The Pulse: March 7, 2023

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

Want this in your inbox? Sign up to get The Pulse by email. It's free!


  • -6°C: A mix of sun and cloud with 60% chance of flurries. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h late in the morning. High minus 6. Wind chill minus 20 in the morning and minus 13 in the afternoon. UV index 2 or low. (forecast)
  • Yellow: The High Level Bridge will be yellow for Endometriosis Awareness Month. (details)
  • 3-2: The Edmonton Oilers (35-22-8) defeated the Buffalo Sabres (32-26-4) on March 6. (details)

Yvan Chartrand holds a loaf of bread

Bonjour Bakery relocates for the long term in Old Strathcona

By Sharon Yeo

Edmonton's Bonjour Bakery has planned for a long future in Old Strathcona with the opening of a purpose-built space on Whyte Avenue.

Yvan Chartrand has been operating Bonjour Bakery since 2009, renting space in an 80-year-old building along the busy stretch of 99 Street and 87 Avenue NW. But after his son Kenny joined the company in 2017 in the role of head baker, Chartrand started exploring real estate options that would provide more stability.

"Looking at the future, I thought for him, if I wanted to retire, and he wanted to take over, I'm young enough that I can still make a move to help, so the timing was right," said Chartrand.

It was important for Chartrand to stay in the area, and when he exhausted the possibilities of finding an existing building in the neighbourhood that would suit the bakery's needs, he purchased land five blocks south at 99 Street and 82 Avenue NW.

"Being on Whyte Avenue is a dream," said Chartrand. "My mother is from the Peace River region in northern Alberta and when I was a kid, I would hear about Jasper Avenue and Whyte Avenue. So being able to build a new building on Whyte is quite special."

The land purchase went through in January 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic ground everything to a halt. For a time, Chartrand did not know if construction would move forward. "I put a foot on the brake pedal because I didn't know which way things were going to go," he said. "Restaurants were struggling and our wholesale business collapsed. So we would decide (whether to build) based on our sales."

Fortunately, bakeries were permitted to continue operating throughout the pandemic. "Surprisingly for us, our sales stayed quite stable," Chartrand said. "People still needed to eat."

Last year, when he could see the pandemic waning, Chartrand finally initiated plans for the building. The one-storey, nearly 3,000-square-foot bakery opened for business on Feb. 1. The exterior offers a European flair, but the red paint is a nod to the many brick buildings on the street.

Continue reading

Headlines: March 7, 2023

By Kevin Holowack

A bronze sculpture of a bison standing on a rock beside another sculpture of a man sitting on a pile of bison hides, surrounded by a shipping container, tanks, and wooden pallets

Podcast covers sequel to public art controversy

By Karen Unland

Episode 211 of Speaking Municipally updates a public art story that Taproot's civic affairs podcast has been paying attention to since June 2021.

That's when co-hosts Troy Pavlek and Mack Male first asked whatever happened to the public art that had been commissioned as part of the Walterdale Bridge project. They discovered artist Ken Lum was unhappy that his sculpture, The Buffalo and the Buffalo Fur Trader, had been in storage since 2016.

The city announced in August 2022 that it had decided not to install the piece for fear that it could be misinterpreted as a celebration of colonialism, but the words it chose got it into trouble, leading to an apology on Feb. 24. The August news release "referenced the removed Government Station LRT murals, implying by association that Mr. Lum's piece was 'pro-colonist' and this is an unfair and regrettable comparison," the statement says, going on to detail Lum's bona fides as an artist and an opponent of racism. "The City apologizes for any unintended harm to Mr. Lum's stellar reputation."

The sculpture has been transferred out of the municipal public art collection and will be displayed somewhere chosen by Lum, who told CTV he was "glad this chapter is over and that the work is going to a good home."

Male and Pavlek are looking forward to seeing the piece in nicer surroundings than the storage yard it has been sitting in. Pavlek noted that the initial idea was to have the buffalo and the fur trader on opposite sides of the river, staring across at each other.

"The piece doesn't work quite as well if the two are sitting beside each other at the entrance to some multi-use trail, so the location was kind of part of the art," he said. "I'll be interested to see what location they use."

Hear more about this, as well as how Edmonton fared in the Alberta budget, what's next for alcohol in parks, the sequels to various police-related stories, and the new fine for vehicle noise on the March 3 episode of Taproot's civic affairs podcast.