A city guide to Edmonton


Photo credit: WherezJeff via photopin cc

The city of Edmonton is located in the Canadian state of Alberta, enjoying the status of the most northern city in North America. With a population pushing 1.3 million, thriving gas and oil industries, a lively artistic scene and plenty of outdoor parks and countryside to enjoy, Edmonton certainly has a lot going on. Here’s a rundown of the best bits of Edmonton and some ideas of things to see and do in the area.

The outdoor life

Canada is famous for its great outdoors, and Edmonton has some of the finest examples right on its doorstep. The North Saskatchewan River Valley park system has natural recreation areas stretching over 7,000 hectares. Packed with hiking and biking trails, golf courses and ski runs, it’s a multi-purpose park that softens the edges of urban life in Edmonton. The climate in summer is relatively dry, sunny and warm with low humidity; winters can be snowy but are generally mild. The cold months linger for some time in Edmonton, giving inhabitants opportunities to enjoy winter sports such as skiing and ice skating.

Show me the shopping

For those who think biggest is best when it comes to shopping, Edmonton is the place to go. Billed as the largest shopping center in North America, West Edmonton Mall boasts over 800 stores and 20,000 parking spaces. Those who prefer their shopping on the quirky or edgy side should head for the charms of Whyte Avenue in South Central where offbeat shopping rules. Other places worth investigating include Kingsway Garden Mall, 124th Street, and for high end boutique purchases hit Edmonton City Center in Downtown.

Moving to Edmonton?

The healthy economy and buoyant jobs market ensure a steady influx of new arrivals to Edmonton. There are many great places to set up home; choose from South, Downtown, West and North areas for family friendly neighborhoods. See areas like upscale Haddow and Henderson Heights in the south for desirable residences. Close to the university, Old Strathcona and Whyte Avenue is a buzzing neighborhood popular with students and families alike.

Head into the city and find Oliver to the west of Downtown, an old sector with some of the best apartments for rent in Edmonton, ranging from condominiums to historic walk ups. For the convenience and energy that comes with central living, Oliver takes some beating. For a quieter life try residential Cloverdale or get an early foothold in the Boyle Street Area for which great things are predicted.

Western suburbs worthy of investigation include Parkview and Glenora, and in the north Highlands, Beaumont and Oxford.

Cultural highlights

Museum junkies can get their fix in Edmonton at a number of impressive institutions. Start off with Fort Edmonton Park and TELUS World of Science for a contrasting taste of past and future. Indulge a love of paintings at the Art Gallery of Alberta or a love of horticulture at the unique glass pyramids of Muttart Conservatory. Sometimes referred to as “The Festival City”, in summer Edmonton hosts a range of artistic, theatrical and music festivals with something to appeal to everyone.

Edmonton is a well-rounded city offering a balanced choice of great arts, culture, shopping, housing and leisure facilities, making it the perfect place for a short visit or a permanent stay.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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