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About this City Journal

Red River is a small city nearing one million inhabitants in the south-east corner of Saskatchewan, Canada.

Entries in this City Journal

beebs

Coronation

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Welcome back, folks! Don't let the title confuse you.. we're still officially in the neighborhood of Churchway. Only, today we'll be focusing around true heart of Churchway - Coronation Park.

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Last time, I showed you the commercial heart of the neighborhood of Churchway. However, this is truly the pride of the neighborhood, Coronation Park. Built in the late 1950's, the park was a celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and has been continually added to as time has passed. Merely a greenspace originally, a public observatory was added soon after the opening of the park, which can be seen at the top.

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The large globe, and the structure to the left of it is the Space and Science Center, soon to be renamed the Telus World of Science, to fall in line with similar centers in Edmonton and Vancouver (all with the same sponsorship, as you might have guessed). The globular structure was the original center, built in the mid-70's, and includes a massive upgrade on the old observatory.

The center includes 5 permanent exhibits, as well as a huge gallery space for such visiting exhibitions as Body World and Lego exhibits. The city and the province are working on plans to dramatically expand the facility, although no firm details have been announced.

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On the south side of the park, we have Tommy Douglas High School, as well as Coronation Pool and Coronation Rinks. All three were built in the mid 1970's.

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To the north is continued residential. The apartments, Mayflower Towers, are basically your average middle class apartments. Nothing fancy, but certainly not falling apart.

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A closer shot.

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And just assorted fast foot joints along 142 St.

Thanks for looking, hope you enjoyed the update!

beebs

Churchway

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Hey folks! Just a little update today.. I thought I'd give a peek at the area I'll be showing off in detail next time.. Churchway!

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Very similar to Beverly, this intersection is the "heart" of Churchway. Churchway was not an independent town at any point in its history, but city planners were very keen on the idea of "town centers" when this neighborhood was first constructed. There are a number of similar centers across the city, which we will naturally be seeing as time moves on. As with Beverly, this is not the best part of town, despite what the greenery may make one think.. the motel in the center has been the source of much neighborhood discontent, and a community group has been working steadily to get it shut down.

....and teaser over! We'll go into greater deal on Churchway next time!

beebs

Beverly

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Hey, folks! Today we're going to take a look at the neighborhood of Beverly, and continue our westward trek through Red River.

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This is the heart of Beverly.. as you may have noticed, it is not quite the most luxurious part of town. The residential streets have undergone extensive rebuilding and attempted revitalization in recent years as a part of city councils' program to rejuvinate areas across the city. Included in this program are the elegant light posts you can see on the streets. A quick look at the commercial enterprises that call Beverly Avenue home, however, tells the true story.

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At one point in the history of the region, Beverly was an independant town. This was the heart of the town, with Beverly Avenue being the "main street". There are still a number of "mom and pop" shops that locate themselves in this area, and it can be a unique shopping experience. Many in Red River hope that this area will become something of a second Short Avenue, a destination for people from all corners of the city, but there is still a long way to go before that can happen.

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Aside from the street revitalization, the city has also recently reconstructed the Beverly library branch. New, modern, spacious, and hosting all sorts of day programs for children, it has been a popular (re)addition to the community.

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Just a general overview of the heart of Beverly. You can see some green space in the center-left of the image.. developers have planned for a modern new apartment complex for that location. Pre-sales are starting next week, but it is expected to be slow. Although a good step to taking back the community from undesirable residents, it is only the first step - and the first step is always the hardest.

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Not all things are bad in Beverly, however. On the southern end of the neighborhood is the Princess Anne Hospital. Featuring state of the art equipment for multiple testing and diagnostic fields, and some excellent doctors of their respective fields it is one of the premiere hospitals in Canada.

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142st is the road seen here (it is also seen in the earlier shots, intersecting with Beverly Avenue). Due to congestion, the city has plans to remove the center median and add a third lane to each side of the road. Community consultation is ongoing on this project.

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And really, if it weren't for the seedy Beverly Avenue, the neighborhood would arguably be one of the more desireable ones to live in. With elementary, junior high and high schools all in close proximity, as well as ample shopping surrounding the neighborhood and convenient access to the Whitemud Drive, and to downtown, it is perfectly located. The mature, tree-lined streets add character to the area, and there is more than enough park space to make any family happy.

