Category Archives: Calgary

Winter in Calgary’s Northwest

Today, I went for a walk around the neighbourhood. There was a bit of fresh snow on the ground and it wasn’t too cold for once in Calgary!

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This is the alley outside my house. The residential roads are all covered with thick, tightly packed ice and snow! In this view, you can imagine how every part of the alley would look the same at night, which is what I discovered the hard way.

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Having any type of fun at this elementary school isn’t allowed. I wonder if any kids named Scooter ever got bullied and kicked off school grounds because of this sign.

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A very nice house without an accessible garage. Either snow birds live here, or they just never use a car. You can’t see it clearly in this picture, but there’s also a front gate before you get to the front door. It must really be an ordeal to leave and come back to this place.

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This environmental park I walked through is very nice, though the effect of the “natural environmental” part is contradicted somewhat by the large power towers in the background.

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Another shot from the environmental park. Those garages must be the natural habitat for wild, undomesticated trucks and cars.

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I kid you a little with the pictures above. This park actually has a nice view of the river and lengthy walking trails with benches.

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Not too far off in the distance, you can see the mountains. This is a big city, but nature isn’t too far away either.

Water outage continues through the evening

This post is an update to my post from earlier today. Despite promises of a fix by the evening, it appears city crews were unable to restore water to my street. It also appears they’ve given up for the night.

The scene around the hole in the alley behind my house is all blocked off with barricades, but no crews are nearby.

The hole is partially full of dirty water!

The alley itself is still wet from this morning, and a piece of equipment is still there as you can see in this picture. It’s hard to tell here, but this alley is actually entirely dark at night, so a car driving through here runs a good chance of hitting that equipment. Looks like the city wants a lawsuit!

This situation has now progressed from minor inconvenience and amusement to a major nuisance. I’m curious why there isn’t crews working on this through the night.

Massive Water Theft in Calgary Northwest

Today began like any other. My alarm clock starts blaring at the earlier-than-I’d-prefer time of 8:15. I begin my day. I turn on the kitchen tap and…. *gasp* nothing happens. Oops. There’s no water. I can hear the sound of trucks outside. I peek out the window, and sure enough, city trucks are out there. Okay, so something happened, and they’re working on it. Good thing I showered the night before!

So anyway, I head off to school. I noticed that the small lake near my house had iced over, so I took some pictures.

The ice isn’t very thick!

Ice clearly covers the main part of the lake though. So I continue my walk to school, and a spot a funny sign.

I wonder how often Ms. “Hrdlicka” gets jokes made about her name!

The day at school was typical. So I walk home the same way after school, and what do I see?!

What?! I don’t remember there being so many rocks or the lake being this shallow. It’s also been cold all day too. What happened to the ice?

Now look at that. The water is all gone. Like what the heck. How does this happen?

There’s the culprit. A drain is located at the centre of this “lake”. Clearly this was a pre-meditated draining on behalf of the City of Calgary. So that’s fine. I’m over it.

I walk up to my street, and the city trucks are still there. The water situation still doesn’t look good.

The alley behind my house is all dug up, with water on the road. Looks like a water main break. As of right now, they are still working on it, and claim it will be back soon. I wonder if they’re using Saint John branded pipes made out of wood before confederation!

I must admit… with an election just finishing the night before, and two strange water disappearances all happening at once, the only possible explanation is some sort of conspiracy!

New Apple store, park near my house

School has been real busy, so I haven’t had much time to update my blog. I have some pictures to share, taken unfortunately with my smaller camera where the quality isn’t as good.

Last Saturday saw the opening of a new Apple Store, just 15 minutes down the road from me in Market Mall. This is one of only a few locations in all of Canada, and the only one in Calgary. The first thing I may buy here is a new iPod nano. I haven’t decided yet!

A few days ago, I had some free time, so I explored a park near my house.

Beautiful autumn colours are visible everywhere.

This shot came out a bit too bright, but there’s a new building going up in the distance where it’s all white. It’s going to be an office building for Smart Technologies, makers of the SmartBoards!

Leaves cover virtually everything everywhere this time of year.

In other news, I finally bought a Nintendo Wii last week, with Mario Kart. I’m usually not a huge video game person, but I like Mario Kart so far!

That’s all for now! Hopefully I’ll have time to add more blog posts soon.

Exploring Downtown Calgary

Several days ago, I was able to see a bit more of Calgary, thanks to my friend Adam showing me around. Here are some of the sights I took pictures of:

Eea Claire Market is a colourful, trendy downtown mall, and the focal point of the Eau Clair area in which it sits. Eau Clair also contains the city’s festival district. The land itself was originally used for industrial purposes starting back in the 1880’s by the Eau Clair Lumber Mill.

