Timber Coffee Co.

After driving through Olds, we decided to head North towards Sylvan Lake which is a summer resort town with a huge lake. I would think the population triples in the summer. There are some days I think it would be cool to live in a small town like this, but then the city calls me back and holds me there.

One such find in Sylvan Lake is Timber Coffee Co. The main reason I wanted to check this place out, is that it is a non-profit shop ran by Central Alberta Youth Unlimited.

The Interior

Outfitted in a one-story building shared with Central Alberta Youth Unlimited, Timber Coffee offers a spacious cafe with plenty of seating. After looking around, it appears the café is furnished by IKEA products. They have a wall of products and swag that are for sale that supports the youth organization. I did buy a nice ball cap, and my daughter bought a sweatshirt. As I made my way back to the washroom, I noticed that they had an indoor skateboard park inside the building along with more great space for kids to hang out and play games.

The Drinks

They offer several coffees from greats such as Timbertrain out of Vancouver which is a welcome sight outside of Calgary. This shop offers both classic espresso (lattes, cappuccinos) and regular coffee, as well as some hand-crafted specialties (pourovers, macchiatos).

I tried a vanilla latte and was quite impressed. Their vanilla flavouring is made in house and is quite good. The baristas are talented and their latte art showed their skill. My wife had the London Fog and my daughter had the iced vanilla latte.  Both drinks also very good.

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The Food

Unfortunately, we didn’t order any food this day.

The Service

The staff are friendly, helpful and overall it was a great place to sit and hang out for a while.

 

The Hours

Monday to Friday: 7:30am to 8pm

Saturday: 9am to 8pm

Sunday: 9am to 4pm

 

Parking

There is lots of parking on either side of the building.

Last Words

After relaxing with my coffee for a short time, it was time for me to start my journey home. I would definitely drop by Timber Coffee again for another great beverage. Lastly, I would like to say that Central Alberta Youth Unlimited has done an outstanding job with this place. If you are driving by Sylvan Lake or there enjoying the lake, please stop by this place and support a great establishment.

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Cocoa Tree Bake Shop

When traveling through Alberta, I have usually cruised the same old roads up the number 2 going to Edmonton never venturing off the beaten path. However, this day we decided to change course, create our own path and head into Olds. I found myself on a detour, meandering a less-traveled route along a secondary highway to see some of the beautiful rolling hills of Alberta.  After reviewing a town map, one establishment stood out. We made our way down the street to the other side of the tracks to visit a local café called the Cocoa Tree Bake Shop. This shop specializes in cakes and cupcakes for all occasions.

The Interior

Nestled in an old house, the Cocoa Tree Bake Shop is one of the few coffee shops in the area. Buzzing with activity the morning of our visit, the shop was warm and cozy with a pleasant atmosphere and we were pleased to see that this little shop had a bunch of indoor and outdoor seating. While we were there, there was a group of ladies, I thought were retired teachers, lots of back and forth chatter, talking about a woman named Joyce. After listening to the stories, we would really like to meet Joyce.

 

The Drinks

After reviewing the menu, my wife decided to try something new that she had never heard of before. It was called an Iced Strawberry Matcha Slush, she said it was amazing and there was a strong taste of strawberry. To our amazement there was actual strawberries mashed into the beverage. My daughter had a Toasted Marshmallow Latte, she wished it tasted more like a toasted marshmallow. She was happy that there was a toasted marshmallow on the top of the drink. I enjoyed a Vanilla Latte, it was good. I think there could have been better flavour.

 

The Food

The cakes and cupcakes on display looked absolutely amazing. So we decided to try a few different things. We ordered a 6 pack of different types of cupcakes, a Rootbeer Cupcake, a Carrot Cake Cupcake, a S’more Cupcake, a Banana Split Cupcake, a Maple Bacon Cupcake, and a Raspberry Chocolate Cupcake.  They were moist but some lacked flavor unfortunately.

