The Pulse: May 4, 2023

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

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  • 29°C: A mix of sun and cloud. Wind southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 29. UV index 6 or high. (forecast)
  • Pink/Blue/Orange/Green/Red: The High Level Bridge will be lit with the colours of the Edmonton Public Schools Foundation for the Reading for Life fundraiser, which is happening May 3-17. (details)
  • 4-6: The Edmonton Oilers (4-3) were defeated by the Vegas Golden Knights (5-1) in Game 1 of their second round playoff series on May 3. (details)

Event organizer Ian Hosler stands on the left in front of a small crowd at the start of Jane's Walk. He is wearing a grey flat cap, yellow jacket, black gloves, and tan trousers. It is snowing.

Jane's Walk convenes Edmontonians to walk together

By Ashley Lavallee-Koenig

A meeting of minds on 102 Avenue, a visit to Griesbach's new Maple Leaf Pond, and a historical dive into the Spruce Avenue neighbourhood are among the tours curious Edmontonians can take with the return of Jane's Walk this weekend.

The event will see at least 21 volunteer-led walks in Edmonton from May 5 to 9, focusing on an area's history, art, architecture, or other interesting features. It's part of a worldwide movement started in Toronto in 2007 in memory of urban planner Jane Jacobs, an activist who was a vocal advocate for community-focused city planning.

It's both a celebration and a continuation of the work she so passionately pursued, Jane's Walk YEG co-organizer Ian Hosler explained.

"Every year, I as a walk leader learn more about the city I live in, and certainly going on walks I've been able to see the world through different lenses," he told Taproot.

Hosler will be leading a walk through Edmonton's pedway system on May 5, the former neighbourhood of Walterdale on May 6, and the ever-evolving Westmount on May 9.

Anyone can lead a walk, and volunteers tend to have years of interest to share. Take, for example, Ellen Schoeck, who has published five books on the history of the University of Alberta. She will be hosting two tours of the U of A campus, one on May 6 and another on May 7.

Jane's Walks are quite collaborative in nature, and walk leaders encourage participants to share their own stories and knowledge as well. They'll be exploring in the warmest conditions the event has seen in years, with a high of 25C forecast for May 5.

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Headlines: May 4, 2023

By Kevin Holowack

  • The city is bringing back its Summer Streets program this month to support active travel. This week, vehicle lanes will be converted into mobility lanes along Saskatchewan Drive from 109 Street to west of 104 Street and along 104 Street from Saskatchewan Drive to 78 Avenue. The mobility lane on Victoria Park Road will be installed later this month. Speed limits along Saskatchewan Drive and Victoria Park Road will be reduced to 40 km/h.
  • The city will host eight Big Bin and Eco Station events on select weekends between May 6 and Sept. 17, giving Edmontonians a chance to drop off furniture, appliances, and other items that cannot be disposed through regular waste collection. A special Big Bin event will happen June 10 and 11 at Northlands Coliseum, featuring extra activities and information about Edmonton's waste services branch.
  • Yellowhead County has lifted evacuation orders for more areas affected by wildfires around Edmonton. Residents from in and around Wildwood, Lobstick, and Chip Lake were allowed to return home as of 3pm on May 3, but were told to remain on 30-minute alert in case conditions change. Parkland County has also cancelled its alert for remaining areas west of Range Road 65 near Entwistle. Residents southeast of Drayton Valley were ordered to evacuate on May 3 due to an out of control wildfire in that area and parts of Leduc County are still under an evacuation notice issued on May 2.
  • The Prairies Climate Change Project, an initiative by CBC Edmonton and CBC Saskatchewan, explained how Alberta's early May heat is the "perfect recipe" for wildfires. Both Edmonton and Calgary set temperature records when most of the province climbed to the mid to high 20s on May 1. An Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist said the weather is due to a type of jet stream called an "omega block" that is associated with long periods of hot and dry conditions, but it is "very rare" for such an event to occur so early in the season. Mike Flannigan, a weather and fire management researcher, said climate change is resulting in longer wildfire seasons, drier vegetation, and more lightning.
  • The majority of speakers at the May 3 city council executive committee meeting opposed a plan to scale back the Capital Line LRT south extension. Administration has proposed reducing the project scope because inflation has pushed costs up beyond the initial $1-billion budget. Among the changes proposed are plans to delay the expansion of the Heritage Valley Park and Ride and to build the Ellerslie Road crossing and station at grade instead of above ground, which most speakers were against.
  • The city plans to recognize the Coronation of King Charles III on May 6 by turning on emerald green lights at City Hall, the High Level Bridge, the Walterdale Bridge, Commonwealth Stadium, the Muttart Conservatory, and the Rossdale Power Plant. A tree will also be planted at Coronation Park. Edmontonians are invited to sign a book of congratulations at City Hall on May 4 and 5.
  • Froggers House of Cards, a sports memorabilia store in northwest Edmonton, was targeted by thieves who stole about $50,000 worth of rare Wayne Gretzky and Connor McDavid hockey cards. Staff told CTV News the cards will likely turn up somewhere and are asking anyone who sees a suspicious card to contact them or the police.