right signals," said Jeffrey Sundquist, president and CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.
  • John England, professor emeritus in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta, has been invested into the Order of Canada for his research on the impact of climate change on Canada's arctic. England, described as "a true force of nature," told Postmedia the recognition is significant. "Especially when you put your heart into 50 years of Arctic research that really allows you to get to know a part of the country very few people have any experience with."
  • Edmontonians Taylor Riar and Allie Larson — who were in Dallas to watch the Mavericks compete in the NBA Western Conference semifinals — were shown on TV attending the Dallas Stars game against the Calgary Flames in their Oilers jerseys and holding "Anyone But Calgary" signs. "I guess it kind of popped off more than we thought it would," Riar told CTV News.
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City council's swearing in ceremony in 2021

Coming up at council: May 9-13, 2022


By Emily Rendell-Watson Emily Rendell-Watson

City council is scheduled to meet on May 9, with a continuation on May 11. There is also a city council public hearing on May 10. Here are some of the key items on the agenda this week:

  • City council will vote on a recommendation from the community and public services committee that administration provide a report on budget considerations to support ways to improve current snow and ice control as well as introduce new methods to improve service. Those new strategies include increasing the parking ban and sidewalk enforcement, clearing sidewalks for all seniors within 24 hours of a snow event, introducing a courtesy tow during parking bans, and more. Administration could also be asked to provide the amounts spent on contracted work for the last five winter seasons and the lifespan of current snow and ice control equipment.
  • Executive committee is recommending that council approach the property owner of the former St. Andrews School field site in Inglewood to negotiate the sale with funds from the city's municipal reserve accounts, which is in line with open space goals from Big City Moves in the City Plan. The purchase is seen as a way to expand Edmonton's green network, enhance existing open space, and achieve multiple outcomes associated with housing, recreation, and climate resilience.
  • A report on the current homelessness and encampment situation in the city and how administration plans to address it was pushed directly from community and public services committee to council without any specific recommendation. Councillors will hear about actions including expanded day shelter services and hours of operation at Bissell Centre, additional drug poisoning response teams in downtown and Chinatown, and increased access to public washrooms throughout Edmonton.
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Spruce Avenue school front behind spruce trees

Coming up this week: May 9-13, 2022


By Debbi Serafinchon Debbi Serafinchon

This week's calendar includes a choice of community walks, a silly evening at the Winspear, conversations about journeys and experiences around adventure, a celebration of the food and stories of Ukraine, and a discussion on how to make innovation a part of our city's DNA. And, of course, the Oilers will be looking for another win against the Kings!

Find even more listings in Taproot's weekly roundups.

Photo: This will be the Spruce Avenue community eighth annual Jane's Walk. (Eventbrite)

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