Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Recycling News

Monday, September 12th, 2011

I am an avid recycler…so much so that when my inlaws come to my house they just leave all of their garbage on the counter so that they don’t put something in the wrong bin in my pantry. I recently made the switch to the single stream Loraas program, All Green Recycling, after being a Saskatoon Curbside client for over 5 years. Whenever I sell a house in Saskatoon and my new buyers take possession I would always give out a flyer for Saskatoon Curbside. Many of my Saskatoon real estate clients also used Curbside. The choice was due to the types of boxes used by both parties and, in a sometimes windy area of Willowgrove, Saskatoon Curbside’s containers weren’t securing my recycle so it would end up in my neighbours yard from time to time.

I wasn’t surprised to see today that Loraas bought out Saskatoon Curbside Recycling. I give Saskatoon Curbside a lot of credit for pioneering something in our city that should be mandatory in the first place so I hope that it is a good fit for both companies. It sounds like much of the management team will be absorbed into Loraas’s company.

Companies can still bid to the city for the recycling contract but I would hope that they would stay with Loraas as they are local and are doing a great job thus far in my opinion. It is just time to get recycling in EVERY home as it is disappointing to see my neighbours trash cans filled with cardboard, tin, etc. With the way the city of Saskatoon is growing we need to create less waste. The Saskatoon real estate market is a good indicator as to how many people are moving to our city every month and our Saskatoon real estate market has not slowed down so we can see the need for better infrastructure and waste management programs.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion

After Over 5 Years I Had To End This Relationship…

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

With Saskatoon Curbside Recycling. I recently switched from using Saskatoon Curbside Recycling, who is a small start up company, to the All Green Recycling Program from the well known name of Loraas. I was reluctant to end my 5 year relationship with Saskatoon Curbside Recycling as they have been great to deal with and they were pioneeers here in Saskatoon to get the recycling program up and running and I give them a lot of credit.

Sadly, it came down to the bins. Loraas offers a large bin similar to our garbage cans that can accomodate all of my recycling (for 2 people we recycle a LOT!!) whereas Curbside had 2 separate boxes that, when set out by 8am and not necessarily picked up until later in the day, often resulted in my neighbours in Willowgrove ending up with my recycling on their front lawn.

Every delay the City of Saskatoon has in making a decision and accepting a bid means more and more recyclable material ending up in the landfill. They are considering 2 different companies; one to collect and one to process. I think that is a big problem as the company who collects isn’t going to care what gets collected as they just drop it off to the company that processes it and leaves them to sort it out. According to the Star Phoenix article today it will be at least another 2 months before the city starts accepting bids from companies to run the $29-million household recycling pickup program due to last minute changes to the bid guidelines.

As one of the fastest growing regions in Canada we need to get on this program! I have had lots of people buying houses for sale in Saskatoon who are from out of province and they just can’t get over our lack of mandatory recycling here. I even had one first time home buyer in Saskatoon from Ontario ask me about our garbage pick up as they had to put everything in CLEAR plastic bags and if there was anything in there that was recyclable their garbage wouldn’t get picked up that week.

Well hopefully Saskatoon gets its recycling together and makes this mandatory sooner than later as I am definitely frustrated when I walk by garbage bins full of cardboard and plastics because people are too lazy to drive to the larger recycling centres!

Kari Calder
Century 21 Fusion

More Cars than People in Saskatoon?

Friday, September 24th, 2010

According to an article from the Saskatoon Star Phoenix there are more cars than people in Saskatoon. This was the same in 2007. As a real estate agent in Saskatoon I obviously have a car. A car being singular. I can’t do my job without a car.

Our population in Saskatoon is around 220,000 people but there were almost 229,000 registered vehicles in our city. There needs to be a shift as our roads are becoming more congested and only approximately 21% of people do not drive their cars to work. The national average is 28% and it is believe the goal should be more like 30%. It is a hard thing to accomplish though as our only other mode of transportation in Saskatoon is the bus.