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And, at the far-west end of Beverly is the Beverly Mall, one of the first malls in Western Canada. Unfortunately, this mall has seen better days.. despite recent renovations, major tenants are all seeking greener pastures. Rumor has it that the mall is aggressively seeking a new anchor tenant in Target, as they expand north of the 49th parallel.. but if Target, or another equally substantial tenant cannot be secured, it may be the end of the oldest mall in Red River.

And, that's all folks! Hope you enjoyed the look at Beverly!

beebs

Meadowlark

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Welcome back, folks! Apologies again for the lengthy delay... I moved to a new apartment late last month, and my ISP decided it would be okay if it took three weeks to reconnect my internet. Fear not though, as I used some of my time to bring you the following: Meadowlark! Hope you enjoy!

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The neighborhood of Meadowlark sits directly west of Glenora, which we saw a snippet of two updates ago. An older neighborhood, it still largely conforms to the grid system, but you can see how city planning was beginning to venture away from the stringent system of the grid.

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The ravine that can be seen is the Glenora Ravine. On the east side sits Glenora - to the west, Meadowlark.

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And here is the hub of Meadowlark: Meadowlark Mall. The mall itself is among the first built in Red River, and has been outclassed in recent years by numerous others, notably the construction of Westgate only 20 blocks west. Despite this, the mall has revived itself as essentially a senior services mall. Featuring an assortment doctors offices, pharmacies, as well as the usual grocery store, the mall is capitalizing on the aged population of Meadowlark, and everything points towards a vibrant future for Meadowlark Mall.

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To the north and west of Meadowlark Mall sits Meadowlark Municipal Cemetary, which can be seen in the top corner.

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An older area of Red River, Meadowlark still has a number of traffic circles. This one in particular, between 87th Ave. and 148th St. is slated to be converted to a normal intersection within twenty years.

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And, the main road through Red River doesn't avoid residential areas completely. Despite all attempts in the 1970's to turn the Trans-Canada into a freeway through the city, some areas just cannot work with this vision. While the city is still working to purchase the houses that back on to the road, all attempts to turn the road into a true freeway have been grounded.

And, despite the nature of the road, traffic through the residential sections isn't as bad as one may think. With the recent construction of the ringroad (The Red Coat Trail), truck traffic avoids traversing the interior of the city. Other east-west freeways to the north and south of the official highway also take pressure off the road.

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And finally, we'll have a look at some of the best views in Red River of the Glenora Ravine. These towers are some of the most sought after in the city, and it's not hard to see why.

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Oh! And I almost forgot. I promised a region view. :)

And that's all for today, folks! Check back next time, when we'll take a further look at West Red River!

beebs

Downtown West II

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Welcome back, folks! Its been a while since we checked out downtown, so I thought we'd take another look at downtown west! Off we go...!

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Okay, well this is technically north-west. But same difference. This is the neighborhood of Queen Elizabeth Park, named after Her Majesty's mother - also named Elizabeth. The entire west side of downtown is bustling with new development opportunities. The green space at the top right is planned to be a new condo development.

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This statue was commissioned by a local artist in 1966, in celebration of Canada's 100th birthday. It does have some significant meaning, paving the way to Canada's future or some-such, but it escapes my mind at the moment.

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And, a closer shot of the statue.

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And, as we head further west, density reduces into low-rises, walkups, Denny's, and Target's. Joy!

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Moving back downtown because that stuff is boring, you can see a number of new, sizeable residential towers popping up. Nothing beats shiny glass and fresh stucco in Red River. :)

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And finally, a shot of the great big development going up in Red River: Stationlands! A set of four towers, these will be among the highest towers in Red River - and it has been nearly twenty years since a substantial new office tower has gone up. Red River is just a-twitter over this, and anticipation is building!

And as anticipation builds, I'm afraid we must depart for today. Check back next time, when I should be able to update our region shot!

beebs

Glenora

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Welcome back, folks! I know it has been some time since I last updated and being that I'm just getting back into the swing of things myself.. this update will be brief. But, hopefully it settles you for the moment!

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Old Glenora.. in the olden days of Red River, this was one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the prominent west end of the city. Nestled between the Mackinnon and Glenora Ravines, and bordered on the south by the Red River, Glenora has featured the cities elite for nearly a century. Despite pressures for residential infill and new towers creeping ever-closer, always eager to capture the scenic riverbank views, Glenora has largely maintained its character and feel, with many of the original houses still standing today.