We also ordered a Lemon Brownie. It was a white chocolate brownie flavoured with lemon. It was delicious and not as sweet as what we thought it would be.  It was perfectly balanced and I would definitely order that again.

 

The Service

Overall, the service was really good. The staff were extremely friendly.

 

The Hours

Monday 9:30-5pm

Tuesday to Friday 9:30-5:30pm

Saturday 10-2pm

Sunday Closed

 

Parking

Cocoa Tree Bake Shop has a few stalls right out front and there is lots of parking on the street.

 

Last words

After polishing off our drinks and treats, we continued on our detour quite refreshed and ready for some more coffee. We were off to Sylvan Lake to see what we can find there.

If you seek good coffee and some treats in central Alberta, definitely check out the Cocoa Tree Bake Shop in Olds.

Skeleton Construction Crew Guards Calgary Sinkhole

This article was written by Lucie Edwardson on August 10 2018 for CBC News Calgary. Hope everyone enjoys this one.

To view the video click http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1296472131538/

Trio of skeletons dressed in construction gear keeping an eye on hole until city fills it.

A Calgary family is having some early Halloween fun with a sizeable sinkhole that was discovered outside their northwest Calgary home last Friday.

Jordan Piraux said she and her family were enjoying a quiet evening last Friday when they heard sirens right outside their Evanston home.

When they walked outside they were shocked to see a massive sinkhole had appeared at the end of their driveway.

“We didn’t know how it started or when it happened,” she said. “It’s actually five feet wide by almost five feet deep.”

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Tim Piraux measures the depth of the sinkhole at the end of his driveway. (Lucie Edwardson/CBC)

But, the Piraux family — known for their over-the-top Halloween decorations — aren’t ones to dwell on the negative, and had a more humorous response in mind.

The family set up a skeleton crew of three in and around the sinkhole’s barriers and dressed them as construction workers — with hard hats and work vests.

“We set this guy up, having him leaning on this sort of sweeping up the mess, and then we have our guy over there who’s kinda stopping traffic — we have his hand out — and then we have the one in the hole, which we thought was kind of funny,” she said.

The family said they didn’t notice the ground sinking or anything leading up.

Tim Piraux said he posted a photo of their bony friends to his Instagram page called Extreme Coffee Freak as a joke, tagging the city and Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

“It started off with one skeleton saying we’ve been waiting so long that we’ve got things crawling out of the hole now,” he said. “And then we took it a little farther saying now the city is killing their men, working them to death now as we’re still waiting for the hole to be fixed.”

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This skeleton is on cleanup duty. (Lucie Edwardson/CBC)

The Piraux’s said they’ve been having fun with the situation and so have their neighbours.

“They were driving by, they were laughing. We’ve had people drive by and then take a second look, it was kind of funny,” she said. “And then we’ve had a lot of kids come out and kinda give high fives to the skeletons, so it’s been a great response from the community.”

Despite their good-natured demeanour, the Piraux family said they would like to have the hole fixed sooner rather than later, so their skeletons can rest up for their October debut.

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Tim and Jordan Piraux pose with their skeleton in charge of traffic control (Lucie Edwardson/CBC)

Corey Colbran, manager of waste water and storm water collection for the city, said his crews have conducted multiple tests on the site and concluded there are no water leaks or main breaks that caused the hole to form.

And, with the hole having sat open in front of the Piraux’s driveway for nearly a week without anyone informing the family of when it would be fixed or what they learned, he admits the city could have done a better job of communicating with them.

“On the Friday before a long weekend we probably ran into some issues there,” he said. “In terms of communication we probably could have done a better job of communicating with the home owners.

A spokesperson for the city’s roads department said a natural event removed material from under the roadway causing it to collapse and they’ve now been given the green light to fill the hole — but  couldn’t say when that would happen.

 

 

Milano Coffee

When making my way through Calgary’s downtown, I am often get encouraged by the growing number of decent coffee establishments popping up in the area. One of my favourites while we were in Vancouver a couple of years ago was Milano Coffee. They have now opened a shop here in Calgary.

