City of Edmonton
Edmonton is the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta. With a population of almost 1 million people Edmonton is the second largest city in the province, after Calgary. The municipality of Edmonton comprises the following municipalities: Jasper Place, West Edmonton, North Edmonton, Strathcona and Beverly. The city is home to the West Edmonton Mall which used to be the world’s largest shopping mall. Contact the Edmonton Tourism board to plan your trip to this amazing destination in Canada.
Long before the first European explored the area Edmonton was populated by different native groups and abundant wildlife. Expeditions from Europe began during the 18th century when explorers and adventurers sought commercial opportunities in the lucrative fur trade with the natives.
The area was a conglomerate of trading posts set up by English and French explorers who fiercely competed against each other over the resources of the area. Catholic missionaries also flocked to the area to evangelize the native tribes. They had their own names for these posts – the French called theirs Fort-des-Prairies, while the English called theirs Fort Edmonton.
The area gradually developed along with the infrastructures. This, in turn, attracted settlers in search of cheap land and transient adventurers during the Klondike Gold Rush in the late 1890s. By the time Edmonton became a city in 1904 it had a population of almost 9,000 people. It became the capital of Alberta in 1905. Edmonton’s population has fluctuated throughout the years, experiencing a demographic boom in the early 1900s which came to a halt a few years later and resumed a steady growth during the 2 world wars. Edmonton’s northernmost position has earned it the nickname “Gateway to the North.”
Edmonton is situated on the North Saskatchewan River, near Fort Assiniboine, about 200km (140m) northeast of the Canadian Rockies. It is the most northerly city in North America. Edmonton sits on the North Saskatchewan River in the southern portion of the Canadian province near Fort Assiniboine. It is about 350 km (217m) north of Calgary, almost 4,000 km (2,485m) west of Toronto and 1,250km (776m) east of Vancouver. The vast area around Edmonton is known as The Canadian Prairies.
Not as cold as the neighbouring province of Saskatchewan, this part of Canada does experience frigid winter temperatures. Visitors should dress accordingly when visiting during this time of year. Winter temperatures can drop well below zero averaging -10°C (13.3°F) in January. Summers tend to be warm and rainy with an average temperature of 23°C (73°C). Thunderstorms and periods of precipitation are not infrequent during the summer, so don’t forget your umbrella. The in-between seasons are unpredictable. April and May mark the spring season and fall begins toward the end of August. Winters generally begin in November, however all seasons vary considerably in length.
- Edmonton’s sister cities are Nashville, Tennessee, Wonju, South Korea, Harbin, China and Gatineau, Québec.
- Canadian-American film star Michael J. Fox is from Edmonton.
- Edmonton has the country’s largest living history museum.
- Edmonton has the largest urban green area in North America known as River Valley with over twenty parks and recreation areas.
How to Get Around Edmonton
Edmonton Airport Information
One of the busiest airports in Canada, Edmonton International Airport- EIA (YEG) is located at 1-1000 Airport Road, phone (780) 890-8900. Its location is roughly 30 km (18m) south of downtown Edmonton near the city of Leduc. The airport can be reached by car via Airport Road at Exit 522 on Highway 2. Flying into Edmonton from Toronto is a 4-hour flight, from Ottawa it is roughly 5 hours (non-stop flight).
Passenger drop-off and pick-up areas are located on the upper ramp of the Departures level and on the lower ramp of the Arrivals level, respectively. The entrances along the Departures ramp are: #25 Central Mountain, Air, CanJet, Air North, Northwestern Air Lease; #26 Air Transat, Sunwing; #27 WestJet – Domestic-International (non-US); #28 Air Canada – Canada and International; #29 Canadian North, First Air; #30 Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air, United, US Air, WestJet (US).
How To Get From the Airport to Downtown Edmonton
Downtown Edmonton is a 30-km drive. Travel time depends on traffic and weather conditions. There are a number of ways to reach downtown Edmonton from Edmonton International Airport: Edmonton Transit/public transportation, Airport taxi, Car rentals, Airport Limousines and Shuttle buses.
