What to do this summer?

School is officially out which means that children and teens have a lot of time on their hands. Wondering what you can do in our City? There are many affordable or free activities for families to participate in over the summer. 

Downtown has been growing steadily over the past few years and it continues to offer wonderful experiences for families. Part of the experience can be taking the bus or LRT downtown, which is free for children under 12, I know my grandchildren love riding the train! The LRT has a stop that is very close to the Edmonton Street Car where you can enjoy riding a restored streetcar over the High-Level Bridge, an activity that is sure to satisfy all ages.

Head down to the Art Gallery of Alberta which is free for individuals under 17. If you attend the AGA with some friends and their children, consider registering for an education program for a more hands-on gallery experience. Visit youraga.ca for more information. 

Just down the street is the new Royal Alberta Museum. It’s a great way to spend time exploring over a few days. Children 6 and under are free and the annual family pass is only $70.  Right now the museum is featuring Vikings: Beyond the Legend, which is the largest touring exhibition of Viking artifacts in the world. 

On your way to the museum check out a free tour at City Hall. Free public tours take place every Friday in July and August beginning at 12:30 pm and last about an hour, no need to register, just drop in. 

Maybe your kids loved looking at the prehistoric animals at the museum but they would like to experience some amazing animals live and in person. The Valley Zoo recently opened Nature’s Wild Backyard which includes habitat for red pandas, a new urban farm where children can pet some animals, and play equipment that encourages children to use their imagination. 

For something closer to home cool down in any of Edmonton’s outdoor pools for free again this summer! Afterwards, head to the Aviation Museum on the last Thursday of every month from 5 to 8 pm for free family access

These are only a few of the wonderful options our City has to offer, there are festivals every weekend, markets all around the City and great community events. For more ideas check out exploreedmonton.com 

This September we are putting another community fun day together, it’s on September 7th from 11-2 pm at Grand Trunk Field, I would love to see you there. It’s a free family event, everyone is welcome!  

My thoughts on Residential Speed Limits

There has been all kinds of discussion surrounding what to do with residential speed limits, its coming back to Council on May 14th.  Making our City safe is a priority, but I recognize and have heard from many that whatever we do it needs to be simple, consistent, cost effective and that we need to …

Community Gardens

One of my favourite times of year is spring, it brings everyone out of their houses after a long winter. Neighbourhoods come alive again with outdoor events, children playing and neighbours chatting together. For some, it may be their first summer in Edmonton, something that we have all come to love, for others, it might be the first time spending summer in their new neighbourhood, but for everyone, it’s a time that we can celebrate community. Just as people come out of their houses, so plants begin to make their way out of the soil. In Edmonton, we are fortunate to have many wonderful community gardens that bring people together with a common goal of growing food and meeting others.

Community gardens and urban agriculture can provide many benefits, including family-friendly recreation opportunities, beautification of neighbourhoods, increased availability of healthy food, and community/relationship building. These connections help neighbours get to know one another, which increases the safety and wellbeing of the community by increasing awareness of your neighbourhood. And the reality is that gardening can be a fun activity that is family friendly and can help teach children the benefit of growing healthy and delicious food.

Community gardens are one way to help residents reduce the impact of neighbourhoods that have little-to-no access to stores and restaurants that provide healthy and affordable food options.

In Edmonton, we currently have 80 community garden sites that are led and operated by community groups and leagues. Some great Ward 2 options include:


Inglewood (Blue Gecko) Garden
Dovercourt Community Garden
Griesbach Community Garden

I recognize that some neighbourhoods may not have an established community garden. Thankfully Sustainable Food Edmonton, a local non-profit, and the City of Edmonton, has resources for individuals and leagues to start their own garden.  


As you plant your garden remember, the more you sow into your community the more you will reap the reward of friendships with neighbours that will last many seasons.

Vision Zero

A few years ago we realized as a City that we needed to take action to ensure that no matter which way that individuals and families use the road, or interact with it, they know that they will be safe. We unanimously decided as a Council to implement Vision Zero. The Vision Zero program involves many areas working together to achieve the goal of zero traffic fatalities by 2032.

