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Calgary university spends millions on new residences, Regina’s Elf brings smiles to sick children, Edmonton Thai pagoda moves to warmer climate, and Winnipeg Transit ups fare


University of Calgary to spend millions on new student residences

There will soon be some big upgrades on campus. The University of Calgary has planned a four-phase, $240 million expansion on new accommodations for its students, with a target to finish by 2026. At least 1100 more beds will be added and five existing houses that were originally built to house athletes for the 1988 Winter Olympics will be demolished. By 2015, two new residences will be built ready to house 580 people.

The University of Calgary’s executive director of residence and ancillary services Voula Cocolakis says, “Residence is not just a place to live. It’s not an apartment. The residences on campus really provide a sense of community to our students who come to study here.”

The University’s operating budget won’t be affected, as it will be using borrowed money, and school officials are hoping to see donations, dip into residence revenues, and maybe see a monetary gift from the province.



RCMP pup Elf, brings smiles to sick children

He doesn’t need to make the toys to make kids smile; he just has to be his cute self. Elf, Regina’s RCMP 10-week old German shepherd pup is a part of the K9 Cops for Christmas campaign. On Tuesday, this furry little guy visited a children’s rehabilitation centre in Regina and gave kids the gift that keeps on giving.

“We’re trying to give them the feeling of being back at home. Animals, especially puppies, just bring smiles on people’s faces,” said RCMP Cpl. Sean Cleary. “The reaction from the kids has been amazing, from absolute joy, elatement.

To get through the tougher times, each child gets a stuffed toy that looks like Elf. About 120 children in different pediatric units will be visited across Regina, Saskatoon, and Prince Albert by Cleary, as well as other RCMP officers and dog handlers. Saskatchewan is the first province to offer this program, and Cpl. Sean Cleary hope’s it is not the last.


Unknown-3 Iconic Thai pagoda of Edmonton’s Mayfield Inn sold

It has been the backdrop for many “’till death do us part” utterances and now the Thai pagoda that sat in the courtyard of Edmonton’s Mayfield Inn is moving to B.C. The hotel’s former owner, Howard Prechet, bought the teak gazebo-esque structure for the second time off of Kijiji, where the now general manager of Mayfield Inns, Grant McCurdy, had it posted. He paid close to the asking price of $12,000 and is having it moved to his lake cottage on Lake Okanagan in Vernon B.C.

“We’re going to disassemble it and take it to Lake Okanagan and reassemble it on the beach. It’ll probably survive better on the beach than it ever did in the Alberta dryness,” says Prechet.

The 100 square-metre seasoned teak structure better known as a Sala, was built by 12 Thai carpenters, and took 15 weeks to assemble. It was disassembled and moved to Edmonton for a Klondike Day exhibition in 1987 where it made a grand entrance to the Kingdom of Thailand trade show at Edmonton Northlands. The cost to ship it back home after the show was too high, and while it was appraised at $100,000, Prechet bought it then for the first time, for a steal of $50,000.

The Mayfield Inn is undergoing a transformation to be rebranded as a Double Tree by Hilton, and the beloved pagoda doesn’t fit the new décor.



Unknown-5Winnipeg Transit fare to go up in 2013

With a new year, comes change and you will need a little more of it to ride Winnipeg Transit starting January 1, 2013. A nickel to be exact. Transit cash fares will increase from $2.45 to $2.50 as will,  and reduced and senior fares are going from $1.95 to $2.00.

The monthly passes will also see a hike the full fare pass will now be $82.80 from $77. However, Winnipeg Transit passengers who pay with tickets can continue to use 2012 tickets until March 31, 2013.

The Max 5 and Super pass will also see an increase and will depend on the category it falls into.



Chadd Cawson is an intern at Spectator Tribune. Follow him at: @ChaddCawson

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