Meet our new Executive Director!

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Message from Tyler Chalmers, President, Board of Directors for Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association:

The HSCA Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Kate Stenson will take over the executive director position. Kate stepped up as interim ED during the previous transitions and has been instrumental not only in coverage for that position, but also in ensuring that the board, staff and volunteers remain on focus with our vision and objectives.

Kate’s connection to the Hillhurst Sunnyside community and HSCA is a lifetime one. Kate grew up in the community and attended Hillhurst School and was a participant in the HSCA Out-of-School program. Kate also participated as a vendor and volunteer of the Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmers’ Market for many years. Her passion for food security and advocacy brought her back to HSCA in the spring of 2013 when she joined as our Community Food Program Coordinator. She progressed to Manager of the program and then lent her skills and expertise to oversee HSCA’s community programs (Daycare, Out of School Care, Community Food Program and Community Connections).

We believe that HSCA has flourished under Kate’s leadership and will continue to do so as we move forward as an organization. Please join the HSCA board of directors in welcoming Kate to her new role.

Sincerely,

Tyler Chalmers President, Board of Directors Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association.

Recreation, workshops and events at HSCA for the Winter Season (that are not run by HSCA)

Did you know, that not all of the events and activities which take place in the HSCA building are HSCA programs? We also have a variety of renters who use the space to bring recreation and learning opportunities to residents.

With the new year also comes new programs and the return of some of your favourites! Returning this year are martial arts opportunities with LDK Karate and Hydra Taekwondo. And our friends from CapoeiraYYC have returned to offer instruction on Saturdays! We were in the building a few weeks ago, and along with the physical practice of Capoeira, the instructors also introduced some of the cultural aspects and were singing. They have incredible voices.

And finally, to take us from winter into the spring season are Witches Brew Markets. The first will take place on Saturday March 30. This is a re-vamp from the New Age Markets hosted by New Age Calgary and we cannot wait to see what sort of treasure and learning they will provide.

For information on these, upcoming and HSCA-run programs stay posted to your monthly edition of The Voice, or check out repeating events on the programs calendar and special events upcoming here.

Stay posted to the HSCA blog for more program highlights throughout the year. And if you are interested in booking space at HSCA to host your own workshops or events contact Allison for availability: Allison.h@hsca.ca

Year of the Farmer (...and year of the Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmers' Market?)

A two for one blog entry:

The Year of the Farmer meets HSFM Best of Calgary Nomination

A note from your friendly neighbourhood Market Manager.

As a consumer, you are flooded with eating options. From restaurant delivery apps, chilled meal boxes on your doorstep, and the glowing frozen aisles and piles of perfect shiny vegetables at the grocery store, we are encouraged to distance ourselves as far from the land and our producers as possible. Why do we want to keep the reality of the farm at arm’s length?

Perhaps it is a simple convenience issue. Despite the entire world continuing to eat- and as our population grows, eating more every day- our small farmers are struggling. The volatility of our climate, the industrialization of agriculture, and high rates of depression and mental illness create a perfect storm for small farmers across the globe. Farming is a highly demanding and stressful profession that fewer and fewer young people are choosing to pursue.

Perhaps by allowing convenience to play such a role in our eating choices we devalue the work of our producers. By keeping the farm and our producers out of our sight and mind, we don’t need to share their pain and struggles.

Overall it makes sense. In a society that praises busyness and prioritizes convenience, we believe we have no other option but to rely heavily on prepared meals and delivery. Meal planning, shopping and cooking takes energy that we simply cannot spare. Additionally, we are bombarded with news of negativity, and burdened with struggles beyond our own daily lives. We don’t feel we have the capacity to take on any more outside shame, guilt and stress.

Fortunately, our food choices is an area where a little bit of awareness can go a long way. In shrinking the gap between you and the source of your food, the producer, our community, our economy and your household, can all benefit directly. By choosing to support local, you can keep your money in your community, encourage environmental stewardship and sustainable growing methods, and experience high quality products backed by true passion. Not to mention the health benefits that come with a whole food diet, and the undeniable sense of connection you get when you cook and share meals with friends, family and neighbours.

In an effort to combat the growing gap between eaters and producers, The Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmers’ Market has declared 2019 The Year of the Farmer. As an Alberta Approved, community-driven Farmers’ Market, we look to provide an important alternative to our conventional food system. We believe in the family farm, small business, and the power of voting with your dollar. We prioritize good food, authentic producers and a slower pace. We look to lighten the load for everyone, and share the burden of the agriculture industry with our farmers and customers.

This year we will be taking important steps to support the Farmers in our Market Family beyond just providing a year-round venue for them to connect with consumers and sell their product. For us, committing to our Farmers translates to a commitment of authenticity, transparency, and continuing to educate ourselves and our customers. Whether you shop with us, another Farmers’ Market, the local grocer, buy direct from a farm, or even just make space to reflect on your eating choices periodically; we encourage you to take any opportunity you can to shake the hands that feed you and get to know your grower. Follow along on our journey through 2019 the Year of the Farmer and share your experiences with us on Facebook, Instagram and by coming to our weekly market at/inside the HSCA year-round on Wednesdays from 3-7pm. (#knowyourgrower #hsfmfamily)

We are SO honoured and excited to have been nominated for Best Farmers' Market in Calgary for the 2019 "Best of Calgary" awards. We are just a small community market, but we have HUGE spirit- all thanks to the vendors, customers and good food friends that make up our market family. As a true, Alberta Approved Farmers' Market, we are proud to prioritize Alberta products and keep things as local as possible. For this competition, we are going up against some of the biggest players in Calgary; help us make our dreams come true and show YYC that a little market with a big heart can take this one home!

Why vote for us??

We're building a 'Good Food Community': Our Farmers' Market really is, as one vendor says, "the tip of the iceberg". This market is just one piece of the greater good food puzzle that we host here at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association. All our fundraising efforts, and any extra profit we are able to make, allows us to support our weekly food access program for those in our community struggling to access good food. We also host many special events throughout the season to help you connect with your food, your producers, and have fun doing it!

