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''This is only a '''small''' list of some of the biggest attractions and even though they are listed here, their info is brief.  Make sure to check out the district articles for more.''
''This is only a '''small''' list of some of the biggest attractions and even though they are listed here, their info is brief.  Make sure to check out the district articles for more.''
[[Image:Alberta-Provincial-Legislature-Edmonton.jpg|thumb|150px|Alberta Legislature is really a gem.]]
Edmonton is home to these major attractions:
Edmonton is home to these major attractions:
*'''Alberta Legislature''' - Beautiful colonial architecture paints the picture of the Legislature.  The building dates back to 1911. When the City of Edmonton was chosen as capital for the province in 1905, this was built.  Inside are tours and be sure to look at the masterpiece of art.  Definitely nice for people who like history, government, and/or architecture.   
*'''Alberta Legislature''' - Beautiful colonial architecture paints the picture of the Legislature.  The building dates back to 1911. When the City of Edmonton was chosen as capital for the province in 1905, this was built.  Inside are tours and be sure to look at the masterpiece of art.  Definitely nice for people who like history, government, and/or architecture.   

Revision as of 00:17, 2 December 2008

Edmonton is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — have a look at each of them.
Edmonton skyline rolling off of the North Saskatchewan River Valley.

Edmonton [5] is the capital city of Alberta. It is home to 1.1 million people and is the northernmost metro area with a million people in North America. It is home to North America's largest mall: West Edmonton Mall, Canada's largest historic park: Fort Edmonton, and North America's largest urban parkland network. It has brilliant spectator sports, and is Canada's Festival City, home to a growing and established retail market, bustling nightlife, and a large number of high end golf courses.

Edmonton is currently presenting a bid to hold the World's Fair 2017. It is also home to the Edmonton Indy, the only Indy race in Canada. Despite it's reputation as a low-rise city, Edmonton has quite the urban core. Edmonton (though not exactly known for it) also has a wide variety of architectural styles. The city is home to a fast growing population and a diversifying economy which is doing well for the metro area.


Edmonton district, major roads, freeway, and LRT map. Consider printing for simple navigation. Click to enlarge.
The oldest and most dense part of the city, with neighbourhoods like Downtown, Oliver, Queen Mary Park, and Alberta Avenue. A lot of shopping, theatres, parks, festivals, walks, and galleries, plus the highest concentration of high end hotels and has a wide variety of architectural designs.
South Central
Includes Garneau, the University of Alberta, and other areas. The university contributes tens of thousands of students to the population, lowering the average age and raising the average party potential. The city's funkiest shopping strip is here on Whyte Avenue, with a hot nightlife zone nearby, and a number of beautiful parks.
West End
Includes Miseracordia, Westmount, Glenora, and many more. This area has a wide range of neighbourhoods from turn-of-the-century neighborhoods near the center, to very recent developments further west. This area has many attractions, with the largest being West Edmonton Mall and the Edmonton Corn Maze.
Includes Highlands, Beverly Olde Towne, and Rundle. It is an old and well preserved area of mostly residential use, close to or overlooking the North Saskatchewan River valley.
The epitome of modern cookie-cutter development, thanks mainly to the Terwillegar development area. Despite being suburban, the area is also home to transit centred developments like Century Park and Southgate (mostly under construction), which each is getting a new LRT stop. The mall is getting a big expansion and is a well-established place for meeting up or for walking. The area is also home to a group of warehouses (modern).
Consists of neighborhoods south of the river and east of Bonnie Doon like: Capilano, Argyll, etc. A mostly residential/industrial area and is, for the most part, low-wealth, with the exception of river valley areas. A lot of people work in the nearby refineries and are more set back. Beautiful scenery can be found here.
The area divided into two areas basically. The northeast is Edmonton's commuter town, although within city limits. The northwest is your typical boring suburb.
Mill Woods
The Woods is a primarily 1970s development that is often called by Edmontonians as just a neighborhood. It is a total suburban wasteland. Don't expect to be able to walk here, but for car-rides. At its centre is a shopping mall called Towne Centre. Basically, it's a suburb.



Edmonton was first founded as a fort in 1795 and grew into a major fort in the fur trade. In 1894, the town of Edmonton was founded and the city quickly grew. By 1904, Edmonton was incorporated as a city and had over 1000 people. The next ten years saw a rise in population to 74,000, but following the end of a real-estate boom the population decline within two years to 53,000. At this time the city's growth was being driven in part by the arrival of the railways, making the town a major transportation hub. The city grew in area during this time by acquiring land that was owned as a reserve which eventually became downtown. In 1912, the town south of the city that held the University of Alberta, Strathcona, was annexed. By 1905 Edmonton had become Alberta's capital. The 1920s saw slow growth for the city and by the 30s, Edmonton reached 79,000 people but was still growing slowly due to the depression.

Oil was discovered just south of the city in the 1950s, and Edmonton came to be known as the "Oil Capital of Canada". This boom boosted the population to 275,000 by the decade's close. Downtown became the cultural center of the city, with clubs and shops lining every street. This was also when the "outer suburbs" concept became reality-Jasper Place, Belgravia, Bonnie Doon, Kilarney, Westmount, etc. were built. Before this, Glenora, Central McDougall, Highlands, and Strathcona were the city limits.

The city grew through the 60s as well, and the first building over 100 meters was completed: the CN Tower, which still stands tall just north of downtown. By the 1970s, high oil prices stimulated growth, raising the metropolitan population to about 570,000 in 1975. The 70s also saw a skyscraper boom with many residential and business towers added to the Central Business District.

In the 1980s, there was a sharp decline in growth because of an economic recession. Even so, there were still a lot of office towers built, including the current tallest, ManuLife Place, at 146 meters. By 1986, when West Edmonton Mall was completed, and metro area census reported 796,000 residents. The 80s also had mild suburban growth.

The 90s brought economic uncertainty and development slowed to a crawl. The term "Deadmonton" was used as the city's downtown sat empty, and Whyte Avenue was barely lively. However, in the 2000s, Edmonton's economy started to diversify, with high tech sectors opening up, and the oil sector is becoming less and less the priority of the economy. Edmonton is also becoming a world leader in sustainability. As well, the National Nanotechnology Centre at the University of Alberta was built, building the city's technology sector. In 2004, Edmonton hit 1 million people. In 06/07, Edmonton experienced a boom especially in its downtown core and suburban area. The city grew by 49,000 in 2 years, not bad for it's size. Today Edmonton is still growing fast, despite economic uncertainty and is probably one of the most stable places in Canada. Central areas are still growing and new stuff is popping up making the area hip and comfortable.


