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Is Downtown Red Deer Safe?


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Hey everyone,

Do you feel safe in downtown Red Deer?


The other evening I was having a very serious conversation with my wife about her plan to jog from our house to the downtown Rec Centre. She wanted to leave at 7am and head down the Ross St Hill. This time of year the sun comes up around 7:30am. So the plan was for her to make most of the journey in the dark.


Imagine the route that you would take. What would it be like? Would you be able to see? Of course you could, because there are plenty of street lights. Would there be a lot of traffic? Probably, since that is the time of day everyone heads to work. Would you see street people? There’s a good chance; the shelters make everyone head out early in the morning and the streets are where the people must go.


During the course of our conversation we talked about all sorts of these variables, from what side of Ross St is “safer” to which road has better lighting 48th Ave or 47th Ave.


If you ask an expert on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) they may inform you about the Broken Window Theory. Where there’s a “broken window” that goes unrepaired there will be more crime because our behaviour is influenced by visual cues in our environment that tell us what behaviours are acceptable and what aren’t. Well, in this regard I’d say that Red Deer does pretty well. Our streets are in good repair, litter gets cleaned up well and there aren’t too many boarded up old shacks in our downtown.


I hear the issue of downtown safety come up a lot and for all the challenges we still have, I want to say that things are improving, but it is really hard to measure. Did the Little Gaetz revitalization make that area better for business? Yes. Do all the new back alley murals improve the perception of safety? Absolutely. Do continued efforts from the Downtown Business Association to attract cultural events keep things in a positive direction? Definitely.


For all the positive momentum we have in downtown Red Deer, it’s not all on the up and up. The closure of the day shelter effectively displaced a large group of people who now have even fewer options for daytime activity, showers, storage, laundry etc. It is better for everyone in our community when we take care of the most vulnerable people. We can not lose sight of our resolve to end homelessness and must continue to find innovative ways to put action into ideology.


I am thrilled that Hudsons, near the Ross St Patio, is thriving! Our downtown is benefiting from having more nightlife. I hope this trend continues and that our downtown becomes a destination; a place to arrive to not just drive through. The transition from a “9-5 downtown” which empties out every evening to a “24-7 downtown” which has exciting nightlife and positive energy no matter what the hour, is happening.


On a similar tone, the Riverlands redevelopment is gearing up and in the near future we will see the influx of many new residents into our downtown. I am pleased that the plan to sprawl our city outwards is being balanced by the foresight to grow our city inwards and upwards.


We Red Deerians have a lot to be grateful for. Our community is prosperous, vibrant and, dare I say, safe(er). FYI, my wife ended up driving to the Rec Centre; mostly because it was a cold September morning and not because she was afraid for her life. Now if only optimism was worth its weight in gold.




Would you go for a pre-sunrise, downtown Red Deer jog?

Do you think the downtown is getting safer?


I have lived in Red Deer since I was a child. This is the community that I choose to raise my family in and where I choose to operate my business. I am grateful for all of the opportunities I have had in this city and I will give back to the community through service, passion and conversation. I am curious. I am personal. I am BOLD.

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The Mustard Seed is in Urgent Need of Bottled Water

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News release from The Mustard Seed

Summer is here and as temperatures are rising in Red Deer, The Mustard Seed is in desperate need of bottled water to keep Red Deer’s most vulnerable safe from the sweltering heat.

For those experiencing homelessness, the extreme heat can pose a dangerous risk. Insufficient water when temperatures rise can lead to exposure-related illnesses such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and even death.

The Mustard Seed is working hard to ensure that those in need of water are provided for – but we can’t do this alone. We urgently need your help to respond to the increased need for water and other summer essentials found here:

Items Needed:

  • Rain Ponchos
  • Travel-Size Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Hair Brushes
  • Deodorants (Men & Women)
  • Individual Kleenex
  • Ladies Underwear (Small – Medium Size)
  • Men’s Boxershorts (Medium – Large Size)
  • Backpacks
  • Razors
  • Travel-Size Body Wash
  • Hair Care (Gel preferably)
  • Reusable Water Bottles
  • Toilet Paper
  • New Blankets
  • Tooth Brushes
  • Baby wipes
  • Reusable Bags
  • Insect Repellant
  • Travel-Size Sunscreen
  • Q-tips
  • Flipflops: (Men’s sizes 7 – 13 & Women’s sizes 6 – 10)
  • Hats

School Lunch Program:

  • Granola Bars
  • Nut-free Snacks
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Deli Meat

In dire situations like this – whatever you can give makes a huge difference in the lives of those in need.