We are Alberta Approved: This provincial standard requires that we operate as a non-profit, and maintain at least 80% Alberta made, baked, and grown products. We blow this percentage out of the water each year! In 2017 we hit an 87% average year-round. When you come to our market, you know that everything you buy has been handpicked by our team with this standard in mind- however we do still encourage you to ask questions and get to know your grower!

We do it all for the love of good food: We provide our customers with a genuine market experience. We do our best to provide lots of variety and high-quality goods in a relaxed setting. Our producers are some of the best in Alberta and they're all genuine about their love for their industry. These vendors truly love what they do, and are so proud to be a part of your weekly shop. You can feel the local love from the second you walk in the doors, and with each bite when you chow down on your fresh, local purchases.

Thank you SO MUCH to anyone who nominated us for this honour! Please take a few minutes and let your voice be heard for the Best of Calgary awards. Share with your friends, family, and neighbours and celebrate small business in our beautiful city!

Community Climate Conversation on February 5th in the Hearth Room

It’s time to talk about the climate crisis.

In the aftermath of the flood of 2013, amongst the wreckage and the lost memories, was the powerful gathering of community. We, as neighbours, friends, and citizens, lent each other a hand, an ear, and a shoulder to cry on. We supported each other through the disaster, and we are better people for it.

A new disaster looms, but this one is slower moving, and less obvious. And we have yet to rally our community, in fact, in a lot of ways we are pretending it’s not even coming. It is the climate crisis, and it is knocking at our doorsteps. We do our best to avoid talking about it, because who wants to talk about the implications of a rapidly degrading climate? It’s just not that fun. But it’s time to stop avoiding the issue, because it is through conversation, through discussion, that the solutions are found. And it is through laughter, and community that we will find the path to creating our better world.

The Calgary Climate Hub and the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association would like to invite you to be a part of the inaugural Community Climate Conversation series. To be held on Tuesday, Feb 5th at 6:30 pm at the HSCA, we’ll start with some proposed solutions: from the city, from energy efficiency experts, from renewable experts, from academics. And then we turn it over to you, to talk about what YOU want to do. How we can help each other create the future we want to live in. How we can support each other through the difficult times. And celebrate the many little victories that will come our way. Invite your neighbours. Invite your friends.

Let’s talk about the climate crisis. And let’s figure out how to keep all the things, and the people we love, safe.

Save the Date, more details to come.

2018 Wrap up from the HSCA Executive Director

Wow! What a year it has been for both HSCA and me personally. On October 17th I celebrated my first anniversary at HSCA and I have had a wonderful experience getting to know the staff, volunteers, program participants and my favorite, the children in daycare and OOSC. Pure bias on my part, as I love little humans!

In the midst of my first year I had a very challenging experience whereby I sustained a head injury at work on July 3rd. Despite my efforts at pushing through and trying to rush my healing, the injury won and I spent three months recovering, six weeks in a brain injury program. I could not have taken the time to heal without the support of the Board of Directors, the amazing staff team, and my family and friends. While a few symptoms are lingering, I am healing and feel blessed in every way.

This last year saw another successful year in our childcare programs and our partnership with the provincial government providing affordable childcare. We have had great connection with the community and were able to host a Stampede Breakfast and our 70th Anniversary party.

We are currently seeking donations and support for a number of areas including; Hearth room renovation, adding an extra room to the daycare and renovating our Board Room. If you are considering a financial donation for the end of the year, we would very much appreciate your support. We can accept donations online through Canada Helps, through Benevity locally and if you are involved in a United Way Campaign at work, you can designate to HSCA. Thank you to all of the local businesses, not for profits and residents for all of your ongoing support. We are proud to be your neighbours and partners in Hillhurst and Sunnyside.

May the winter season bring you and your loved ones closer together. May you share joy, laughter and food and celebrate all that is good in our lives and our community. I hope 2019 is full of love, kindness and celebration.

Building Community Participation Through Art

Take a stroll in the community along 5th Avenue and you’ll see a unique housing development taking shape in Hillhurst Sunnyside.  But it’s not a new condo.

Local area artists have created over 90 new homes and many are on display now at Framed on Fifth, or can be viewed in the Hearth Room at HSCA.

They’re birdhouses!

As part of the North Hill Centre Hello Neighbour campaign and in collaboration with Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association, Patricia Gustafson and Hannah White from Framed on Fifth took the idea of birdhouses as art installations to exciting new heights.

“While speaking with Karen at HSCA, she told us you had been given the birdhouses by North Hill Mall, they were donated and you were selling them to people and they would decorate them. [And we went, well] we have all these artists friends why don’t we take the project to our artist friends and family and the community, to as many people as we can to paint these things. We’ll give them the birdhouses and they will paint them and they’ll bring them back and we can silent auction them,” says Patricia.

            Hannah says, “We opened it up to everybody. It was in the newsletters for a couple of months. So our youngest artist is 4. It’s a community event. It’s not just artists in Calgary. We made it ‘artists’ and meant anybody who can put a paintbrush in their hand.”

            At least 70 artists have contributed to the project, and everyone who sees the houses gets very excited. Hannah and Patricia talk about the reception from the community. “It’s blown up way more than we ever expected,” says Patricia. “It’s become more work than we ever thought, but it’s so fun.”

            “What I love,” Hannah chirps in, “are kids walking home from school and everyday they’ll all stop, and as a big pod they’re all like ‘blebleblebleblebleble’.” She makes a noise like a flock of tweeting birds.

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            When asked what their favourite birdhouses and names are, Hannah and Patricia move around Framed on Fifth to showcase each. “Invasion of the Birdy Snatchers.” says Patricia, “Wordy Birdy.”

 

     “I love Octavia.” Hannah says. “I like her name. Oh, the tin roof one! Under the hot tin roof!”

             So why do they think birdhouses have been such a success? “It’s a small thing they can contribute to be part of the community,” says Patricia.

            “I would say that there’s a feeling of coziness and a feeling of home and maybe that’s what people are doing,” says Hannah. “It’s almost like cocooning.”

            The catalyst for this project was a partnership with North Hill Centre and that was the exact intention behind the idea to use birdhouses. Paula Lee from North Hill says, “The reason we chose birdhouses is because we wanted to start a dialogue around the Hearth Room, and the centre of a home, and we couldn’t build a house, so we decided that birdhouses were a kind of metaphor to what the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association does. You have programs for the community, for seniors, for kids. So it was just a way to give people a fun project that was around this idea of home. And the Hearth Room being the centre of this project.”