Edmonton skyline in winter.

Must-haves for winter in Edmonton
For health reasons, you should always have the following with you between November and March. Sometimes you will not need it, but you should pack it anyways:

  • Toque
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Sweaters
  • Thick jackets
  • Boots (depending what you will be doing)
  • Mittens
  • Scarf (optional, but very very helpful)

Edmonton's climate is "northern continental", with a wide range of weather all four distinct seasons. The city is located at the same latitude as Hamburg, Germany and Liverpool, England, and experiences similarly warm summer days and cool nights. In total Edmonton receives 2,289 hours of sunshine per year, making it one of Canada's sunniest cities. Rainfall is low to moderate, and entire weeks can pass without clouds or precipitation through the late spring and summer.

Bright green foliage appears in May, signaling spring. Even as the city shakes off its winter chill, cold snaps and the occasional snowfall can still occur. The region's golf courses are generally open by this time, and other summer sports like soccer and softball begin to operate in the city's public sports facilities.

Summer days generally bring temperatures up to 21-25°C (70-77°F) in June, July, and August, though temperatures will often rise over 30°C (85°F) for a few days. Thunderstorms sweep in from time to time during the summer months, usually in the evening. Humidity is relatively low, so warm days are more comfortable than they are in humid climates. At the height of summer, Edmonton enjoys more than 17 hours of daylight, with twilight extending past 11PM in June and July.

Fall starts in mid September and is highlighted by bright yellow and orange foliage in Edmonton's extensive river valley parks. This season ushers in cooler temperatures ranging between 10-20°C during the day. Many tourists visit Edmonton and region for fall celebrations. For some, Edmonton acts as the gateway to the fall hunting season.

Edmonton winters are not as harsh as those further east on the Canadian Prairies. Periods of mild temperatures with daytime highs over 0°C (32°F) can occur. Such mild weather makes outdoor winter sports extremely popular with the locals. Stop by a local outdoor ice rink to catch the fever of children and adults alike taking part in community hockey. Colder days in Edmonton are kept reasonably comfortable by the low humidity index, but it's wise to have some lip balm and hand cream with you, as the skin and lips can get cracked and chapped quickly in this dry environment.

Edmonton gets much less snowfall than many other Canadian cities and even American cities further south. Winter walking and driving are not often affected. But cold snaps with temperatures down to and beyond -40°C/F may occur a couple of times during the winter (though it's unusual for these frigid spells to last more than 3 or 4 days). Extremely cold temperatures are usually accompanied by the crisp blue skies and bright sunshine of a prairie high-pressure zone. Even regular winter temperatures can become annoying in the rare occasion that there is a noticeable wind, so be prepared if you are visiting from a more temperate climate between December and March.

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) -7.3 -3.6 2.1 11.3 17.6 21 22.8 22.1 16.8 10.9 0 -5.4
Nightly lows (°C) -16 -13.1 -7.3 -0.3 5.7 10 12.1 11.1 5.8 0.3 -8.2 -13.9

Edmonton is pretty great all-year-round, but the best time is definitely to go in the summer months, particularly August or July. Coming here in summer guarantees you great festivals (not as many in winter), all farmers' markets to be open, more people out and about, better walks, and not freezin' your tooshie off.

Winter is great too, but for people from more southerly climates, it can be very cold. If coming from a city like Montréal or Winnipeg, Edmonton isn't that cold, in fact it may be a little bit cooler. Edmonton has a lot of festivals in wintertime too, just not as many as in summer.

Get in

By plane

By far the fastest and most comfortable way to get to Edmonton from outside Alberta is by flying. Most major airlines service Edmonton. General travel times to Edmonton are 45 minutes from Calgary, 1 1/2 hours from Vancouver, 4 1/2 hours from Montreal, and 4 hours from Toronto. Edmonton's main airport is the western hub to Canada's North.

  • Edmonton International Airport (IATA: YEG), [6]. Edmonton International is located south of Edmonton in Leduc County. Edmonton International Airport is the fastest growing intl airport in Canada-with new parkades, services, terminals, planes, hotels, and shops popping up. It has two terminals, with a central hall that is the security point for all domestic and international traffic (excluding travel to the US, which uses the South Terminal). Transportation to and from the airport will need to be arranged as there is no public transportation available to the airport. There is an airport shuttle available at an affordable cost ($15 one way; $25 return). Taxi service is also available, but can be costly (around $60 to or from downtown as of 2006). The drive between Edmonton International airport and downtown is about half an hour, using the Queen Elizabeth Hwy 2, Gateway Boulevard, Walterdale Bridge and other parts of the city. Allow extra time during the morning and afternoon rush hours. Car rental companies are located in the parkade directly across for the terminal for easy pick-up and returns.
  • WestJet, [7]. Canada's main discount airline services most western cities out of Edmonton, as well as most major Canadian centers.
  • Air Canada, [8]. The national carrier uses Edmonton International as a gateway to the Canadian North.

To Europe, Edmonton has daily service to London on Air Canada. To the United States, Edmonton has scheduled departures to 10 United States airports: Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Denver, Minneapolis, and Chicago.

Edmonton International Airport has seasonal charter service to/from: Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Mexico City, Las Vegas, Laughlin, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Varadero, Cancun, Punta Cana, and Puerto Plata.

By car

Jasper Avenue as a major road.

Edmonton is located on flat to rolling parkland in the plains east of the Canadian Rockies, with a deep river valley extending from the southwest to the northeast. Edmonton is the gateway to the Canadian North and Jasper National Park. Jasper is a 3 1/2 hour drive from Edmonton via the Yellowhead Hwy. Edmonton is the starting point for many outdoors people, and RV'ers on their way to the Canadian Rockies (i.e. Jasper), the Yukon, and Alaska. Edmonton is 3 hours north of Calgary on the Queen Elizabeth II highway (formerly Highway 2), and 3 1/2 hours east of Jasper on highway 16.

