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Making a family friendly downtown - article

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  • #46
    Ian I would suggest 1200-1500 being the sizes need
    Still waiting for the Arlington site to be reborn .......

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    • #47
      ^why? Plus... keep in mind that in new concrete even with mid level finished you are in the 400+sqft. (probably more in the 425)

      1200 = 480k min

      1500 = 600k min

      Sure those are good sizes, but unaffordable for most families. There is no reason why you cannot do a well planned 2 + or 3bdrm in under 1000. Keep in mind this is where common areas come into play as well as public space around the building and in the neighbourhood.


      Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

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      • #48
        People generally think they need a bigger space than they actually do. I find that when people are forced to settle into a smaller space (due to budget or availability), they quickly adapt and tend not to care to expand. I've lived with a roommate in a 700 sqft space, and we never thought it was small, and we even hosted friends that visited us. It just makes you more efficient and less of a packrat. And the nice thing is that it controls your spending by forcing you to consider whether whatever purchase you are going to make is worth the room it will take hahah.

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        • #49
          Back in the day when larger families were expected, the houses were smaller than they are now. I was raised in what would seem a small house by today's standards, but I don't remember feeling space deprived. Especially as I had my own attic room (my brother had the other half of the attic).

          We just spent more time outside.

          Eve

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          • #50
            This is also where proper amounts of storage, both ensuite and in a secure location somewhere else in the building, comes into play in terms of importance.


            Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

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            • #51
              The bad weather has me organizing the winter months for my pre-schooler. Looking for indoor playgrounds (drop-in activities) I discovered the Don Wheaton Y does not have ANY winter programs/drop-in gym time for children besides some swim lessons. That's a problem if you're living downtown with an active toddler and don't want to drive to hell and gone to one of the private indoor playgrounds.

              The Kinsmen has a drop-in playground but as a transit user Kinsmen sucks.

              To the DECL crowd, perhaps this is somewhere to put some energy if you're looking to expand your family oriented offerings.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by ajs View Post
                The bad weather has me organizing the winter months for my pre-schooler. Looking for indoor playgrounds (drop-in activities) I discovered the Don Wheaton Y does not have ANY winter programs/drop-in gym time for children besides some swim lessons. That's a problem if you're living downtown with an active toddler and don't want to drive to hell and gone to one of the private indoor playgrounds.

                The Kinsmen has a drop-in playground but as a transit user Kinsmen sucks.
                We ran into that at as well when we lived DT with our first child. Even looking for babysitting while we worked out at the gym in the evening the Y dt didn't offer anything.

                In my community North Glenora there is an indoor playground in our community hall most weekdays if your interested, only 1$ drop in or $20 for all winter I believe, pretty accessible from downtown via bus as well.

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                • #53
                  Thanks for the tip NG. I'm putting on my list.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by ajs View Post
                    The bad weather has me organizing the winter months for my pre-schooler. Looking for indoor playgrounds (drop-in activities) I discovered the Don Wheaton Y does not have ANY winter programs/drop-in gym time for children besides some swim lessons. That's a problem if you're living downtown with an active toddler and don't want to drive to hell and gone to one of the private indoor playgrounds.

                    The Kinsmen has a drop-in playground but as a transit user Kinsmen sucks.

                    To the DECL crowd, perhaps this is somewhere to put some energy if you're looking to expand your family oriented offerings.
                    Thanks, will do.


                    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

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                    • #55
                      Good article about a resident attempting actual improvements to downtown rather than developer blather and city lip service:
                      http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Publi...757/story.html

                      I love her quote about people commuting out of downtown to take their kids to school.

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                      • #56
                        This a story more about the specialization of schooling and how it results in schools needing a wider catchment area.

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                        • #57
                          Exec march 24 - edmonton.ca







                          Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

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                          • #58
                            I've just found this very informative thread after encountering unexpected difficulties trying to relocate my family to Edmonton. The problem already raised about a lack of 3-bedroom units is certainly something I encountered, but even worse is that so many of the units I looked at were in buildings that have restrictive covenants against children. In case you are interested, I cut and paste text (below) from a letter I wrote to the mayor about the issue, though whether he can do anything about it, I'm not sure; I'm still learning about all the different constraints to raising a family in Edmonton. We'll be moving to a condo on 104 street this fall--it wasn't ideal, but it was the best we could do. In terms of the debate above about what constitutes downtown and whether the very center of town is suitable for families, I guess it depends on the individual; my family currently lives in a very urban neighborhood (more so than anything anywhere in Canada, probably including Toronto) and we just love it. I'm not asking that Edmonton become New York or London, but city leaders should recognize that as Edmonton continues to mature, it will attract families who value urban living.

                            Dear Mayor Iveson,

                            [...]

                            I grew up in Edmonton during the 1990s. I left the city for university and have had the opportunity, through work and study, to live in some of the world’s most dynamic urban centers: London, Paris, Osaka, San Francisco, and most recently Chicago. I have, however, always called Edmonton home and it was thus with great excitement that my young family found out we would be moving back to Edmonton this fall. Since my suburban, car-centric upbringing I have grown to value immensely the virtues of pedestrianized urban living: this is true in terms of health and recreation; the environment; finances; the prospects of small businesses; community sociability; and overall convenience and quality of life. This conviction has become even stronger as I’ve become a husband and father. I can’t think of anything more annoying than having to strap a struggling toddler into a car seat whenever we want to do groceries or go out for lunch. In addition, though I realize I might be in the minority on this point (old slogans like “Albertans love their cars” have an almost talismanic power), I find the climate and snowfall in Edmonton to be particularly ill-suited to having to drive everywhere (Scandinavia demonstrates the virtues of urban, pedestrian living in a cold climate). Why drive on ice and snow to an enormous parking lot (South Edmonton Common comes to mind) only to have to walk the same distance to a shop or restaurant than one would have to in a dense urban environment?

                            When we recently visited Edmonton on a house-hunting trip, we accordingly wanted to live in the downtown core or in Oliver, where we would be able to continue the lifestyle that we so value. In particular we were attracted to the Grandin area for its high-density residential development, its leafy and salubrious streets, its proximity to the LRT and to our wonderful river valley and its many green spaces. There was, however, a recurring problem that persistently frustrated out attempts to find a home: age restrictive covenants. Despite the fact that there are very few three-bedroom condos in the city, we were happy to make do and purchase a two-bedroom condo, and we found several that we liked. One, in particular (in the Grandin Manor) we fell in love with. But in each case we were stymied by “adult only” restrictions. This is something I have never encountered in any other city. On the one hand I recognize the need for assisted living homes for the elderly, but I am totally perplexed by the fact that the majority of homes we looked at in Edmonton had restrictions against children. I find the legality of all this rather dubious, though I am not qualified professionally to comment. What I do know is that such restrictions serve to impoverish an urban community. Children are the lifeblood of any society, they are the future, they are what most people, at some point in their lives, come to value above all else. A community that prevents children from living in it is bound, literally, to be sterile. It will be a place void of any vibrancy or dynamism. Segregated cities are always the more impoverished for it: this applies to race and social class, but it also applies to age. Diversity is almost always a virtue, and if downtown Edmonton is to become a dynamic, livable community, it is vital that city leaders do everything possible to lift any sort of restriction that prevents families from living in the core of our city.

                            [...]

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