The Pulse: July 22, 2022

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  • 23°C: Mainly sunny. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h near noon. High 23. UV index 6 or high. (forecast)
  • 7pm: The Edmonton Elks (2-4) will play the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (6-0) at Commonwealth Stadium. (details)
  • Teal: The High Level Bridge will be lit teal for Fragile X Syndrome. (details)
  • 12pm, July 23: The Edmonton Stingers (9-8) will play the Guelph Nighthawks (8-8) on Saturday afternoon. (details)

The glass and steel Enbridge Tower skyscraper in Edmonton against a blue sky

Enbridge Tower set to reopen as apartment building

By Brett McKay

The long-vacant, peaked glass tower at the corner of Jasper Avenue and 102 Street will see new life as a 274-unit apartment building.

The 23-storey former Enbridge Tower has sat empty since 2016. It was acquired by Edmonton-based Lighthouse Hospitality Management in April 2018 with plans to open two Hyatt Hotel branches — one for short-term stays and one for longer-term ones.

In November 2019, the developer was waiting for building permits to begin work.

"And then COVID came," said Lighthouse Hospitality president Paul Aulakh. Suddenly, a business that relies entirely on travel and tourism had become a risky investment.

"We had to change our game plan at that time. It was that period where we were not sure if we are even going to get a vaccine or not, or if the world was coming to an end," he said.

"So, at that time, I decided, 'OK, let's do apartment rentals.'"

Interior renovation is already underway, Aulakh said, and people can expect to see work begin in the coming weeks to dress up the streetfront and update the exterior of the building. The apartments are expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2023. The price tag of this renovation will be upwards of $60 million, he estimated.

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By Kevin Holowack

  • The Edmonton International Airport will receive $100 million through the federal government's National Trade Corridors Fund to convert around 2,000 acres of land into an international cargo handling operation. Tom Ruth, CEO of EIA, said improving air capacity and market access is a driver for small- and medium-sized business growth and that the hub will be a "vital trade corridor for Canada" and "transformational for the Edmonton Metro Region."
  • The city released more information for Edmontonians who are preparing for Pope Francis' visit to the city on July 25 and 26. Doors to mass at Commonwealth Stadium on July 26 open at 7:30am, people seated on the floor must be in their chairs by 8:30am, and everyone is encouraged to arrive early. Tickets to mass will be accepted as ETS fare from 7am to 2:30pm, and park and ride sites will be set up in at the Calder City Lot, the Davies City Lot, the Eaux Claires Lot, Lewis Farms, and Mill Woods Town Centre. Residents should expect road closures, parking restrictions, increased traffic, and travel delays throughout the city and region from July 23-27.
  • CBC spoke to delegates from the Northwest Territories who are travelling to Edmonton to witness the pope's apology for the Catholic Church's role in residential schools. "I just hope that this time now will be the time when he's going to say 'I'm sorry,'" said Mabel Brown, a Gwich'in woman and residential school survivor from Inuvik. "Because it's almost like something is killing us, and we need that thing to be gone." Indigenous governments across the region are providing flight and bus services for elders and other individuals who wish to attend. CBC also spoke to First Nation members in Alberta about the pope's visit to the site of the former Ermineskin Residential School in Maskwacis.
  • Hundreds of GardaWorld security screening officers, who are contracted by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority and work at the Edmonton International Airport, voted overwhelmingly (95%) to reject their latest bargaining offer and could walk off the job in a few weeks. "At issue are primarily wages, as well as pension and respect, dignity, professionalism in the workplace," said Teamsters Canada communications director Catherine Cosgrove. The earliest the workers can strike is Aug. 13 after a cooling-off period.
  • The Edmonton Police Service helped United Nations executive Dominic Dixon recover a bag of sensitive UN documents, which was stolen from a bench at the Southgate LRT station. The bag contained tracking devices, which police used in conjunction with overhead surveillance from Air 1. "I've dealt with law enforcement around the world at highest levels, and I must tell you I'm super proud of the Edmonton city police," said Dixon, who is in town visiting family.
  • Edmonton-South MLA Thomas Dang, who has been serving as an independent while under investigation for breaching the province's COVID-19 vaccine passport website, announced he will not seek re-election but will complete the rest of his term. He has also withdrawn his earlier request to rejoin the NDP caucus.
  • The city is looking for four members to join the board of directors of Greater Edmonton Foundation (GEF) Seniors Housing, which provides housing and services to around 4,000 seniors. Applications can be submitted online until Aug. 14.
A drum major and pipe major clad in kilts and holding staffs stand at attention in front of a band of pipers

Weekend agenda: July 22-24, 2022

By Debbi Serafinchon

This weekend offers the chance to attend the hottest art party, sample some ribs, watch the magic of chalk artists unfold, or attend a Celtic festival. There's also an opportunity to reflect on truth, history, and reconciliation as the Pope arrives in Edmonton.

Find even more things to do in the Arts Roundup.

Photo: The Sherwood Park Highland Gathering brings pipes, dancing, heavy games, and more to Broadmoor Lake Park this weekend. (Sherwood Park Highland Gathering/Facebook)