From Vancouver, take the Trans-Canada (Highway 1) east to Hope, then the #5 (Coquihalla Highway) from Hope to the Yellowhead (Highway 16) eastbound junction just east of Tete Jaune Cache and north of Valemount. The average travel time in summer is 12-13 hours - assuming you do not plan on staying overnight along the way, which most traveling by road often do anyways. If you do choose to stay overnight along the way, there is no shortage of hotels and motels in BC's highway towns.

It is not recommended to take this route in a personal vehicle during the winter months of October to March. Although this major trucking route is well-maintained, severe winter storms can arise suddenly, particularly on the major inclines between Hope and Kamloops in British Columbia. Even regular bad weather can produce impassable roads, and communities are few and far between north of Kamloops. If you do want to make this trip during winter, stick to days without snowfall and try to travel during daylight (roughly 8AM to 5PM). Please note that all these travel times are based on good driving conditions, and can vary significantly based on weather and highway conditions.


Edmonton currently has one freeway that is entirely a freeway, Whitemud Drive. It is east-west and goes through the West/South/Mill Woods areas of the city from Anthony Henday Drive in the west to Anthony Henday in the east.

Currently, Anthony Henday Drive is a highway-in-progress with a number of four-way intersections still present. By 2016, it is planned to be the ring-road of Metro Edmonton. Currently West, SW, SE, and East legs are done.

Yellowhead Trail (HWY 16/Transcanada Yellowhead) is is a high-traffic route through the north-end of the city, but it isn't. Towards the city's western edge, the highway is interrupted with a series of intersections (notably between 124th Street and 170 Street exits).

Other semi-freeways include: Wayne Gretzky Dr., Sherwood Park Dr., Saint Albert Trail, Manning Dr., Groat Road, Calgary Trail (s. of 23 Ave.), and Stony Plain Road (west of 179 St.).

For people unfamiliar with the city, you may see some of the freeways, most notably Whitemud Drive, are surrounded by trees and houses instead of asphalt and bigboxes like many other cities. This is because a lot of the big box development is just off the highways and the parts bordering the freeways are actually residential and full of trees. It adds natural beauty but means a lot of stuff is off the main highways.

By bus

Greyhound, [9] services Edmonton from all major Canadian cities. There is also a premium service between Edmonton and Calgary, Red Deer, and Fort McMurray with Red Arrow Motorcoach, [10] which feature more spacious seating (only three seats to a row) and "workstation" seats with electrical connections for business travelers and their computers.

Note for Americans: Greyhound Canada is much nicer than Greyhound USA. There are on-board movie services, seats are more comfortable, and your fellow passengers are generally quite interesting people from very differing backgrounds. It is actually quite enjoyable.

By train

VIA Rail, 12360-121 Street, [11] provides passenger train services for Edmonton, and is linked to several major cities along the Canadian National Railroad. The VIA train station is now located a short distance from downtown just a couple of blocks north of the Yellowhead Highway and near the northwest corner of City Centre Airport. The station has free wifi, just ask a staff member for the passkey (as of Jan. '08, is 7804482575).

VIA Rail prices are higher than train prices generally in Europe. Passenger trains arrive through Edmonton numerous times during week. Passengers experience leisurely travel through some of the most amazing scenery in the world. Though somewhat more expensive than bus travel, service on a VIA Rail train even in the lowest class is superior to any bus. You can get up and walk around the carriages, dine conveniently, and you will find plenty of legroom in the comfortable seats. If you can afford the extra cost, it is generally worthwhile to take the train rather than the bus.

Get around

In the central and south central there are WikiTravel maps that are specific to those areas and their neighbourhoods. It'd be wise to print them off to get the most comprehensive map of those areas around. They are very useful for getting around and finding things.

A large part of the city, built before and during the Second World War, is laid out in a grid-like system of straight streets, which makes for rather easy navigation by car. Most areas of the city built within the last 30 to 40 years have more chaotically arranged streets with loops and cul-de-sacs. And there are a number of bridges open only to one-way traffic going in and out of the downtown core. For these reasons, it's wise to consult a city map if you're not familiar with the city.

Major roadways include the Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16 - also known as Yellowhead Trail within the city) on the north side and Whitemud Drive in the south side and west end. The largest north-south roadway is Calgary Trail/Gateway Boulevard, both of which serve as the southern gateway into Edmonton. Even though these are all major divided roadways with at least 2-3 lanes in each direction, there are no large stretches of true freeways in Edmonton. However, there are plans to eventually turn them into such. A major ring road known as Anthony Henday Drive is now open to traffic.

Edmonton's downtown core is fairly dense, with many office towers and condominium towers. Inner-city neighborhoods with low- to medium-density residential areas surround the downtown core for up to a few kilometers in all directions. Beyond the core, the city has developed suburban residential areas with urban sprawl and shopping malls typical of most large North American cities that have experienced high growth during the postwar period.

By taxi

Edmonton is served by a number of taxi services small and large. The major ones are:

  • Alberta Co-op Taxi Line Ltd, 780-425-2525, [12].
  • Barrel Taxi, 780-489-7777, [13].
  • Yellow Cab, 780-462-3456, [14].
  • Capital Taxi, 780-423-2425, [15].

All Edmonton taxi services offer, by law, 24 hours per day, seven days a week service. There is service also for people with special access requirements.

By bus

Edmonton hosts a safe, efficient and inexpensive public transportation system, the Edmonton Transit System [16]. With hundreds of different bus routes, you can get nearly anywhere you need to go usually with minimal bus transfers, provided that you are traveling into or out of downtown during the morning or evening rush hour. If you're travelling at other times of day, bus service becomes much less efficient, requiring more transfers and longer commutes. Bus routes are numbered, along with the destination name (often a major bus transfer center or suburb name).

Especially during peak hours, buses will run as frequently as every 15 minutes, otherwise the frequency will drop to once every 30 minutes and sometimes as low as once per hour (usually more the case for buses going into industrial areas and far-flung suburbs, so 30 minutes is the lowest for most bus routes even on weekends and holidays). Although many major bus routes will operate as early as 5 am to as late as 1 am, there are a number which stop running at 8PM-9PM or only during peak hours (6AM-9AM and 3PM-6PM). And some bus routes simply do not run on Sundays. For more information or to plan your bus trip, you can call Transit Information at 780-496-1611 or check out the Trip Planner in the ETS's website [17]. Note that the transit system in the greater metropolitan area is not unified, so if you wish to visit the suburbs be prepared for transfers and increased fares.