            Money raised from this project will go toward revitalizing the HSCA Hearth Room, which hosts our Community Connections programs, such as Fresh Food Basket, Neighbour Night and Community Potluck. All of these programs are HSCA run and designed to foster connections and a sense of belonging. They are open for participation by all residents. The Hearth Room is also home to our Art Class program and Indoor Farmers’ Market both of which offer capacity and skill building opportunities. 

            When Framed on Fifth is asked why a project like this is a good fit for Hillhurst Sunnyside and HSCA Patricia says, “Because people care here. They walk, they see things, they do things at the community centre. You’ve opened up the community centre to homeless people again. Because you’ve opened it up, you’ve made it accessible and when you make something accessible people want to play. They do. Personally I have no idea where this is going to go, but we’re up for pretty much anything. We’d be more than thrilled to help you do whatever group things where we can play. I don’t know where it’s going to go. This is just the beginning. This has been so much fun.”

            “We want to play,” says Hannah.

            Paula says, “The collaboration with Framed on Fifth is exactly what we want to be happening. We are neighbours. And we should all be doing something that benefits each other whatever it is, you know, especially in Calgary. I just think it’s what we do in Calgary. So they see an opportunity and they help people and we see an opportunity and we help people and you see an opportunity and you help people. It’s really kind of a great story. “

            Silent Auction bidding is open now and you can visit HSCA or Framed on Fifth to view the birdhouses in person and get a jump on the auction. All of the birdhouses will also be available during a special Farmers’ Market on Wednesday December 5, from 3-7 P.M. before bidding closes. But Patricia also mentioned that they’d like to pick 10 of their favourites for a live auction on the December 5th date. There will also be a prize awarded to the artists who win Fan Favourite and Best of Show courtesy of MLA Dr. David Swann’s local arts fund.

To view the full collection online please visit: http://framedonfifth.com/birdhouse/ and we hope you can join us on Wednesday, December 5.

Article written by Jessica Clark

Fresh Food Basket Summer Fundraiser- Thank you for your support!

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The Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association Fresh Food Basket Program provides an anonymous, dignified and sustainable strategy to improving access to good, healthy food. We see an average of 60 families weekly, distributing over 350 portions of fresh food.

This program does not seek to solve food insecurity. Poverty and the inaccessibility of our food systems are complex issues, and cannot be solved with basic needs programming. However, we hope that this program allows the families that access it to feel more at ease about where their groceries will be coming from, and allows us to make connections with participants and offer support in other areas. The Fresh Food Basket is a first step in community engagement. When basic needs are met, vulnerability decreases, and we see an increase in the ability to create connection and participate in community.

Moving forward, we hope to depend less and less on donations, and hope to see an uptake of this style of program across other communities in Calgary. This program is one that requires little infrastructure to start-up, but provides a highly valuable service to our community.

This summer we have seen an increase in food donations from our Farmers' Market vendors, and have received many donations from community members! Thank you so much to all the community gardens, vendors, businesses and community members who donated to our Fresh Food Basket Summer Fundraiser this year.

We raised:

  • $2775.26 from Engaged businesses, and Community Members like YOU
  • Weekly donations of lettuce, spinach, chard, rhubarb and herbs from St. Barnabus Community Garden
  • Monthly donations from the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Garden
  • Frequent donations of greens, peas and zucchinis from Kensington First Community Garden
  • Frequent donations of chard, kale, beans, peas and beets from the Sunnyside Shared Garden

We would like to extend an extra-special thank you to TrueBuch Kombucha for a generous donation, and our Sun Fun Summer Day Program for their bake sale efforts!

If you missed out on donating to our Summer Fundraising campaign- no need to fret! We accept donations ALL YEAR ROUND. Currently our biggest need is cash donations so we can purchase fresh produce weekly, and healthy non-perishable items for the holiday season. Donations can be dropped off to the front office at the HSCA during business hours, mailed or made online.

Mailing Address: 1320 5 Ave NW, T2N 0S2 Online Donations: https://www.hsca.ca/donate/

If you require more information about this program, please contact Heather at heather.r@hsca.ca.

Memories of a 70 Year Old Community Association

The 70th birthday of the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association gives me pause to think back on my 44 year relationship with the community. In 1982 I bought a reprint of a book from the HSCA called Hillhurst Sunnyside Remembers by Margaret Tanko. It was simply made with black and white photographs and stories told by members of the community, some who had lived here since the early part of the 20th Century. The book charmed me and became a treasured part of my library.

I have always loved Hillhurst Sunnyside because of its heritage houses, mature trees, vintage lilac bushes, layers of history, diversity of residents and small town feel. As time passes, the community continues to grow and change, but recently these changes have become alarmingly rapid changing the look and feel of the neighbourhood. Residents come and go. Old houses get demolished to make way for condos altering the heritage character. Businesses open and close on 10th Street, 14th Street and Kensington Road.

The land Calgary stands on is the traditional territory of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta. This includes the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Piikani, Kainai First Nations), the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda (Chiniki, Bearspaw, Wesley First Nations). The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III. They have been the stewards of our land for thousands of years and continue to maintain a very positive relationship with it.

English and Scottish settlers arrived in this area, now known as Hillhurst and Sunnyside, as homesteaders in the late 1800s. New Edinborough was the name of the suburb created between 10th Street and Centre Street that eventually became Sunnyside. In 1914 it was incorporated into the City of Calgary. The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) built workers’ cottages in Sunnyside on 25-foot lots and rented them to their employees. Many of these cottages still remain today, although they are quickly disappearing due to development spurred on by City Council priority of densification. In the early days Sunnyside residents took a ferry across the Bow River to get to work at the CPR or the Eau Claire lumber mill. Now we hop on an LRT.

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Squatter Felix McHugh staked a claim to homestead on CPR land. The CPR contested it but he was successful in receiving one acre of land through the courts. He built a house at the corner of 9A Street and Memorial Drive, where the green space with a Community garden now exists and the LRT tracks go overhead. McHugh Bluff is named after him.

