Reinventing High River

Hard work and resilience has turned High River into a reinvigorated, thriving community

There were doubters, those who believed High River couldn’t possibly survive the devastation of the 2013 flood.

Well, they’re being proven wrong.

“The town utilized a ‘build it back better’ mentality,” said Jodi Dawson, the town’s manager of economic development.

After spending more than $100 million on flood mitigation to protect new and existing residents and businesses, High River is back a bit bigger, and definitely better, than before.


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Affordability Eye-opener

City report shows lagging need for more affordable housing options

It’s no secret that affordable housing is hard to come by in Calgary.

Plenty of studies, including several by the municipal government, have pointed to this problem in the past. Yet none have been able to provide a comprehensive picture – until now.

Earlier this month, the City of Calgary released an unprecedented report called Housing in Calgary: An Inventory of Housing Supply, 2015/2016.


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Pop the question: Joshua Ferguson

Joshua Ferguson (right in photo) has over a decade of experience working as plumber. He owns and operates a successful plumbing business, Lumberjack Plumbing, with his partner Jordan Newman. CREB®Now caught up with Ferguson to ask him a few key questions about plumbing and how consumers can cut consumption.

CREB®Now:  Most people don’t think about plumbing until something goes wrong. But it’s a pretty critical trade, isn’t it?

Ferguson: It’s important because everyone uses it. If you like flushing your toilet, keeping your drinking water safe and showering on the regular – it’s something everyone needs, right? You don’t realize how important it is and how much you need it until you don’t have it anymore.

CREB®Now:  HOW CAN homeowners reduce consumption?

Ferguson: If your home is already built, you can opt to change certain fixtures – your toilets, your showerheads to low-flow variants. Being mindful of your consumption and being efficient, like ensuring you do full loads of laundry and dishes, helps too. For newer homes there’s more options. A greywater recycling system definitely helps. If you’re building a new, more modern home, it’s possible to install a grass-like roof with a grate which reclaims all sorts of moisture into a cistern in the basement, and that gets used for your toilet instead of using water from the main or your well. That’s a closed-loop system that takes you closer to net zero. It’s also possible to install what’s called solar evacuated tubing too. It looks like a solar panel but it’s actually a giant tube that’s full of glycol and water. That mixture gets heated by the sun and it pumps into your heating system or a dual-purpose water tank. That also reduces gas consumption by up to 80 per cent.

There are a wide variety of plumbing specializations so you’ll want to make sure that the company you hire has experience in that area.

CREB®Now:  What should consumers consider when choosing fixtures for their home?

Ferguson: When people are out shopping for their homes, it’s usually fashion over function; with plumbing it’s the other way around. You might find a nice-looking and well-made faucet from companies like Delta, Brizo, Kohler or Moen. You don’t need to spend insane amounts of money on high-end fashion plumbing. You might find that it’s easy to find replacement parts for less expensive fixtures, but you won’t be able to find those parts for high-end fixtures. Look for something that has longevity and reliability over anything else.

CREB®Now:  What should people consider when hiring a plumber?

Ferguson: You want to make sure that you’re dealing with someone who does the job right and doesn’t cut corners. The best plumbing isn’t cheap, while the cheapest plumbing sure isn’t the best. It’s important to strike a balance based on your budget. Also, specialization is key. There are a wide variety of plumbing specializations so you’ll want to make sure that the company you hire has experience in that area. Be sure to check out websites and social media profiles to see if the company has a good reputation and solid client referrals. Pictures of past projects can tell you a lot about the company’s expertise as well.


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Getting in hot water


New water heater technology and incentives are making tankless systems feasible for more Calgarians

here’s nothing better than being in plenty of hot water. Not the metaphorical kind, the real stuff. If you’ve ever felt the shower go cold while you’re still covered with soap and shampoo, you know what I mean.

But new water heater technology is helping reduce the likelihood you’ll run out of the hot stuff, while providing environmental and money-saving benefits.


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Get ready for liftoff

Major condo developer is making big investments in the Calgary and Edmonton markets

This year, Brad Lamb will finish one condo project and start construction on another, while purchasing two other substantial parcels of land in Calgary’s downtown core.

To say the Toronto developer, president of Lamb Development Corp., is confident in the city – and Alberta’s real estate future – may be an understatement.

Lamb has been a fixture in the real estate industry for 30 years. His company has more than 20 projects, worth an estimated $2 billion, in various stages of development in five cities – Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton.


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