Er.. well, that's all folks! Check back next time, when we'll take a full look at Glenora! And hopefully, it won't be 4 months between updates again!

beebs

Deerfoot Trail

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Welcome back folks! Lets take a look further up the Deerfoot.

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Moving north now, we've reached 34th Ave. 34th is relatively major artery on the southside, connecting many neighborhoods directly to the Deerfoot, as well as being "host" to a number of car dealerships on its eastern half - just to the east of the railroad tracks, in fact.

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This portion of the Deerfoot Trail is also very commercialized. As the city grew, and with the highway split in two such as it is, hotels, businesses and restaurants flocked to fill the space inbetween the halves. This stretch is perhaps one of the busiest roads in the city.

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That's not to say that it's easy to drive on, however. The convoluted setup of collector roads and weaving - although perhaps working well 10 or 15 years ago, is not suited for the traffic volumes seen today. Some of these exits are in fact among the most dangerous in the area. The city is currently looking into turning it into a six lane stretch each way, with simplified exits and perhaps traffic lights, if offramps are deemed unsuitable. This is still in the early planning stages, however, and must be approved by council before any design work takes place.

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Almost at the Whitemud Drive now! The black building on the left houses the main CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) branch for Red River. The CAA recently purchased the naming rights for the building - as you can see, the exterior still needs to be changed.

And that's all for today, folks! Check back next time as we cruise further and further north, up the Deerfoot!

beebs

Highway 35 / Deerfoot Trail

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Welcome back, folks! Just a quick preview today of what we'll be looking at the next few updates... Highway 35, or as it's known within the city, the Deerfoot Trail!

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The Meadows at Deerfoot - one of the most successful shopping districts in Western Canada, falling only behind South Edmonton Common, in Edmonton. Still under construction, as you can see, with an entire phase at the bottom (the grassland) to be constructed, many locations see disgusting revenue numbers. You can see the beginnings of the southern end of the new 23rd Avenue/Deerfoot Trail interchange. The city ensured that access to the Meadows was a key part.

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Just north of the 23rd Avenue interchange is some old highway-side development that is slowly being rebuilt into more profitable businesses. The Super 8 Hotel is one of the last "old" motels along this strip. At the top is the neighborhood of Deer Meadow. I think you can see source of the names for this area. ;)

And that's all folks! I'll have some more for you in the coming days! :)

beebs

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But the fire is so delightful.....

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And since we've got no place to go......

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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

 

Short and sweet - I apologize for being absent for many months, school has been taking up my time. I hope to have some more updates in the coming months - until then, bundle up and have some hot cocoa.. it's winter here!

-Thanks to Porter for bringing helping me truck in the snow.

beebs

Riverbend

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Welcome back, folks! Today we'll take a look at Riverbend! ...but first, a quick look further at the Whitemud Drive ;)

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Further north from the Terwillegar Drive interchange, the Whitemud is the end point for Fox Drive. The road provides a critical link for the west-end, Riverbend and the south-central portion of the city. You can see an unused exit at the left of the screen. This was initially intended to provide another exit access for Riverbend - Riverbend Rd. was originally planned to tie into the Whitemud at that point. However, this plan was dropped due to findings of bank instability.

You can also see at the very top right, the Whitemud Creek feeding into the Red River.

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And here, Fox Drive crosses over Whitemud Creek. The entire route of Fox Drive is surrounded by spruce and pine trees, as you can see here. It's difficult to remember you're in the middle of the city taking this road.

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Aaand moving just to the west of the Terwillegar Drive interchange, we get to the heart of Riverbend. This area of town has always been for the wealthy. In the older parts, as you can see here, some of the condos have become apartments, as age takes its toll - and as such the northern end of Riverbend is largely middle class - but by and large the average income of this area is $20 - 30 000 above the city average. Riverbend Elementary School and the Riverbend Pentecostal Assembly are seen at the opposite ends of this park.

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And, as I mentioned earlier, here is a perfect example of bank instability. There were, around ten years ago, homes on both sides of the road. A bank collapse found many riverbank homes falling into the river. The city is now doing annual checks of the road and surrounding homes to ensure timely warning, and with luck enough time to stabilize the bank.

riverbend3.jpgAnother angle.

