Age restrictions a human rights issue

When I became president of the Oliver Community League in 2015, I met some folks that had searched for months for a home in Oliver appropriate for a family. This shocked me. Before I became OCL president, I spent about a year living in the UK, where multi-unit residential housing catering to all ages is standard. I’d assumed the same is true in Oliver. It isn’t.

One father of two young children told me his family aggressively searched for a home for six months. They were moving to Edmonton from eastern Canada and Eastern Europe, to be close to their family, who lived in Oliver. They wanted to be close to work and only need one vehicle. Eventually they found a townhouse they renovated extensively to fit enough bedrooms for their kids.

Another looked for two years for a home in Oliver big enough to start a family. But just prior to putting an offer on a three-bedroom apartment condominium in Grandin, their realtor discovered the building had anti-child age restrictions. They too eventually bought a townhouse.

My partner and I like to be prepared.

After hearing these stories, we decided to look for our “forever” home in Oliver. We saw handful of units, in buildings a short walk to Oliver or Grandin schools and large enough for a small family. All were age-restricted. We’ve now left the searching to a realtor. We’ve been looking now for almost a year.

Age restrictions create barriers to diversity and inclusion in our core neighbourhoods. Not everyone can afford the time, money for car maintenance or the stress of owning a detached house to live in the suburbs — where Edmonton tells you you’re supposed to raise a family.

Because these barriers restrict choice, age restrictions for housing is a human rights issue, and not just a preferred living style. I just hope that a shift in provincial legislation in the next year will make that decision more feasible.

 

Lisa Brown

President, Oliver Community League

OCL Summer Events

You may have noticed construction at
our hall. The OCL board is evaluating
the condition of the hall and will be
reaching out soon. Event locations will
be changed and are TBD right now.
Please stay tuned for more information.

JUNE 18
Ollie’s Treehouse Inclusive Playgroup
Your little ones will have fun at the hall
with our toys, books and activities while
you hang with other parents. 4-6pm, 
location TBD. No playgroup July and August. 

JUNE 16
Walking Pub Crawl
Meet with new and old friends at the
hall every month, before walking to pre-
determined locations to enjoy Oliver
nightlife. 8pm, location TBD. No pub crawl
July and August. 

MAY 3-JUNE 14 (WEDNESDAYS)
Walking Group
Join your neighbours for some fresh air and
exercise. This is a gentle approach to walking,
with the focus on enjoying ourselves and
meeting neighbours. 6pm, location TBD. 

JULY 1
Canada Day Pancake Breakfast
Get your Canada Day celebrations started
with our traditional and annual Pancake
Breakfast. Join neighbours for pancakes,
coffee, fruit and good conversation. Breakfast 
is free. From 9-11am, location TBD. 

JUNE 12, JULY 10, AUGUST 14
Civics Committee
This fully engaged committee meets on
the second Monday of the month to discuss
developments in Oliver. 7pm, location TBD. 

JUNE 21, JULY 19, AUGUST 16
Events and Programs Committee
If you like event planning, this is the
committee for you. 6:30pm, location TBD.

*Note, we enjoy holidays in August
and look forward to returning to
regular programs and special events
in September. Save the date: September
16 is Community League Day.

OCL Spring Events

TUESDAYS
Drop-In Basketball
Enjoy a pickup game or just shoot some hoops at this regular basketball drop-in open to the Oliver community.  7–9 pm, Grace Lutheran Church, 9907 114 St.

MAR. 4
Community Potluck
Bring your fave food dish to share with friends and neighbours. This is a licensed event, but of course, children are welcome. 5–8pm, Oliver Community Hall, 10326 118 St.

MAR. 13, APR. 10, MAY. 8
Civics Committee
This fully engaged committee meets on the second Monday of the month to discuss developments in Oliver. 7 pm, Oliver Community Hall, 10326 118 St.

MAR. 19, APR. 16, MAY 21
Ollie’s Treehouse
Inclusive Playgroup – Your little ones will have fun at the hall with our toys, books and activities while you hang with other parents. 4–6pm, Oliver Community Hall, 10326 118 St.

MAR. 15, APR. 19, MAY 17
Events and Programs Committee
If you like event planning, this is the
committee for you. 6:30pm, Oliver
Community Hall, 10326 118 St.

MAR. 10, APR. 21, MAY 19
Walking Pub Crawl
Meet with new and old friends at the hall
every month, before walking to pre-determined
locations to enjoy the Oliver nightlife.
8pm, meet at the Oliver Community Hall,
10326 118 St.

APRIL 19
Annual General Meeting
Review financials, vote in new directors,
learn more about OCL and what we’re up
to. Mix and mingle with neighbours. 6pm
registration, 7pm start, Oliver Community Hall,
10326-118 St.

