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  #141  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2018, 7:27 PM
YYCguys YYCguys is offline
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Perhaps grant funding was provided to help construct the Canada 150 square with conditions related to timing of the construction. Perhaps if it was left unstarted any longer, the funding would expire.
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  #142  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2018, 8:24 PM
the.tru.albertan the.tru.albertan is offline
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Originally Posted by Willmsma View Post
I know. The pace seems glacial - for a long time progress seemed to consist of piling large rocks haphazardly near the middle of the thing.

Last time I was there - maybe a month ago? - they'd completed new sidewalks around The Quary and the organic grocery store, and appeared ready to start work on the Canada 150 square. Which still strikes me as bit of an odd way to prioritize development... (the sidewalks make lots of sense, the square a little less).

https://www.liveincapstone.ca/news/ gives an update on recent progress.
Why even call it Canada 150 Square? Shouldn't that have been built and open for Canada's 150th? If the city wasn't moving sooo slowly with Capstone development, we would have been celebrating in the square last year. Instead, the focus seems to be on the new subdivisions, Emerson and Evergreen in the NE.
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  #143  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2018, 9:36 PM
Willmsma Willmsma is offline
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Originally Posted by YYCguys View Post
Perhaps grant funding was provided to help construct the Canada 150 square with conditions related to timing of the construction. Perhaps if it was left unstarted any longer, the funding would expire.
That makes sense. I believe they also plan to use it for the 2019 Canada Winter Games, making it the second out of the way square being used for that event.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the.tru.albertan View Post
Why even call it Canada 150 Square? Shouldn't that have been built and open for Canada's 150th? If the city wasn't moving sooo slowly with Capstone development, we would have been celebrating in the square last year. Instead, the focus seems to be on the new subdivisions, Emerson and Evergreen in the NE.
I hear you. I went on a Jane's Walk led by a gent from city planning, maybe back in 2012 or 2013. He was referring to the city rerouting Taylor Drive and putting in sidewalks at that time...
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  #144  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2018, 2:48 AM
Willmsma Willmsma is offline
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Took some more pictures this weekend. I actually own an DSLR but my preferred camera is "crappy cell phone".

From the new student residences at Red Deer College. It is turning out much nicer than I expected.


And, across the street, the new Westpark Middle School. Actually, I don't know if this is an expansion or a new school. Does anyone know?


And another angle.
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  #145  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2018, 2:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Willmsma View Post
I know. The pace seems glacial - for a long time progress seemed to consist of piling large rocks haphazardly near the middle of the thing.

Last time I was there - maybe a month ago? - they'd completed new sidewalks around The Quary and the organic grocery store, and appeared ready to start work on the Canada 150 square. Which still strikes me as bit of an odd way to prioritize development... (the sidewalks make lots of sense, the square a little less).

https://www.liveincapstone.ca/news/ gives an update on recent progress.
Quote:
Originally Posted by the.tru.albertan View Post
Why even call it Canada 150 Square? Shouldn't that have been built and open for Canada's 150th? If the city wasn't moving sooo slowly with Capstone development, we would have been celebrating in the square last year. Instead, the focus seems to be on the new subdivisions, Emerson and Evergreen in the NE.
City owned land used for industrial and storage purposes, overhead high voltage power lines, right beside the river = possible delayed construction reason related to environmental contamination the city is quietly remediating.

Letting the land sit still for 5-15 years is the preferred method of remediation for gas station contamination. The city, province, feds, and developer probably know the real reason, but its in everyone's best interest to keep the contamination on the down low. Similart situation occured in Vancouver during the 80s at the Expo grounds. The grounds couldn't be redeveloped due to all kinds of contamination.
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  #146  
Old Posted Sep 19, 2018, 6:29 PM
Willmsma Willmsma is offline
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Originally Posted by Cage View Post
City owned land used for industrial and storage purposes, overhead high voltage power lines, right beside the river = possible delayed construction reason related to environmental contamination the city is quietly remediating.

Letting the land sit still for 5-15 years is the preferred method of remediation for gas station contamination. The city, province, feds, and developer probably know the real reason, but its in everyone's best interest to keep the contamination on the down low. Similart situation occured in Vancouver during the 80s at the Expo grounds. The grounds couldn't be redeveloped due to all kinds of contamination.
I can think of more than a few former gas stations that have sat around for ages. I'd always assumed that the cost of remediation/development exceeded what they expected to be able to recoup - passive remediation makes sense.

One thing I also heard - not sure if this makes sense - but that the need to attract developers from outside central Alberta slowed development. I'd heard the city wanted to go with a higher quality product and that planners were skeptical of the skills or financial backing of local developers to be able to build concrete or steel framed condominiums.
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  #147  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2018, 6:40 PM
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Interesting article about Parsons House and the upcoming construction of the downtown justice centre...

Quote:
Is the fate of Red Deer’s Parsons House solely in the hands of the province?

Demolition of old police station next door to begin this fall

Lana Michelin Sep. 18, 2018 4:20 p.m.Local News

The provincial government doesn’t have to seek city council’s approval to demolish the historic Parsons House to make way for a new courthouse, said a city councillor.

Coun. Michael Dawe said the province has the power to exempt itself from the usual process of conferring with city council about what should happen to a local historic resource — or in this case, Red Deer’s first medical clinic.

He hopes the province wouldn’t do that — especially since it was the provincial government that initially gave Parsons House its historic designation through a program that was later passed down to the municipality to run.

The province “agreed the building had historic significance, and that was known long before this (courthouse) project ever existed,” added Dawe.

