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Alberta

Red Deer Restroom just might be the loveliest lavatory in Canada!

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Technically it’s in Gasoline Alley which means Red Deer County can also lay claim to this magnificent water closet at the Sweet Market Esso Station on the city’s south edge.  Canada’s best restroom contest has named the top 5 finalists and three incredible Alberta biffies are on the list!

Clearly the Sweet Market Esso’s palatial potties are the most beautiful, but that does not make it the clear cut winner.  The Sweet Market will need Central Albertans to rally behind this luscious lavatory if they’re going to win.  This is a voting contest so you can do your part to make sure the Sweet Market Esso ‘wipes up’ the competition.

Just look at this beauty!  Voting information is below.

News Release from Cintas Canada

The Sweet Market Esso Station in Red Deer, AB is a finalist in the 2021 Canada’s Best Restroom contest!

The five finalists include:

  1. Toronto Zoo – Toronto, ON
  2. Surrey Park – Surrey, BC
  3. Sweet Market Esso Station – Red Deer, AB
  4. The ROOFTOP – Calgary, AB
  5. Borden Park – Edmonton, AB

The public can submit multiple votes for the Toronto Zoo and the other four finalists now through July 9 at bestrestroom.com/Canada.

The facility that receives the most votes will win $2,500 in facility services from Cintas to help maintain their award-winning washrooms.

 

Cintas Canada Unveils Five Finalists in the 2021 Canada’s Best Restroom Contest

The polls are open now through July 9

Cintas Canada, Ltd. invites the public to vote for the five finalists in the 2021 Canada’s Best Restroom contest! The polls are open now through July 9 at bestrestroom.com/Canada. The facility that receives the most votes will win $2,500 in facility services from Cintas to help maintain their award-winning washrooms.

Cintas’ nationwide contest highlights businesses that have invested in developing and maintaining exceptional washrooms. “These five facilities demonstrate a commitment to prioritizing hygiene and customer service – especially as cleanliness is so important right now – combined with creativity and whimsy not usually seen in washrooms,” said Candice Raynsford, Marketing Manager, Cintas Canada.

Nominees for this year’s contest were judged on five criteria: cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality and unique design elements. The five finalists include:

Toronto Zoo – Toronto, ON

 

Designed with the Toronto Zoo’s mission of connecting people, animals and conservation science to fight extinction in mind, the new washrooms in the Zoo’s Tundra Trek feature iconic Canadian species. The design draws on inspiration from our natural world for its fresh yet familiar atmosphere. From the cool blue mosaic walls that represent the calm transition of horizon to sky, to the dark and dramatic overhead features that represent the vast night sky across the tundra, no detail is too small. Each handwashing unit features a hands-free faucet, soap dispenser and hand dryer. The trough-style sink eliminates water splashing on the floor and includes hooks on the outside of the counter to hang a purse, backpack or coat. This state-of-the-art facility modernizes the Toronto Zoo’s guest experience in a visually stunning way.

 

Surrey Park – Surrey, BC

The intent for the park washroom was to create a playful, durable, safe facility that works well within the City of Surrey’s park contexts. The washroom was designed to be universally accessible, hands-free with no-touch fixtures and configured for solar power. It also features public art panels on all four sides of the structure. The design employs a distinct form, strong colours and unique use of materials.

 

Sweet Market Esso Station – Red Deer, AB

The washrooms at Sweet Market Esso boast decorative high-end tiles and five-star finishes, giving the restrooms a classy feel, mimicking a fancy hotel suite in Italy rather than a convenience store restroom. These washrooms are always a topic of customer conversation in the store where selfies take center stage. The constant comments regarding the awe of it all – plus the extreme cleanliness – are great reminders of the sheer elegance and grandeur these restrooms provide for the customer.

 

The ROOFTOP – Calgary, AB

 

The ROOFTOP restaurant is a unique “weather managed” outdoor patio experience located in downtown Calgary. The adjacent indoor washrooms were designed to be inclusive, engaging and distinctively unique. As you enter “The Alley” you are greeted by a life-sized bobblehead re-imagined as your personal concierge. Walk in to immerse yourself in the funky and fun graffiti wallpaper sections taken largely from the “John Lennon Peace Wall” originally created in Prague. Elements of surprise abound throughout these unusual washrooms, including the porta-potty door in the “Mostly Men” area and hidden selfie walls.

 

Borden Park – Edmonton, AB

Designed by gh3, the washrooms are at the core of the single-level pavilion surrounded by highly reflective glass. An integrated approach to environmental sustainability is evident in the choice of materials: wood, concrete and glass were selected for their durability, permanence and timelessness. The washroom features hands-free elements to reduce germs and a stainless-steel trough-style sink that prevents water splashing on the floor. The sleek washroom stands as a striking improvement on the typical concrete options, and a sign of outstanding design to come.

For contest updates, fun facts and washroom trivia, “Like” Canada’s Best Restroom on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/CanadasBestRestroom.