All donations will be gratefully received at the Community Support Centre, Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Thanks to your generosity, we can provide vital services and resources that help keep our most vulnerable community members in Red Deer safe.

About The Mustard Seed:

The Mustard Seed is a Christian non-profit organization that has been caring for individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty since 1984. Operating in five cities across Alberta and British Columbia, The Mustard Seed is a supportive haven where people can have their physical, mental, and spiritual needs met and grow toward greater health and independence.


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Primary Care Network launches ‘Year of the Garden’ to encourage more activity and healthier eating

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By Mark Weber

Summer is here as is the joy of spending time outdoors – and an exciting Primary Care Network program has been designed with that goal in mind.

“The City offered us one of their garden plots on the north end in Normandeau,” explained Lynsey Hermary, a recreation therapist with the PCN, adding that space is being offered to any PCN patients or staff to use.

Essentially, it’s all about encouraging folks to get outside more, while of course growing healthy food and spending time in nature.

“It is located directly behind the Save on Foods on 67th St, access is along 68th (Nash St) and we are garden plot number B12.” The plot numbers are marked on the stakes.

“We recommend that everyone who uses it, marks off their section, and is then responsible for weeding, pruning and harvesting their area,” notes the PCN web site. It’s also an incredibly practical activity to take part in, with the ongoing high costs of food – particularly healthy food, added Hermary.

Meanwhile, there is plenty of room at the plot as well, and it’s been exciting to see people utilize the space. “This is a brand-new program – we just got it up and running (recently),” she said, adding that the City of Red Deer web site offers tips on the
gardening side of things as well.

A PCN-hosted Westerner pancake breakfast is also slated for July 20th

Looking forward into the summer, staff are also excited to announce they will be hosting a pancake breakfast on July 20 from 7 to 9 a.m. to celebrate Westerner Days. It will be held at the park beside the PCN office which is located at 5120 – 47th St.

“You’ll see our PCN staff and some of our physicians out flipping pancakes, and there will be some entertainment,” said Bonnie St. Dennis, office and IT administrator at the Red Deer PCN.

“There is no charge to attend, but donations are welcome which will go to support PCN programs involving the City’s vulnerable populations.”

Staff also wished to remind residents that they have the PCN bike corral each Saturday at the Farmer’s Market.

“We really encourage people to ride their bicycles down to the market, and they can then leave them for us to watch,” said Lorna Milkovich, the PCN’s executive director. “It’s a nice option to help people get out and get more active, too.”

And another key local event PCN staff are helping to promote is the Dr. Walter Reynolds Memorial run which is set for Sept. 18 th.

More information about the family-friendly event, which will be held at Bower Ponds, can be found at As the web site explains, it was in August of 2020 that, “A wonderful person was taken from us while working at the Village Mall Walk-in Clinic.

“The community of Red Deer suffered a tremendous loss when Walter was taken from us. A hole in the hearts of many as he was loved by all who knew him, from his patients to his colleagues, friends and family. The purpose of this run is to remember Dr. Walter Reynolds and what he stood for: respect, love, kindness and community.

“In Walter’s name, ALL funds raised through this race will be donated back into the community which he loved. The Red Deer Hospice Society and Red Deer Youth Sports initiatives will be the organizations benefiting from this year’s event. Our goal is to see this race become an annual event and spread the love through the community.”

Also looking ahead, St. Dennis pointed out that although the PCN’s Health Cafes won’t be running again until the fall, anyone can check out the PCN web site (under the Patient Resources tab) and view previous Health Cafes which cover a wide range of health topics with experts offering guidance and information. Meanwhile, the local PCN offers a wealth of programs aimed at bolstering virtually all aspects of healthy living.

Primary Care Networks are made up of groups of family physicians working with other health care professionals such as nurses, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, exercise specialists, social workers, and mental health professionals.

Red Deer PCN supports the communities of Red Deer, Blackfalds and Penhold.

For more information, call the local PCN office at 403-343-9100 or check out

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july, 2022

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