Edmonton Historical Walking Tours

August 19th, 2014 by Terry Paranych
Fort Edmonton Post and Alberta Legislature

LegislatureFortEd” by William James Topley – This image is available from Library and Archives Canada under the reproduction reference number PA-011278 and under the MIKAN ID number 3302887.

Well, we are at the home stretch of Edmonton’s festival season, and summer’s hot and endless days are starting to cool. This is a favourite time of year for avid walkers, as the temperature is right for activity at any time of day!

This is an excellent time to explore Edmonton’s unforgettable history and the heritage buildings that helped to cement our city’s growth and success.

There are four main historical tours in Edmonton. They are:

  • Historical Walking Tours of Downtown
  • Strathcona Historical Walking and Driving Tours
  • District of Oliver Walking and Driving Tours
  • Highlands District Walking Tours

Each of these heritage areas has up to four individual trails, as individually, they represent a unique part of Edmonton’s story.

CIBC Building, Edmonton Downtown Tours

All images courtesy of the City of Edmonton Archives, unless otherwise stated.

The Downtown Historical Walking Tours are comprised of four distinct historical trails:

  • The Heritage Trail, which encompasses government, culture and tourism buildings including MacDonald Hotel, McDougall United Church, and the Legislature.
  • Jasper West and Warehouse District, which rolls through the old industrial warehouses near and along 104 St and stops at Jasper Ave and 107 St.
  • Downtown and Rice Howard Way which centres around the financial and business district buildings from 104 St to 101 St.
  • Jasper East, which follows the distinct early-era construction along Jasper Ave from 99 St through to 97 St.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strathcona Public LibraryThe Strathcona Historical Walking Tour takes you on a journey of a small neighbouring town, as it made its way into the collective history of Edmonton.

  • The Walking Trail wanders from 103 St and 83 Ave and ends not far from there. It’s still nearly an hour of walking, so you get an idea of just how many historical properties remain in Strathcona.
  • The Driving Trail covers the remainder of Old Strathcona, circling the walking trail and moving through parts of the Ritchie neighbourhood, which at the time were mainly mills and small industry.

 

The District of Oliver Walking Tours: LeMarchand MansionThe District of Oliver Walking Tour has both a west and east walk available. Seeing as the Oliver Neighbourhood has been around since Edmonton was first amalgamated, the buildings here are the mark of our earliest history as a city, and this tour is especially captivating because of this. In fact, even as far back as 1892, the Oliver District was well established.

 

 

 

 

Highlands Walking Tour - MacLuhan ResidenceThe Highlands District Walking Tours offers a combination of commercial streetscapes and breathtaking homes from as far back as the 1920s. Established as Edmonton’s newest elite neighbourhood at the time, it enjoyed immense growth followed by decay as the Great Depression ravaged the west. It’s an especially interesting tour because Highlands suffered incredible hardships and has still come through as a prosperous, desirable community despite it.

Each of these tours brings history to life. The Terry Paranych Team recognizes the importance of history in community, and that is why we love to talk about how we can all engage in our neighbourhoods more. Understanding how we make it, through good times and bad, we get a better understanding of each other and how we can support one another. This summer and fall, expect to see a few of us taking advantage of the cooler temperatures, the healthy walking and the amazing history.

For more information on Edmonton Historical Walking Tours, you can visit the City of Edmonton website.

And if you have any questions about the Edmonton community, homes in Edmonton, or buying/selling property here, we’re always ready to talk.

Edmonton Real Estate Pros versus FSBOs (for sale by owner)

August 12th, 2014 by Terry Paranych
Edmonton REALTORS® make the difference.

REALTORS® make the buying and selling process easier and they look out for your interests.

I bet by reading this title, you might think you can guess where this blog is going to go.

It might sound logical for an Edmonton REALTOR® to say that what professional real estate people do will always be better than trying to go about buying or selling a home alone.

But there are a lot more than just REALTORS® out there talking about the hazards of doing it yourself.

In fact, in the US, the National Association of REALTORS® completed market research in 2013, and they determined that the typical For Sale By Owner (FSBO) home sold for $184,000 compared to $230,000 for agent assisted home sales—$46,000 is not a loss I would like to see happen to anyone, especially not to a family.

Of the differences between do-it-yourself home sellers and Real Estate professionals, experience working through the selling and buying process has got to be the one that is most notable. REALTORS® have tremendous experience marketing homes to prospective buyers, and this includes a working knowledge of marketing channels, the time and frequency to market properties on specific channels, as well as using their own network to leverage exposure.

Even with the advent of the internet, there simply isn’t an easy way for someone who isn’t a real estate professional to learn these principles. REALTORS® never started marketing homes or buyer by going and marketing homes and buyers. Every seasoned professional out there has dedicated development time and passed exams that test their knowledge.