By train

Edmonton was the first North American city with a population of under 1 million (Edmonton today has over 1 million) to have developed a Light Rail Transit (LRT) [18] system. It stretches as a single line from the University of Alberta Hospital on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River to the Clareview area in the Northeast section of the city. It is useful if your destination is on or near the LRT route, but otherwise stick to the buses. The LRT line is currently being expanded all the way to Southgate Mall and eventually to Century Park in the far south central area of the city, with an estimated completion date of 2010.

During peak hours on weekdays, the LRT trains run every 6 minutes. Outside of that and on Saturdays, it's every 10-15 minutes depending on the time of day. On Sundays and holidays, the trains run every 15 minutes throughout the day. The trains also operate generally from about 5:26am(slightly later on Saturdays) to 1:26am on weekdays and Saturdays. On Sundays and holidays, the LRT stops running past 12:26am. There are no turnstiles or mechanical barriers to prevent fare evaders, but be warned: transit officers do patrol the lines, and if you fail to show proof of payment you will be hit with a $110 fine.

Fares are $2.50 for adults and $2 for youths and seniors (as of April 2008), with "special events" running you $4 for a round trip. Day passes can be bought for $7.50 regardless of age group. A pack of 10 tickets can be bought for up to $21.50 (adults) at many convenience stores, drug stores or the ETS online store.

By bicycle

Edmonton has fairly good cycling routes which allow for all-year cycling, though winter cycling can be challenging for those unused to Edmonton weather. These marked routes, combined with a lack of freeways to traverse and relatively low traffic compared to other major cities, low snow or rainfall, and a fairly flat terrain, make Edmonton an easy city to travel by bicycle. The City of Edmonton provides free maps [19] of the bike routes.

Finding addresses

Edmonton is one of the few major cities in North America to have a street system that is mostly numbered rather than named, although it does have named streets: usually major roadways and in the newer residential areas, especially in southwest Edmonton. Streets in Edmonton run north-south, while avenues run east-west. The downtown core of the city is centered near 101 St and Jasper Ave (which corresponds to 101 Ave), with streets increasing in number as one travels west, and avenues increasing as one heads north.

Addresses are generally easy to find in Edmonton, since they are logically arranged so that even-numbered building/house numbers are on the north side of avenues and west side of streets. The first two or thee digits of a building or house number will tell you which street it lies just west of, or which particular avenue it lies north of. For example, 10219-101 Street would be located on the east side of 101 Street, just north of 102 Avenue.

The vast majority of the city lies in the NW Quadrant with the counterpoint near the southeast corner of the city proper, it's common to omit the "NW" from street addresses in the NW Quadrant. The grid's official "zeros" are called Meridian Street (what would be 0 St) and Quadrant Avenue (what would be 0 Ave), but they are not important streets for any other reason. Meridian & Quadrant do not even intersect as of yet - Quadrant only exists between 199 St NW/SW and 207 St NW/SW - and if they did, residents would generally consider their intersection to be far outside the city in terms of residences.


This is only a small list of some of the biggest attractions and even though they are listed here, their info is brief. Make sure to check out the district articles for more.

Edmonton is home to these major attractions:

  • Alberta Legislature - Beautiful colonial architecture paints the picture of the Legislature. The building dates back to 1911. When the City of Edmonton was chosen as capital for the province in 1905, this was built. Inside are tours and be sure to look at the masterpiece of art. Definitely nice for people who like history, government, and/or architecture.
  • Art Gallery of Alberta, (formerly the Edmonton Art Gallery). See Central.
  • Muttart Conservatory - The four glass pyramids rising out of the river valley in the east part of the city are a unique Edmonton landmark. Inside, they house three distinct climate zones and a fourth seasonal display, packed with several hundred plant varieties.
  • TELUS World of Science - Edmonton's largest science museum, in the West End, has a unique architectural design and houses many science exhibits, a planetarium, and an IMAX theater.
  • West Edmonton Mall, in the West End, and is famous as the largest shopping center in North America. Coming here expect world-class shopping, a theme park, an enormous selection of movies, and fine cuisine.

Character Neighbourhoods

For more information on these neighbourhoods or to see information on more neighbourhoods, see the districts.

  • Old Strathcona. This trendy historical neighbourhood has a lot to do: people-watching or gazing at architecture, calming walks, relaxing drives, trendy shopping, exquisite dining, fantastic sports, and brave nightlife. It is full of history and vibrancy. See: south central.
  • Ethnic neighborhoods like Little Italy, Chinatown, and Little India are full of all kinds of cultural restaurants, people, events, and shops. Little Italy has a lot of genuine Italian restaurants and the Italian Bakery. Chinatown has a lot of Chinese grocery stores that have authentic Chinese good food. Little India is a strip mall of Indian restaurants.
  • Downtown, bound by 109 St. in the west, 97 Street in the east, 105 Ave. in the north, 97 Ave. in the south, and the river in the southeast. This is the heart of the city-filled with museums, galleries, shopping, offices, high rises, world class architecture, parks, and massive residential. It is a very livable community with all kinds of stuff to do.

Historical neighbourhoods

The highest concentration of older buildings in Metropolitan Edmonton can be found in Boyle, in central area with some dating back to the late 19th century. Also, downtown (central) has its fair share of historical buildings. You can find them mostly west of 112 Street NW. Also, Old Strathcona, Mill Creek, and Belgravia (south central) have some quaint buildings.

North Saskatchewan River Parks

Edmonton river/river valley.

Wonderful walking, jogging and cycling paths through the River Valley. There are over a hundred kilometers of walking, biking, and skiing trails joining them along the banks and flood plains of the North Saskatchewan river. Altogether, the city's trails and parks make up the largest connected urban parkland in North America.

One of the most popular parks is Hawrelak Park, located just off Groat Road near the University of Alberta. It encircles a large pond, home to a variety of ducks and geese in summer. It's the site of a variety of different festivals, including Shakespeare in the Park and Symphony Under the Sky. In winter after the ice has frozen thick enough it is a popular venue for outdoor ice skating.