Edmonton Transit System
Affordable and convenient for getting around, the city’s train and bus service are operated by Edmonton public transportation system (ETS). The transit also connects to Fort Saskatchewan, Spruce Grove, Leduc and Edmonton Garrison. Bus and train tickets can be purchased on-line, at retail outlets, ETS Customer Service Centres and Fare vending machines located inside the transit stations. Phone: 780-442-5311/496-1600.
Travelers using the transit must pay exact cash or have a valid Transfer. Transfers are paper tickets issued by bus drivers and requested by travellers who need to connect or return from/to other connecting routes and destinations. Each transfer bears the expiry time and date, they are generally valid for 90 minutes. Bus tickets have a 90-minute validity from the time they are purchased or validated.
To get downtown Edmonton catch Route 747 Bus provided by Edmonton Transit System (ETS) to reach downtown Edmonton. The express bus runs every half hour, during peak hours, starting at 4:10am and 4:34am, between Edmonton International Airport and Edmonton’s LRT and Century Park station. The bus runs every day of the week. One way fare is CAD$5 (cash). A monthly pass costs $CAD100. Airport pick up locations are at the Arrivals Level, Door 8.
Edmonton Transit offers Fares* and passes for different transportation needs. Adult (exact) cash fare is CAD$3.20, children under 5 years of age don’t pay when they are accompanied by fare-paying adults. A booklet of 10 tickets costs CAD$24 for adults, and CAD$21 for youths (6-17 years old) and seniors (65+ years).
Day Passes cost CAD$9 and allow unlimited travel in a single day by one adult. The pass is valid for adults travelling with up to 4 children (12 years or under) for the same day.
Monthly Passes cost CAD$89 for adults, CAD$81 for full-time students attending post-secondary institutions, CAD$69 for youths (6-17 years old) and CAD$14 for seniors (65+).
Free Rides area are available for customers who are visually impaired and are in possession of a CNIB ID card on all Edmonton Transit Routes and Airport Route 747.
Airport Taxi and Limo
There are six taxi and limo companies that service Edmonton International Airport. Greater Edmonton Taxi companies include: Yellow, Prestige, Checker and Barrel. The average Edmonton cab ride from the airport to Downtown is about CAD$55 and CAD$66 by Airport Limo. These rates, however, vary considerably depending on the destination area.
Edmonton Airport Car Rentals
Edmonton Airport Car Rental offices are located on the Ground Level P1 of the Parkade. You can find all the better known car rental companies like National, Hertz, Budget, Enterprise, Avis and Alamo in this area.
Airport shuttle bus service is only provided for a limited number of hotels within the airport area. If your hotel is located in Leduc you should visit the Ground Transportation Office on the Arrivals Level at the Edmonton International Airport and call 780- 890-8553 Ext.
If you are staying downtown Edmonton the Airport Sky Shuttle is a convenient and very affordable way to reach the city via three routes: downtown, the west end and south Edmonton. The shuttle check-in desk is located near Door 7 at the Edmonton International Airport Arrivals Level. One-way fare is CAD$11, a return ticket costs CAD$18.
Edmonton Car Share
Edmonton’s car share program is run by POGO. In order to access the service you must fill out an application and pay a fee of CAD$35 + tax and then choose the type of service based on your transportation needs. The program is available on a per minute/hour/day or kilometre basis starting at CAD$0.47 cents plus tax. These prices are inclusive of gas, insurance, street parking in designated Pogo zones, registration and maintenance. At the moment the car share program is available only to Alberta residents.
If you’re looking for a great buzz and plenty of vibe head over to Whyte Avenue downtown Edmonton. Folks who prefer low-key venues can still have a great evening in one of the city’s lounge bars and pubs.
Clubs and Bars
Jubilations Dinner Theatre is located at 2690, 8882 170 Street. The live entertainment venue provides entertainment for an evening of care-free enjoyment with plays that parody popular TV shows, music and movies. From the time you step inside the club until the curtain goes down, there is never a dull moment.