It is said that during the past 10 years the number of trips across the Circle Drive bridge jumped by more than 20,000 a day and the commute time has doubled. As a Saskatoon real estate agent I have noticed this drastic change in the amount of time it can take me to get to appointments.

Some of the reasons for the increase in cars has to do with the weath of the city. Many more teenagers now have their own cars in Saskatoon. There are also likley more people out in the work force and the multi-vehicle family is now the norm.

The city of Saskatoon has added a universal bus pass to students, brought in a bus pass program for employers, upgraded the transit network to add rapid routes, and and upgraded bike network? Come on! If we lived in a city that wasn’t -50 in the winter that $2M may have been well spent but I have to say that wasn’t the smartest use of money and I don’t usually have a big opinion on things the city does. Everything else though, great! Will it make a difference? Not likely.  

Here are some stats from SGI (Saskatchewan Government Insurance)

Year-People vs Vehicles
*including seasonal vehicles

Driving in this city has been less carefree and much more stressful, even in the past 5 years. I have been a Saskatoon real estate agent for over 3 years now and I can tell the difference even in 3 years of spending so much time on the roads. If you are thinking about buying a house for sale in Saskatoon and you want to speak to an experienced Saskatoon real estate agent give me a call and let me make your Saskatoon home buying process successful and enjoyable…even with our traffic!

Kari Calder
Century 21 Saskatoon

Saskatoon New Development

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

More development means more demand for Saskatoon real estate-both commercial real estate in Saskatoon and residential real estate in Saskatoon. With the number of ongoing projects indicates that there are about 5000 man years of employment created with projects already started at the University of Saskatchewan and another 10,000 man years to be created with construction planned in the next 5 years.

The new Circle Drive project in Saskatoon (which Saskatoon realtors will love once completed!)is creating between 2000 and 2500 man years of employment, River Landing in Saskatoon is creating approximatley 4000 and the Jansen mine will create at least 8000 man hours of direct employment (20,000 in spin offs) and another 1000 a year for on going operations.

Whatever happens with PCS and BHP Billiton the Jansen mine will go ahead. It won’t be until the year 2026 that the mine will be at full production of 10 million tons a year. The mine is located 140 km east of Saskatoon. What a boost to Saskatchewan!

Other new development is the new eco centre building at the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market for $30M which will consist of 64 apartment unit/education centre combined with commercial space.

Families in need of Saskatoon homes also welcome a new low-income housing complex next to the Light House on 20th Street which will offer 65 units of low income housing in Saskatoon.

To supply the new potash mine at Jansen a new South East water supply system is going in to the tune of $100 Million.

For years we have been wondering what is going in across from TCU Auditorium (Centennial) and you can slowly see progress on the new Holiday Inn Saskatoon. Pacific Avenue is seeing further development with a new office tower, these two projects are costing $35 Million and $8 Million respectively.

Plans have been approved for a new location for the bus barns, to be moved from Caswell Hill. This will run the $20 Million mark but should improve the Caswell Hill location for residents.

The largest new development announced is Bethany Manor, a long term/seniors health facility in Saskatoon. This is to cose $120 Million and will be located on the corner of Pinehouse and La Ronge Road. It is the current site of the Lawson Heights tennis courts and skateboard park. This park will be moved to a new location between Henk Ruys Soccer Centre and the recycle depot on Primrose. Phase one will consist of 160 senior suites, 124 in phase 2 and a 150 suite health care facility in phase 2.

Knights of Columbus Saskatoon is also opening an affordable seniors housing complex in Saskatoon with 72 units and it will be near 20th and Ave P. This will be in the $8 Million range.

We have another new gas station in Saskatoon with a Co-Op Gas Bar going in at 51st and Millar Avenue for $3.3 Million.

As a realtor in Saskatoon it is great to see that Saskatoon is continually expanding. We are fortunate in this economy to keep pushing forward.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Conexus Saskatoon

South Bridge Comes in Under Budget!!

