A Calgary family violence shelter is about half way towards getting a much needed new home.
Discovery House’s current facility is about 23 years old, says Mike House, campaign director for the $6.5-million fund-raising project.
About $3.2 million had been raised last week, before last Saturday’s sale of home furnishings and show-home contents by Albi Homes Ltd. Proceeds from that sale were earmarked for a three-bedroom unit in the new shelter.
|Courtesy Discovery House|
|The shelter will be located in southeast Calgary.|
Debra Mauro, senior vice-president at Albi Homes, says the furniture sale idea came from the staff after they toured Discovery House and decided it was a good fit. Mauro co-chairs the fund-raising campaign with Alex Brough of Royal LePage Commercial Real Estate.
Discovery House is one of southern Alberta’s four long-term shelters for women and children leaving abusive situations. They can stay three weeks in the short-term emergency shelters before moving to a long-term shelter. “Officially we say six months, but we don’t kick them out,” says Mauro. The idea is to get people on their feet.
The new, larger shelter will probably be too small when it opens, she says. “If there is even one family on the waiting list, if you ask me, it’s too long.”
The long-term shelter provides counselling for all family members, including men.
The current building is in a high-needs area near downtown and the new one will be in another high-needs area in southeast Calgary. It will have three storeys on three sides and one on the fourth, allowing for an enclosed interior courtyard where kids can play without fear. The low side will let natural sunlight into the courtyard, says House. There will also be a basement storage area.
The new shelter will total 50,000 sq. ft. and will have 19 suites, mostly three-bedroom. One suite will have four bedrooms and six suites will have two bedrooms. The big change isn’t just the increase from the 10 suites in the old shelter. It’s that the old shelter has 17 rooms and the new one will have 51, he says.
The problem of family violence is being defined differently today. Twenty years ago, it was about women as victims of abuse. In the ’90s, counselling began for children as well. But it was only a few years ago that men were first ordered to take counselling to address their violent behaviour.
“Our awareness and public knowledge and how to deal with it is more significant than it was 10 years ago,” he adds.
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A benchmark car dealership opens this week in southwest Calgary when Glenmore Audi holds its grand opening.
The dealership, at 25 Richard Way S.W., will be the first standalone Audi showroom in Alberta, with a unique European hangar design termed the benchmark for future Canadian Audi dealerships. The dealership will be 12,000 sq. ft. with amenities including 10 service bays, indoor service drive-through, the “quattro cafe,” a customer business centre and a children’s play area.
The opening is set for Thursday from 5 - 9 p.m.
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Lower interest rates and greater equity have driven a move-up housing market in most places across the nation, says Re/Max real estate.
It’s not just in Calgary and Edmonton where multiple offers are becoming common. The move-up buyers report issued jointly by Re/Max Ontario-Atlantic and Re/Max of Western Canada covered activity in 22 markets across Canada. Most showed more move-up sales, with prices going up in step with sales activity.
Sales activity by real estate board figures rose 71 per cent in Toronto and 70 per cent in Calgary, compared to 41 per cent in Victoria. The rise in prices has let move-up buyers make significant equity gains on their existing properties, says Re/Max.
The real estate firm said strong consumer confidence and job stability have also helped stimulate move-up house sales. A shortage of houses for sale has sparked a sense of urgency and made multiple offers common. Buyers are going shopping with pre-approved mortgages and offers with fewer conditions.
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Boardwalk Equities of Calgary has moved into the Montreal market by buying 3,100 multi-family rental units on Nuns’ Island, just south of the downtown.
The properties will be managed by Structures Metropolitaines, a wholly owned subsidiary.
The portfolio is 59 apartment buildings and 260 townhouse units within an 80-acre parcel. The acquisition increases Boardwalk’s portfolio by 12 per cent, to 29,049 units from 25,949 units.