Another good one is Louise McKeeney Park just outside downtown. Still under construction, but even now it is pretty darn good. It has gazebos, benches, sculptures and is right on the river. When complete it will be a great urban park. It is just below Shaw Conference Centre.


1980s Modern buidlings clashing with historic beauts.

Edmonton has a lot of very beautiful architecture, even though you may not think of Edmonton in terms of architectural design.

If you are into pre-war styles, there isn't too much in Edmonton, but what it's got is glamourous. The Alberta Legislature is Alberta's most iconic structure and is built with high quality items that serve every detail. Fairmont Hotel Macdonald is a beautiful Chateau building from the '10s with beautiful arched roofs. Union Bank inn is a cute little building with world class details and is tucked in among modern buildings. If you like old style houses, check out Mill Creek, Glenora, Downtown (very small), Oliver, Old Strathcona, Belgravia, Queen Mary Park, Alberta Avenue, Highlands. Also, if you like the tiny, dense classic structures that were formerly small shops and warehouses (now lofts and retail), check out 104th Street between Jasper and 104 Avenue NW or Jasper Avenue between 97 and 92 St. NW. Also, you might as well check out Fort Edmonton Park, though most buildings aren't original, it's neat to see the buildings in a "just built" look.

If you love the brutalist and utilitarian 1947-1983 styles-Edmonton has a wide range. Coronation Park has an aged, bold, modest, clean, design with funky curves and sought after colour palettes. The TELUS Towers' downtown are a very prominent piece of the brutalist era-and at the time of completion-was the tallest buildings west of Toronto. There are also a lot of other prominent brutalist towers like SunLife Towers, ATB Centre, and almost every building in the Government Core (an area of downtown). In the deep south side, Edmonton Research and Development Park is a very funky interpretation on brutalism and is very unique. Back downtown, Chateau Lacombe is a hotel tower in a circular shape and is a very neat "retro" building from the 50s. The Downtown Milner building on 104 St NW is a very good example of beautiful utilitarian style with the International Style, elegant lines, and raised podiums. Other than that, just explore mostly central areas for brutalist-utilitarian styles. They're everywhere.

For 1980s modern styles, Edmonton is in a high league. Commerce Place and ManuLife Place are the most iconic structures of Canadian 80s Architecture, as they were very ahead of their time. They used teal glass and fine steel and curved it into unique shapes. Other than that, the City Centre Mall towers show simple 1980s towers typical of the time. Canada Place is one of the best examples of large scale, glassy, low rise 80s architecture with it's unique pink glass and elegant lines.

For modern styles, Edmonton is more quiet. Despite having good modern architecture, most people think the only modern buildings are the strip malls and cookie-cutter housing. That's not the case-although you might have to search a bit. Mill Creek and Crestwood are nice residential neighbourhoods that offer modern houses using elegant lines and of course posh windows among subtle unique details. Aside from residential neighbourhoods, Shaw Conference Centre is a beautiful glass/concret structure in the river valley that has unforgettable vistas. City Hall uses a clean glass pyramid with beautiful steel accents and a base that is beige and kept clean. The fountains definitely complete it. Robbins Health Centre is a recently built buidling that uses very high end product steel, and, unlike most modern structures, uses less glass (the steel does the job). Makes a very "industrial" yet clean look.

Skyline views

  • Gallagher Park is near the Muttart Conservatory, arguably the best skyline view. The river valley frames the skyscrapers very well. The best time is in the midst of summer and it is great for a picnic. This amazing view shows all neat layers: lush green park, character houses, more parkland, Muttart Conservatory, then-the lush skyline.
  • James MacDonald-Scona is probably the awkwardest area to get into. You'd need to get in from downtown and go from 97 Avenue onto the James MacDonald Bridge. From there you'd need to soutbound on Scona Rd. NW until your first chance at getting off (it's not an overpass or anything) which would bring you to 99 A St. NW. From there, find a place to park your vehicle (unless you're walking) and walk around in this little residential village. You'd need to go west or northwest to the riverbank and then there's primetime viewing. You'll see the panorama of skyscrapers at your feet. Definitely beautiful.
  • Forest Heights is a more office tower view of downtown, where you see the least amount of residential and density. Despite that, it gives a really clean shot. Basically go to Forest Heights Park.
  • Crestwood has no particular place to look. Just watch out for views of the river because then you'll find the breathtaking skyline. Do be careful though, it's right at the edge of the valley there's no railings so its a big drop if you fall.
  • Sask. Dr. residential towers if you don't mind trying to get in a residential high rise and looking out a north window, then this is great for you. It has the most unbeliveable skyline view as you can practically see the entire skyline.
  • West Jasper basically means getting in a residential tower and looking out a west face window west of 109 St NW and looking out. Very cool view and shows a lot of density.
  • 102 A Avenue NW and 96 Street NW is a very interesting angle. It shows grit, modern pleasing buildings, crowdedness, intensity, and multiculturalism. Definitely a neat angle.
  • Jasper and 96th is a classic view of Edmonton. It's centrepiece is the Gibson Block, basically Edmonton's Flatiron, and behind is the modern office towers of the downtown. It's a really neat contrast and great for historians and people who love the design of modern planning.
  • 107th St parking lot - 107 St has a bunch of parking lots from the 1970s and due to that, gives a clear view at downtown. You can see a layer of old buildings peep out just before the downtown towers.
  • High Level Bridge is basically the NW view from High Level Bridge. It shows of great density yet has the nice touch of the river valley.


Offbeat stuff to do in Edmonton
Edmonton has a lot of great attractions, but there's a lot of neat small stuff to do that is worth a small mention:

  • Pedway walk - Edmonton is famous for having a large amount of pedways. Walk through them and get a little lost.
  • Statue hunt - Edmonton has a lot of statues. Try going out and looking for them-- just don't look in the suburbs.
  • Participate in a festival - Volunteer in a festival and do all kinds of behind the scenes stuff.
  • Ride the Edmonton Queen
  • Ride Heritage Streetcar
  • Take in a breathtaking view

Edmonton is a surprisingly lively city for an area covered in snow 6 months of the year. The summer brings many festivals into the city, and with Canada's most impressive mountain parks a half-day's drive away, Edmonton is fun year-round.

Edmonton and Area is served by seven large casinos: Casino Yellowhead, Casino Edmonton, Bacarrat Casino, Palace Casino, St Albert Casino, Celebration's Casino, Marriot Enoch Resort & Casino.