Monday, April 5th, 2010

I am very happy to hear that something came in under budget for once in Saskatoon. This one has a great impact on all citizens of Saskatoon, but also on real estate agents in Saskatoon as we drive around the city so much showing houses for sale in Saskatoon and listing houses for sale in Saskatoon and area.

In an article in the Star Phoenix last week it was stated that Graham Construction and Flatiron Construction Corp. would be awarded the most expensive in Saskatoon’s history for a public project. In the end, the cost will be between $30 million and $40 million below the estimate given 4 years ago.

Completion is slated for October 2012 and as a realtor in Saskatoon I cannot tell you how excited I am about that! It will save time when driving around with my Saskatoon home buyers showing them houses for sale in Saskatoon.

The one thing I am not looking forward to, as a real estate agent in Saskatoon, is the contruction zones in certain Saskatoon neighbourhoods and the inevitable slowing down of traffic and detours while the bridge is being built.

The other area that is proposed to get a makeover is the intersection of Circle Drive and Preston Avenue. With the amount of new homes in Stonebridge and the huge increase of population in Stonebridge, this intersection is getting overwhelmed and unsafe.

If you are interested in buying one of the houses for sale in Saskatoon or if you are just starting to get a feel for the Saskatoon real estate market, contact me for all of your Saskatoon real estate needs. If you are thinking about selling a house in Saskatoon I would love the opportunity to show you why it would be best to put your house for sale in Saskatoon with me as your Saskatoon real estate professional.

Kari Calder
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd
Saskatoon, Sk

Blizzard Leaves Saskatoon in a Rut

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Abandoned cars, low visibility, out of hand snow piles…reminds us us of the infamous blizzard in Saskatoon in January of 2007.  From Friday afternoon until Monday morning there was 25 cms of snow dumped on the city.

Living in Stonebridgein Saskatoon has been a challenge as in my particular phase of Stonebridge it is so new and there is a lot of open space that the snow tends to drift right up to my front door! The city of Saskatoon has admitted in an article in the Star Phoenixthat some of the worst hit areas in the city are Stonebridge, Willowgrove and Hampton Village as we don’t have anything to stop the blowing of the snow into huge drifts.

The snow crews are apparently cleaning around the clock, yet it is still nearly impossible to show houses for sale in the residential areas of Saskatoon. Even downtown Saskatoon, which was supposed to be a priority Monday night, looked pretty messy today.

And move your car if youa re parked in a “Snow Route” as your car will be ticketed and then impounded as crews are trying to remove the snow this week. Around residential homes in Saskatoon parking is a challenge.

I have a few first time home buyers in Saskatoon who are anxious to get out and look at houses and condos for sale in Saskatoon but with the road issues right now we have had to wait, even with driving an SUV it is just too questionable if we are going to make it back out! There have been 53 accidents/collisions on the streets in 3 days so we need to slow down.

Time to Slow Down

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

As a real estate agent in Saskatoon I spend plenty of time on the road and sometimes am in a rush to meet clients to view houses for sale in Saskatoon and can be guilty of driving too fast, but yesterday’s tragedy on Circle Drive is a reminder to slow down.

Around 10am Thursday morning a young woman was killed on the freeway and a 30 year old man was seriously injured. The northbound vehicle on Circle Drive lost control and crossed the ditch into the southbound lanes and caused a head on collision.

According to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix article, investigators had to close down the southbound lanes on Circle Drive and the northbound lane was restricted to one lane until about 6:30 pm.

There were 7 accidents yesterday in and around Saskatoon according to MD Ambulance.

It is an unfortunate reminder of how precious life is and how you can’t take a moment for granted. Our hearts go out to the friends and family members of those involved in yesterday’s accident.

Kari Calder
Residential Real Estate Specialist
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd

Cold Snap in the Prairies-doesn’t stop people from moving here!

Monday, December 14th, 2009

With the big chill set in winter has officially arrived in Saskatoon. Temperatures here today will climb to -26 with a windchill that makes it feel more like -43. Edmonton smashed cold records over the weekend with a low of -46.1 C.