Ezra Hounsfield Riley was a pioneer rancher and politician who owned the property west of Sunnyside. He also purchased McHugh’s. Eventually Riley sold his property to the City of Calgary and it became Hillhurst, West Hillhurst, Sunnyside and Hounsfield Heights. He donated the land that is now Riley Park to the City of Calgary.

In 1948 the Hillhurst/Sunnyside Community Association was formed. FYI there is no community in Calgary called Kensington, only a shopping district. Under the Municipal Government Act, the City of Calgary developed several Business Revitalization Zones (BRZ) to encourage Calgarians to shop in areas of Calgary that weren’t thriving during the ’80’s. The shopping area at Tenth Street and Kensington Road was first named Louise Crossing, due to its proximity to the Louise (Tenth Street) Bridge, and eventually Kensington Village named after the street. When the BRZ legislation expired in 2016, these areas became Business Improvement Area (BIA) “a group of businesses in a defined geographical area that come together to improve and promote their businesses.” http://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/ABS/Pages/Partnership-programs/BRZs.aspx

I am including a photograph of Gleason family in front of my house on Memorial Drive in 1914 when Hillhurst was a new suburb. Michael and his brother James built two houses side by side on lots purchased for $650 each using materials from the Eau Claire lumber mill at a cost of $1,250 each. Taxes were $68.50 a year. The 10th Street steel and girder bridge is in the background. The City of Calgary’s saplings were newly planted and would stand for almost 100 years. The streetscape shows similar houses on small lots with picket fences lining “Westmount Boulevard” (as it was known then).

I peruse my little 24 page Hillhurst Sunnyside Remembers book with the stories and photographs so lovingly gathered and assembled by Margaret Tanko and wonder who she was and how the book came to be. When I moved into Sunnyside the HSCA had just fought the city to stop them from turning Memorial Drive into a freeway. Instead Bow Trail was built on the other side of the river. HSCA also slowed the construction of apartment blocks during the ’70’s by insisting that the community preferred homes with yards for families.

Is it time for more stories that document the 40 years since Hillhurst Sunnyside Remembers was published in 1978? Do you remember the protests about the LRT? Shoppers Drug Mart taking over Telstar Drugs? The Saturday School? Communicare? Art classes held at The Heart Studio in the home of Carol Bondaroff and Stan Phelps? Fighting to keep the schools open? The Fall Fair and Parade? Did you witness the fire that destroyed the Ross Kerr Block? Or St John’s Church? The Carpenters’ Hall all ages gigs? Gallery 510 in a Sunnyside garage? Wreck City? Ant Hill Fabrics? The blacksmith shop in the backyard of a Sunnyside resident?

Our community has a rich history with many stories to tell. Do you have stories or photos to share? If you do please contact Patti Dawkins or Lorna Cordeiro c/o Lisa Chong at mailto:planning@hsca.ca

For more information about the 70th Anniversary Celebration at the Community Hall on August 25th, follow this link https://www.hsca.ca/blog/2018/7/24/hsca-turns-70

Article written by Patti Dawkins

Credit for photo is:

The Gleason Family on "The Boulevard" 1914 Photo courtesy of Jennifer Hill

Pedal Powered Picnic at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmers’ Market

The Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmers’ Market is proud to be a hub for our community, taking our good food community beyond access to local food, and into education and connection. We hope you have felt the shift this year with our Speaker Series’, special events, bike valet and more. One of our favourite additions to our Farmers’ Market family this year is our community-led cycling group. Each week, community member Rory Allen hosts ‘Pedal Powered Picnic’ from our Farmers’ Market. Participants meet at market at 6:30pm to grab picnic supplies and hangout before riding off together to a nearby park. This is an open group that anyone looking to connect with new friends, and live a healthy, active lifestyle is welcome to join. We are so happy to have Pedal Powered Picnic adding to our ‘good food community’ at the Farmers’ Market! You can also stop into the free Lifesport bike valet and tune-up tent and get a once-over on your bike before you ride off.

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All ages and riding levels are welcome in this casual community group. We cycle as a group making sure everyone is comfortable and leaving no one behind. The group works together to have a safe ride and promote awareness on the road, but please take your own safety precautions including wearing a helmet, and having lights for your bike. Pedal Powered Picnic can be found on Facebook, and will be running for the entirety of the outdoor Farmers’ Market season (last outdoor day October 11th). Join us!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1024128804422632/

HSCA Turns 70!

The community of Hillhurst Sunnyside has a history that spans over 100 years. The first home in Hillhurst was built by Ezra H. Riley in 1882. In 1904, Riley sold Hillhurst to the City of Calgary. Land was being surveyed and sold in two neighbourhood sub divisions in 1906. Those were Sunnyside (originally named New Edinborough) and Hillhurst. The community was incorporated into Calgary in 1907. More information on the history of Hillhurst Sunnyside is available online in the document Hillhurst Sunnyside Remembers (which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year!)

In 1912, changing cabins were built on Hillhurst Athletic Park at the corner of 14th Street and 5th Avenue. The cabins doubled as meetings space until a small community hall (HSCA) was built in 1953-54.

In 1948, HSCA was incorporated as a non-profit society by the Government of Alberta.

1978, a new community centre was built in the Hillhurst Athletic Park incorporating the 1953 Community Hall and for the last 40 years staff, volunteers and residents have strived to maintain a healthy and vibrant quality of life for the residents of Hillhurst Sunnyside.

We would like to recognize the milestones throughout this community's incredible history. We wish to celebrate our 70th anniversary of incorporation as a non-profit society with all the residents and neighbours of Hillhurst Sunnyside, past and present. We hope you can join us for a day of community.

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On Saturday August 25th, 2:00pm-8:00pm in the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association fields and parking lot, we hope you and your friends, family and neighbours will join us for a community party.

Please review the event schedule below so that you do not miss out on the fun!