WEDNESDAYS, MAY 3-JUNE 14
Walking Group
Join your neighbours for some fresh air and
exercise. This is a gentle approach to walking
with a focus on enjoyment and meeting neighbours.
6pm, meet at the Oliver Community
Hall, 10326-118 St.

JUNE 10
Rummage Sale
Find trinkets and treasures at our Third
Annual Rummage Sale. 9:30am–2:30pm,
Oliver Community Hall, 10326-118 St.

OCL Winter Events

Logo DEC. 3, MAR. 4
Community Potlucks
Celebrate the Holiday Season at the hall—then again in the spring—with a community potluck. Bring your favourite holiday food dish to share with friends and neighbours. These are licensed events but, of course, children are welcome. 5–8pm, Oliver Community Hall, 10326 118 St.

TUESDAYS (WINTER)
Drop-In Basketball
Enjoy a pickup game, or just shoot some hoops, at this regular drop-in basketball event open to the whole community. 7–9 pm, Grace Lutheran Church, 9907 114 St.

DEC. 12, JAN. 9, FEB. 13
Civics Committee
This fully engaged committee meets on the second Monday of the month to discuss developments in Oliver. 7pm, Oliver Community Hall, 10326 118 St.

DEC. 18, JAN. 15, FEB. 19
Ollie’s Treehouse Inclusive Playgroup
Your little ones will have fun at the hall with our toys, books and activities while you hang with other parents. 4–6pm, Oliver Community Hall, 10326 118 St.

DEC. 21, JAN. 18, FEB.15
Events and Programs Committee
If you like event planning, this is the committee for you. 6:30pm, Oliver Community Hall, 10326 118 St.

JAN. 20, FEB. 17, MAR. 10
Walking Pub Crawl
Meet with new and old friends at the hall every month, before walking to pre-determined locations to enjoy the Oliver nightlife. 8pm, starts at Oliver Community Hall, 10326 118 St.

Reflecting on a Busy Year—and the One Ahead

As another year draws to a close, the Oliver Community League is reflecting on its successes and challenges in 2016. This year, the OCL created the Hall Redevelopment Committee and Social Advocacy Committee to further the goals of our strategic plan. The addition of new events like the Summer Social, Halloween in Oliver and quarterly potlucks provided even more chances for neighbours to meet neighbours.

This year also saw our second anniversary of The Yards magazine. In 2014, our League initiated the creation of The Yards in collaboration with DECL and the Central Edmonton News Society (CENS). Both leagues have seats on the CENS board and help steer the content of the magazine. Add in the non-resident readers who find it in area businesses, and we have well over 30,000 readers each issue. That’s 30,000 people who read about Oliver and the fine work being done by our League to create a neighbourly, sustainable, well-developed community.

Where will 2017 bring us? In the past two years the League has held larger events (like Canada Day and Community League Day) and regular smaller events (like pub crawls and library afternoons). Next year will bring more opportunities to meet at events and programs designed to attract the variety of our demographic.

Social advocacy will gain a footing for the League in 2017, with plans to see how we can assist organizations and agencies in meeting the needs of our more isolated residents.

The Hall Redevelopment Committee will continue to make strides with public engagement and a “needs assessment.”

Planning and development will remain in our lens as we help shape the visual identity and social integrity of Oliver with recommendations on changes to our community, both on public and private land.

In a word, we will be busy. The commitment of the many volunteers who give time and energy to the League is astounding. Together we can create a model community that showcases positive urbanism, neighbourliness and cohesion.

Five Ways to Meet Your Oliver Neighbours

hall2

SEPT 12, OCT 10, NOV 14
Civics Committee
This fully engaged committee meets on the second Monday of the month to discuss developments in Oliver. (7pm, Oliver Community Hall, 10326 118 St.)

SEPT 17
Oliver Community League Day presented by Planet Organic (Jasper Ave.)
Join the league as we celebrate Community League Day. We’re delighted to have our proud event sponsor and partner, Planet Organic (Jasper Ave.) onsite with snacks. Members of all ages are welcome as the Edmonton Public Library kicks off the day with MakerSpace tools. Or try your hand (and whole body) at bubble soccer! A beer garden and barbecue in our beautiful park round out the day. (Starts 2pm; beer garden and barbecue at 5pm, Oliver Park, 10326 118 St.)

SEPT 18, OCT 16, NOV 20
Ollie’s Treehouse Inclusive Playgroup
Come let your little ones run around the hall and play with friends. Held every third Sunday, Ollie’s is a great place to meet other parents and make new friends. (4pm, Oliver Community Hall, 10326 118 St.)