Winspear on a cold morning.

For theatre, Edmonton is a paradise. Although mostly unknown, Edmonton has a very vibrant arts community dedicated to plays and shows. In the central area, there is the Winspear which focuses in concerts, the Citadel which is a play mecca, the City Centre Theatre with its Hollywood flicks and the Roxy Theatre with hidden gem films and plays. Outside the central area, the south central area is home to the theatre district and the Jubilee Auditorium. It includes many independent places like the Varscona and Garneau. In the west end, there are mega movie theatres and the smaller unique ones (most commonly dinner theatres) of Jubilation's and Mayfield. Also scattered in the north and south are the big movie theatres with the mainstream flicks.

There are a number of big movie theatres that hold the high budget movies that're mainstream. For information, go to Edmonton Movie Guide.


Edmonton's river valley and Mill Creek area have an extensive network of trails, good for walking, biking and cross-country skiing. As you travel through the extensive stretches of linked ravines and forested areas in the river valley, at many points you can't even tell you're in a city.

There are a variety of bike shops, including a non-profit bicycle co-op [20]. You can drop in on their workshop hours and wrench your own bike for cheap. Mechanics are on hand to help and answer your questions.

Bike maps are freely available at many places, such as City Hall and the University, in addition to most bike shops, eg. Revolution Cycle [21], United Cycle [22], Hardcore Mountain Bike Store [23] and others.

For skiing, Edmonton has a number of ski hills including Edmonton Ski, Sunridge Ski Area, and Snow Valley.


Albertans have a keen fascination with golf, based to a great degree on the province's sunny summers, large number of developed courses and connecting roadways, and relatively low prices. Edmonton benefits by containing or being within a quick drive of dozens of excellent courses, some to the quality of California and the American Southwest, which have good quality courses. The reason of this is because the Edmonton river valley is ripe for these types of places. Most are public, and the few private courses are not spectacular enough that you will feel you're missing much by sticking to the public courses.

The best quality ones are most definitely in the river valley as they offer scenic vistas whilst you golf on world class courses. Victoria (see: central) and Riverside (see: east) are probably the best golf courses. Kinsmen is best for beginners or people who want to take it more a easy with golfing.

Spectator sports

Edmonton is full of all kind of spectator sports. The most known, The Edmonton Oilers, is apart of the NHL and has won numerous Stanly Cups and plays at Rexall Place. Edmonton is also home to the team of Canadian Football, Edmonton Eskimos which are very good against other cities which plays at Commonwealth Stadium. For basketball, the recently formed Edmonton Chill plays at Grant MacEwan against smaller US cities and other Canadian cities. There is also the Edmonton Rush (lacrosse), Golden Bears (Hockey from University of Alberta), and the Edmonton Cracker Cats (baseball). The Cracker Cats play at TELUS Field and the Golden Bears at the Butterdome, the Rush is at Rexall. There is also the Oil Kings which is a small league hockey team at Rexall Place.

Major events and festivals

See: Festivals in Edmonton for a full comprehensive list and information on Festivals in Edmonton.

This is only a list of the most popular events and their descriptions are brief.

Edmonton is home to many regular festivals and special events during the spring and summer months[24]. It is hailed, "Canada's Festival City" due to the wide range of festivals that other cities have a lack of. Some of the most popular include:

  • Work's: Art and Design Festival. This festival showcases neat artworks and designs going around the city. It takes place in Churchill Square and is quite large. If you are an art freak, definitely check this out.
  • Edmonton Fringe Fest.
  • Taste of Edmonton. This fabulous festival takes place in late July on Churchill Square. Here, there are a large mass of vendors, each of a different restaurant in Edmonton and you can sample their food. Yum!
  • Heritage Day's, August in Hawrelak Park. One of the largest international recognition festivals in the world, Heritage Days brings in dances, food, art, décor, and not to mention people that are from around the world.
  • Edmonton Street Performers, Churchill Square summer.
  • Edmonton Gay Pride. A parade across the Downtown occurs with vibrant colours and dancing. For those that aren't gay, this can still be interesting. They close off some roads like Jasper Avenue so be weary of that.
  • CariWest, summertime. This colourful parade closes down Jasper Avenue and has a full flung artsy parade of Caribbean culture.
  • Canada Day, every year on July 1 at various locations. This huge celebration of Canada includes finger painting, art appreciation, playing games, and of course, fireworks.


Bustling Whyte.

This is only a list of the most popular choices and their descriptions are brief. For full information and additional listings, see the seperate district articles.

For shopping, Edmonton is full of all kinds of opportunities. Edmonton has a lot of beautiful independant, high quality stores. The most popular shopping areas are:

