Darby Lee Young deserves a really good round of applause in being named as a 2021 Top 25 Women of Influence, recognized as one of Canada’s diverse women role models.
I can remember being parked alongside her at Heritage Park and helping lift her heavy scooter out of the back of her vehicle.
Young was born with mild cerebral palsy and frustrated with the problems caused by so many barriers to people with disabilities, she founded Level Playing Field, an agency focused on the implementation of universal design principles and accessible best practices.
Her company is now appreciated across the country, but the award came about because of her positive influence with a well-known shoe designer.
She loved John Fluevog shoes but her gait meant they became scuffed too quickly and wore out at a particular spot. Young approached the designer with her problem and Fluevog proposed a collaboration that resulted in the creation of a new line of shoes – The Darby.
With a sole that is rubber, removable and easy to repair, the stylish ‘Darby’ line is now a bestseller across Canada and internationally.
I’ve mentioned before the loss to Calgary of large warehousing and distribution centres to the Balzac area but there are benefits to the city in the number of people they employ. Workers from the northeast sector can be on the job in only a few minutes from home.
The success of developments east of Cross Iron Mills shopping centre continues at a fast pace. Access to major corridors, lower mill rates and no business tax are big savings for big users. Steady has prompted High Plains Industrial Park to add another 298 acres to the 1,000 acres already being developed. Over the past five years the company has grown to nearly five million square feet of industrial space, and is currently going ahead with two new spec buildings of 409,360 and 150,000 square feet.
Watching the performance of Silvera for Seniors, and being more than impressed, caused an anonymous donor to approach Silvera CEO Arlene Adamson with an offer to help the non-profit organization to set up for future growth in housing for adults.
Thanks to a magnificent donation of $12 million – the largest in its 60 years of service – Silvera was able to purchase 2.3 acres of land in a desirable location in the Varsity Acres community, just east of Bow Valley Church facing onto Crowchild Trail.
Board chair Rob Eason says, “Silvera is determined to provide affordable housing for older Calgarians, being able to buy Varsity Estates Village is a major, unanticipated step forward in that mission.”
As I watch people driving by my home on these snow-covered streets, I have to wonder how on earth they will ever make it to the 40 KPH our wise councillors have declared as the correct speed.
And nevermind the $2 million plus to change signs, who is going to police them?
Final Words: Time spent being angry is time lost being happy.