The Druid (11606 Jasper Ave) provides typical Irish pub atmosphere, food and entertainment. The centrally located pub is where Edmonton nights come alive with lively urban crowds, music and pub fare. Each week a different jam house guest is features.
Blues on Whyte is situated in the old Strathcona neighbourhood at 10329 -82nd Avenue. The aptly named venue features R&B in a variety of styles, from Mississippi Delta blues to Chicago style blues and much more. The venue is equipped with a small hotel right above it where musicians often stay while they’re in town.
A self-professed gastro-lounge, The Common (9910 -109 St) works nightly to provide Edmontonians and visitors with “food, culture, music” and a retro-hipster ambiance. You can enjoy a variety of live music genres, from electronic and indie, to funk, hip-hop, soul and classic pop hits. During weekdays the venue offers restaurant service. The lounge is open at night and on weekends.
Suite 69 (8232- 103 St NW) is a two-storey entertainment venue off Whyte Avenue with an upstairs dance club featuring contemporary music.
The Black Dog FreeHouse (1045 Whyte Ave) is distributed on three levels with the bar on the main level. The rooftop patio looks out onto Whyte Avenue. The venue features a good mix of music: indie, new wave, punk, garage, funk, soul, R&B, Brit-pop, alternative 80s-90s, rock & Roll. The lower level (The Underdog) is a more low-key area with a separate entrance for private functions or just chilling out over a drink.
Head over to the Enmax Hall, Winspear Centre to listen to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra performances. Currently in its 60+ year, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra performs concerts from all the great classical composers like Vivaldi, Bach, Weber, Schubert and Handel. Tickets can be found at Sir Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton.
The performance venue of the Edmonton Jazz Society, the Yardbird Suite (11 Tommy Banks Way) has been a fixture of Edmonton’s night life since 1957. Live performances feature local and international jazz artists.
Azucar Picante ( 13062 50 St NW) is a live music night club and restaurant featuring traditional Latin music such as salsa, cumbia and dance lesson nights. Entrance is free for women from 9pm to 11pm.
If you’re looking for old fashioned country music head over to Longriders Saloon (11733 -78 St). The venue features live country bands and classic rock music.
Situated in the historic Canada Dry building in Old Strathcona, Cook County Saloon (8010 Gateway Boulevard) features nightly entertainment and country music.
Chez Pierre Cabaret (10040 – 105 St) has been around for over 40 years. This is a gentlemen’s club located in the heart of downtown Edmonton. Women and military have a discounted entrance fee.
Opera Nuova Dinner Cabaret features a dinner-and-music show with folk, jazz, music, theatre and classical music. The venue doors open at 5pm and shows are over by 9pm. Contact phone: 780- 487-4844.
Everything Edmonton Sports
Edmonton’s sports scene includes several professional sports teams in the Canadian Football League, the National Hockey League, the International Basketball League, the National Lacrosse League and the North American Soccer League. The historic rivalry with Calgary sports teams has prompted the popular expression “Battle of Alberta.”
From 2005 to 2012 Edmonton hosted the annual Indy Racing League. The city is also a regular host to sprint car and drag racing events on the Castrol Raceway.
The major sports arenas in Edmonton are the Commonwealth Stadium, Rexall Place, the Universiade Pavilion, Clarke Stadium, Telus Field and Argyll Velodrome.
After a series of ups-and-downs involving name changes and not-so-slick financial issues the Edmonton Oilers found their true identity and won their first Stanley Cup in 1983. Founded in 1971 Edmonton’s hockey team went on to win four more Stanley cups from 1984 to 1990. The success they enjoyed in the eighties earned them the dynasty status in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
When the Edmonton Oilers acquired a young Wayne Gretzky in 1978 it proved to be a winning move. Hockey’s enfant prodige helped the Oilers set new records in the history of the National Hockey League. He became Canada’s hockey hero and somewhat of a cult figure of the Canadian hockey scene. The Edmonton Oilers play their home games at Rexall Place.
