News / Canada

Metro Cities Roundup: Snowy bike lanes, SAD-lamps at libraries and Calgary's Olympic dream

Inspiring urbanism and the biggest news in cities from across our Metro markets for the week of Nov. 8-14.

A tongue-in-cheek sign unveiled by Stittsville residents in Ottawa on Sunday, to protest the closure of Johnwoods Street.

Contributed

A tongue-in-cheek sign unveiled by Stittsville residents in Ottawa on Sunday, to protest the closure of Johnwoods Street.

As winter fell across much of the country, Winnipeg cyclists tested out the city's promised bike lane snow clearing program, and it did not go well.

On to the roundup

TOP NEWS

A crew from Guild Electric is seen setting up the new traffic signs on King street at Peter/Blue Jays Way as the street changes next week to more pedestrian and TTC friendly.

Torstar News Service

A crew from Guild Electric is seen setting up the new traffic signs on King street at Peter/Blue Jays Way as the street changes next week to more pedestrian and TTC friendly.

Toronto has become a living traffic study laboratory by radically redrawing the rules of King St., a major downtown thoroughfare. The pilot project is aimed at easing congestion by prioritizing transit, bikes and pedestrians over private vehicles.

INSPIRING URBANISM

Melissa Valgardson and her husband designed their Calgary home to be efficient by utilizing natural light, thick walls and solar panels.

Jennifer Friesen / For Metro

Melissa Valgardson and her husband designed their Calgary home to be efficient by utilizing natural light, thick walls and solar panels.

As Calgary played host to seminars in building a so-called passive house last week, one local couple opened their airtight home to visitors. The concept is all about energy reduction, creating an environment low on drafts and high on efficiency, using thick walls, natural light and solar panels. The couple says the furnace-free house can stay warm in chilly Alberta relying only on a heater that uses the same energy as a hair dryer.

Residents of an Ottawa neighbourhood are drawing attention to concerns over speeding cars with a cheeky faux street sign. The Rosehill Expressway sign is meant to call out the lack of traffic-calming measures in the residential area.

Some young designers met up to breathe new life into Toronto's old coach terminal. Bus companies like Greyhound are in talks to move to a new station under construction nearby, leaving the fate of the heritage building that has been operating as a bus station for more than 80 years up in the air.

A Toronto councillor wants developers to pay a levy to build more schools as downtowns crowd and school growth doesn’t keep up.

HOT TOPICS

As Edmonton’s first Indigenous artist in residence’s tenure comes to a close, she is shining a light on the struggles she faced. To accept the position she asked the city to provide a cell phone, bus pass and and a computer. She has spent her time in the role speaking out for other artists held back by poverty.

Ottawa released a performance review of Uber as the ride-hailing service marked one year in operation in the nation’s capital. The report found Uber took riders 49,000,000 km in trips and in that time staff noted no public complaints over safety or violations of the law. Meantime, Lyft is expanding to Toronto, the first city where the Uber rival will operate outside the U.S.

Winnipeg’s accessible transit service is re-branding. The current name, Handi-Transit, was adopted in 1977 and, as a statement from the city noted, is not exactly up to today’s standards of inclusivity.

Winnipeg is drafting a new plan to deal with illegal rooming houses, especially given that many students turn to illegal rooming houses with a dearth of affordable housing near the University of Manitoba campus.

Calgary city staff working away on a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics are asking for $2 million to keep the bid — and the work — alive.

A storm chaser visiting the University of Alberta lectured the Edmonton crowd on the ripple effects of climate change generated in big cities and felt in faraway places. “The things that we do in Edmonton, in New York, in Paris, in these big cities where we have a much bigger carbon footprint, our effects are being felt by people we will never see, people we will never meet,” George Kourounis said.

Condo sales in downtown Edmonton are booming, showing a revitalization in that city. Market data showed condo sales were up 62 per cent over the same quarter last year.

Halifax libraries are offering, and lending, light therapy lamps to counter seasonal affective disorder. Ottawa libraries are also lending non-books, this time instruments.

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