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And, finally, here's a shot that gives you some perspective of Riverbend, in comparison to the Terwillegar Dr./Whitemud Dr. interchange.

And that's all for today, folks! Hope you enjoyed the update!

beebs

Brookside

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Welcome back, folks! Today we'll take a look at the neighborhood of Brookside.

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And here is an overview of the neighborhood! You can see running along the bottom, and turning northwards the Whitemud Drive. This interchange has been a pain for residents for almost two decades, with the poorly designed left hand exits and non-existant access between 53rd Ave. and Terwillegar Drive.

Oh and where are my introductory skills? Brookside is the area to the right of the Whitemud. :)

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Here we can see Brookside Elementary School, and a local baptist church. This is actually a funny area of the city - there are many parts where you can see original plans the city had were either scrapped or put on hold indefinitely. 53rd Ave, for example, was to continue running east (to the right), crossing the creek and meeting up in Lansdowne (we all remember Lansdowne from Update 18?) The city has yet to develop this, and it's unlikely that these plans will ever be executed. 53rd Ave instead, awkwardly ends a few hundred meters after the Whitemud Drive interchange.

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Similarily, this entire area was to have been built up for residential use. However, as Red River hit a long period of slump and recession, this more difficult to develop and much more valuable land was left in favor of developing farmers fields to the south. Residents today are fortunate of their expansive parkland and are currently lobbying city council to connect their neighborhood with the path system that runs through Whitemud Creek, which you can see at the top right.

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On the north end of Brookside, you can see another quirk in city planning. The city originally planned for this road to made into a flyover above the Whitemud, to ease traffic congestion on 53rd Ave that would just be passing over. As development plans were halted on 53rd Ave and in Brookside, this flyover was similarily scrapped.

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And, we saw an overview of it in the first image, but here is a more detailed shot. Terwillegar Drive begins at this junction. The city is planning a full upgrade of this road to allow for right hand exits and limited access between 53rd Ave and Terwillegar Drive.

And that's all for today, folks! Hope you enjoyed the update!

 

 
beebs

Century Park

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Welcome back, folks! Today we'll take a look at Century Park.

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And here is the general area of Century Park! (ignore the rampant greenspace at the top right and bottom left.) It's actually just a very small area that is known as Century Park, the bit near the transit center and the large tower. It is a new high density development that is currently under phased construction. Tower 1 is up, and towers 2 and 3 are currently in the first phases of construction.

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Just north of Century Park is some older developments, although these are much more middle class. The entire Century Park site in fact used to be a mall. However, Heritage Mall outshined the old Southgate Mall, and was pretty much deserted after EATONS went under.

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The apartments on the bottom left are essentially retirement homes, although obviously not stated as such. They are limited to ages 45+. You can see the fenced off area for construction of Century Park at the top of the picture. The majority of the greenspace inbetween will be assorted towers for the Century Park development.

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The completion date, however, is not expected to be until 2020 or so. As such, the city has decided to lease some land to create a park and ride for the Century Park Transit Center. It's still in the final stages, but the city expects it to be open next week.

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And just south of Century Park is a thriving shopping area, expected to only thrive futher once the development reaches completion. Nothing much here but your usualy suburban fare. :)

And that's all for today, folks! Hope you enjoyed the update!

beebs

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Welcome back, folks! Apologies for the lengthy delay, and apologies for the underwhelming update. I've been waiting for inspiration to strike, but it's sure taking its time. 30.gif I do have a few in-progress shots though! They'll be filled in eventually, of course - but I feel that I should show you guys SOMETHING. So... here goes!

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Here we can see the Red Coat Trail! It is still largely under construction, although it does cover the entire southern half of the city now. The corridor is owned and managed by the province, and is in fact considered a provincial highway. Frustrating for city council who would likely have developed the ring road with all interchanges in place, rather than playing catch up as is happening today. The interchange we see here is with Rabbit Hill Road. The province has plans to construct the bridge by 2011.

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And an overview shot. Being in the deep south, this area will likely take a few years to fill in fully.

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Further north and west, we have Terwillegar Drive. I still have to fill in development that should surround this, but just imagine some nice housing and cul-de-sacs for now. 3.gif The interchange we see, however, will remain as-is. The city has plans to upgrade Terwillegar Drive to a full freeway by 2040. This has been planned for since the initial construction, as you can see grading is already in place, as well as a wide median. Where the drive sits now will eventually be the on/offramps.