This is beautiful Prince’s Island Park near Eua Claire Market and not far from the riverfront. The park takes its name from the founder of the Eau Clair Lumber Mill. The land was donated to the city in 1947 by the Prince family.

Another view of Prince’s Island Park. This bridge sometimes get you wet when you walk on it!

Stephen Avenue, a pedestrian only street during the day! The avenue sits next to the city’s primary indoor shopping complexes. Many historic buildings are concentrated on this street, which itself was declared a Canadian historic site in 1992. Following a major fire in 1886 that damaged much of the city (Saint Johners, sound familiar?), most of the new buildings were constructed using sandstone.

In this shot, you can see the Calgary Tower, skyscrapers, elegant lamp poles and classy buildings all together.

A clock tower rises above the trees, not far from Olympic Plaza.

Here’s something that I had never seen before, coming from Saint John. Look the size of this huge pit in the downtown! A new building is going up, and the construction equipment looks so tiny compared to everything else. The 4 storey building off in the distance, a little large by Saint John standards could fit many times into the hole!

Of course, there is plenty more to see in Calgary, so I will try to keep updating my blog when I have time.

First week in Calgary

A week ago today, I arrived in my new home, embarking on a new adventure.

Life so far in Western Canada has its differences from New Brunswick. I took this picture at the airport before leaving since it would be several months before I’d see this flag outside again.

The flight was uneventful, which is a good thing when flying for sure! My supervisor at school, Ehud, met me at the airport and helped me carry my luggage to his van outside. Considering this was all at 11:30 PM on a weekend night, this was very generous of him! He drove me to my apartment in Calgary’s Northwest where I met my landlord who showed me around my place for the first time, and went over the usual rent forms, etc.

I’m living in the basement of a nice house in a beautiful neighbourhood. You already would’ve seen some interior shots in my last post. To my pleasant surprise, I am conveniently located within walking distance of two major malls in addition to school.

The neighbourhood is very green with trees everywhere. In fact, the trees are rather low on the sidewalk so I brush against them when walking. Some houses in this “rich” neighbourhood are very similar to the types you’d see in Saint John in “normal” wealth areas, but the landscaping and greenery here adds extra distinction.

This is part of the Interactions Lab at school where I am situated. On a quick glance, this may look more like a lounge area rather than a place of academia. However, there is lots of technology here that is use for robotics and various forms of human computer interaction. To the left, you see part of a large touch-screen table, a tablet PC, as well as cameras to the right.

Here is another part of the lab where us students are actually seated (actually I’m in another corner, not the one pictured here). In the bottom left, you see a large touch panel which is linked with the chairs to do certain things only when two people are seated in them.

With the first week behind me, I’ve already met many new people, and seen a little bit of Calgary. I am continuing to buy new things gradually for my apartment. Orientation at school was yesterday. I think my “classes” and actual school work start to begin next week. I say classes in quotations because the two classes I will be doing are with faculty also located in the lab, and the class sizes will be extremely small.

I hope to keep updating my blog and take more pictures. I haven’t taken that many unfortunately since I’ve been so busy. I hope that you will keep in touch and don’t hesitate to leave a comment on this blog!

Moving to Calgary

As many who know me are already aware, I am moving to Calgary in a few days to pursue my Masters in Computer Science at the University of Calgary. You may recall my posts a few months ago about my trip to Alberta to tour the campus.

The campus land’s footprint isn’t extremely huge, but the buildings, most of them high rises, are much larger than at either UNB campus. I decided that I wanted to pursue my Masters at another school because I’m ready for a change and a new experience.

The UofC campus seems nice enough. With over 25,000 students, the university has many services and amenities to offer.

Due to my somewhat late application, I was not able to obtain a spot in residence. Years of explosive growth in Calgary have apparently left the UofC with a less residence space to student ratio than other universities.

So, I am going to be a renting a 2 bedroom basement apartment (or suite as they tend to be called in Calgary) not far away from campus. Presently, I don’t have a roommate, but I could have one in the future if I want.

As you can see, it’s a nice place! It’s not furnished, though there is a bit of furniture the landlord is graciously supplying anyway. These pictures were taken by the landlord, not me.

Here is another room. It looks very clean and freshly done over. Although a 2-bedroom is more space than I need, it’s an added benefit since there was some 1-bedroom suites closer to campus for the same price, in tall high rises that would require elevator access!

As you can imagine, pretty much everything is about to change for me within the next week. On Friday, I’ll be leaving my position with Innovatia, where I have been employed since summer 2003. On Saturday, I fly out to Calgary.

Stay tuned, as I hope to post more updates in the next few days and weeks.