Edmonton’s professional football team, the Edmonton Eskimos, was founded in 1949. An extremely successful team, the Eskimos won the Grey Cup championship thirteen times from 1954 to 2005. Only the Toronto Argonauts were more successful by winning 16 Grey Cups. The team also boasts 34 consecutive years in the playoffs from 1972 to 2005. A number of former Eskimos players played a different sort of game in the Canadian political scene by later becoming mayors, provincial premiers and there is even one lieutenant-governor. The Commonwealth Stadium is home to the Edmonton Eskimos.
Formerly named the Edmonton Chill the city’s professional basketball team was renamed Edmonton Energy in 2009 following legal issues. They are the only Canadian team in the International Basketball League. The other team is Vancouver’s team the BC Titans, however they are not playing. Butterdome also known as the Universiade Pavilion is home to the Edmonton Energy team.
Rexall Place Sports Arena
Located at 7324 -118 Ave., Rexall Place is the second-oldest National Hockey League arena in Canada after Toronto’s Madison Square Gardens. Built in 1974, the arena is home to the Edmonton Oilers. Thanks to the popularity of the Edmonton Oilers, over the years the arena’s seating capacity has grown from 15,000 to about 17,000. During playoff games emotions run high as thousands of Oilers fans fill the arena with cheering and excitement. In 1981 and 1982 Rexall Place hosted the Canada Cup events and in 2009 the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials took place at the arena.
Throughout its history Rexall Place has also been a concert venue for international bands like Abba who began their North American tour in 1979, Metallica filmed 2 concerts here in 2012, Rush recorded a concert in 1981 and Nickelback filmed their 2002 concert video here. The arena was also the stage for Billy Graham’s video-taped 1980 Northern Alberta crusade.
There are several Hotels in the area. Eastglenn Inn is located at 6918 – 118 Ave., that’s about 500 metres from the arena. The Coliseum Inn (11845 Wayne Gretzky Dr) is within walking distance of Rexall Place. The Sands Hotel is located at 12340 Fort Rd NW, that’s just over 1km from the arena.
There are several restaurants and eateries in the area for hungry Oilers fans. The Coliseum Steak & Pizza (118 Ave), La Boheme Restaurant (6427 – 112 Avenue) is also a Bed & Breakfast, Sorrentino’s Little Italy (10844- 95 St), Padmanadi (10626-97 St) is a vegetarian restaurant.
The home of the Edmonton Eskimos is a massive arena with almost 57,000 seats – the second largest in the country after Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. Located at 11000 Stadium Road in Edmonton, Commonwealth Stadium was built in 1975 and opened the Commonwealth Games in 1978. There are over 10,000 sq.-m. of artificial turn ground used for football and soccer games. The majority of the seating is outdoors. There are fifteen executive suites on the east stand, eight on the south end and seven on the west stand. The Commonwealth Stadium complex includes a three-storey training centre with a running track, a training field, weight room with locker rooms and administrative offices.
There are several hotels in the area. The Westin Edmonton is located at 10135- 100 St NW. The Union Bank Inn (10053 Jasper Ave) is just over 2km from the Stadium. The Coliseum Inn is located at 11845 Wayne Gretzky Drive. Just over 2km from the Stadium is where the Grand Hotel Edmonton is located (10266-103 St).
Some of the better known restaurants around the Commonwealth Stadium area include Thanh Thanh Oriental Noodle House (10718 -101 St), Hardware Grill (9698 Jasper Ave NW) and La Ronde Restaurant (10111 Bellamy Hill Rd).
- The Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup five times in seven seasons.
- Edmonton Oilers’s Wayne Gretzky had 583 goals during his career with the hockey team.
Like the rest of Canada, known for sprawling parks and endless nature oases, Edmonton has its share of parkland and green areas for leisure and recreation. There are 22 major parks within the 48-km stretch along the North Saskatchewan River Valley alone and over 460 parksl in Edmonton.
The largest urban parkland in North America known as the “Ribbon of Green” includes off leash parks, golf courses, picnic sites, playgrounds, skiing and ice skating parks, ball diamonds and sports grounds, toboggan hills and much more!