Also, real estate professionals have a network of other pros who can help with many facets of the selling and buying process. From bringing in buyers from other REALTORS® to staging a home for sale to managing the paperwork at close, REALTORS® are able to use their network to ready customers for what’s next.

This is part of the reason why the Paranych Team was built the way it was. We’ve taken an even more innovative approach, creating different departments with real estate professionals who specialize in specific areas of our industry. Our listing department works to ensure that listings are up and are being marketed using our highly successful advertising program. Our internet department oversees promoting the listings to our websites, and these site cater to millions of monthly visitors collectively, creating over a million monthly inquiries. These sites include:

www.paranych.com

www.northedmontonrealestate.com

www.southedmontonrealestate.ca

www.paranychluxuryhomes.com

www.realtor.ca

www.mls.ca

www.remax.ca

www.remax.com

There is a strength in numbers, and the Paranych Team has been able to stand on a guarantee that no home will sit on the market for more than 30 days. If at 30 days, the listing is still up, we buy it.

But there is also strength in some other numbers. The number of FSBOs and do-it-yourself sellers has been consistently dropping, even with more simplified online seller kits and other internet services. The results from working with real estate professionals are just too dramatic to slow the momentum. For both professionals in the marketplace and our customers, this is very welcome news.

Many people have questions they want to ask, and we’ve created a page that gives you the best questions to ask a potential REALTOR®. Use it when you begin conversations with them. Any REALTOR® would be happy to answer them.

And if you have any other questions about REALTORS® and professional real estate agents, or if you want to know more about buying and selling a home in Edmonton, get in touch. We’d be happy to talk to you!

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Opens Today!

August 5th, 2014 by Terry Paranych
FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2014

FIFA kicks off today, see you in the stands!

Today marks the kickoff of one of the world’s most prominent women’s youth (under 20) soccer events, the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup which this year runs from August 5th to the 24th, 2014. This international competition brings athletes and support staff from nations across the world, such as Ghana, Nigeria, China, Korea and New Zealand.

As Canada is the host nation this year, FIFA has selected four fields where the action takes place, even though they are distant cities—Moncton, Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton are FIFA’s selections. Each city hosts separate matches throughout the tournament.

At Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton is hosting 7 games, beginning with today’s opening match. We’ve got 5 regular matches ahead of us and a quarter-final round, so that leaves us lots of outside time with our families.

FIFA U-20 Women World-2014

A visual list of the groups competing, courtesy of Soccer Canada.

All this activity is just the startup for next year, the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada. Next year Edmonton plays host again, securing 11 regular games and the bronze match.

Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium is a modern, well-managed facility that has impressed many international groups enough to keep coming back. FIFA has publicly commented that the artificial turf is well maintained, despite its consistent use since it was installed in 2010. It can be easy for us to forget Commonwealth Stadium or even take it for granted, but it is a great facility that deserves recognition for serving this community well.

For a large part, Edmontonians, and the Paranych Team can get behind that all the way. We believe that competitive and recreational sports are healthy methods for young people to develop cooperative team-building skills. If you follow Terry on Facebook, you will clearly see how dedicated he is to fitness and providing the best opportunities for his own children to participate in team sports and live healthy lives. Watching international competition takes sport to another level, for many young people. International youth competition gives young people a chance to be exposed to inspirational peers, and see the efforts of teamwork. Success isn’t won or lost on a single match, but is developed with a team over time. How well that team harnesses their collective energies are what help to bring victories. We like to think that this is what youth international competition can offer our kids, and we hope you’ll join us in cheering on Canada’s U-20 women’s soccer team.

And if you need any help finding the right Edmonton home near sports centres or sport-friendly Edmonton neighbourhoods, get in touch with us.

Heritage Festival: 3 Pavilions You Don’t Want to Miss

July 29th, 2014 by Terry Paranych

Heritage Festival Edmonton Image

As Edmonton REALTORS®, we get to see a lot of people. It’s part of the role of being a REALTOR® that you naturally get exposed to different families and cultures—people who may be moving into Edmonton for the first time or people who may be selling their home in Edmonton to move elsewhere.

The Paranych Team relishes Edmonton’s cultural diversity. Our communities benefit greatly from the cultures we have in this city. And so many different cultural and community groups have events that run throughout the summer—things that we love to take in. But the August long weekend brings hundreds of thousands together to eat, dance and enjoy the Servus Heritage Festival. For people who are new to Edmonton, this festival is a celebration of the most valuable treasures of any culture: Song, dance, art and FOOD. It’s the one time of year where you can devour flavours from over 60 countries and regions of the world.

Servus Heritage Festival

60 pavilions representing 85 countries—delish!

Servus Heritage Festival runs from Saturday August 2 to Monday August 4 at William Hawrelak Park. It is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the country, and it

celebrates its 39th anniversary this year.

So we thought we would share three great pavilions that have filled our bellies over the years. Remember though, the pavilions and menus may change from year to year, so our favourites tend to change, too.

