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Introduce Yourself

Welcome to the forum, it's great to have you here! Congratulations to your wife as well, a masters degree is quite an accomplishment.

How are you finding life in Blatchford so far? Is it starting to feel like an actual residential community yet, despite the ongoing construction? I've been following it for years now – since before the airport closed – so I'm really excited that folks like you have moved in now.
Probably too early days to say too much about life here so far, it's dirt immediately in front and behind our place so for sure still feels like a construction site. That said, the smallness of the population here so far does seem to be creating a community feel. People were waving to us as we pulled in to move our stuff, and I've already met a fellow resident of the townhouse development we moved into via socials.
 
Hey all! Many of you know me already but I loved reading some of your bios. It really gives a personal touch to the people I debate and discuss with.

About me:

  • 33 years old, born and raised in Genesee, Alberta
  • Spent my first 25 years in Stony Plain, Class of 2006 from MCHS
  • Attended Concordia and obtained a 4 year Bachelor's Degree in Business in 2013
  • Owned and Operating a Landscaping and Design company between 2011 and 2014
  • Closed up shop, went pipelining for a year, saved up enough money to get my condo in downtown Edmonton
  • 2015 hit me hard, 2 weeks after putting all my savings into my condo I was laid off from my job. I picked bottles, ate nothing but rice, and put in HUNDREDS of resumes across the city from Mcdonalds to Warehouses. I survived by flip-flopping cash advances on two credit cards buying myself time until I could find work. It took 7 months until I finally got a job doing telecommunications contracting work
  • Mid 2015 my bosses ask if I want to go on deployments for work, my piece pay was paying under minimum wage, no other job ops were available, so I said yes. I rented my condo (at a fair loss) and set out on deployments with my old camping gear, a cot, a water jug, and camping stove. For the next two years I lived in 23 towns from Tofino, to Prince Rupert, to Moricetown, to Drumheller, to Wainwright, to Stewart. During this time I created a massive portfolio of western Canadian photography, and was able to save up all my per diem those year to get out of debt, and save to go back to school and re-educate.
  • 2017 rolls around, I'm accepted into NAIT's petroleum engineering technology program with everyone telling me it's a mistake, oil's dead, blah blah blah. This is when I get hit with a special assessment from my condo to finally fix lingering repairs to the place. Half my savings, savings that was JUST enough to get me through school was gone.
  • So I get a job with the town of Stony Plain. Rink Maintenance! I learned to master the zamboni with amazing coworkers, learned how to maintain and operate a 1950s style ice plant, and worked really late nights till 2 AM sometimes whilst going to school full time.
  • Graduated with honors, got a job with Fortis, and now have a nice cozy union job in Courtenay, BC doing Planning and Design work.
  • And in all that time, travelling and family have been my two mainstays. I've travelled all over the world, dozens of countries since University, and am currently planning a Post-Covid trip to Antarctica.
  • I have a wonderful set of parents, a sister, and a brother in law. No animals unfortunately until I get my second property.
Edit: found a photo from my time in Gingolx.

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DSC_1484.jpg
 
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Hello everyone. With summer approaching I hope to be more active on the forums, and so I will introduce myself now. I have been active in the past, but the majority of my time here since I discovered this site over three years ago has been spent lurking.

I'm 20 (though not for very much longer), and I have lived in Edmonton my whole life. I am currently a student at the University of Alberta, pursuing a degree in urban planning. Prior to that I spent two years at MacEwan finding my way, with most of that time spent studying economics.

I got my driver's licence only a little less than two weeks ago, so I have mostly relied on transit and my family to get around. I plan to continue taking the LRT to commute to the university though, both for cost and because it gives me an opportunity to see the city on a regular basis.

My interest in this area came primarily from growing with games like SimCity and Minecraft. Those games allowed me to recreate places from movies or other games, but also to create places of my own. My other interests no doubt contributed to, and developed alongside, my passion for urban design. Those interests include history, architecture and design, and transportation (mostly ships and trains). I think it all came together for me when I visited Toronto about 10 years ago, and saw all of these things existing and interacting in one place. Maybe it's the idea of all these things I love coming together, but cities (and especially city centres) have always left me with a feeling of amazement and wonder not unlike what I felt going to Disneyland as a child.