Since “the city followed the rules of a process that was put in place by the province,” he added, “I would be vocally disconcerted if the province removes itself from that process…”
See the Red Deer Advocate for the full article...
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  #148  
Old Posted Sep 23, 2018, 4:04 PM
the.tru.albertan the.tru.albertan is offline
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^ It should stay IMO... incorporated into the new structure somehow. But, I think it will increase costs too much maybe. Wouldn't be surprised if the province demolishes it.
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  #149  
Old Posted Sep 24, 2018, 8:29 PM
Willmsma Willmsma is offline
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I hope it stays too. Representing Red Deer's first medical clinic doesn't seem like a trivial piece of history, and as a new city without a large stock of pre-World War I buildings it makes sense to keep what we have.

I'm guessing incorporating it directly into the new building would be fairly expensive. I wonder if just allowing it to remain as is on site would be an option?

I'm quietly optimistic for new court building overall...
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  #150  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2018, 8:02 PM
Willmsma Willmsma is offline
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City of Red Deer canvassing opinion regarding (??) the possibility of a new cultural centre:

https://na1se.voxco.com/SE/114/RD_Cu...FacilityNeeds/

And on a slightly different note, an informal group advocating the City of Red Deer build a daytime shelter with secure storage for Red Deer's homeless/substance abusing population. It's an issue across the city, but downtown businesses in particular are experiencing the impact of homeless people and their ever-present shopping carts on business.

standup-now.ca/
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  #151  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2018, 2:56 AM
the.tru.albertan the.tru.albertan is offline
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Downtown is out of control. Something needs to happen.
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  #152  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2018, 4:03 PM
Willmsma Willmsma is offline
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Originally Posted by the.tru.albertan View Post
Downtown is out of control. Something needs to happen.
I can't argue with that, or at least not much. After weekday working hours, things get a little weird.

That said, with Parkvale and Woodlea, downtown is still my favourite Red Deer neighbourhood. There's still - maybe increasingly - fun things to do downtown. This weekend for Harry Potter nerds:
Diagon Alley Downtown 2018

And a top-notch new cafe downtown (on Ross where the Hungarian Bakery used to be):
Chronicles Comics and Cafe/
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  #153  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2018, 3:54 AM
the.tru.albertan the.tru.albertan is offline
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Downtown is alright. I've had some interesting run ins with the folks at night down there. But it has some serious issues it needs to face. Unsure if the safe consumption site will help.
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  #154  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2018, 11:42 PM
Willmsma Willmsma is offline
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Unsure if the safe consumption site will help.

I'm curious about that too. On a strictly "helping addicts not to be dead level" I think it will be a success, but whether that translates into a noticable drop in needle debris, loitering and property crime is something else. I think they've also assigned 4 new RCMP officers to do foot patrol downtown, which may make a bigger difference.

Today was a nice sunny day and I got a chance to take a picture of the 50,000 square foot Westerner Park Exhiition Hall expansion. It is an unexciting 50,000 square foot box, but it is coming along well and will certainly expand the size of conventions we're able to hold in Red Deer. I guess it also converts into 1 or 2 indoor soccer fields which - my experience - you can never have enough of in this city.
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  #155  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2018, 6:50 PM
the.tru.albertan the.tru.albertan is offline
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^ I was wondering about the Exh. Hall. I haven't put eyes on it yet so thanks for the pic.

CFR is around the corner. Just looked at hotel rates in Red Deer during the event. Rooms are sold out or extremely expensive. Going to be a busy place!
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  #156  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2018, 1:44 AM
Willmsma Willmsma is offline
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Cool. I'm curious how many of these events the city can add. We've got this beautiful location between two of the largest metros in Western Canada. We're also a little bit sleepy - adding big events like this can't hurt.


YC is another event that came to Red Deer following the opening of Rogers Place. It is not everybody's cup of tea, but another event that brings 7,000 or 8,000 people to Red Deer over a number of days.
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  #157  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2018, 2:01 AM
Willmsma Willmsma is offline
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A few photos I took downtown on Wednesday:

This is from 48th Avenue walking from Ross toward the new Canada Games Centre. Some nice new sidewalk and street lights that match those from Alexandre Way.


A lot of work going recently completed on the square in front of old middle school.


You can't tell from my photos - I was wallflowering and didn't get too close - but the whole thing looks terrific.


Except - this is where the weirdness kicks in bigtime - the whole thing is in front of several grotty looking gravel parking lots tucked into one of Red Deer's most challenging neighbourhoods. I think the whole thing is supposed to represent some sort of pedestrian friendly community living room/gathering place, but the surroundings frankly suck.
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  #158  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2018, 3:24 AM
Willmsma Willmsma is offline
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The city is renovating the area in front of city hall and, as an added bonus, installing a new sculpture.
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  #159  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2018, 3:20 PM
the.tru.albertan the.tru.albertan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willmsma View Post
Cool. I'm curious how many of these events the city can add. We've got this beautiful location between two of the largest metros in Western Canada. We're also a little bit sleepy - adding big events like this can't hurt.


YC is another event that came to Red Deer following the opening of Rogers Place. It is not everybody's cup of tea, but another event that brings 7,000 or 8,000 people to Red Deer over a number of days.
Sweet. I'm a part, part time Uber driver here in RD, so the more events, the better.
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  #160  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2018, 4:13 PM
Willmsma Willmsma is offline
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Sweet. I'm a part, part time Uber driver here in RD, so the more events, the better.
That's cool. Both the city and Westerner Park have ambitions to bring more events to Red Deer - in particular, smaller scale sporting events that leverage existing sports facilities and also the new ones built for the Canada Games.

I had a few chances to check out the Gary W. Harris Centre. It's a little plain on the outside, but the inside is first rate.
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