Edmonton Beach: Connecting the people to the river

After the overnight phenomenon of Cloverdale’s Accidental Beach this past summer, city administrators are proposing to revive a 6-year-old plan to bring Edmontonians closer to the North Saskatchewan River. For the Touch The Water initiative, making the River Valley a world-class destination means building a permanent infrastructure to allow easy access to the river valley, specifically as a multi-use space with viewing deck and beachfront promenade. Continue reading

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New Edmonton LRT lines impact communities

A proposal to build the new Edmonton Centre LRT line through Whyte Avenue or 76 Avenue could radically change Old Strathcona and surrounding neighbourhoods. Whether this looks like a pedestrian– and public–transit–friendly Whyte or a heavy investment into rapid light rail transit at the cost of reduced east-west driving lanes, Ritchie, Garneau, Bonnie Doon, and Old Strathcona residents could see major infrastructure changes in the next decade.

City administrators are confident that Whyte Ave is the logical route for a Centre LRT line. Some neighbours and city councillors echo the sentiment but others argue that decreased driving lanes could lead to a gridlocked Whyte and a lack of major arteries in the area.

Should the advent of self-driving cars mean a shift away from new mass transit pursuits? Traffic congestion could look very different in a world of automated vehicles, but will we ever overcome city gridlock without a shift in our transportation priorities? To truly curb our over-reliance on cars and the associated environmental impact, a focus on affordable long-term solutions to transportation-related pollution is necessary. Most major metropolitan areas offer central train lines to mobilize commuters en masse and enable urban residents to forgo personal vehicles and still be able to function in a city. In Edmonton’s case, the challenge of an underdeveloped light rail system means trying to expand existing infrastructure aboveground and through major roadways without exacerbating traffic congestion. Unfortunately, this means some road users will have to make concessions to accommodate those who take up less space as patrons of public transit.

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Fundamentals vs Fear

I’m continually surprised and even shocked at how often I see or hear supposed real estate professionals buy into (and even perpetuate) the pessimism tossed around by some media. Oil prices are down, and so is the dollar and real estate is STILL the best investment of ALL TIME!

I was speaking with my friend Jason Scott (author of “Approved! Mortgage Advice for All Stages of Life”) and we were both of the same opinion. It seems that in the face of some softness in the market, many forget to consider the actual market fundamentals and as Scott says in the newsroom ‘If it bleeds it leads’. Well, we don’t sell newspapers here – we provide advice and help people make good real estate decisions. So here are some things to consider – for those who fear the future, we offer glimpse of recent past:

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Tips to Stay Organized and Clutter Free

Once you’ve conquered your clutter using the tips in our previous blog, you’ll want to keep it that way so you don’t have to go through it ever again. That’s often easier said than done but we have several tips that will go a long way to keeping your organized and clutter-free.

Beware of flat surfaces, especially near the front door. They quickly become a spot to drop your stuff as you walk in and will get cluttered quickly. If you have a table near the front door, trying keeping a large flower arrangement or other decorative items that will discourage dropping and dashing. If you just can’t fight people dropping their keys and coins near the front door, put a bowl near the door for it all to go in and keep it confined to a manageable area.

In other areas of the house, you’ll need to be vigilant about clothes not being laid over chairs or books left laying around or children’s art supplies on the dining room table. Designate a spot for these items and make sure everyone in the house knows to take the extra 15 seconds to put it where it belongs.

If you have small kitchen appliances on your counter that you don’t use every day or even weekly, find a place to store them like a closet, pantry, attic or basement. Having them off the counter will give you more space on your counter and make the kitchen feel more open. Also, get rid of things you don’t really need such as super specialized gadgets that you never use or all those plastic storage containers filling two cabinets when you only really use 3 or 4 all the time.

One big trick for closets is to add a second tension rod about halfway down the wall. This is a cheap and quick fix to double your closet space and give you a second rod for hanging shirts. If you have wall space in your closet, install some hooks to hang things like scarves, jewelry or hats. Check out Pinterest for closet storage ideas. There are so many ideas on there that are inexpensive, easy and genius.

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7 Great Tips To Help You Get Organized

You probably know you need to get organized but maybe you put it off because it can seem so overwhelming, especially when you see a pile like this one here. It’s easy for things to get out of control. There’s a reason that the job of “professional organizer” came into being. Some people are born to organize while others look at a pile of stuff and have no idea how to do it. Well if you’re one of the people who wasn’t born with the organizing gene, we have some tips to help you get started and then tomorrow we’ll talk about staying organized.

Use the one by one method to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed. Concentrate on one room at a time and in that room focus on one space at a time. Don’t hop from cabinet to cupboard to drawer to closet and back around again. Open a cupboard or drawer and address what is there until that one cupboard is complete then move on to the next spot. Once a room is done, move on to the next room.

When you’re organizing sort things into piles. You should have a box for trash, donate, relocate, gift, and wait. The relocate box is for items that should be moved to a more appropriate room or storage area. The gift box is for items that you don’t want to keep but are special enough to give them to someone specific. The wait box is for items that you think you want but you haven’t used them in awhile. Put these items in a box, close it up and put an expiration date on the side for one year from now. If after a year you haven’t needed, used or thought about any of the items in that box, then donate it.

Set rules for yourself on what you’re going to keep and what you’re discarding. For instance, you could decide not to keep clothing that is stained or worn out or doesn’t fit. You might decide that you are going to get rid of all spices that are more than a year old. Decide on the parameters you want to use and then stick to them.

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