2:00-8:00pm Event Time

2:00-5:00pm Family games, facepainting, ballon animals, giveaways, Hillhurst VS Sunnyside competition (ongoing)

2:00-6:00pm HSCA member partner businesses on site with giveaways and demos. Confirmed so far: Sunnyside Natural Market, MYo Lab, Flippn Burgers, Oranj Fitness, Framed on Fifth, Dignity Memorial

4:00-5:00pm Bike Show and Shine Parade and category judging

4:00-8:00pm Food Trucks, Beer Gardens, Live music (with headliners Sadlier-Brown Band)

4:45-5:00pm The Great Tug of War between Hillhurst & Sunnyside

5:00pm Announcements and Award presentations for Show and Shine and the H vs S competition

8:00pm Wrap up

 
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If you are interested in entering your bike in the Show and Shine you can do so day of, or contact Heather for details. All ages welcome. Free to enter! Email: heather.r@hsca.ca 587*700-9387

 
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If you are interested in performing on our stage please contact Kate. Email: kate.s@hsca.ca 403-283-0554 ext 248

If you are a business, group or organization in the community interested in sponsorship or presence at the event please contact Jessica. Email: jessica.c@hsca.ca 403-283-0554 ext 226

We hope to see you there!

Community Survey Results - What Hillhurst Sunnyside Residents Had to Say

Last year (2017), HSCA surveyed our community residents to gather feedbac, ideas and information to better serve you. We heard from over 500 people, including a diverse range of renters, owners, apartment and household dwellers, age groups and income levels.

The goals of the community survey were to understand and inform:

  • Residents' perceptions of HSCA and the communities of Hillhurst and Sunnyside
  • Residents' current access of social, recreational and leisure programs and services offered by HSCA
  • HSCA's role in building relationships and developing skills within community members
  • Future planning for social, recreational and leisure programs and services in the community.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey, providing rich and valuable information to inform the work we do and help us build the future of your community association!

Sunnyside's Out-Door Gallery

Sunnyside is slowly becoming an Out-Door Art Gallery due to all our creativity and the murals popping up on many resident’s garage doors.

Many home owners are painting their own art and coming up with very unique beautiful designs. We have been told: “It is a great family activity and a great way to get to know your neighbours.”

Other home owners are commissioning artists to do magnificent paintings on their garage doors. There is a post with links to many artists’ websites on the Sunnyside Up/East Sunnyside Survivors Facebook Page.

Recently, we had a request from Prospect Human Services to see if there are a group of neighbours who would be willing to hand their garage doors, plus the cost of materials, over to their artists to show off what they can do. Prospect Human Services works with adults with disabilities to participate in collaborative programming in the arts, the outdoors and community volunteering to experientially develop employment skills.

If this is something you would be willing to help support please contact Stephanie Acheson, Program Facilitator at stephanie.acheson@prospectnow.ca

We can't wait to see how your garage door adds to this great collaboration!

A Story of Community

I’ve lived in urban areas all my life, whether it was a big house or a small apartment, I was always part of a community. Nevertheless, some months ago when I arrived to Calgary chasing after a new challenge, I was able to discover a very different way to live in a community, as well as having a much better understanding of the concept of living as a community. At Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association you can find many different programs that reflect community values and make it a model Community.

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After a quick look in the Hillhurst Sunnyside Voice I decided to check out the ESL conversation club with my parents to practice some English and meet some new people. After a nice long talk with awesome interesting people in a very friendly environment, where everybody respects and shows much interest in hearing what the others have to say, I felt motivated to find out about how to get more involved with the community that had opened its doors to us. During one of the monthly community Potlucks last year, where I got to meet and share a meal with my new neighbors, I was told about a possibility to volunteer as a vendor in the weekly Farmer’s Market. I decided it was a great opportunity to get involved with the other members and show commitment to the market and myself.

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The Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmer’s Market is a great event that takes place in a professional, but friendly environment. You can find an extensive variety of original, tasty, healthy food and products, and even do your shopping while you enjoy some exciting live music, but most important you get to interact with energetic vendors who believe in their growing businesses and serve customers with a smile every time. As a volunteer vendor, I’ve been able to learn a lot from the market, it has been a completely new experience for me that will help me gain success in my future work related fields and I had the pleasure to meet and learn more about all the amazing persons that lead the market weekly in order to create a major beneficial impact in the community.

After having become more familiar with the market and the community I decided to volunteer in the Neighbor Night program too. During the sessions kids get to use their energy in healthy fun ways, while parents engage themselves with fun activities too and neighbor interaction, not before having a tasty vegetarian meal that the program’s coordinator, Shaye and volunteers have kindly prepared to make the evening even nicer. Working with kids was a refreshing new experience for me, one that I didn’t expect to like so much. In theory, volunteers are supposed to look after the kids while they enjoy some playtime with each other, but I couldn’t avoid getting involved in play with them as if I were a child myself again. The kids’ responses made me very happy, it is very healthy for the soul to make some children smile and laugh even if it is just for a few hours a week.

To be a volunteer has been a wonderful experience for me. HSCA has shown me the right way a community should work as well as helping me with the adaptation process. HSCA is an inclusive community that will welcome you under any circumstance without hesitation. You can always find a program that suits you, from a simple interaction with your neighbors to sports recreational classes, everyone will show you a friendly face and try to assist you. From day one, I have been treated with solidarity and respect, I’ve met some awesome members of the community who I consider my friends and now I realize I am not just living in a community, but I have my own impact on it, helping the development of something we can all enjoy together as members of the community. If you are trying to find the nicest people in Calgary, you might want to check Hillhurst Sunnyside Community.

  • Jonathan Cauteruccio

The Sunnyside Mural is a Nod to Community

You may have walked by, or ridden your bike past, a new art installation in Sunnyside. This community mural was created by Miró Esteban (14), grandson to active community members, Buff and Richard Smith. We caught up with Miró to ask him more about his motivation around the mural and how it was executed – even in the near freezing temperatures we had this past spring.

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1. We heard the mural was a gift for your grandmother, is this true? What made you decide to do this as a gift? The mural was a gift for my grandmother, she wanted a mural on the fence for a few years, but my grandpa was unsure. This Christmas my grandpa decided to go for the mural. So, as a gift he flew all of us to Calgary to paint the mural. The original idea was for my dad to design the artwork. Recently, I had been trying out a new style, so he asked me if I wanted to do the mural. And that’s how I ended up doing the mural.

2. How long have you been painting or drawing? I have been drawing all my life. In our old house, we had an art wall that would rotate as me and my sister would make new drawings. We have thousands upon thousands of drawings stored away. It’s a lot of [fun] to look through them and see how my art style has progressed.