Edmonton’s parks are populated by wildlife that is an integral part of the local eco-system. Coyotes, beavers, rabbits, muskrats, skunks, deer, porcupines as well as dozens of birds are the permanent and righteous residents of these beautiful nature havens for which Canada is internationally known.
The variety and abundance of trees in these parks is mindboggling. White Birch, Aspen, Green Ash, Basswood, poplars and willos, Norway Maple, Red Oak, Jack Pine, Manitoba Maple, Sugar Maple, Evans Cherry, Butternut, Black Walnut, and, a concentration of American Elm trees that have survived the disease that eradicated elms in eastern North America.
Edmonton Park System
The largest living history museum/park in Canada, Fort-Edmonton-Park is animated by historical interpreters dressed head to toe in period costumes that set the atmosphere for a historical reenactment of the area. The park is located at 7000- 143rd Street, about 10 minutes from the city centre.
Victoria Park is located along the North Saskatchewan River, 5 minutes from downtown Edmonton. The paved cycling and walking paths are connected to other paths and trails in the area. The Victoria Park Oval is an Olympic-sized running track. The area has a 9-hole golf course with a driving range. Winter sports such as snowshoeing, skating and cross country skiing are available in the park. The numerous picnic tables scattered about the park invite visitors and locals to pack a lunch and enjoy it amidst the verdant splendor of the surroundings.
The Muttart Conservatory botanical gardens are located in the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Open year round, the gardens display flora from different climate zones. The Temperate Pyramid is an area with vegetation such as eucalyptus, water lilies and pampas grass. Plants are typically from zones like Australia, Asia and the southern Great Lakes. The Arid greenhouse is home to vegetation that thrives in dry climates from the five continents. The Tropical area is a lush greenhouse with banana trees, palms, fig trees, orchids, hibiscus, and varieties of tropical rainforest plants. An on-site café is a welcomed resting place for conversation over a cup of coffee or tea.
Other popular parks in Edmonton are: Hermitage Park, Gold Bar Park, Louise McKinney Park, Forest Heights Park, Rundle Park, William Hawrelak Park, Capilano Park, Muttart Conservatory, John Janzen Nature Centre, Strathcona Science Provincial Park, Riverside Golf Course, Kinnaird Park and Ravine, Emily Murphy Park, Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park, Dawson Park, Queen Elizabeth Park.
The city of Edmonton website has a complete listing of all the recreation areas.
As with every major Canadian city, Edmonton is not without the presence of the historic company that set up trading posts in colonial Canada over three hundred years ago. The Hudson’s Bay Company is a commercial and historical icon of the Canadian shopping scene and worth visiting. The Bay is located across its luxury counterpart, Holt Renfrew, on 102nd Avenue between 103 St. and 100 St.
When it comes to shopping in Edmonton the first thing that comes to mind is the West-Edmonton-Mall. First built in 1981, this was the largest mall in the world until Dubai’s mall was built in the mid 2000s. With almost half a million square metres (over 5,300,000 sq.-ft.), almost 1000 shops, 24,000+ parking spaces and 24,000 employees this is the largest mall in North America.
Originally conceived as an indoor amusement and leisure park, very much in the Disneyland style, the mall is much more than a place to shop. There is an amusement park, rides, a roller coaster, an indoor lake, a water park pool with waves, change rooms, an ice skating rink, a miniature golf course, four movie theatre complexes, an arcade, a pool hall, a music stage and many other amusement features.
The mall also has two hotels – Fantasyland Hotel and West Edmonton Mall Inn, the former is inside the mall, the latter is across the street from the Mall on 90th Avenue. The Mall is located about 25 minutes west from downtown Edmonton.