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The Interior

Naturally when walking downtown, my eyes dart to and fro for great coffee, as there’s nothing as sweet as great coffee in a stylish space.

Milano’s interior is very modern, with a concrete and wood flair. They also have some huge doors that open up to a great patio. This is very similar to the great patio they have in Vancouver.

The Drinks

My wife had a London Fog, my daughter had the Iced Raspberry Mocha and I tried a Iced Cortado. My daughter could not taste the raspberry which was quite disappointing.

Milano’s roast’s their own beans.

They source, hand roast, and blend each of their espresso’s, containing up to 13 different origin coffees. Milano is a supporter of small farm estate, fair trade and certified organic coffees.

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The Food

The food that I did see looked really good. We did not eat anything the day we were there.

 

The Service

The girl that was working there the day we were there was extremely friendly and helpful as we were asking a lot of questions about Milano’s.

 

The Hours

Hours are pretty standard for a shop downtown:

Monday to Friday: 7am to 6pm

Saturday: 8am to 6pm

Sunday: 8am to 4pm

 

Parking

Again it’s downtown Calgary. Parking is always at a premium and can be expensive unless you go down on Sunday when street parking is free.

 

Last words

Really enjoyed visiting this place, funny story about Milano’s. When we visited the shop in Vancouver, there was a performer in the shop and he was playing guitar, all types of music but with a latin flair. For the area he was quite loud as his guitar was hooked up to an amp. The guy with his amp drove my daughter nuts, so we could only hope that when we walked into Milano’s here, there would be an entrainer playing a guitar. But no such luck.

If you are downtown on 11 Avenue SW, go check this place out.

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Halloween skeletons put to work on Evanston sinkhole

This article was written by Stephanie Babych on August 7, 2018 for The Calgary Herald. Thank you so much for bringing this to light. Hope everyone enjoys the article and our take on what to do with Sink Holes.

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Neighbourhood kids look at a sinkhole at the corner of Evansfield Rd and Evanansfield Terrace NW in Calgary, on Tuesday August 7, 2018. Leah Hennel/Postmedia

A northwest family is highlighting the horrors of the city’s slow response to a large sinkhole on their street, enlisting the help of some Halloween skeletons to make their point.

On Friday afternoon, part of the road collapsed in front of the Piraux family’s home in Evanston, creating a sinkhole filled with muddy water. After calling Calgary 311 multiple times to report the hole, the frustrated family dug through their Halloween decorations to have a little fun with it.

“We are pretty known in our community as the ‘Halloween House.’ We live on a corner so we really do Halloween, like we have a 15-foot skeleton, we do a whole graveyard and usually have five skeletons hanging around,” Jordan Piraux said Tuesday.

“(Monday) afternoon, we were sitting around kind of bored in the community and we thought, let’s just put some skeletons in the hole and see what happens.”

They dressed the skeletons in safety vests and hard hats, placing them in and around the sinkhole to make them look as though they were doing construction, in the absence of actual city workers.

“It’s kind of joking that the city isn’t there and the skeletons are doing the city’s job. It’s a good joke,” said Piraux.

She said the neighbours had priceless reactions, asking if the family was already setting up for Halloween.

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Neighbourhood kids look at a sinkhole at the corner of Evansfield Rd and Evanansfield Terrace NW in Calgary, on Tuesday August 7, 2018. Leah Hennel/Postmedia

But while the family is taking a lighthearted approach to the sinkhole, it is preventing them from getting one of their vehicles out of the driveway.

And Piraux said they’ve seen a number of near crashes as drivers try to avoid the obstacle.

It’s not the first time this year residents miffed by a slow response from city crews to repair damaged streets have been creative in expressing their ire.

In June, a large pothole in Mayland Heights that had irked neighbours for months was filled with soil and flowers, a colourful message to the city.

The Piraux family is hoping city crews will be out to repair the road quickly, so they can continue life as normal.

The city did not immediately provide a comment about the status of the repairs.

sbabych@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @BabychStephanie