And...uh.. that's all folks. Check back soon for something more substantial!

beebs

Terwillegar

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Welcome back, folks! Today, we'll head into the deep, deep south-west of the city to the area of Terwillegar - our last deep south update for a while, promise! :)

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Here we have the subdivision of Terwillegar Towne. It began construction with phase one in late 1997, and was quickly one of the most popular developments in the city. Its focus "decent" architecture, featuring front porches and the first development with back alleys in perhaps a decade drove its popularity. With starter homes being in an affordable price range, it was (and still is) extremely popular for young families.

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The subdivision is constructed near an old gravel pit. You can see where excavation was made in this shot. Residents lovingly call this rejuvinated parkland "the pit". Come winter, it is a very popular site for tobogganing, featuring hills for all ages and levels of adventure-seeking.

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Further east, new commercial developments have cropped up at key intersections, such as here at 23rd Ave. and Rabbit Hill Rd. You can see the development at the bottom is, at present, sitting on some extra land. As developments grow over the next few years, I'm confident we'll see that space filled in.

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Further north and east, we run into the neighborhood of Whitemud Oaks, named both after the Whitemud Creek, and the number of oak trees growing in the area. At the top left, there is a storm drain pond that is ever-so-popular in almost all new neighborhoods. Houses in here can reach upwards of $600 000.

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And an overview of the north end of Terwillegar Towne. There is still one phase left to be completed, the space between the fencing and the houses. On the other side of 23rd Ave, the city has planned a massive sports complex, to be finished by 2012. Until construction begins, the land will remain, as it has for years, empty. Residents of Terwillegar Towne are obviously happy that the desolate space will soon be filled in.

And that's all for now, folks! Check back next time when we move westwards to check out the west end of Red River!

beebs

Bearspaw

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Welcome back, folks! Today, we'll take a look at the south and south western corners of the city. Finally getting into some real suburbs!

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And here, we have the northern edge of the neighborhood of Bearspaw. Built in the early 1990's, with the final lots being sold around 1996, the neighborhood is in prime location, near two creeks, ample shopping and midway between two major highways - the Whitemud Drive to the north, and the Red Coat Trail, the city's ring road, to the south. The single blight on the neighborhood are the transmission lines that run through this portion of the city. However, as trails have been built along the entire stretch underneath the lines that can bring avid cyclists straight to the river valley, residents have learned to deal with the eyesore.

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The neighborhood has some density, primarily in pockets of condominiums or apartments, such as can be seen here. These look over 23rd Avenue, as it crosses the Whitemud and Blackmud Creeks - the creeks converge almost directly underneath the bridge. You can see an under-construction house on the right, atop the hill. It will overlook the Blackmud Creek, with arguably one of the best views in the city.

A ten year city plan has the road that ends at 23rd Ave. (119th St.) continuing on and crossing Blackmud Creek to join with the neighborhood of Twin Brooks. Residents are currently opposing that plan, and nearly every other plan that brings more traffic within a 500 meter radius of their neighborhood. Such is the way of wealthy lobby groups.

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You may remember from a few updates ago the Lord Nelson Apartments, in the area of Lansdowne. The north-south road that was shown in that image is, in fact, the same road as this.. simply further south. And that road is known as 119th St. :) It was recently upgraded to four lanes from 32nd Ave south.

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Directly west of Bearspaw is a new neighborhood, Whitemud Oaks. Construction has been bustling during boom times, and although the recent global recession has slowed development, it has still churned along quite well. A new showhome parade is expected to open within two weeks, including a million dollar lottery home!

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And, here is Whitemud Creek, just south of where it meets the Blackmud Creek. This entire area of the creek is a nature reserve and no development is allowed within 100 meters of the top of the bank, much to developers' dismay.

Aaaand that's all for today, folks! Hope you enjoyed the update!

beebs

City Centre Airport

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Welcome back! Today we'll take a closer look at the City Centre Airport.

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The entrance to the airport, the terminal and the main parking area. Since scheduled flights stopped at the airport just over a decade ago, the parking lot has been essentially a graveyard, as employees park in a seperate lot. It does serve some use during the busy shopping seasons, as overflow parking for the strip malls across Princess Elizabeth Avenue.