Other popular malls in Edmonton are:
- Edmonton City Centre, 102 Avenue, Edmonton
- Southgate Centre, 111 Street & 51 Avenue, Edmonton
- Northgate Centre, 137 Avenue & 97 Street, Edmonton
- St. Albert Centre, St. Albert Trail & Bellerose Drive, Edmonton
- Capilano Mall, 5004 98 Avenue, Edmonton
- Abbotsfield Shoppers Mall, 3210 118 Avenue, Edmonton
- Millwoods Town Centre, 2332 66 Street, Edmonton
- Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre, 82 Avenue & 83 Street, Edmonton
- Kingsway Mall, 109 Street & Princess Elizabeth Avenue
- Manulife Place, 10180-101 Street, Edmonton
- Commerce Place, Jasper Avenue at 101 & 102 Street, Edmonton
- Londonderry Mall, 137 AVenue & 66 Street, Edmonton
- Westmount Centre, 111 Avenue & Groat Road, Edmonton
Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue in Old Strathcona is one of the best shopping districts in Canada. Stroll along the historical neighbourhood to shop for more original or unique items you wouldn’t find in shopping malls. There are seven farmers’ markets in Edmonton that take place weekly: Mother’s Market, Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market, Callingwood Farmers’ Market, Southwest Edmonton Farmers’ Market, City Market and 124 St. Grand Market.
Between Bonnie Doon Mall, Whyte Avenue and 90 Avenue is the heart of Edmonton’s French speaking community and the site of the French Quarter Farmer’s market. Open Sundays from 12pm to 5pm, this is a great way to connect with Edmonton’s francophone community and savour the gastronomic fare they cook up for visitors and locals.
The culinary scene in Edmonton is varied in menu and price. The city abounds in steak houses. If you’re after something lighter and healthier there is no shortage of Asian restaurants. Visit Downtown Edmonton if you want to dine and wine without worrying about the budget. You can find Edmonton eateries inside bistros, traditional diners, fast food chains, or at high end hotels. Others have decided to take their food to the streets of Edmonton with dozens of food trucks around the city.
Budget Eating in Edmonton
At Padmanadi (10740 101 St NW) it’s all about taste. You can have affordable vegetarian meals that are tasty and satisfying even for skeptical meat eaters. Hathaway’s Diner (13225 132 St) is a small, busy diner with a welcoming family feel – in every sense. You get nothing less than what you would expect from an old fashioned diner – from burgers, grilled cheese, onion rings and fries to pancakes and French toast.
Pico Bello (184 Mayfield Common NW) features a varied, affordable menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a relaxed atmosphere. They serve sandwiches, soup, coffee and a range of desserts. At night they bring out the tapas and drinks.
Lan’s Asian Grill (11828 103 St NW) is a clean, moderately priced Asian-inspired (Thai) restaurant.
If you’re looking for tasty Chinese fare on a budget head over to Double Greeting Won Ton House in the heart of Edmonton’s Chinatown (10212 96 St NW). The decor is simple but Edmontonians have been visiting Double Greeting for great food and even better value.
Fine Dining in Edmonton
La Ronde Revolving Restaurant (10111 Bellamy Hill Rd NW) is on the 24th floor of the Chateau Lacombe hotel. This restaurant has the right ambiance for a special evening. You can dine while the restaurant revolves every 88 minutes, offering unsurpassed views of the city. Be sure to ask for a window table to get the most out of your experience.
The Italian menu at trendy Corso 32 (10345 Jasper Ave NW) focuses on quality with ingredients that deliver superb results.
Red Oxx Inn (9420 91 St) is a small restaurant with cozy seating – ideal if you like to start a conversation with your dining neighbours. The restaurant is open only for dinner.
Relatively new on the restaurant scene, RGE RD (10643-123 St NW) is mostly versed in meat and wild game, all washed down with a selection of Canadian and international wines.
The Marc (9940-106 Street- 100 Sterling Place) has an interior with unpretentious decor, where you can have steak tartare or grilled octopus. Vegetarians will have to wait to find out about the “daily creation” menu du jour designed just for them.
Wildflower Grill (10009-107 St NW) is tucked inside the Matrix Hotel. The spacious restaurant features a contemporary, urban decor. By their own words, the food is “new Canadian cuisine” and the grilled menu comes from a wood-fire grill.
At the Hardware Grill (9698 Jasper Ave) the menu is generous on meat dishes but be ready to pay dearly for them. A more affordable prix fixe, 3-course early dining menu is available for $50.
