Archive for February, 2014

Don’t Get Towed This Winter! Pay Attention to Winter Parking Regulations in Edmonton

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Don't Get Towed This Winter! Pay Attention to Winter Parking Regulations in Edmonton | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamEdmonton is home to a number of fantastic neighbourhoods filled with great homes and many amenities. If you’re planning on moving to areas like Stony Plain, Parkland County acreages, Spruce Grove, or any other area in the Edmonton region, it’s important to learn as much as you can about the neighbourhood that you’ll soon be calling home. One issue you might want to learn about is parking enforcement, especially in the winter when snow tends to take over the roads. If you want to avoid getting ticketed or towed on a regular basis, here is the low-down on winter parking regulations in Edmonton.

Edmonton Offers Blading Services to Clear Roadways

Those who own a piece of Edmonton real estate know how harsh winters can be. It doesn’t take long before mounds of snow start covering the roads and walkways, making it tough not only to drive, but also to find a parking spot. The City of Edmonton offers a 24-hour ploughing operation for blading the streets. Every time a bus route or road has been fully bladed, the City informs residents. The city makes a new snow blading schedule after every major snowfall.

Windrows Take Up Parking Spaces and Create Parking Bans

Ploughing is necessary to clear the roadways and bus routes, but the end result is usually huge mounds of snow, called “windrows”, sitting on the sides of the roads and in parking spaces. After the city clears the driving lanes, the next step is to widen the narrowed roadways. In order to do that, cars need to steer clear of parking along these roadways to make room for city workers to get rid of these windrows and open up this much needed space.

Seasonal Parking Ban During Winter

In order for city workers to be able to get rid of these massive snow piles on Edmonton city streets, a seasonal parking ban is placed on designated bus routes after a big snowfall. Residents will be notified at least 8 hours in advance through a news conference, radio announcement, postings on Twitter and Facebook, email messages, and on the City of Edmonton’s Transportation webpage. Once this seasonal parking ban is in effect, cars that are parked where “Seasonal Parking Ban” signs are placed must be moved right away.

Targeted Parking Ban After Major Snowfall

A targeted parking ban is slightly different from a seasonal parking ban. These parking bans are put in effect in Edmonton areas only during times when specific roads need immediate ploughing. ‘No Parking’ signs will be temporarily placed on targeted routes 24 hours before the ploughs come out. This targeted parking ban will be enforced with tickets or towing if vehicles aren’t moved between 7 AM and 7 PM.

Parking Tickets Issued During Winter Parking Ban

A parking ticket isn’t the best to wake up to in the morning in your Edmonton home. Yet hundreds – if not thousands – of drivers get slapped with a ticket during every winter parking ban. The City of Edmonton does everything they can to get the message out there to motorists about the parking ban, including its schedule. But for those who don’t comply, parking tickets and even car towing will be enforced. Parking enforcement usually comes in the form of a $50 ticket. If you don’t move your illegally parked vehicle after a certain amount of time, it could be towed, at a further expense.

The winter parking regulations in Edmonton are just a fraction of what there is to know about this great city and its suburbs. I’m happy to help you sort through any queries you might have about Edmonton acreages, or any other real estate queries. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

5 Easy Ways to Cut Your Heating Bill This Winter

Friday, February 21st, 2014

5 Easy Ways to Cut Your Heating Bill This Winter | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWhen it comes to the winter season in Alberta, some definite certainties are snow, ice, and freezing cold temperatures. But just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean it has to be cold inside. While the elements can make it more challenging to keep warm in a cost-effective way, there are things that homeowners in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region can do to lessen the amount they pay to heat their homes. Here’s a list of five easy ways for homeowners to cut their heating bills this winter.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Homeowners with Spruce Grove real estate or Stony Plain real estate—or consumers interested in the region—can help to lessen their home heating bills by heading over to their nearest home improvement store and picking up programmable thermostats. Once the thermostat is installed, homeowners will be able to program the units to bring the temperature down a few notches when their homes are unoccupied or when people are sleeping. By keeping things nice and toasty only when homes are occupied, homeowners can take a little bit of the sting out of their next home heating bill.

Get a Furnace Tune-up

An annual furnace tune-up performed by a certified professional will keep furnaces working optimally. When furnaces are working properly and efficiently, the end result will be savings on the home heating front for homeowners with Parkland County real estate. Routine maintenance will also lower the odds of system failure at the worst possible time.

Remember Furnace Filter Maintenance

Homeowners with Edmonton acreages should, in addition to having their furnaces professionally serviced, be sure to either replace or clean their furnace filters as per the frequency recommended in manuals that came with their units. Failing to do this will compromise the efficiency of the equipment and lead to higher heating bills. Some filters can be cleaned and reused while others need to be thrown out and replaced. It’s up to homeowners to determine which type they have.