 

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

Qatar, Norway and ‘The Trouble with Canada’

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From the Canadian Energy Centre Ltd 

By David Yager

Resource developers in Canada face unique geographical, jurisdictional, regulatory and political obstacles

That Germany has given up on Canada to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) and instead signed a massive multi-year LNG purchase agreement with Qatar has left many angry and disappointed.  

Investment manager and perennial oil bull Eric Nuttall recently visited Qatar and Saudi Arabia and wrote an opinion piece for the Financial Post titled, “Canada could be as green and wealthy as Qatar and Saudi Arabia if government wakes up – Instead of vilifying the oil and gas sectors, Canada should champion them.” 

Nuttall described how Saudi Arabia and Qatar are investing their enormous energy wealth to make life better for their citizens. This includes decarbonizing future domestic energy supplies and making large investments in infrastructure.   

Nuttall concludes, “Why is it that Qatar, a country that embraced its LNG industry, has nearly three times the number of doctors per capita than Canada? We can do it all: increase our oil and natural gas production, at the highest environmental standards anywhere in the world, thereby allowing us to help meet the world’s needs while benefiting from its revenue and allowing for critical incremental investments in our national infrastructure…This could have been us.” 

The country most often mentioned that Albertans should emulate is Norway. 

Alberta’s Heritage Savings and Trust Fund has been stuck below $20 billion since it was created by Premier Peter Lougheed in 1976.  

Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, which started 20 years later in 1996, now sits at US$1.2 trillion. 

How many times have you been told that if Alberta’s politicians weren’t so incompetent, our province would have a much larger nest egg after 47 years?  

After all, Canada and Alberta have gobs of natural gas and oil, just like Qatar and Norway. 

Regrettably, that’s all we have in common.  

That Qatar and Norway’s massive hydrocarbon assets are offshore is a massive advantage that producers in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin will never enjoy. All pipelines are submerged. There are no surface access problems on private property, no municipal property taxes or surface rights payments, and there are no issues with First Nations regarding land claims, treaty rights and constitutional guarantees. 

Being on tidewater is a huge advantage when it comes to market access, greatly reducing operating and transportation costs. 

But it’s more complicated than that, and has been for a long time. In 1990, Olympic athlete and businessman William G. Gairdner wrote a book titled, “The Trouble with Canada – A Citizen Speaks Out.” It takes Gairdner 450 pages to explain how one of the most unique places in the world in terms of resource wealth and personal and economic opportunity was fading fast. 

That was 33 years ago. Nothing has improved. 

As I wrote in my own book about the early days of settlement and development, citizens expected little from their governments and got less. 

Today politics increasingly involves which party will give the most voters the most money.  

The book’s inside front cover reads how Gairdner was concerned that Canada was already “caught between two irreconcilable styles of government, a ‘top down’ collectivism and a ‘bottoms-up individualism;’ he shows how Canadian society has been corrupted by a dangerous love affair with the former.”  

Everything from the constitution to official bilingualism to public health care were identified as the symptoms of a country heading in the wrong direction. 

But Canadian “civil society” often regards these as accomplishments. 

The constitution enshrines a federal structure that ignores representation by population in the Senate thus leaving the underpopulated regions vulnerable to the political desires of central Canada. This prohibited Alberta’s closest access to tidewater for oil through Bill C48. 

Official bilingualism and French cultural protection has morphed into Quebec intentionally blocking Atlantic tidewater access for western Canadian oil and gas.  

In the same country! 

Another election will soon be fought in Alberta over sustaining a mediocre public health care system that continues to slide in international rankings of cost and accessibility. 

What’s remarkable about comparing Canada to Norway or Qatar for missed hydrocarbon export opportunities is how many are convinced that the Canadian way of doing things is equal, if not superior, to that of other countries. 

But neither Norway or Qatar have the geographical, jurisdictional, regulatory and political obstacles that impair resource development in Canada. 

Norway has over 1,000 years of history shared by a relatively homogenous population with similar views on many issues. Norway has a clear sense of its national identity. 

As a country, Canada has only 156 years in its current form and is comprised of Indigenous people and newcomers from all over the world who are still getting to know each other.  

In the endless pursuit of politeness, today’s Canada recognizes multiple nations within its borders.  

Norway and Qatar only have one. 

While relatively new as a country, Qatar is ruled by a “semi-constitutional” monarchy where the major decisions about economic development are made by a handful of people.  

Canada has three layers of elected governments – federal, provincial and municipal – that have turned jurisdictional disputes, excessive regulation, and transferring more of everything to the public sector into an industry.  

Regrettably, saying that Canada should be more like Norway or Qatar without understanding why it can’t be deflects attention away from our challenges and solutions. 

David Yager is an oilfield service executive, oil and gas writer, and energy policy analyst. He is author of  From Miracle to Menace – Alberta, A Carbon Story. 