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This is the northern edge of the airport. SSIT (Southern Saskatchewan Institute of Technology) is hoping to able to expand their campus into these lands once the airport is closed. At the top, you can see another important thoroughfare for the city, the Yellowhead Trail. It is officially a branch of the Trans-Canada, beginning in Red River and moving north through Saskatoon, Lloydminster and Edmonton. It will eventually take you through Jasper and the interior of BC. The Trans-Canada (Highway 1), stays south, running through Regina, Calgary and Vancouver.

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And just south-east of the airport, there is some more residential. Much of it is middle to lower-middle class, as one would expect in such close proximity to the airport.

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And an overview of the area. SSIT is located just out of view at the bottom right. It has purchased most of the warehouse space that you can see and is currently planning redevelopment for its needs.

And that's all for now, folks! Check back next time for a look at the Whitemud and Blackmud Creeks, and a look at the deep south of the city!

beebs

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Welcome back! Small update today. I'll be expanding on it in full later this week. Think of this as a teaser. 1.gif

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Here we can see the City Centre Airport, with the bordering neighborhood of Inglewood to the south. The airport, and its supporters, are currently embroiled in a lengthy dispute with city council. Council recently voted to close one of the runways, with plans for a complete closure in 2012, with redevelopment and infill of a new, transit oriented residential development to follow over the next decade and a half. Supporters of the airport are currently seeking signatures in a petition to keep the airport open, citing important links with remote communities and the importance of medical helicopters that land at the airport. There has not been regular, scheduled flights to this airport since 1995, when all flights were routed to the International Airport south of the city.

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And, since I don't want you all getting lost, here's a region view showing the areas we've seen and... well.. some that will be seen as soon as they're developed. ;) Feel free to click on the image to see a full sized shot of the region (ed. note - Okay, photobucket won't do the full image.. but the link is a bit larger, at least). I think I labelled everything that we've seen thus far (I obviously didn't label downtown 3.gif ), but if there's an area I missed and you'd like to see, let me know and I can show you where it is on the map.

Be sure to check back next time, when we take a full look at the City Centre Airport.. hopefully, later this week! Until then...

beebs

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Welcome back folks! Today, we're travelling further west down the Whitemud Drive, towards the Whitemud Creek - the freeway's namesake. Lets take a look...

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Here we have the creek itself. One of the more prominant creeks in Red River, the Whitemud Creek creates a natural border for the wealthy south western corner of Red River. Many sizeable houses have been built along the creek - some ending up in the creek. But that's a story for later.

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The city opted for an unintrusive creek-level bridge, rather than spanning across the top of the bank. Although it also preserves the look of the creek, a natural habitat for many critters, it was by far the cheaper option.

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And here we have the neighborhood of Lansdowne. The neighborhood has two natural borders - the Whitemud Creek to the west, and the University Farms to the north. The southern border of the neighborhood is the Whitemud Drive, leaving only limited access to the area. There are only two roads in and out, leading to interesting commutes in the morning.

The large gap you can see at the center is for a natural gas pipeline that runs through the neighborhood. I believe that we've seen one before, in the Mayfield area. Residents are growing concerned that the sizeable trees that have grown will inadvertantly cut the line with its roots. The city and province are investigating.

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And an overview of the Lansdowne area.

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Just across the Whitemud Drive from Lansdowne are the Lord Nelson apartments. There are many similar developments that have sprung up near the Whitemud. We'll be taking a look at a larger one near Heritage Mall in a few updates - but not today. ;)

And that's all for now, folks! Hope you enjoyed the update!

beebs

Allendale

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Welcome back, folks! Today we'll take a brief look at the neighborhood of Allendale.

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Directly across from the South Campus area, Allendale as a neighborhood began construction in the early 1960's. The area is primarily middle class, and has began attracting many students, due to its more central location, and of course, the recent LRT expansion (South Campus is only about 10 minute walk for most houses).

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Being built in the 60's, it still prominantly features back alleys as you can see here. However, as you may also see, the road network is no longer 100% grid based. In attempts to curtail vehicles cutting through what are supposed to be residential side roads, city planners began "chopping off" parts of the grid. In this way, the roads could still easily be numbered, but it solved the problem of the folks looking for an easy short cut.

