Calgary Citizen Newsletter Tuesday May 28

Plus, watch your mailbox, celebrate Syd, and feed it forward

Good morning !

Last week we asked our readers to share their thoughts on Calgary’s massive growth as the city’s metropolitan area has now hit 1.6 million people. Of those who responded to the poll, 75% are unhappy with the fast pace of growth. This is what a few readers had to say (Note: No one who replied was in favour.).

“The city growth is much too fast.” Beverley

“A huge increase is a big driver of inflation. This is so hard on the economically disadvantaged because of higher rents. And the rent then comes out of something else like food and children suffer. Not a good scenario.” Ivor

“My thoughts about the city’s pace of growth is that provincial operating funding is not keeping up with the unprecedented, record-breaking enrollment growth at Calgary's public schools. And provincial capital funding is not keeping up with the number of new schools needed in Calgary's neighbourhoods.” Susan

Check out the first news highlight below to learn more about how Calgarians are responding to a separate poll about their quality of life.

Krista Sylvester, Managing Editor

👀 In today's edition:

Today’s read time: Approx 4 minutes

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⛈️ Today: High 23C, Low 11C. See the 7-day forecast.

🚗 Driving today? Check the current traffic situation, and find the city’s traffic report and road closures.

Half a century. Five decades. Fifty years.

That’s how long Calgary Transit’s longest-serving operator Syd Banks has been shuttling people from where they are to where they need to be. He’s something of a local legend, famous as the hospitable Calgary Transit CTrain operator making surprise weather, sports scores, and tour guide announcements that are always sure to put a smile on his passengers’ faces.

“It's been a wonderful experience. I think I've been blessed and that I've had some of the nicest people riding my trains and buses. And you know, you develop a special friendship and camaraderie with some wonderful colleagues and customers, which is really nice,” Banks says.

Banks served Calgarians as a bus operator for nearly 35 years but as he was eyeing retirement, he was encouraged to try becoming a CTrain operator. “My grandchildren said to me, ‘Grandpa, you should go drive the CTrain so you can say that you drove them.’ And I took the training and 16 years later, here I am having a ball. It's just been like a brand-new career and I have just loved it.”

Calgary Transit customers were charmed by Banks’ warm personal touch and contacted 311 to make formal commendations. But they also showed their gratitude directly. “I have several people come and tap on my window throughout the week saying, ‘Thank you, you made my day.’” As he reflects on a lifetime serving Calgarians, Banks shares words of gratitude: “I'd like to say thank you to all of my passengers for their smiles and waves every day, for their sincerity and just for the friendship that they pass along to me. It's very touching and I just really appreciate it."

Read our feature story on Banks down below to learn more about this beloved Calgarian. Check out this video to see Syd in action.

Related Story

Need to know

👎️ A historic number of Calgarians say their quality of life has worsened, according to a new survey.

🪧 Rallies took place in towns and cities across the province this weekend to send a message to the UCP.

👮 Alberta sheriffs shutter suspected Calgary drug house with 17 rental suites.

👎️ Popular Calgary grocer Freestone Produce is unpopular with neighbours.

⛳️ Calgary golfer fighting lung cancer receives an exemption into Charity Classic.

Calgary’s Blowers and Grafton have reopened after AHS issued a closure due to sewage backup.

🚧 An archaeological excavation at a city park revealed ancient Blackfoot artifacts.

⚕️ Less invasive breast cancer treatment will soon be available to Calgary women.

💸 Watch your mailboxes: Calgary property tax bills' arrival is imminent, city says.

📖 Presented by Wordfest, enjoy LitCon 2024 online and in-person until Friday at the Calgary Public Library. This free program is designed for kids aged 4-14.

Step into the kitchen to help Blue Flame Kitchen Feed it Forward in support of women and children

This program was designed to support women and children affected by domestic violence while also addressing food insecurity.

Blue Flame Kitchen (BFK) has joined forces with Radiance Family Society to launch the Feed It Forward cooking class in support of women and children impacted by domestic violence. In this team-building cooking class, participants will become culinary maestros as they learn to prepare a selection of delicious recipes. The best part? The finished meals will be delivered to deserving families at the Radiance Centre. This experience not only sharpens kitchen skills but also contributes to supporting families and individuals on their journey to healing with Radiance. We spoke with the organizers about this critical program.

How important is this program and the impact it will have?

At BFK, we believe in the power of food not only to nourish but also to heal and unite. This unique team-building experience allows participants to engage in a meaningful cooking class and donate their crafted meals to families in need. By providing essential and nutritious food, the Feed It Forward initiative offers tangible support to those on their journey towards stability. Alongside Radiance Family Society, an organization with over four decades of experience in aiding survivors, local businesses are engaged and encouraged to give back to build an increased sense of community, responsibility and solidarity.

Talk about the benefits of the program.

This cooking class is a great, hands-on way to learn new culinary skills alongside BFK’s Red Seal Chefs. Participants will have the chance to prepare delicious recipes in a fun, team-oriented environment. Plus, they’ll improve their teamwork and communication skills, which are useful in both personal and professional settings. It's a fantastic opportunity to boost your confidence in the kitchen and beyond!

How does this program help improve the affordability crisis?

During affordability challenges in our city, programs like Feed It Forward are crucial for tackling food security issues, especially for those recovering from domestic violence. By offering access to nutritious meals, this program helps ease financial pressures on individuals and families dealing with economic hardships. The partnership between BFK and Radiance Family Society shows how food security and housing stability are linked, underscoring the value of holistic support in addressing broader affordability issues in the community.

Where to eat and drink

🍴 Klein/Harris: We only recently discovered this elevated Canadian cuisine restaurant and we thought we should share. This Stephen Avenue spot has some great midday specials but you can’t go wrong with any part of the menu.

🍴 XO Ice Cream & Waffles: A modern-day interpretation of the mom-and-pop shop with nostalgic and lighthearted ice cream, this Auburn Bay spot serves up waffles, ice cream, and sundaes all made with love.

Have a food or drink suggestion? Message us and we might share it!

Local specials

💸 Calaway Park: Did you know you can spend the night under the stars and wake up with a view of the mountains in one of Calaway’s 104 sites? Check out the campground and park specials.

💸 Calcutta Cricket Club: This popular east Indian food spot offers an express lunch thali platter daily from 11:30am-3pm that includes rice, dal tadka, chutney, raitas, kachumber salad, and your choice of curry for just $25.

Have a promo suggestion? Message us and we might share it!

Things to do

🎟️ Real Canadian Wrestling: Enjoy an action-packed night of wrestling at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 275 on Friday with some of the most intense battles between your favorite wrestlers.

🎟️ Easy & Healthy Mediterranean Cooking: June 11 – Discover great flavours and improve your nutrition with recipes and tips for heart health, brain health or general well-being. This free virtual class is led by registered dietitians.*

Have an event suggestion? Message us and we might share it!

*Sponsored Listing

That’s it!

Thanks for reading today. If you found something interesting, please forward this email to another Calgarian and tell them to sign up!

And before you go, we’d love to know…

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