3. How did you come up with the idea/concept/images for the mural? The main idea of the mural was based off a very large bookmark I made earlier, the bookmark had a few different biomes that would morph into different landscapes. But instead of being very long it was very tall. As I was doing the mural I had one main struggle. Normally when I’m drawing I like to make the drawing extremely detailed. But I knew I couldn’t make it so detailed for the mural since we would have to paint it all. I also tend to make more creepy/dark art, so it was a lot of fun making all the cute and silly creatures. I know my grandma loves frogs and birds, but I’m not very good at drawing them so I made some [frog] and bird like creatures. But a lot more strange. After I made the drawing I uploaded it onto the computer and started adding colour. For almost all my drawings I keep them in black and white. So this was a new experience for me. I knew I had to stay to a limited colour palette, otherwise my grandpa would have to buy too many colours of paint. I decided that the first section would be a main theme of greens, with accents of purple and blue. The second area was an ocean so I made it blue, and then contrasted that with reds and oranges.

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4. How did you execute the project? What were the outlines of the steps taken to complete this? Executing the project was definitely the hardest part, we worked pretty nonstop the week or so we were there. It was made a lot easier by all the help we had, our cousins came to help (which was very exiting since we only see them yearly)! We had nine people to work on the mural. We had to set up a whole tarp area around the fence section we worked on with space heaters inside, to let the paint dry. The first day we got there we waited until night and set up the projector and then started working. We wanted to have all the pencil outlines done before our cousins got there. We managed to finish the outlines for the whole fence. It was a little stressful for me since I’m a bit of a perfectionist, a lot of the lines wouldn’t line up because we would have bumped the projector. My dad kept telling me that it would all be fine. It was still very exciting to see my art start to come to life. The next day we set up the tarps and started painting, my dad said that out of experience it would be easier to do the black lines after the painting. I wasn’t sure, but I trusted him (he was totally right!) after the painting we did the lines for that section and then started the painting for the next section. As we were on the second part it was snowing like crazy. But we still managed to heat it up enough to work. Now when I see a mural I appreciate even more how much time are put into them.

5 Why do you think community art projects like this are important? I definitely think that community art projects are important. I’ve actually always liked graffiti, not the one were people just write their name in black spray paint, but the large colourful drawings. I feel they classify as art. Murals are just like organized, planned graffiti. It makes boring surfaces a lot more interesting to look at. Especially if you do something unique.

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6. What does community mean to you? Community has always been very important to me. I have lived in the same house all my life, so I know all the neighbours very well. We have a tradition that if anyone gives you food or treats when you return the plate it must have food on it again. We also lend each other ingredients whenever necessary, we don’t pay each other back because we know that if we need anything our neighbours will share.

7. Why do you think this mural is a good fit for Sunnyside? I feel the mural fits Sunnyside quite well, at least my experience of it. My grandparents have always been very community driven, they know everyone in Sunnyside. (Well probably not everyone, but they know a lot of people.) I find the mural reflects this community. All the creatures in the mural have different relationships to each other and the landscape. It’s like a large community of creatures.

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8. What advice would you give to other aspiring artists or community builders? My main piece of advice to aspiring artists is don’t care what other people think. I draw for me, and the pleasure of drawing. I don’t really care what others think about my art, even though it is fun when others enjoy it, because I love making my art!

Thanks for this opportunity!

Flood Mitigation: Progress Report and Advocacy for a Higher Berm

Five years after the devastating flood of 2013, now seems like a suitable time to take stock of what has been accomplished so far with regard to flood mitigation and of what remains to be done.

Most of the projects completed so far, and those still being worked on, have focused on mitigation against flooding caused by local rainfall. Much of the flooding in our community in 2013 was caused by backup from storm sewers which were overloaded and unable to discharge into the river when the outfall gates had to be closed.

Completed work includes: installation of remote power valves for B47/B48/B48A outfalls, and a rebuild of the 3rd Street Sanitary Lift Station. Work in progress includes: A new stormwater pump station (Pump Station #1) east of the Curling Club, for November 2019; a rebuild of stormwater Pump Station #2 at 5A Street and 1 Avenue, for the fall of 2019; the Upper Plateau Separation project, to discharge water from the top of the hill directly into the river instead of into our community's stormwater system – for 2021/2022; two new pump stations in Hillhurst, Pump Station #3 and #4, after 2022; and various piping improvements, for 2018 – 2022.

By 2022, when nearly all of these projects will have been completed, we will be in good shape for protecting against flooding from the stormwater system. However, the threat from river water remains unaddressed. In 2013, heavy rainfall in the mountain catchment areas caused the terrifyingly high water levels and flow rates that Calgary experienced on the Bow and Elbow rivers. In 2013 there was overtopping of the berm running along Memorial Drive, and it's not difficult to imagine a river level not all that much higher than the peak in 2013 resulting in an overwhelming inundation of water laying to waste large swaths of our community. Between local rainfall and berm overtopping it is the latter which has, by far, the greater potential for causing flooding much worse than what happened in 2013.

The City's plan for countering the threat of flooding from the rivers involves a combination of two components – upstream mitigation by means of dams and local mitigation by barriers along the river banks. With the dams being outside the City's jurisdiction, the City is working with the Province on that part of the solution. There was some good news recently when the Province announced, among other things, that conceptual design of three different options for upstream mitigation on the Bow is underway. Feasibility studies will be the next phase. However, with all the hurdles that will have to be jumped over before upstream mitigation can be built we may be waiting about 15 years before we see a new dam on the river. In the meantime, we are at the mercy of the berm and temporary barriers.

Unfortunately, what we have heard so far from the City about their plan for the berm in Sunnyside gives us serious concerns which we have made known to them. The City is proposing only a small increase in the height of the berm, just at certain low points, and not an overall increase in height all the way along the berm. Because of things which have been done since 2013 – among them, the reinforcement of the Prince's Island Causeway, and the fortifications being built on the other side of the river to protect Eau Claire and the downtown – we would need our berm raised all along its length just to give us the same level of protection that we had in 2013. The goal is to be prepared for the next, possibly bigger flood, but with regard to the berms it seems we're fighting to even catch up with the preparedness we had in 2013.