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Although not nearly as common as in areas such as Belgravia, in-fill of new housing is starting to occur in Allendale, as industrious residents purchase a second home and rebuilt it with intentions of renting. You can see at the bottom corner, 104th St. As one travels north on this road towards 87th (Short) Ave, there are all sorts of nifty little boutiques and shops that pop up. But we'll have to visit those at another time, because...

...that's all for now, folks! Let me know if there's any area you'd like to see further, or any new area (business park, deep suburbs, big box power center, etc.) that you'd like to see!

beebs

South Campus

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Welcome back, folks! Today we're going to take a look at South Campus and the University farms!

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And here we are, at the University farms! The UofA has long term expansion plans for a second campus on these lands. For now, though, it remains useful to the university by working as experimental farms for the agriculture students.

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The residents in the nearby neighborhood thoroughly enjoy the farms as a neighbor. Of course, when the wind goes the wrong way, the manure smell is less than pleasant.

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The university has built walking paths from the neighborhood, across the farms to the nearby Whitemud Ravine. It gives the residents a piece of the country right inside the city. I'm sure not all will be ecstatic when the University fully develops the land into its south campus.

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Here's the northen edge of South Campus. It does have some development in it already, although most of it is owned by the provincial and federal governments. The Jean Canfield building at the bottom of the picture was recently constructed by the Government of Canada. It holds offices for the Department of Agriculture. You can also see in this picture the LRT line, recently constructed for the Heritage extension. The line sees a great deal of use - perhaps a bit shocking considering there's almost nothing around it. The city has bus lines from the southwest of the city coming here to deposit all those University students and downtown workers for their short ride on the LRT.

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A closer shot of the government buildings.

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And a closer shot of the LRT station.

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Now, the University hasn't completely left the area to farms. The sports facility in the corner, Foote Field, is where the schools football team, the Golden Bears, plays and practices out of. The construction in the center is for a new sports facility, that will boast 8 tennis courts, a 12 sheet curling rink, gymnasium and fitness center. The Golden Bears' tennis and curling teams will both play out this new facility.

And that's all for today folks! Hope you enjoyed South Campus!

beebs

Heritage II

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Hey guys! Just a small update today, with a look at the residential just north of Heritage Mall.

 

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You can see the mall at the bottom left to help you get your bearings. The area to the north, Pleasantview was constructed in the 1950's and 1960's, some of the residential being among the most sought after in the city. Heritage Towers, the development at the top left and center of the image, were among the most expensive outside of the river facing condo's. Unfortunately, the area has not aged well and is now a swarming mess of drug rings, and otherwise less appealing residents. The Red River Police Department is currently working on an action plan for the area.

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A closer view of the Heritage Towers. The Red River Police has been called to the complex over 50 times in the last 2 months.

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And a little bit further north. Pleasantview, as a neighborhood, ends at the LRT and the avenue at the north. The large green space at the bottom holds a natural gas pipeline. When it reaches the LRT line, it was redirected north and follows the line until it reaches of University farms.

And that's it for today, folks! Check back next time for a detailed look at the University farms and the South Campus area! Until then...

 
beebs

Heritage

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Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen! As promised, here's a look at Southgate.

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Here's a zoomed out shot of the location you saw last time. You can see here Heritage Mall on your bottom left, with the transit center and new LRT station just west, on 109 St. The station is currently the southernmost station in the line, however plans are now in the works for a further south expansion, 3km down 109 St. As for the mall itself, you can see its newest expansion along the bottom of the image. The mall added some 150 000 Sq. ft. of retail space with the expansion and boasts some of the more "ritzy" shops in the city. The expansion is currently 90% leased.

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Moving  west of the mall, we have the neighborhood of Lendrum. It is mainly working class, with some basement suites rented out to University students. The number of students in the area is suspected to rise, with the LRT expansion making the University just minutes away. And for those who work at the University farm, just east of the area, it's mere minutes to get their way there.

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Another view of Lendrum further north, looking south at the last shot.

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And the southern edge of Lendrum meets with the Whitemud Freeway. With room for expansion to three lanes across the entire stretch (it's being upgraded as needed; only parts are busy enough to warrant the upgrades so far), the freeway is easily one of the most important routes in the city. Running across the majority of the south side, from east to west, it provides an important commuter corridor for those working in the refineries on the east end of town.

And that's all I've got for today folks! Hope you enjoyed the update!

beebs

Around the Town

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Welcome back guys! I have just a few shots, from a few different areas today..