SEPT 21, OCT 19, NOV 16
Events and Programs Committee
If you like event planning, this is the committee for you. (6:30pm, Oliver Community Hall, 10326 118 St.)

SEPT 23, OCT 21, NOV 18
Walking Pub Crawl of Oliver
Meet with new and old friends at the hall every month, before walking to pre-determined locations to enjoy the Oliver nightlife. (8pm, starts at Oliver Community Hall, 10326 118 St.)

What is a Community League and Why Should You Care?

hall2

Community League Day is again upon us. This day, every third Saturday of September, is set aside to celebrate neighbourhood associations. Sometimes we get asked what exactly is a community league and why should we care?

An explanation of these inclusive organizations is printed on this page every issue (see sidebar), but it’s important to remember that although leagues are similar in that they are volunteer-run and volunteer-driven, they each have their individual nuances. Some leagues, like Oliver’s, represent tens of thousands of people (19,000 to be specific); others only represent a couple of thousand. While property development may be a priority for some leagues, kids soccer and day care are priorities for others. Leagues are reflections of the communities themselves.

In Edmonton, community leagues are connected by an organization called the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues and supported by the City of Edmonton. While the notion of community may seem old-fashioned, it’s a highly valued concept in Edmonton.

As for why should you care? The OCL helps shape our community. The league believes in the power of neighbours knowing neighbours; the requirement of building developers respecting our community’s needs; the importance of recreation, walkability, ease and safety of movement in Oliver; and the significance of inclusion of its residents. This is why you should care. More importantly, this is why you should become involved.

Attend an event, join a committee, or read the magazine—it all adds up and creates this great place we call home, this great place called Oliver. Some fun events to participate in are coming up, including Community League Day. This year we are very excited to have Planet Organic – Jasper Ave. proudly sponsoring Oliver’s Community League Day celebrations. Join us on September 17 to learn more about our league and to meet your neighbours and have some fun. And later in September, be sure to check out the Main Street installation and programming on Jasper Ave., meant to spark conversation on what Oliver’s main street was meant to be.

OCL board of directors: Lisa Brown (President), Craig Lidstone (Vice- president), Simon Yackulic (Secretary), Mary McPhail (Treasurer), Anika Gee, Marjorie Henderson, Justin Keats, Rowan Kunitz, Luwam Kiemariam, Tim Mallandaine, Angelika Matson, Marija Petrovic, Erin Wright and Hossein Zahiri.

Email OCL, visit its website, or call 780-454-2450 for more information.

Reaping the Benefits of Neighbourliness

hall2You walk by them everywhere. They are…your neighbours. But how well do you know them? There is a tendency to live in isolation, especially when we reside among high-density populations like Oliver. It’s easy to be unseen, to come and go and never truly connect with those you live near.

Efforts like the Abundant Communities Initiative (ACI) are trying to reduce isolation and bring neighbours together. “Block Connectors” literally knock on the doors of homes and tirelessly unite neighbours in similar interests, backgrounds, cultures and hobbies. In doing so, they create micro-villages of connection throughout Oliver—food is shared, stories are told, friendships are made. Knowing your neighbours is a wonderful way to be connected to your community. We encourage you to open your door to the ACI Block Connectors and reap the benefits of neighbourliness.

In addition to this initiative, the Oliver Community League hosts events to bring our whole neighbourhood together. On June 18, the league is hosting its annual rummage sale. The hall will be packed with trinkets and treasures, so be sure to stop by.

Our annual Canada Day Pancake Breakfast also returns this summer on, well, July 1, of course. Join in this tradition and meet upwards of a few hundred neighbours over pancakes and maple syrup.

Summer is always a busy time for folks: Children are out of school, vacation time gets put to use, gardeners—on their lawns, balconies or community plots—work hard on their bounty. And, of course, there are the countless festivals filling summer days and nights. Long, warm days bring us out of our homes and onto our streets, which presents opportunities to share even a wave and smile with a passerby. Take the opportunity—even if you need a pet to break the ice. However you choose to meet your neighbours, research shows that we’re all healthier for it. Our community is stronger, safer, livelier and more inclusive when we know one another

OCL board of directors: Lisa Brown (President), Craig Lidstone (Vicepresident), Simon Yackulic (Secretary), Mary McPhail (Treasurer), Anika Gee, Marjorie Henderson, Justin Keats, Rowan Kunitz, Luwam Kiflemariam, Tim Mallandaine, Angelika Matson, Marija Petrovic, Erin Wright and Hossein Zahiri.

Ten Summer Events From the Oliver Community League

 

Green Shack Program
JUL 4–AUG 25: The City of Edmonton’s popular drop-in program for children sets up next to the OCL Hall again this year. (10am – 1:30pm, Oliver Park, 10326 118 St.)