If our berm is lower than that on the other side of the river, then in some easily foreseeable flood event we might have Sunnyside catastrophically flooded while Eau Claire and the downtown are unharmed. Of course, protection of the downtown always has to be the number one priority for Calgary, but it would not be fair to sacrifice Sunnyside in order to save the downtown. We are asking for our hundred year-old community to get the same level of protection that is being provided on the other side of the river.

Through our continuing advocacy, we have obtained a commitment from the City that before finalizing their plans for the berms along the Bow they will seek public engagement. The fall of 2018 is when this will probably take place. We want to host a meeting at the HSCA Community Centre and our objective would be to have a room full of residents, all well informed and respectfully asking all the right questions. This will likely be our last opportunity to advocate for the berm that could save our community from destruction. Please watch out for announcements so that you can mark your calendars!

There is further detail about the now and future flood mitigation in an information sheet written by Charlie Lund for the HSCA's April 2018 AGM. The document may be found on https://www.hsca.ca/eparc-presentations under the 2018 Update section.

Thank you.

On behalf of the HSCA Emergency Planning and Response Committee (EPARC) - David Brindle, Chair.

Neighbour Day is Coming June 16! How Will You Celebrate Community?

Started in 2014, one year after the flood, Neighbour Day is a great opportunity to celebrate our strong and caring communities. The City of Calgary website has some amazing ideas and I have included a few below.

  • Host a block party on your residential street.
  • Have a neighbourhood picnic at a local park.
  • Host a neighbourhood potluck or front yard BBQ.
  • Host afternoon tea in your backyard.
  • Organize a parade of lawn parties.
  • Hold a street chalk drawing competition.
  • Grab a Litter Cleanup Kit, get together and tidy up your park or natural area.
  • Help your neighbour with their spring cleaning or gardening.
  • Make up your own way to celebrate your community spirit in Calgary.

The idea is to meet neighbours, make new friends, have fun and maybe work together on a project that benefits the entire community. We have a few great activities planned, but big or small ALL ideas to celebrate are welcomed.

The Calgary Stampede is hosting a Stampede breakfast at HSCA beginning at 8am until 10am. Complete with free breakfast and square dance performances.

Hillhurst residents are having a giant area wide yard sale from 9am until 2pm on the streets between 10a and 13 street. Lemonade stands are bound to be in abundance.

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If a big activity is not your style, I invite you to go out and introduce yourself to one new person on your street or in your building. Knowing your neighbours helps in feeling connected and less isolated. You may not need that, but perhaps a neighbor would benefit from that simple human interaction.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the fifth anniversary of the flood. While five years seems like a long time ago, in reality, it is not. Residents, city staff and folks from around the province, even the country, came together to help in 2013. Calgarians are nothing if not resilient. And the world watched and applauded the citizens who pulled up their proverbial bootstraps and helped dig the city out from devastation. A huge thank you for all the folks who continue to work on Flood Mitigation, both short and long term efforts. You are amazing! - Karen Gallagher-Burt (MSW), Executive-Director

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Hillhurst is also throwing a Block Party in the 1700 block of Bowness Rd. NW. You are invited to an afternoon block party in Hillhurst. Burgers, salad and family-friendly games will be provided. Help cut down on waste and bring your own utensils, plates, cups, lawn chairs, foldable tables, snacks and/or dessert to share. 

In the afternoon from 3pm – 7pm there is a party hosted by residents of Sunnyside at New Edinborough Park, (625 3 Ave NW) Bring your lawn chair and come and meet your neighbours! 

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HSCA continues to be a Good Food Organization, joining organizations from across Canada in working towards a healthy and equitable food system.

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It’s a good food (and news!) story. HSCA is pleased to announce that we have joined Community Food Centres Canada’s Good Food Organizations program, for the fourth year, to showcase our commitment to offering impactful community food programs based in principles of health, empowerment, and respect. With over 130 other Good Food Organizations and eight Community Food Centres across the country, we are working toward a healthy and fair food system.

Launched in 2014, the Good Food Organizations program offers access to tools and resources, customized training, attendance at an annual conference, and chances to network and promote shared priorities. By working together through a set of shared principles, this important initiative connects HSCA to like-minded and progressive organizations across the country that are using food to tackle problems of poor health, inequality, hunger, and poverty.  

HSCA offers a number of food programs which include, a weekly year-round farmers’ market, community gardens and Fresh Food Basket, a weekly food access program for residents struggling to access fresh food. Good food is present in many of our other programs as well. These include, meals and snacks made from scratch in our childcare programs, and a healthy, vegetarian dinner served at Neighbour Night each week. 

“The Good Food Organizations program provides support and inspiration to organizations across the country — community health centres, food banks, community markets, and many others — that are doing important grassroots food work,” said Kathryn Scharf COO for Community Food Centres Canada. We have seen how when community food programs foreground healthy food in a dignified setting that offers meaningful opportunities for engagement, there can be a profoundly positive impact on people’s health and overall well-being. We want to amplify these outcomes to build a national case for an investment in healthy food for all.”

We are proud to be a Good Food Organization working towards a healthy and fair food system in alliance with Community Food Centres Canada. We are joining a growing network of like-minded organizations across Canada who share a commitment to offering healthy and dignified food programs in their communities.

Out-Of-School Care Kindergarten Program named an Early Learning & Childcare Centre

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Proud to be named an Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Centre

HSCA’s Hillhurst-Sunnyside Out of School Care is excited to have been named one of 22 Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Centres across Alberta.

What we offer

To be selected as an Early Learning and Child Care Centre, we were tasked with making improvements that go above and beyond other child care programs. Our program uses an evidence-based *child care curriculum framework. This program was developed by early learning and child care educators, early childhood academics, government, and professionals working in related fields. It is designed to foster improved early childhood development outcomes so your child can get the best possible start to life.

Starting May 1st 2018, we will also be offering capped parent fees TO KINDERGARTEN FAMILIES ONLY at $25/day with the help of financial support from the Province of Alberta.  Currently, we can’t offer capped fees to Grades 1-6 as the ELCC pilot project is for children infant-kindergarten age only. 