That didn’t stop Saskatoon home buyers from looking to buy houses for sale Saskatoon. I was showing townhouses for sale in Saskatoon to 3 different first time home buyers in Sasktaoon, including 2 individuals who recently moved to Saskatoon from China.

Saskatoon is said to be the fastest growing city in Canada in 2010 and I can see why! All 3 buyers I showed townhouses for sale in Saskatoon with this weekend were relatively new to the city. I will be showing houses for sale in Warman and Martensville to another couple from Vancouver this week.

So if you are looking to buy a house for sale in Saskatoon or surrounding area, contact Kari for more information on the current market and to help make the process an easy one. I work in the warm and the cold!

Kari Calder
Residential Real Estate Specialist
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd. Saskatoon

Saskatoon Finally Going Green?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Officials say that Saskatoon will finally have a mandatory recycling program. At the rate Saskatoon is growing and producing waste, we will need a new landfill in 12 years at the cost of $75 Million.

Almost half of all waste going to the landfill in Saskatoon right now is organic material (43.5%). This is compostable waste that could be processed into fertilizer. A new organics facility in in the pre-design phase and is estimated to cost $7.2 Million. If all of this waste was diverted we would get an additional six to nine years of life out of the current landfill.

I am very supportive of the PRIVATE “Curbside Recycling Program” but it is a bit disappointing that this is a private program. Saskatoon is far behind so many other cities and the lack of mandatory recycling is unfortunate. Even cities like Prince Albert have 2 bins; one for household waste and one for recycling material. While it is not ‘mandatory’ per se, it is at least accessible for all households and easy to use. In other cities around the country and around the world they use clear plastic bags and each household is only allowed so much waste. By using the clear plastic bags, it can be monitored to show what people are throwing out and, if someone throws a cardboard box in the clear plastic bag, there are cities that will refuse to pick up the garbage that day. Saskatoon does have a long term waste diversion plan which would involve ‘user fees’  based on the amount of waste generated by each home and include this on a utility bill instead of in your taxes.

As a real estate agent in Saskatoon, one of the things I include in my ‘buyer’s pack’ upon possession (when a client gets possession of their new house in Saskatoon and area) is a flyer for Saskatoon Curbside Recycling. The other thing that I do to help the environment is I do not send out unsolicited flyers in the mail or contribute to junk mail.

I have tenants who moved from Ottawa to Saskatoon and one of their first questions was how to handle household waste. They were very accustomed to ‘green bins’ and they explained their city’s program to me. We could learn a lot from Ottawa and other municipalities that are doing such a good job of diverting garbage from the landfills. Lets hope that Saskatoon gets on board sooner than later and that the Saskatoon home owners cooperate to make our city a cleaner and greener city which is more attractive to people looking to move to Saskatoon.

Kari Calder
Residential Real Estate Specialist
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd.

$150M Refinery Planned for Langham

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

The government of Saskatchewan has good reason to be happy with their efforts to attract Fortune Minerals Ltd. Edmonton and Winnipeg were also in the running to host the facility, but the interest expressed by Saskatoon and Saskatchewan was what tipped the scales and convinced the Ontario based company to base its gold, cobalt, bismuth and copper refinery here.

The proposed site is just east of Langham, which is about 30 kms from Saskatoon. It is near the main Canadian National line and is close to a major national highway and services such as power, water, and natural gas.

This refinery will process ore from Fortune’s NICO project in the NWT. They expect the project will be completed and up and running in 2012.

What this means for employment in Saskatoon is 85 highly skilled positions such as chemical and metallurgical engineers during NICO’s projected 15-20 year life. Why those chose Langham area: they wanted to be close to a city but far enough away as it is an industrial site. It is an easy commute from Saskatoon to Langham if workers prefer a larger city.

This is just another example of our booming province and it reinforces the strength that Saskatchewan continues to show.

Kari Calder
Residential Real Estate Specialist
Century 21 Conexus Realty Ltd.