I actually discovered this site during my "lost years" at MacEwan, and it's part of what convinced me to transfer to the U of A and pursue urban planning. So thank you all, for that.

I've only just discovered this thread after all this time, so it's nice to get to know a little more about all of you that I've been following here for several years.
 
Hi there, been on here a couple of weeks now but just noticed this thread when someone linked it in the Valley Line thread:

Here's a little bit about me:

-I am currently 16 years old
-I live in and have lived in Sherwood Park for my entire life (except for when I was a baby when I lived in Mill Woods but I don't remember that.)
-I developed an interest in architecture and city planning in junior high. Since then I have been obsessed.
-I am in grade 11 right now and am hoping to build a career in either the architecture or urban planning field.
-When University applications are due next year I plan to apply at UBC, UofT, Ryerson and Carleton in their architecture/urbanism programs (any advice?)
 
Hi there, been on here a couple of weeks now but just noticed this thread when someone linked it in the Valley Line thread:

Here's a little bit about me:

-I am currently 16 years old
-I live in and have lived in Sherwood Park for my entire life (except for when I was a baby when I lived in Mill Woods but I don't remember that.)
-I developed an interest in architecture and city planning in junior high. Since then I have been obsessed.
-I am in grade 11 right now and am hoping to build a career in either the architecture or urban planning field.
-When University applications are due next year I plan to apply at UBC, UofT, Ryerson and Carleton in their architecture/urbanism programs (any advice?)
May I recommend the University of Waterloo's Co-op Planning program? As an Alumnus, I can say that the co-operative aspect was invaluable in gaining me nearly two years' worth of planning work experience upon graduation, which made it much, much easier to compete for entry-level planning jobs. Plus, the faculty are great and Kitchener-Waterloo is an excellent place to live and learn as a student.
 
^
and, for what it's worth, there has been a push to once again have a school of architecture at the u of a that is starting to look a lot more positive than it has for a very long time. i can't see it being in place next year or even the year after but depending on your course selection from their planning and engineering faculties over the next couple of years it may turn out to be able to offer you something.
 
A quick plug for the U of A (If you're interested in sticking around Edmonton). The U of A's BA & BSc planning programs are accredited and very good quality - plus there are co-op opportunities.

Looking more general & long-term, an undergrad in planning + a graduate degree in architecture (or vice versa) would provide an extremely strong base of skills with which you can pretty much do anything architecture/planning-wise that you want. There are lots of different and interesting career paths you can pursue out of either.
I have been considering doing in under-grad in planning or general design and then a graduate degree in archi so if that's something you would recommend, I may consider that more. Staying around edm would be nice at least for undergrad because I've found it nearly impossible to find a job (most likely due to covid). So being able to stay at home or at least not need to pay rent in Toronto or Vancouver would definitely make the financial perspective better.
 
I have been considering doing in under-grad in planning or general design and then a graduate degree in archi so if that's something you would recommend, I may consider that more. Staying around edm would be nice at least for undergrad because I've found it nearly impossible to find a job (most likely due to covid). So being able to stay at home or at least not need to pay rent in Toronto or Vancouver would definitely make the financial perspective better.
Another U of A plug, since you brought up design.

Their BDes program is also very strong, and there are options to combine the BDes with other areas of study such as the planning program (or even engineering, if you're interested in the more technical side of things). Either way, there are lots of good options right here in Edmonton, and if what @kcantor mentioned about the Architecture school happens sooner rather than later, the options will be even better!
 
And best of all -- Athabasca University has a really powerful Architectural programme -- it has already turned out some notables (e.g. the design architect for the Hudson tower in Edmonton). You can actually follow the Athabasca route to a post graduate credential and best of all you can stay put in Edmonton. (I think this is a precursor to a bricks-and-mortar school in Edmonton). Having taken nearly a dozen courses at A.U. and cognizant of the use of technology in presenting courses it is literally THE BEST. I say this with two years of experience at U. of A., one year at Carleton (Ottawa), two years at NAIT, three years at UCLA, one year at West Los Angles College, one year at U. North Carolina, one course at Harvard and -- as mentioned a slew of courses at Athabasca. In my current position, I would definitely hire graduates from AU.
 
