Tag Archives: Collective Coffee


Wendy posted her New Year’s Resolutions so I thought I would post mine.

  1. Take the stairs to the top of The Lighthouse at least daily.  This seems like a really good idea now that building is only four stories but when the new tower is nine stories this summer, it could be a really bad idea.
  2. Carry less crap.  There are days when I go to work with my DSLR, a video camera, my notebook, a Moleskine, an iPod, and my cell phone.  Do I really need that much stuff?  Well considering that I have never used all of it in a single day, probably not.
  3. Ride my bike more.  Wendy has a Dave King inspired goal of riding 750 kms this year.  I think I will join her although none of those miles will be done at Ice Cycle which I still think is insane, no matter how many people enjoy cycling in –40 weather.
  4. books and more booksRead more books in 2012Darryl Dash has a post on how he wants his reading to more focused which I tend to go the other way.  I want to read and explore topics that I haven’t explored before, understand new things, and then figure out how they fit together later.  In the spirit of Thomas Homer-Dixon’s book The Ingenuity Gap, I want to be a deep generalist.  Part of it is the column I write but part of it is cultivating a spirit of curiosity.  It may be because I am at a point of life when I have a lot to learn and I don’t have the need to be a specialist.
  5. Contribute more to the matrix of agencies that I am a part of as a staff member at The Lighthouse.  Some of those actions are proprietary but I can’t handle agencies that don’t play that well with others.  It comes from an atmosphere of fear and competition that doesn’t need to exist.  Hopefully we can model a different way.
  6. Spend more money locallySaskatoon Farmer’s Market, Souleio, Broadway Roastery, The Two Twenty, Collective Coffee… you know businesses that are Saskatoon born and bred.  Less Starbucks, Tim Horton’s, and fast food joints.
  7. Attend more University of Saskatchewan Huskies and Saskatoon Hilltops games.  The Huskies may have the best game day experience of any football team in Canada and the Hilltops because of what they did for Mark’s understanding of football in 2011.  That and all they do is win national championships.
  8. Post more photos.  Despite having a decent camera phone camera, a DSLR, and a pretty good compact camera, I took far too photos in 2011.  That needs to change in 2012.
  9. Keep losing weight in 2012.  I lost 40 pounds since my heart event this summer and I want to lose another 120.  I should have it lost by next Christmas.
  10. Listen to more music.  I love music but I rarely take time to listen to it.  It’s always a background activity and never a foreground one.

Those are my resolutions.  Good luck with yours.

Column: Relocating problem no answer

The StarPhoenix This week’s column in The StarPhoenix

While driving to work last Tuesday, I got ensnared in the road construction and traffic backups on 22nd Street.

After navigating part of Caswell Hill, I managed to get across 22nd at Avenue M. As I was stopped on 20th Street, I was approached by a young woman who offered sex for money. It was 8: 20 a.m.

As I ignored her and turned left on 20th Street, the contrast couldn’t have been more stark. Riversdale is going through a rebirth and economic revival, yet here was a woman prostituting herself when she probably should have been attending school.

Two years ago, I walked down 20th Street with a camera. Looking back at my photos, I am amazed at the changes in the area since those photos were taken.

The city has improved the streetscaping. Shift Developments made an investment with The Two Twenty and Collective Coffee. New restaurants have opened up, others have reinvented themselves, or are moving in. The Friendship Inn has had a successful building campaign and features a new Rider green façade that looks great.

The side streets are showing signs of life, with new businesses moving in and new projects getting underway. Even the closure of the Little Chief police station will probably add to the street as new tenants move in.

If you are an entrepreneur, it is good in the ‘hood.

While the city, Riversdale BID and the business community have come together to do some great things for the business district in Riversdale and Pleasant Hill, a lot of the social issues have not been tackled.

While gentrification is happening in Riversdale through the improved quality of housing, proximately to downtown, a revitalized 20th Street and the Meewasin Valley improvements has pushed some of the poverty issues further west to Pleasant Hill and Confederation areas, and north toward Mayfair.

It’s progress if you own a home in Riversdale; not so much if you’re in one of the other neighbourhoods.

How bad is it in Mayfair? My wife works in retail and has had johns approach her on more than one occasion. She no longer feels safe walking the two short blocks home. She was also approached as she went into work one morning at 6 a.m.

With two "massage parlours" in the neighbourhood, a growing number of prostitutes along 33rd and side streets and, for a while, a brothel on our street, Mayfair has become an unofficial red light district. Along with the sex trade, we get discarded needles and johns circling the streets, and we get harassed by prostitutes as we walk to the grocery store in the evening.

Colleagues in Pleasant Hill tell me that spouses of staff members are often harassed by prostitutes as they wait for the midnight shift change.

Last summer, when I made regular 8: 30 a.m. trips to this facility, we were often greeted by the women working the side streets where they were not quite so visible to the police.

Traditionally, law enforcement has been used to stop prostitution and the accompanying crime it brings to neighbourhoods. It has worked in Riversdale. I rarely see the women on the corner on Avenues B to G any longer.

Five years ago, they would bring their johns to the parking lot across from the Salvation Army and the Farmers’ Market in case the trick goes bad, as it often does.

That never happens anymore. The johns now park on the side street beside my house in Mayfair. This is success if you live in Riversdale, but not so much for my children. In addition to a yearly tax increase, I now get to pick up used condoms and needles off my boulevard.

I wonder if this is the "right track" that the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce is speaking of ?

There are 600 women being trafficked in and out of Saskatoon. Reports say there may be as many as 200 underage girls engaged in prostitution. In addition, you have countless other women doing what they can to survive on the streets.

I have talked to many sex trade workers while at work at the Salvation Army. They have been deeply damaged by society, and many are struggling with mental health issues, addictions, or acquired brain injuries. They don’t need to be relocated, they need to be helped off the street.

While organizations like Egadz and their street outreach have made a big difference, more needs to be done. If not, the improvement and success of some neighbourhoods and business districts will continue to be paid for by those less fortunate.


© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix

Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra moving to Riversdale

The StarPhoenix’s Cam Fuller has the story.

The SSO announced Wednesday it will occupy the building at 408 20th St. West, less than one block west of the Roxy Theatre. It will be the first time the organization has housed all of its components under one roof.

The building will allow space for rehearsals, meetings, administration and storage. It will also house the symphony’s book and music sale inventory and the sale itself. The sale raised a record $119,585.08 this year.

The symphony’s first silent movie event at the Roxy Theatre last year got it thinking about the neighbourhood and helped developed a relationship with Tom Hutchinson and Terry Stannard of Magic Lantern Theatres, and Randy Pshebylo, executive director of the Riversdale Business Improvement District.

“That’s really the first time we’d been in the neighbourhood,” Jill Reid, SSO general manager said Wednesday.

“We had such a good reception there, we were so welcomed.”

The SSO signed a 10-year lease on the building, which has been used as a hardware store in the past.

“Good business involves wise investment,” Hutchinson said in a release. “Just as we invested in the Roxy Theatre in the hope that others would see its worth and support it, we know that investing in the future of the Saskatoon Symphony, and bringing its energy to Riversdale where it can be part of all the positive change happening there, will pay huge dividends to everyone involved.”

On my desk at work there is a RFP from the City of Saskatoon asking for a consultants report on how to fix 20th Street.  It may be a little late being put out because there has been more good news about investment on 20th Street than there has been for years.  In many ways it started with both Little Chief Police Station, the Roxy Theatre, and then later with the work that Shift Development Inc. has done with The Two Twenty and Collective Coffee.