Edmonton Street Food Vendors
The food truck fever hit Edmonton a while back. The city is dotted with mobile eateries serving everything from Vietnamese food, fish sandwiches, calzoni stuffed with pesto and sausage, to Belgian waffles with whipped cream, eggs and bacon crêpes and South American chivito.
Some of the most popular street food vendors are: Drift, Battista’s Calzone Company, Eva Sweet, Fork and Spoon Brigade, Smokehouse BBQ, Kettle Popcorn, Funny Pickle, Carnival Cravings and Big City Sandwich, 80 Flavours of Ice Cream, Attila the HUNgry, Bully Food Truck, Casa12 Doce, Aussie Tucker, Dolce & Banana, One Cool Cookie.
The hotel scene in Edmonton caters largely to business people and visitors, this is referenced by the presence of popular hotel chains. There are a few historic and boutique hotels, however they are like a mirage in an urban area where large hotel chains steal the show. The strategic location of the hotels that are part of the West Edmonton Mall group makes them a continuation of the commercial and amusement euphoria of the largest mall in North America.
The historic district of Strathcona on Whyte has several hotels. This is a popular spot for visitors who like to step outside and find themselves in the heart of old Edmonton.
Located at 5359 Calgary Trail in the southeast end of Edmonton, Ramada-Edmonton-South Hotel has the typical chain-hotel decor in the rooms and common areas. Access to Wi-Fi is free and each room has a microwave oven and coffee making facilities. There is a restaurant, a bar and an a-la carte restaurant on site. The hotel is less than half an hour from Edmonton International Airport and a few minutes from the city’s Botanical Gardens. CAD$118 to CAD$126.
Located at 17504 90 Avenue, across from the largest shopping mall in North America, the West-Edmonton-Mall-Inn is in a great location of the city for people who like to shop. This small hotel is ideal for families with children who want to spend time at Galaxyland indoor amusement park. Hotel rates start at CAD$154.
The recently renovated Delta-Edmonton-South (4404 Gateway Blvd) offers clean, spacious rooms, an indoor pool with beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows, a fitness centre, a hot tub, free on site parking and free Wi-Fi. Children under 5 years of age don’t pay if using existing beds (max 2 children). Rates start at CAD$128 to CAD$166.
The Coast-Edmonton-Plaza-Hotel (10155 105th St NW) is a medium-sized hotel with all the basic hotel amenities. It also conveniently offers free shuttle service to several Edmonton attractions. The hotel has an indoor heated pool, a bar, bistro and free Wi-Fi. Rates start at CAD$134.
A small hotel, the Sandman-Hotel-Edmonton-West (17635 Stony Plain Road) certainly doesn’t lack character. It is close to the West Edmonton Mall, the University of Alberta and a golf course. The hotel offers free Wi-Fi in all areas, free on-site parking without a (parking) reservation and facilities for disabled guests. Pets are not permitted in the hotel. Rates start at CAD$124.
Located 3-4 minutes from West Edmonton Mall and 5 minutes from the Royal Alberta Museum, Hampton-Inn & Suites-By-Hilton (18304 100 Ave NW) is an affordable hotel with all the amenities you’d expect from a hotel chain. There is an on site fitness room for all guests and Wi-Fi is included in the hotel rate. Guests who need an airport shuttle can arrange it with the hotel staff. Pets are not permitted. Rates start at CAD$125.
Located 10 minutes from the city centre, the stylish Sawridge-Inn-Edmonton-South hotel (4235 Gateway Blvd) boasts an inviting, contemporary look. The room décor is cozy and confers great ambiance. The South Edmonton Common mall is about 5 minutes away. An on-site hair salon ensures hotel guests are coiffed for every occasion. Hotel rates start at CAD$129.
Best Rated Hotels
Centrally located The-Westin-Edmonton (City Centre 10135- 100 St) is close to the Art Gallery of Alberta and Strathcona’s Historic District. The hotel is equipped with a Spa, sauna and wellness centre, indoor pool and Wi-Fi. Other services offered are room service, airport shuttle, luggage storage, ATM. There are applicable fees for some services. Hotel rates start at CAD$155 to CAD$280.