In 2018, the City installed pedestrian scrambles at busy intersections on Jasper Avenue, on Whyte Avenue, and around Ice District. We added 65 feedback signs informing drivers to stay within the speed limit, which now totals 215 across Edmonton. We invested in rapid flashing beacons, zebra crosswalks, reflective pole wraps, and no-left-turn signs for 27 schools areas. We improved signals at 19 pedestrians crossings and made existing traffic signals easier to see at 12 other intersections.

And it’s working.

By The Numbers

Collision data over a three-year period, from 2015 before Vision Zero was launched to 2018, showed a 41% decline in traffic fatalities and a 17% decline in serious injuries, even though the number of vehicles on the road has increased. As well, we saw collisions involving vulnerable road users including pedestrians decline by 21%, cyclists by 27%, and motorcycles by 31%.

But Vision Zero is more than just flashing amber lights and speed limit signs. It is an attitude and a value system that guides the way we live in Edmonton. It is the belief that life and health should never be exchanged for convenience, that we need to put safety first. It is the belief that everyone deserves to leave and come home safely every day. It is belief every single Edmontonian can adapt and contribute. When you slow down at a playground zone, stop at the pedestrian crossing, encourage your peers to drive to conditions, ensure the road is safe before crossing, you contribute to Vision Zero.

Let’s continue succeeding together.

Waste Management Changes

Do you ever think of waste? As individuals it’s important that we do all that we can to reduce the waste that we create, and as a municipality it’s important that we keep pushing for a better waste management system. This is why we are rethinking the way we approach how household waste is sorted and managed. Since January of 2018 the City has been hosting public engagement throughout the City and what we have heard time and again is that people want to do their part in reducing waste. Many feel that participation is the right thing to do to bring change however, we have also heard that the less complicated the system, the better.

We are heading into our next round of engagement and we would like to have your thoughts and perspectives on specific topics such as cart sizes, recycling, waste reduction and more, even if this is your first time participating in discussions. For in person engagement head to the Telus World of Science on April 6 11am-2pm, or go to edmonton.ca/futureofwaste to fill out the survey online and to get more information.

Part of our goal as a City is to try things out on a smaller scale to work out kinks before making final decisions on big changes. That’s why on April 15, 8,000 homes across 13 neighbourhoods will begin testing out various garbage cart options as a pilot program. In Ward 2 Kensington has been selected as the pilot community.

The Edmonton Cart Rollout will help inform the 25-year waste strategy for Edmonton and ensure that we get user feedback so that the system can be refined and implemented well. If you live in Kensington or are interested in how the pilot will work there will be a drop in session hosted on April 4 from 4-7pm at Kensington Community Hall.

If you’re looking for a way that you can help reduce waste before we switch to a new system, composting is a great option. Composting is the most effective way the average household can reduce their waste. It is a great soil conditioner that can help your gardens, grass and trees grow. If you’re not sure where to start the City puts on some workshops throughout the summer called Compost ‘S cool, you can register here.

Safety on Public Transit, taxis and ride sharing

Since I have been elected to Council one of my main areas of focus has been safety for everyone including the vulnerable, children and women. As part of the UN Women Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces for Women and Girls we completed a scoping study that identified public transportation as an area that women felt the most vulnerable. Public transit, taxis and ride-sharing services are a site for risk of sexual violence.

Over the past few years we have been working on increasing security at public transit by utilizing good urban design principles, and earlier this year we began 24/7 security at many transit stations. I am happy with some of the progress we have made with public transit but will continue to push for even more safety.

I heard from women during the Uber debate that safety is one of the concerns they had. They felt it was important that Criminal record checks were in place before someone could be licensed and the same standard applies to all drivers including taxi cabs.

Currently the bylaws in place keep new applicants with convictions from getting their vehicle for hire license. However, already licensed individuals (with convictions that have occurred since they were first granted their licence) are successfully appealing their licence rejection because of the lack of clarity in the bylaw. As an unintended consequence this action has eroded public trust and safety. The idea that anyone that has been convicted of crime is allowed to drive the public concerns me, and as a City we have a responsibility to only license those who we feel confident will keep our citizens safe.

On March 6th this item is coming to Community and Public Services Committee for debate. My priority is public safety and will work to have clarity of rules and expectations. Let me know your thoughts or come and speak to this issue at Committee. You can register to speak at committee or public hearing here.