Civics Committee
JUN 13, JUL 11, AUG 8: This fully engaged committee meets on the second Monday of the month to discuss developments in Oliver. (7pm, OCL Hall, 10326 118 St.)

Events and Programs Committee
JUN 15, JUL 20, AUG 17: If you like event planning, this is the committee for you. Join the committee and help make a difference in Oliver. (6:30pm, OCL Hall, 10326 118 St.)

Walking Pub Crawl of Oliver
JUN 17: Meet with new and old friends at the hall on every third Friday of each month, before walking to pre-determined locations to enjoy the Oliver nightlife. (This is the last crawl of the season, until it returns again in September.) (8pm, starts at OCL Hall, 10326 118 St.)

Annual Rummage Sale
JUN 18: On the success of last year’s sale, we once again invite you to find treasures you didn’t know you needed. (9am–3pm, OCL Hall, 10326 118 St.)

Ollie’s Treehouse Inclusive Playgroup
JUN 19: Every third Sunday, come to the hall to let your little ones run wild and play with friends. Ollie’s is a great place for parents to make friends of their own. (This is the last playgroup of the season, until it returns again in September.) (4pm, OCL Hall, 10326 118 St.)

Annual Canada Day Pancake Breakfast
JUL 1: Nothing says Canada Day like maple syrup on pancakes with friends and neighbours. Join us for a tasty breakfast! (9am–11am, OCL Hall, 10326 118 St.)

OCL Casino Fundraiser
JUL 19, JUL 20: Are you able to help us with our biennial casino fundraiser to support our operations? Contact us at info@olivercommunity.com. (11am–3:30am, Baccarat Casino, 10128 104 Ave.)

Oliver Community Daycamp
AUG 2–5: Hosted by the City of Edmonton, children ages 8 to 13 are invited to this “paint, plaster and play camp.” Register online at ereg.edmonton.ca or through 311. (9am–4pm, OCL Hall, 10326 118 St.)

BoardGame Night (7.2)

Gaming Afternoon
AUG 29
: A fun afternoon of games—both traditional and digital—hosted by the Edmonton Public Library. (1:30pm–4:30pm, OCL Hall, 10326 118 St.)

Soft Landings for New Canadians

Imagine you are a newcomer to Canada (perhaps you are) and have found an apartment in Oliver. It’s not the least expensive you could find, but it’s in a nice building surrounded by big trees, shopping, transit and a nearby park for your children. You’re settling into life in Canada and are finding your way to nearby shops, but you require more support to really feel comfortable. Where do you go?

LogoRecently, a couple from India found themselves at our community hall in search of help with settling into their new Canadian lives. Residing in Oliver, they were at a loss with finding a library. And the settlement services seemed to be bus rides away.

Right now, anyone in Oliver who wants these kinds of social supports will likely need to leave Oliver to find them. The nearest library is Stanley Milner. Many settlement services are located in the Downtown, Boyle Street and Alberta Avenue areas. Oliver is home to some 19,000 people—new-comers to Canada, students, seniors, families, lower-income persons, wealthy persons, homeless persons, etc. We are a small city within a city. Yet, we have very few social services located within the neighbourhood.

Oliver Community League is committed to seeing this improve in the coming years. As we look for a second garden space, we are also looking at the entire community of Oliver and the needs of its residents. Is Oliver Park an ideal location for a new hall/library/meeting space? Will the Oliver Park arena remain as is or become a modern facility with social resources housed within, like a library, performing arts space, a social worker, etc.? There’s lots to look at, examine, question and plan in the coming few years.

If social advocacy is of interest to you, consider running for a position on the board of directors of OCL. The Annual General Meeting is Wed., April 20 at 7 pm. Nominations are ongoing and there are a number of open positions. Anyone who is interested can inquire further at info@olivercommunity.com.

Knowing that garden spaces in Oliver are so limited, our Peace Garden Park director, Justin Keats, is hosting two balcony gardening sessions on April 10, starting at 3 pm at the hall. Come learn how to turn your balcony into an oasis.

As always, the Oliver Community League encourages residents to get an OCL membership, get involved and help shape our community. Happy Spring, everyone!

OCL board of directors: Lisa Brown (President); Danny Hoyt (VP); Simon Yackuli (Secretary); Leah Hilsenteger (Treasurer); Curtis Boehm; Jarrett Campbell; James Eastham; Justin Keats; Luwam Kiflemariam; Rowan Kunitz; Dustin Martin; Marija Petrovic; Erin Wright; Hossein Zahiri.

Email OCL or visit its website for more information.