  • West Edmonton Mall, 8882 170th St. This place is something unforgettable, and being the North America's largest mall, it hums like no other in Alberta on a Saturday. This place has over 800 stores and a magnitude of Edmonton-only, Alberta-only, Canada-only, and North America-only stores like: Hollister Co., Abercrombie and Fitch, bebe, Urban Outfitters, and town shoes. As far as malls go, this is pretty high class. It's recommended to go more towards the end of your trip in Edmonton because a lot of people will just end up back at the mall and not tour the rest of the city, even though that's just as good. Have fun!
  • Whyte Avenue, Whyte Avenue (or 82 Ave.) between 99 Street and 108 Street for the best selection. This is the city's most vibrant urban shopping destination. Whether it's furniture & decoration, lingerie, grocery, music stores (especially record and instrumnt), or fashion of any style for any age, Whyte Avenue will have at least one store to match what you are seeking for trendy and fashionable stuff. One can shop for cool guitars, vintage but stylish t-shirts, that dress for the formal party, a picture frame to hold that picture of you and a loved one forever, grab some new bras, and so much more. For the latest, hottest stuff, this is definitely a good place. The place's best shopping part is definitely the clothing.
  • Old Strathcona Farmers' Market is on 103 Street and 83rd Ave. This is the largest farmers' market in the city and is open all year on Saturdays between 8 and 3pm. The market includes fruit, pasta, Indian food, Chinese food, drinks, candy, stuffed animals, portraits, clothing, ornaments, Ukrainian food, and much much more. Definitely fill up on free samples they're good.
  • 124th St. and High Street is 124 Street between Jasper and 110 Avenue; High St. is 102 ave. and 125 St. NW. This is home to a large amount of fashionable woman's clothing stores and home furnishings stores, with almost each store independant. The most popular are the clothing stores like KAJ and Red Ribbon, even for you men. Definitely a must-see for those who love shopping, looking around, urban revitalization and development, fashion, and interior design.
  • Southgate Mall, Whitemud Drive and 111 St. Southgate is a clean mall with one of the best food courts in the city and arguably Canada's best the Bay store. The mall is also undergoing a large expansion that will be complete in 2009.
  • South Edmonton Common, 23 Ave. and Gateway Boulevard NW. This is the largest open air retail centre in Western Canada with all the typical suburban outlets among some interesting shops. Includes IKEA, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, London Drugs, Superstore and many others which aren't too interesting but are good if you need the store(s).
Shoppers and market-goers shopping on 104th Street.
  • 104 St. Market, 104 Street between Jasper and 103 Ave on Saturday's between May and October. This genuine farmers market is more formerly refered to as City Market and is Edmonton's oldest farmers market. Coming here you can expect fresh fruit, yummy juice, modest quilts, trendy clothing, fabulous pet toys, and much much more. This market is actually helping to evolve 104 Street into a shopping district.
  • 104 Street downtown Edmonton refers to 104 Street between Jasper Avenue and 103 Avenue. This is a cute little up and coming urban shopping destination. Beautiful, trendy shops line up in heritage buildings and modern condos with wide sidewalks and nice trees. The street is home to some of the best interior design shops in Edmonton giving you the hottest tips for decorating and furniture. On top of all that, the street is growing rapidly in the number of stores, with an expected ten more in the next year.
  • City Centre Mall, 101 Street and 102 Avenue. This two part mall of multiple floors is home to some of the best Canadian retail chains like URBAN, The Gap, Aldo, BCBG, and the Bay. The mall is less busy, but that doesn't mean there's a lack of stores. It's great for very fine shopping in a quiet setting.
  • Kingsway Garden Mall, 109 Street & Princess Elizabeth Avenue, (780) 479-5955. This is the second largest mall in the city and was built in the '70s. It is on two levels and offers all kinds of big Canadian and (to an extent) American chains under one big roof.


See the district articles for specific listings of different restaurants and fast food joints. Edmonton is definitely world class when it comes to dining. For the traveller, there is a wide variety of options.

Edmonton is the birthplace of two major Canadian restaurant chains: Boston Pizza (Italian), and earl's (Canadiana). These two have major locations across Canada despite their roots of Edmonton. Boston Pizza is probably the largest because it's the only one that has a large amounts locations in the U.S., although down there it's called Boston's.

The city is also home to a lot of good quality fast food chains like Burger Baron and Fatburger. These places make the burgers right when you order, so no pre-cooking, just made right when you order.

Italian food is very high quality in Edmonton. Famoso Pizza in Oliver is the best pizzaria, no doubt about that. Chianti's, Sicilian Kitchen, Sorrentino's, Fiore Cantina, and Tony's Pizza offer the best in regular pasta that is both hearty and filling. All in all the Italian restaurants are pretty good. The best ones are Whyte Ave, Downtown, or in Little Italy.

Edmonton has it's fair share of cheap Chinese food, most of which is concentrated in Chinatown. Edmonton is the city where WokBox was founded, which is a Chinese chain that has offered fair priced Chinese food in a quick fast food environment. There is a large amount of them in Edmonton.

Back to dining, Edmonton has two major dining centres:

  • Downtown - most cities have a specific dining street, in Edmonton it is scattered across downtown and Oliver. Coming here expect a humongous array of different restaurants from high to low pricing. Despite the lack of one spot to dine, 103 St., 102nd Avenue, 100 St. and Jasper Avenue tend to have the concentration. In downtown you can expect a lot of the normal restaurant chains that you're comfortable with, but yet, expect an enormous range of independent and one-of-a-kind restaurants. Downtown is home to the best pizzarias, Italian restaurants, Japanese restaurants, burger joint's, and steakhouses in this city. Some of the most popular include: Lux Steakhouse, Hundred, Sorrentino's, Famoso Neopolitan, Matahari, Japanese Village, Blue Plate Diner, La Ronde, Sabor Divinio, and La Tapa.
  • Whyte Ave. - south of the river is this trendy dining spot. Spoiled with trendy, unique restaurants that offer gourmet food of every variety. It's easy to just look around and pick a restaurant you'll be satisfied with. Most popular for simple burger joints and luxurious Italian eating. There is also a good amount of Chinese food.


See the district articles actual listings on different drinking joints.


Edmonton is home to a wide range of alcohol places. The best microbrewery is Alley Kat whereas there are a lot of pubs, lounges, and bars mostly clustered on Jasper Avenue and Whyte Avenue. Some of the most popular include: Filthy McNasty's, Black Dog, Ceili's Irish Pub, Vintage Lounge, Suede, and O Bryne's.


There are two main areas for good coffee places. The Coffee Block refers to a block of really nice independent coffee shops between 103 St. and 104 St. on Jasper Avenue. Although there are only 3 cafés, they are all very good and the block seems to be attracting a lot of coffee shops with more and more popping up. Another area is Whyte Avenue which has more spread out coffee shops but pretty much each one is very good. Transcend in Argyll is a very classy coffee shop that not only makes coffee, will sell you the beans (if you want to take home). Other than that, just do some exploring, you might just find something that is just for you.


Edmonton has a lot of good smoothies. The mega chain Booster Juice was founded in Edmonton and is quite good. Also, do some searching and you'll find lots of other options.



Most of the budget hotels in the city are concentrated in and around the south (e.g. Derrick Hotel, Holiday Inn the Palace) end of the city or in the deep east central area. There is also a lot in the nearby suburbs, see Edmonton's area.

Mid Range

There is such a wide range of the mid range hotels in every part of town.

Closer to the core, Delta:Downtown Edmonton and the Comfort Inn are the best bet. These two offer great views along with easy access to the benefits of downtown. In the north end, the Prospector's Gaming Room and North Inn and Suites are some great examples of some modern and simple good priced hotels at that part of the city. In the West End, with the closeness of West Edmonton Mall, there are a ton of hotels to choose from, most of which are on 100 Ave.