Bosnia-Hercegovina

This mountainous range in the Balkans is a picture-perfect culinary combination of the Mediterranean, Middle East and Central European cultures. Sirnica, a thin dough with feta cheese, cottage, egg and spices, is one of the delicious items on their menu. Also watch out for the baklava. It’s an easy choice, but just watch how much you eat—they can fill you up quickly.

Colombia/Brazil

These two neighbouring South American countries share a 2000 km border, and the natural diversity of these countries have created foods and cultural gifts that have made their mark in the world. Pupusa Revuelta is their signature corn tortilla, stuffed with minced marinated pork, beans and cheese, served with spicy cabbage and salsa. It’s surprisingly light for how much you get.

Malaysia/Singapore

On one of the world’s oldest trading routes, these two countries share a colourful history that began in ancient times. Their culinary treasures reveal the Asian and European influences along with their own fascinating approaches to flavour. The salt and pepper ribs are dry, but juicy somehow, and their young coconut beverage is a refreshing drink with a really cool look!

Heritage Festival Activities

Food is not the only thing worth taking in at Heritage Festival, though. Each cluster of pavilions have a shared stage featuring live performances. It’s a great way to immerse yourself with the sounds, the people and the food, and it’s good to plan your time at a pavilion with the times that performances happen. It also makes a huge difference for the performers, who love an audience. Some groups, like the Ukranian, Pakistani and Serbian dancers, have spent months practicing for their routines in years past. At the end of the festival, they announce a winner of performances, so you don’t want to miss any potential winners.

Coupled with the 60-plus pavilions and endless live performances, Servus Heritage Festival is a summer highlight for any Edmontonian, new or established. Make sure you make room before you get there. Once you do, make a list of your favourite foods, and be sure to share them with us. We’d love to hear what you’ve discovered!

 

Edmonton Dog Parks and Off Leash Areas

July 22nd, 2014 by Terry Paranych
Edmonton Dog Parks and Off-leash Parks

There are few things that bring as much joy as seeing dogs in their element.

This has been one hot summer in Edmonton, and we’ve barely gotten halfway past the mid mark!

Being dog lovers, we’ve been talking to other dog fans about the weather (how Canadian), and we all agree that there hasn’t been a better year for getting outdoors.

The Paranych Team thought it would be a great idea to share some of our favourite places in the city where you can take your pooch for a run, a walk, or even a swim—and beat the heat this summer.

Here’s a thought: The City of Edmonton has over 40 parks for people and dogs. If you want a great guide with tips to get you started, Edmonton’s Guide to Dog-friendly Parks is available here..

Also, since we share many of these spaces with cyclists, hikers and Edmonton families, it’s good to know the rules and responsibilities. An obedient, socialized, well-behaved dog is an amazing friend and will make you popular with dogs and people alike.

Here is our list of the Best Edmonton Dog Parks (off-leash parks as listed by area):

Northwest & West End

Buena Vista Great Meadow is not always easy to get to, simply because Google seems to get it wrong (making it even more of a secret off-leash area!). Buena Vista is accessible either by the Valley Zoo entrance or William Hawrelak Park. It’s got mixed use trails and open areas to suit all types, a definite favourite in Edmonton.

Callingwood is another popular park, but you should know that only the bushy trails are technically off-leash areas. The open areas are not off-leash. Head to 172 St. from 70 Ave. and onward.

Northeast

Hermitage is a fantastic park area with multi-use shared spaces, brush, trails, a fishing pond and a picnic area. Found in the northeast heart of the river valley, there are even designated off-leash areas right along the river, safe for dogs to wade in. You can access it from 129 or 137 Ave.

Southwest

Terwillegar Park is one of the best designed parks for mixed use trail and open off-leash area in Edmonton. The series of trials and brush will keep bigger dogs shaded from the sun while still allowing them to get exercise and social time. Access is available from Rabbit Hill Road, and it’s easy to find.

Southeast

Jackie Parker Recreation Area is one of the top off-leash parks, but the truth is there are many to choose from in southeast Edmonton. In Jackie Parker, there are loads of narrow wooded trails for dogs and families to enjoy and downed trees to jump over and under—medium-sized dogs love this place. There is also a large open area dog run. You can access this park west of 50 St. not too far from the Mill Woods Golf Course.

We don’t want anyone to think that this is the definitive list for the best of Edmonton’s dog parks. These are just some of the areas we enjoy. But with over 40 parks to choose from, everyone will have their favourites, so it’s best to grab the City of Edmonton Dog Park Guide, if you want to see what else if out there. Why don’t you share your favourite spots? We’d love to hear what cool special off-leash areas might be out in River City. Let us know!

And if you need any help finding the right parks, schools or neighbourhoods in your search for the perfect Edmonton home, get in touch with us. We’d love to have a conversation.
The Terry Paranych Team

 

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