Waitlists

Thank you for your interest in our Early Learning and Child Care Centre program. Please understand that because space is limited, our program is offered first to residents of the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community.   We will contact you should a space become available.

 Waitlist Application

Once completed please submit to the Program Manager: Shannon.m@hsca.ca

Links and resources

Questions

If you have additional questions about Alberta’s new Early Learning and Child Care Centres, please contact:  ELCC@gov.ab.ca.

*Play, Participation, and Possibilities: An Early Learning and Child Care Curriculum Framework for Alberta by Makovichuk,L., Hewes, J., Lirette, P., & Thomas, N., is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution –NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on the work found at www.childcareframework.com

 

A Daycare Story of Community and Resiliency

In 2017, the Hillhurst Sunnyside Daycare was named an Early Learning Childcare Centre by the Government of Alberta. This meant that HSCA received a grant for facility improvements and increased spaces to make our daycare more accessible to all families of Hillhurst Sunnyside no matter their income level.

This also meant more opportunity to make an impact in the community to satisfy our mission of preserving and enhancing a healthy and vibrant quality of life for our residents. One resident has shared her and her daughter's experience with the HSCA Daycare progam and its staff, and we in turn would like to share her story with you.

Once upon a time there was a young woman who found herself in a big, new city. Hopeful, yet unsure of the path she had taken with her two young girls in tow; the journey would be challenging. Once she found her stride, she felt relief when getting her work done, especially in knowing the calm she felt whenever she left the youngest daughter, K (name removed to protect identity) with her care providers. There was no doubt in her heart that K was being loved and supported in all her growth and uniqueness. There was no second thought that came to mind as the young woman stepped out to face the days; the ease of mind assured her with strength and belief in self to accomplish anything and to push even on those hardest days. From day one, she saw happiness in K’s eyes, felt excitement in K’s voice and witnessed the wonder in K at play. These gifts brought tears of joy to the young woman’s eyes. She will be indebted; for the gratitude in the young woman’s heart will continually support how she raises that little K.

I am lucky to hold the story of the community which lives and is so very real at Hillhurst Sunnyside Daycare. It is this group of hearts that will remind me of the beauty we are capable of attaining as human beings. From the bottom of my soul, I thank all the staff at Hillhurst Sunnyside for helping me build a foundation for K’s journey.

Xoxo

  • J

Drawing by K: I am Looking for Ladybugs

Drawing by K: I am Looking for Ladybugs

We wish to thank J and K for sharing their story with us. And we strive for more opportunities to build community and resiliency for our Hillhurst Sunnyside neighbours.

HERITAGE PRESERVATION: MAKING IT ECONOMICALLY VIABLE

When our community's current ARP (Area Redevelopment Plan) was passed by Council in 2009 several recommendations to respect and enhance heritage and community character were included along with an entire section (8.0) on Heritage Conservation. Unfortunately, little has been done by the City to incentify Heritage preservation of residential homes in our community and while not every heritage home can (or should) be preserved, there is currently little balance between profit and preservation.

However, not every developer’s primary focus is profit. We sat down with Rob Froese, an owner and developer in our community to discuss his thoughts on heritage preservation and whether it makes economic sense. Rob became involved in our community when he saw the Hillhurst Sunnyside business district, Kensington, being 'gentrified'. He was concerned that the character that makes Hillhurst Sunnyside so special would be lost as large developers with little understanding or long-term interest in the community built large high-end buildings. He decided to buy properties, some of which are in the TOD (Transit Orientated Development area of our community which allows for greater density) with plans to renovate and rent houses at a reasonable rate and redevelop them over time in a more sensitive manner with a focus on moderately priced 'Middle Housing' (transition housing between large mid-rises and single family homes). Rob's vision is to find a 'balance between earning a fair return and social objectives' he also wanted to ensure that the community's preferences were taken into account with any new developments he was involved with. And over time, Rob also started to include heritage preservation in his objectives.

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Amongst Rob's holdings are two red brick 1924 Arts and Crafts brick bungalows on 2nd Avenue (pictured), one which he restored the exterior and the second is currently undergoing interior restoration. Rob's first step was to work with his carpenter/furniture designer Peter Freeman to renovate and restore the homes to their original glory (or close to it). The home pictured to the left had been updated over the years with cedar and then vinyl cladding which, when removed, revealed original intricate woodwork and glass stucco detail in the gable.

Rob’s restoration projects have become a bit of a community effort – when news of Rob’s work spread, one of the neighbors offered Rob original storm. While another neighbor, a young carpenter tenant offered his help with basic carpentry work. The blue house pictured to its right was previously owned by a family of 3 who loved the house and when they were transferred out of Calgary they asked Rob if he was interested in purchasing the house as they wanted an owner who would treasure their house rather than immediately demolish it. The house retains all the original fir casings, interior window trim, original doors, moldings, brick fireplace, and claw foot tub.

Rob's vision for both homes is to make them economically viable by adding a legal basement suite and small laneway suite to each. An enabler of this plan is the current M-CG zoning which allows for a legal basement suite OR a laneway suite. To make the properties economic and to prototype small laneways, Rob would like see if he can get zoning for both. If the Community and City supports his plan, Rob will enhance the economic viability of these properties (and density of our community) with a total of six small homes (each 500sqft – 800sqft) and also provide affordable housing to promote demographic diversity in our community.

While some view heritage preservation as simply 'the right thing to do', in communities like ours with high land there is a tendency for developers to build big mid-high market condos. The City can support the heritage cause by providing incentives for heritage preservation such as zoning 'friendly' bylaws that allow owners to increase the value of their properties while keeping the heritage home intact. However, any such incentives that the City may be currently deliberating must come into effect soon given the pace of development in our community. Rob realizes this and in his words 'I’ve been working as fast as I can on my two brick houses to show there is an alternative type of economic redevelopment where you can moderately increase density and save historical homes'.

Lorna Cordeiro is currently a member of the Hillhurst Sunnyside Planning Committee; co-chair of the Heritage Community Task Force (a coalition of >15 Calgary communities focused on improving planning policy in support of heritage preservation) and was one of the founders of Century Homes Calgary. If you have any suggestions for future articles, please contact her via lisa.c@hsca.ca