I have been considering doing in under-grad in planning or general design and then a graduate degree in archi so if that's something you would recommend, I may consider that more. Staying around edm would be nice at least for undergrad because I've found it nearly impossible to find a job (most likely due to covid). So being able to stay at home or at least not need to pay rent in Toronto or Vancouver would definitely make the financial perspective better.
As a recent grad of the U of A BFA program in 2019, (which is tied to Bdes, the two programs are combined first year, then branch apart, with some crossover. I did a year of Industrial Design for my degree, for example) stay general in your undergrad, explore what's out there, and KEEP YOUR GPA UP BECAUSE GRAD SCHOOLS ARE ON SOME BS ABOUT ALL THAT.
I went into my bfa intending to go into an M.arch afterwards. this was a common route in the past, with many successful architects in Alberta following this plan. in the 5 years i spent in undergrad (see the extra year of ID i mentioned) the number of M.arch schools in Canada accepting people with other degrees (BAs, BFAs, Bdes, etc) versus a purpose-designed Bachelor of Architecture (Dalhousie and U of C offer this, i'm sure there's others as well now too) shrank from 5-6 to 3. This meant anyone wanting to do an M.arch had fewer options, and the competition for places got more difficult. I'll spare you my own sob story about not getting accepted to any of those schools despite all my hard work because y'all don't need that, but just know it is INSANELY competitive to do an M.arch these days, and tbh, there aren't many jobs for full-on architects out there.
I strongly suggest doing office visits, interviews, anything you can to get a sense of the construction, design, development, and planning industries. there are so many different jobs in these areas, and the type and amount of education you need to do them varies a lot. If you're more technical and love how buildings get built, Architecture Technologies (NAIT or SAIT) are great 2-year programs, and they get you into the industry to work and learn. This is what i did and I love it so far, and actually the BFA was really helpful in this work as well.
I'm not as familiar with planning, but I've heard/seen jobs for people with just a bachelor's degree in some planning fields. it's a super diverse area, talk to people in the industry to get a feel for what path to start down. Go to planning events with the city, just to get a vibe from them. do the online/virtual stuff. The Ualberta planning program is new but already well-regarded; and very progressive. take HGP classes no matter what. I kinda wish i had done planning instead of a BFA, for the career advantages.
Your plan to stay in Edmonton for undergrad makes oodles of sense. save your money, explore, do a 5-year undergrad if you can, so you can take those extra uni courses and take advantage of all the knowledge available on campus. a masters is when you specialize, branch out and explore a bit first, then for your last 60 credits (the bit grad schools focus on) KEEP YOUR GPA UP. like, 3.7-and-higher up. dead serious.
sorry for the ramble, you're just embarking on a big change in your life, and tbh high school rarely prepares people adequately for all the possibilities. be ready to explore and find a different path than what you initially expected. To that end, scope things out as best you can beforehand, before diving into a 4-5 year degree.

edit: I hope this doesn't sound bitter towards U of A and the BFA/Bdes route into architecture; just know that that route is now very competitive, and means committing 6-8 years of your life to education you'll get a lot out of it; I grew immensely in the bfa program, and was able to transfer what i learned to other things. It was just a sideways transition. explore what's out there, and be ready for your career path to be anything but a straight line.
 
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^^^^ and to add to what @cliffapotamus has so eloquently stated, don't view education as a "one and done" situation. Education is a life-long endeavor; knowledge requires constant upgrade or you risk becoming static and irrelevant, particularly in the Design fields -- like the song says, "and if you hate to go to school, you may grow up to be a mule!"
 
Hi everyone.

I've been a reader of the board for quite some time now and have finally decided to sign up. Unfortunately, I don't know much about construction but I'd like to share a photo or two of our great city and maybe a few emojis here and there. I can also be your backup/support in a heated online discussion. Just send me a private message and say "I need you to support my post bro, I'm getting roasted out here". I'll do it for a beer.

I'm in my mid 30s by the way and I came out here from Toronto in a Honda Civic full of clothes and an Xbox 360. This was back in 2013 if I remember. I came out here to work for the Government and pretty much never looked back. I settled down, started a family, bought a house and a bbq. Nowadays you can find me in my backyard prepping my steaks and complaining about the things I have little to no control over.

Cheers!
 

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