#Yegdt Notes – January 30, 2013

After missing last Wednesday’s ‘#Yegdt Notes’ on a busy week news and DECL-wise, we’re back and jam packed with updates!

  • We are planning a joint tobogganing event with Oliver Community League for the afternoon of Saturday, February 23. Keep this date in mind, details will be coming shortly!
  • The second annual ‘Alley of Light’ IllumiNITE light sculpture competition is Family Day weekend, February 16 and 17, in partnership with DECL.
  • Biggest news of last week was Council’s decision to move ahead with a Master Agreement on the downtown arena project funding. Of course not everyone is happy with how much the City needs to fork over ($219m), but it means severely delayed downtown projects will now get funded as part of the proposed Community Revitalization Levy (CRL). Sound complicated? The way forward beyond the politics includes a lot of potential spin-off benefits for downtown more than it is complicated – downtown continues to only get 1% funding on projects for every 10% we pay in taxes.

Council decided to go with ‘Option A’, with the ‘winter garden’

  • Quality urban design and street interaction will continue to be our focus (‘Devil’s in the Details‘ EJ article) for the new Arena Entertainment District, as well as development of the upcoming Community Benefits Agreement between the City, Katz Group, and area stakeholders that includes the formation of an Advisory Committee.
  • Not insignificant by any means was a same-day announcement of $90m worth of funding for 5 major river valley projects. This includes money for the proposed funicular on 104 Street, from Jasper Avenue to Rossdale, we mentioned earlier.
  • After almost unanimously negative reaction to proposed changes to the entry requirements for Victoria Composite High School (which would have restricted entry of students from surrounding communities), the EPSB’s Chair backed down on their plans.
  • While facing some initial setbacks, we welcome Martyshuk Housing to downtown. Martyshuk’s ‘Dwayne’s Home’ will be providing 276 beds as an affordable, supportive housing option for those facing the risk of homelessness. It will be opening February 1 in the old ‘Go Backpacker’s Hostel’ at 10219-100 Avenue.
  • Berm construction started this week on the Walterdale Bridge replacement. An Information Session on the final details for the bridge project is scheduled for February 7.
  • After last year’s frosty success, the second annual Parka Patio Party at Latitude 53 is set for February 23. This is probably your last opportunity to visit the now-infamous roof-top patio while Latitude 53 is still in their old space!
  • Walkable Edmonton celebrates Winter Walk Day downtown on Feb 6
  • One sociologist remarked this week on the Statistic Canada’s results regarding stress, “Alberta urban sprawl factor in high stress levels
  • Mack Male had a great post on why our High Level Bridge deserves to be lit up for its 100th Anniversary.
  • A lovely piece on the joys of jogging in Edmonton’s river valley – Deadmonton: There Is No Such Thing

View of North LRT’s MacEwan Station under construction January 25, 2013