South of the river, in South Central the Campus Suites is your best bet with nice service and proximity to the University. Also on Gateway Boulevard there is a lot of hotels like Delta:South Edmonton, Ramada South, Travelodge South, Econo Lodge, and Ceder Park Inn are the highest quality and friendliness. In the east, there is a lovely Four Points hotel with easy access to the city.


Edmonton has a good variety of high end hotels in different locations in the city. Some of the most popular locations are:

Chateau architecture Hotel Macdon.
  • Downtown Edmonton. has the highest ammount of high end hotels in the city. One can choose from hotels with river valley views like Chateau Lacombe and The Courtyard Mariott and one's that have good views of density like the Sutton Place Hotel and The Holiday Inn. There is also some very beautiful boutique hotels like The Matrix and Union Bank Inn. Either way, all of these posh empires have good access to the goods of downtown, friendly service, nice architecture, and awesome suites. Oh, for the extravagant traveller, the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald is a Chateau-like building built in 1912 and is the most expensive in the city, not to mention the most beautiful.
  • West Edmonton. This area is full of highclass hotels due to West Edmonton Mall. One can choose from Fantasyland Hotel that's right in the mall or further out ones like Edmonton Hampton and the Hilton Garden West Edmonton.


  • Area code for phones in Edmonton is 780.
  • Wireless connection - most hotels offer wireless connection and for outdoor use-check out City Hall/Churchill Square or most parts of downtown, as they have good internet connection. Also there are some internet cafés that you can check out.
  • Emergency - If you have an emergency, call 911.

Police stations

Edmonton is served by the Edmonton Police Service that helps make the city very safe. The headquarters are just NE of Downtown in McCauley. There are 6 big stations that serve Edmonton:

  • Police HQ - in McCauley
  • Northeast Station - in Clareview
  • West Station - in Stony Plain Road
  • Strathcona - in Old Strathcona
  • Southwest - in Southgate
  • Southeast - in Town Centre

Stay safe

Areas requiring care

There are some areas where increased caution is advised, particularly after dark:

  • The "inner city" area to the east of downtown (these neighbourhoods include: Boyle, Central McDougall, Chinatown, Little Italy, and Alberta Avenue)- a square bounded by Jasper Avenue (corresponds to 101 Avenue) on the south, 118 Avenue on the north, 91 Street on the west, and around 85th Street on the east - has parts that are best avoided. 118 Avenue features numerous signs asking visitors to report prostitution by calling a 1-800 number.
  • In recent years there has been an increase in alcohol-fueled disturbances on weekends near 82nd (Whyte) Avenue between 103 Street and 109 Street (the city's most concentrated party zone). Use caution and common sense here, be somewhat wary of the closing-time outflow after midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. Try to be out of the bar and on your way home by 1AM, or, at the very least, don't linger on the street after closing time, also travel in groups if possible.

Northern driving

Navigation in Edmonton is generally made easier by city's gridded street system (mostly in the areas built before World War II) and relative lack of traffic compared to most other major North American cities. Visitors should also note that additional hazards are presented by winter driving in the city, especially during and after the first few snowfalls of the winter and during any subsequent bad winter weather. Ice can be a problem, especially on bridges. Ice on roadways can be almost invisible, which is where the commonly used - and dreaded - term "black ice" comes from. A lack of effective post-snowfall sanding and snow clearance exacerbates these additional hazards.



  • Edmonton Journal argueably Edmonton's best newspaper for it's high quality, good journalists, modest ads, and large coverage.
  • Edmonton Sun is a little less quality than the Journal but is great for younger people or people unfamiliar with English, as it uses the Canadian Grade 3 level of reading so it's easier to read.
  • Vue Weekly is a artsy and more controversial newspaper talking about events surrounding the city.
  • SEE

Hospitals and major health centres

If you are on the north end, central, or in east central, the Royal Alexandra Hospital is the best. For the west, Miseracordia is probably the best due to proximity. In the south side of the river, you may choose from Grey Nun's or University. Some people in central might go to University as well.

  • University of Alberta Hospital, 8440 112 Street NW, (780) 407-8822, [1]. Centrally located with very good, young doctors. Best for people in South Central or Central.
  • Royal Alexandra Hospital, 10240 Kingsway NW, (780) 735-4111, [2].
  • Misericordia Community Hospital, 16940 87 Avenue NW, (780) 735-2000‎.
  • Grey Nun's Hospital, 2927 66 Street NW, [3].
  • Edmonton General, 11111 Jasper Avenue NW, (780) 482-8111.
  • Hys Centre, 11010 - 101 Street, Edmonton, [4].

Get out

From Edmonton, you can travel relatively quickly to Calgary, Drumheller, the Rocky Mountains and Jasper.

Nearby Banff and Jasper are both well-known national parks. They include world-class ski areas, hiking, boating, hostels, and many other outdoor attractions. Jasper is roughly 4 hours from Edmonton by the Yellowhead Highway (Hwy 16). Banff is only slightly further away.

Edmonton skyscrapers from an aerial view.

Within the Metro Area

  • Elk Island National Park is less than an hour's drive east of Edmonton along the Yellowhead Highway (Hwy 16). This national park is one of the last remaining large areas of natural aspen parkland undisturbed by man, as much of the aspen parkland in Alberta is now largely gone due to agriculture and other human activities. Elk Island National Park is home to a variety of wildlife indigenous to the region such as moose, wood bison, deer, elk, beaver, muskrat and various waterfowl. Over 250 species of birds make their home here, making it a good place for birdwatching. The Ukrainian Pioneer Home, located in the vicinity of Lake Astotin in Elk Island National Park, is Canada's oldest Ukrainian museum. There is camping, cross country skiing, hiking and other outdoor activities. As in most Canadian national parks, a fee is required for entry into Elk Island National Park.
  • Saint Albert is a suburb of Edmonton and connected to Edmonton completely...when you're in St. Albert you'll see a green "Superstore". Despite that, St Albert can also be full of stuff, like the thriving arts district and the bustling downtown. It is sure to please.
  • Sherwood Park is a very large suburb municpality to the east of Edmonton city limits and offers more of the typical suburban shopping found everywhere else, so if you're homesick, this is a good place to check out, of course, if home is the suburbs.

See also Edmonton Capital Region

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