 

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Alberta

Oilers’ offence lowers the boom on Blackhawks in 7-3 win

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By Shane Jones in Edmonton

The Edmonton Oilers didn’t leave anything in the tank before their all-star break hiatus.

Tyson Barrie scored a pair of goals as the Oilers headed into a nine-day break in the schedule on a winning note, coming away with a 7-3 victory over the lowly Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

“I thought we responded really well after a tight game against Columbus (Wednesday) where we only got one point against them (3-2 overtime loss),” Oilers forward Zach Hyman said. “I thought we played well and got the two points and we’re feeling good going into the break.”

Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman each had a goal and two assists, and Evander Kane and Ryan McLeod also scored for the Oilers (28-18-4) who have gone 7-0-1 in their last eight games leading into a break that sees them idle until Feb. 7.

“We took (the game) over in the second period, but there were still a couple of things I’d like to clean up,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. “But our team is 10-3-2 since the Christmas break and you couldn’t script it better for us. I think we’ve taken a step here, it’s a credit to our players.”

Jason Dickinson, Jonathan Toews and Taylor Raddysh replied for the Blackhawks (15-29-4) who have lost three of their last four and entered the night sitting in second-last place in the NHL.

“We had a great start, but we maybe just stopped skating a little bit from what we had done in the first,” said Blackhawks veteran Patrick Kane. “It would have been nice to control it a little more in the second, those are usually make-or-break periods.”

Despite Saturday’s drubbing, Chicago still managed to win seven of their last 11 games. They are now off until Feb. 7.

“It is tough losing the last game before a break, but I feel like we have taken a big step in the last month and have been building on our game in all areas with every line chipping in at different moments,” Raddysh said. “That is what we are going to need the rest of the way and we have to keep giving it our all every night and keep getting better.”

Chicago had a glorious early chance when Andreas Athanasiou was sent in on a clear breakaway, but he bobbled the puck and was unable to get a shot on Oilers starter Jack Campbell.

The Oilers took the lead 5:20 into the first period on a power-play goal as Chicago goalie Petr Mrazek reached out to deflect a Barrie point shot, but it instead caromed off of his blocker and down into the net. Edmonton captain McDavid picked up an assist to give him points in 12 straight games and 29 of his last 30.

Dickinson tied the game 5:25 into the middle frame as he scored his seventh on a partial breakaway after picking up a backhanded feed through the slot from Patrick Kane.

Edmonton’s lethal power play put them back in front just over a minute later as McDavid sent a nifty backhand return pass from behind the net to Draisaitl, who beat Mrazek for his 29th of the season.

The Oilers surged ahead with a pair of goals less than a minute apart with about eight minutes to play in the second period. Barrie scored his second goal of the game and seventh of the season after Hyman tipped a shot that trickled behind the Blackhawks goalie, allowing him to sweep in and whack it into an empty net.

McDavid then scored his league-leading 41st of the season, wheeling out from behind the net before elevating a beauty of a backhand shot past Mrazek.

Hyman picked up his third point in a 2:33 span a minute-and-a-half after that, smacking home the rebound of a McLeod shot for his 26th of the campaign. Hyman has now scored in five consecutive games.

Chicago got one back on the power play as Patrick Kane sent a perfect feed in front that Toews tipped past Campbell for his 14th.

However, Edmonton answered back just 12 seconds later as an egregious turnover allowed Draisaitl to make a one-touch pass to Evander Kane, who rifled home his first goal since returning from having his wrist sliced open by a skate blade.

McLeod made it 7-1 with eight minutes to play as his shot was deemed to have crossed the line before defender Seth Jones could bat it out, even though play went on for a while before the horn sounded.

The Blackhawks made it look better with five minutes left as Max Domi took advantage of a giveaway to send Raddysh in to score his 14th on a nice deke.

NOTES

Oilers netminder Stuart Skinner came down with a sudden illness, forcing them to activate emergency backup goalie Matt Berlin, a player from the University of Alberta Golden Bears. With their big lead, the Oilers put him in net with 2:26 to play, saving the only shot he faced. … Oilers forward Kane returned to the lineup after missing the last game while dealing with his bankruptcy case. As a result, James Hamblin was returned to Bakersfield of the AHL. … Out with injuries for Edmonton were Kailer Yamamoto (undisclosed) and Ryan Murray (back). … Chicago also had a prominent forward return as Toews was back after missing the last game with an illness. … The Hawks were without Tyler Johnson (ankle), Jarred Tinordi (facial fracture), Jujhar Khaira (back) and Alex Stalock (concussion). … McDavid became the first Oilers player with 50 assists in seven straight seasons since Jari Kurri (between 1982 and 1990) and the first player in the NHL with 40 goals and 50 assists in 50 or fewer games since Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux both did it in 1995-1996.

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Both teams enter into lengthy breaks, with neither returning until Feb. 7.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 28, 2023.

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