A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘alberta

[URBAN NOTE] Four notes about changing cities in Canada: Hamilton, Edmonton, Cornwall, Antigonish

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  • Hamilton’s Christ Church is striving for continued viability, in part through selling off vacant land for condos. Global News reports.
  • Edmonton’s Accidental Beach, a byproduct of construction berms on the North Saskatchewan River, has gone viral. Global News reports.
  • Meagan Campbell of MacLean’s looks at how the refugee crisis did, and did not, effect the garlic festival of border city Cornwall.
  • The successful integration of a Syrian refugee family of chocolatiers in the Nova Scotia town of Antigonish is nice. The Toronto Star carries the story.

[URBAN NOTE] Four notes on the Canadian struggle to land the second headquarters of Amazon

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  • CBC’s Pete Evans notes that Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Halifax and Ottawa are all interested in landing Amazon’s HQ2.
  • David Rider in the Toronto Star notes that John Tory is pushing forward Toronto as home to Amazon’s HQ2, with its 50 thousand jobs.
  • Bloomberg View’s Conor Sen notes that Toronto is a strong candidate for Amazon’s HQ2, alongside cities like Atlanta and Boston.
  • Also in the Star, David Rider notes that ex-Amazon exec James Thomson is skeptical a crowded Toronto will land HQ2.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 11, 2017 at 9:00 pm

[NEWS] Five notes about Canada, from GG Julie Payette to lobster sent to China to Syrians in Ontario

  • Paul Wells reports on the process leading up to the selection of astronaut Julie Payette as Governor-General.
  • At MacLean’s, Scott Gilmore notes that the reluctance of the Conservative Party of Canada to embrace gay people is a big problem.
  • VICE notes that the lobster of Atlantic Canada has become a prominent feature of Canada’s trade with China.
  • Toronto Life shares photos from a four-day vacation of a Syrian refugee family that took them across Ontario.
  • CBC notes that the tourism sector in Jasper is wanting for workers, because of low wages and a high cost of living.

[URBAN NOTE] “The business case for heritage building preservation”

Sharon Crowther reports from Edmonton for The Globe and Mail, where the issue of preserving the Albertan capital’s heritage buildings is starting to make economic sense.

Heritage advocates in Edmonton are making the case that building preservation can not only beautify the city but make economic sense.

A new report commissioned by the Edmonton Historical Board says heritage properties in the city provide significant long-term return on investments for buyers and generate a greater return on taxpayer dollars.

“There’s been nothing like this before for Edmonton,” researcher and author Shirley Lowe says. “We modelled the report on one which was undertaken by the city of Savannah in Georgia. We added in environmental metrics which we felt were an important part of the picture here.”

Currently, Edmonton has 38 recognized heritage neighbourhoods, comprising 6 per cent of the city’s land area.

“Much of the city’s early pioneer buildings were torn down during the boom times,” explains Ms. Lowe, who is herself a heritage advocate. “We consider Edmonton’s current economic slowdown to be a good time to make our case.”

Written by Randy McDonald

February 6, 2017 at 6:15 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Town of Banff staff ask for interest-free loans to buy homes elsewhere”

CBC News reports on the scale of the housing crunch in the Alberta mountain resort town of Banff.

Employees of the Town of Banff can’t always afford to live in the townsite, so a program offering interest-free loans to home buyers has expanded its reach.

Spokesperson Kelly Gibson says a few employees approached the town saying they couldn’t afford to buy a home in Banff, and requested the program include nearby Canmore and the Bow Valley.

“Town of Banff employees face the same challenges as other Banff employees in finding a place to call home. As the employer, we want to make sure that the employees have a place to put in roots,” he said.

The program, which provides ten-year interest-free loans to qualified employees, has been in place since 2009 and costs the town very little, said Gibson.

“It’s more efficient if we can retain employees, rather than recruit and hire new employees.”

Written by Randy McDonald

December 8, 2016 at 7:30 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Denver and Calgary: A tale of 2 similar but very different cities”

CBC News’ Rachel Maclean looks at how Denver has been much more resilient than Calgary in coping with oil shocks.

The city reaches out to the Rockies — a sprawl of suburbs, farmland, oil rigs, ranches and maybe even a ski hill or two. It’s known for a high elevation and western roots. The population is diverse, and alive with a true entrepreneurial spirit and progressive attitudes.

Yes. It’s Denver.

The thing is, Denver and Calgary have a lot in common. But while Denver is rising, Calgary is struggling.

Founded within 20 years of each other, both cities were 19th century western frontiers. Places built on railways, agriculture and oil. For decades, both cities followed a similar economic path — including the highs and lows of the energy industry.

But then, just a little more than 30 years ago, both cities faced a crisis. Calgary went one way, and is still riding the energy wave. Denver another, leading to a thriving economy.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 24, 2016 at 5:00 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “How Chop Suey and Ginger Beef Helped Canada Discover Itself”

Nick Rose’s Vice article is a wonderful examination, with many hunger-inducing photos, of how Canadian Chinese food came about and what its genesis means.

Last summer, Elyse Bouvier got into her beat-up Volvo station wagon and drove across Alberta in search of something very personal but very foreign.

It was not any kind of spiritual epiphany or Kerouacian pursuit of freedom. Instead, she ate and took dozens of photos of ginger beef at tiny Chinese restaurants across rural Alberta. Through the lens of her camera, she was trying to capture a cuisine that is ubiquitous and mysterious in Canada, and the trip culminated in an exhibition called Royal Cafe: Chinese-Western in Alberta.

But the journey of reconnecting with Canadian Chinese food is not unique to Bouvier. It’s the same one embarked on by chef Evelyn Wu and professor Lily Cho, each of whom have used their professional lens to better understand the food brought to Canada by Chinese immigrants over a century ago—food that remains a staple of the Canadian diet.

[. . .]

Ginger beef is an iconic Canadian Chinese dish made of battered and deep-fried beef and coated in a thick, dark, sweet, vinegary sauce. It’s the perfect springboard off of which to jump into the murky waters of Canadian Chinese food and its origins.

Ginger beef is indigenous to Alberta but can be found, it’s safe to say, on pretty much any Chinese takeout menu in Canada. But like its American cousin General Tso’s chicken, you’ll have a hard time finding anything resembling ginger beef in China—it doesn’t exist. It is neither Chinese nor Canadian, and yet it is both.

So how can one food occupy such a strange, culturally ambiguous place in Canada? Part of the reason is that Canada was, by all accounts, a very strange and culturally ambiguous place when Chinese immigrants arrived here during the second half of the 19th century. And like a lot dishes, from General Tso’s chicken to poutine, a lot of restaurants claim the inventor’s throne, but there is no definitive evidence to support these claims.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 12, 2016 at 9:29 pm