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Here is the area of Ellerslie, with the "hip" 87th Avenue, although known by locals as "Short Avenue", its historical designation. Very much like 114th Street on the north side of the river, Short Avenue is one of the trendier parts of Red River, featuring a farmers market, historical buildings, and a thriving collection of live theaters and a buzzing bar scene.

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Although more commercial now, seeing such multinational brands as Starbucks, Chapters and the Gap, Short Ave is still able to boast a number of locally owned, or otherwise less-than-prominant shops. You can see here, Sam the Record Man, originally a record shop built in the 1960's. This is the only store in the small chain that still exists outside of Toronto, cushioned by huge local support. HMV has attempted a few times to carve out their niche in the Ellerslie area, however all attempts have met failure.

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Of course, this area isn't all bustling shops. Further west, on the bank overlooking McKinnon Creek, affluent homeowners' mansions perch over the stunning views created by the high banks.

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Far to the south now, you might consider this a preview for our next update. Moving closer to the suburbs is Heritage Mall, a bustling place near the Whitemud Freeway that has recently undergone a huge expansion, adding prominant brands such as the Apple Store, and Holt Renfrew, with The Bay taking on renovations to become Red Rivers' flagship store. We'll have more on Heritage and the area around it..... next time! ;)

Hope you don't mind the teaser.. next update shouldn't be too long away though! Until then.. thanks again!

beebs

Oliver

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Hey guys! Time for a look at the southern edge of downtown, where the core meets the river!

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One of the more prestigious areas of Red River, Oliver sets at the south and south-west of what one can visibly call downtown (although, according to city districts, it is in fact outside of "downtown"). Trendy lofts and high-rise penthouses overlooking the river are plenty in this neighborhood, as one might expect.

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Oliver was one of the original areas that was settled when homesteaders first came to the Red River area, however most of the original homesteads were demolished in the boom of the 70's and early 80's, replaced by the lofty high-rises we see today.

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Still, the area keeps a homely feel, partly due to the city policy of not developing the river front, and maintaining all top-of-the-bank views as public land. Residents of Oliver, and indeed of the entire city certainly enjoy walking the trails in the river valley, completely oblivious to the bustling downtown only a few hundred meters away.

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The city is mulling a proposal from a notable group of Oliver residents to create a boardwalk from the 114th St. Bridge, across the length of downtown to the Dawson Bridge. Town hall meetings are set in a few weeks time, so council can gauge community opinion on the proposal.

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This all being said, we shouldn't forget that Oliver boasts a popular stretch of retail. 114th St. is indeed one of the more "trendy" areas of town, maintaining it's old town feel with historic buildings and a plentiful supply of "mom and pop" shops. While not nearly as affluent as Edmonton's Whyte Ave., or Vancouver's Robson Street, 114th St. has a character of his own that citizens of Red River are proud to call theirs.

And that's it for today folks! Apologies for the lengthy delay, and apologies for the delay coming up as well (heading off on vacation tomorrow). Expect regular updates once I'm back though! :D

 

beebs

Kingsway

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Welcome back, guys! Lets take a look at the Kingsway area today..

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An old development, the Kingsway Towers sit directly across the mall from 127 St. (the road with the underpass), and right near the old Trans-Canada. Much like the towers at the bottom left), these are highly populated by students and other low income families, enjoying the low costs of living close to a mall, public transportation and - of course - the University to the north.

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Noise pollution is obviously a problem with Highway 1 running through the city near the apartments. For those living on the lower floors, the noise barriers provide some relief. There are frequent complaints, but there is unfortunately, nothing that can be done for those still affected. The city is looking at lowering the speed limit to 60kph, from 70kph - despite the road having demi-freeway status.

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And just because I haven't done one in quite a while.. a mosaic. There are plans on redeveloping the midrises at the bottom and the sad looking residential just north of them. A third of the homes currently sit empty and the city isn't interested in this area becoming a hotspot of crime and drugs.

To the north, the LRT line that we've seen previously runs through, with Ramsay Station conveniently nearby. Much behind comparably sized cities in the rapid transit department, city council is rushing to catch up and increase ridership. The city is expected to launch marketing campaigns in the coming weeks to get people on the trains, and excited for the upcoming expansion plans.

And well.. that's all folks! Hope you enjoyed the update! :D