Insulate Against the Cold

Improperly insulated homes will cost more to keep warm, since furnaces will have to work harder to compensate. Whether independently or with the help of contractors, homeowners with Edmonton real estate should insulate any areas requiring insulation. Key areas where heat can escape homes include attics, walls, and crawl spaces. Once their homes have been properly insulated, homeowners will find not only that their residences are cozier, but also that their heating bills are lower than usual.

Seal the Leaks

Homeowners with Parkland County acreages would probably be surprised to learn how much cold air can enter their residences through cracks and gaps. Fortunately, they can pick up some sealant solutions sold at home improvement stores to seal out the cold air. Areas to watch out for include doorways, window frames, and duct work.

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean that homeowners have to settle for chilly climates inside their homes. Following the aforementioned tips will help to keep homes warm and reduce heating bills.

I am always willing to answer any home-related questions you might have! Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Short Month, Lots Happening

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Short Month, Lots Happening | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamFebruary in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and Edmonton region can be a dreary month.  Everybody’s tired of winter’s cold, snow and dark, while Christmas and New Year’s celebrations are just a distant memory.  But this short month actually provides lots of opportunities to add a festive touch to day-to-day life.

Chinese New Year

While not a February holiday in 2014 (the Year of the Horse officially begins on January 31, 2014), the lunar new year does often belong on a list of this type.  The Wikipedia article tells us that the lunar new year can occur as early as January 22 or as late as the 19th of February (get ready for the Year of the Goat starting Feb 19, 2015!).  Should you celebrate it this year with dragon costumes, dancing, food, fireworks, money in red paper envelopes, paper lanterns and more?  Did I mention food?  Why not?!

SuperBowl , February 2, 2014

In the US, the first Sunday in February every year is the championship game of the National Football League and is known as much for its great TV commercials (which, sadly, we Canadians often don’t get to see!) as for the game itself.

Groundhog Day, February 2

We all know the story that if the sun shines on Feb 2 and the groundhog sees his shadow, scaring him back into his burrow, oops, 6 more weeks of winter.  Big deal in Alberta where we’re happy if only another 6 weeks of winter is all we see!  Canada actually has three famous groundhogs making their predictions:  Balzac Billy in southern Alberta, Wiarton Willy in Ontario and Shubenacadie Sam in Nova Scotia.  Wiarton Willy, whose festival began in 1956, even has his own statue and is the star of a big winter festival.  Of course, we all know rodents can’t predict the weather, but it’s fun to be reminded that winter will eventually end, and the day gives us a good excuse to watch Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day movie!

February 2 is also the date of a Christian holiday celebrated by many devout Catholics around the world:  Candlemas.   Check out the article in Time and Date.com.

Winter Olympics, February 7-23, 2014, Sochi, Russia

Even non-sports fans find themselves caught up in the hoopla, pageantry and emotion of triumph and defeat at the Olympic Games.  Lots of televisions in Canadian homes will be tuned in to the Games this month.  Whether you just like to watch the opening and closing ceremonies, cheer on your favorite athlete or team, or follow all the events avidly, the Olympics offer another great chance to show our national pride.

Valentine’s Day, February 14

Cupid with his bow and arrow, red cinnamon heart candies, chocolate in heart-shaped boxes, gifts of flowers or jewelry, Valentine’s Day cards exchanged by school kids, mushy romantic ones for the grown-ups…  Love the holiday and get involved, or throw an Anti-Valentine’s Day party!

National Flag of Canada Day, February 15

We Canadians are proud to wear and fly the red maple leaf, but I think most of us are a little hazy when it comes to some of the finer points of our nation’s history.  I wonder how many people these days remember just how young our flag is.  Here is some trivia for you:  Canada’s flag was designed by George F. G. Stanley, who was inspired by the flag of the Royal Military College of Canada.  The design was selected by a multi-party parliamentary committee on October 29, 1964 and approved by the House of Commons on December 15, 1964.  Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed the new flag on January 28, 1965 and it was inaugurated on February 15, 1965, replacing the country’s Red Ensign flag.  In 1996 1,000,000 flags were distributed to Canadians in the One in a Million National Flag Challenge for 1997.  Next year, in 2015, our flag will be 50 years old.  How should we celebrate?

Family Day in Alberta, February 17, 2014

Premier Don Getty back in 1990 was responsible for this holiday, making Alberta the first Canadian province to declare a day off work in February, recognizing time for family and the importance of family values.  Nowadays, many communities in Alberta stage special events on Family Day.  What are your plans for this special day?

Do you know why February has just 28 days, instead of 30 or 31?

Blame the Romans who created the calendar.  There are many explanations and theories about this, but it really comes down to February being a month that nobody liked much!

Is February a good month to buy or sell a house?  You bet!  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Barry Twynam, Realty Executives Leading
#1 14 McLeod Avenue, Spruce Grove, Alberta, T7X 3X3
Tel: 780-962-9696 Cell: 780-910-9669 Fax: 780-962-9699
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