Edmonton’s Matrix-Hotel is located at 10640 100 Avenue NW, a few minutes from the railway station. The hotel’s interior decor is sleek and contemporary with spacious rooms. Wi-Fi is free in all areas and on-site parking is available. Pets are permitted on request. Rates start at CAD$136 and CAD$178.
The imposing Fairmont Hotel Macdonald was built in 1912 by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway which was later bought by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. The elegant chateau-style heritage building overlooks the North Saskatchewan River Valley and boasts a beautiful garden at the back. The overall ambiance and regal character confer a timeless appeal to this hotel.
The West Edmonton Mall is 10 minutes away and Rexall place is a short 5-minute distance away. There is an on site restaurant that serves Canadian cuisine. Afternoon tea can be enjoyed in the relaxing Confederation Lounge. If the hotel atmosphere doesn’t relax you, the sauna, massage and fitness centre, hot tub and indoor pool surely will. Rates start at CAD$177 and CAD$340.
Connected with the West Edmonton Mall Galaxyland Amusement Park, Fantasyland-Hotel (17700- 87 Ave NW) is part of the non-stop amusement. The 350+ room hotel features themed rooms with children’s cartoon characters and more sophisticated Las Vegas-style rooms for adults. On site activities include mini golf, bowling water facilities and a casino. When you’ve had enough entertainment you can find a peaceful retreat in the hotel chapel. Rates start at CAD$198 – CAD$328.
Historical And Unique hotels
Situated in the heart of Fort Edmonton Park, Hotel Selkirk Loaded with early 20th century nostalgia, the hotel has the added bonus of being surrounded by the verdant environs of the park. This is a nice place for a little nostalgia. The added bonus of the hotel lies in the fact that you can step outside and find yourself surrounded by the verdant surroundings of the park and turn of the (20th) century atmosphere. Everything in the hotel interior and exterior décor was designed to take you back in time. This is referenced by the overall design and period furnishings such as telephones, bathtubs and hotel staircase.
Spending one or more nights in Edmonton’s living history park is unlike a typical hotel stay. Despite its full immersion in the local history, the hotel provides modern amenities like air conditioning, a restaurant and bar, telephones, wireless internet, irons/ironing boards and coffee making facilities in the rooms. It is open from May to August and on Friday and Saturday nights in December. Rates are CAD$159 for the Heritage Twin Room, CAD$169 for the Heritage King room, CAD$199 for the Heritage Deluxe room and CAD$259 for the suite.
Just four minutes from downtown Edmonton, Chateau Louise Hotel & Conference Centre (11727 Kingsway) is an elegant hotel with 138 rooms and plenty of atmosphere. The on-site French restaurant serves an Italian buffet-style menu on Fridays. Guest can sink into one of the cozy chairs in the piano bar and enjoy the live entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays. A beautiful garden patio is for alfresco dining or enjoying a cup of tea during the warm season. The hotel has a gaming room with video lottery and trivia games. There is an on site liquor store with over 350 single malt scotches. Hotel rates start at CAD$133.
Located in the historic district of Strathcona, Varscona-Hotel-On-Whyte (8208 106th St) provides the opportunity to stay in the historic heart of Edmonton. Whyte Avenue is surrounded by shops and restaurants that are within walking distance. Public transportation is within reach of the hotel. At first glance this hotel doesn’t impress but further inspection reveals many pleasant qualities. Among these are the wine tasting evenings – jovial events that provide the opportunity to connect people and make new friends. The hotel rooms are clean and cozy. Parking is free, as is the wine. Rates start at CAD$144.
The sleek, contemporary decor of Metterra-Hotel-On-Whyte doesn’t take away any of the character of this small hotel. The library has a cozy fireplace where you can spend time chilling out after a day of business or sight seeing. The hotel features a gym, laundry facilities and free Wi-Fi. Rates start at CAD$160.
Edmonton Organized Tours & Trips
Explore the Louise McKinney Riverfront Park with River Valley Adventure Segway tours (9735 Grierson Hill NW, phone: 780-995-7347). Already in use in some theme parks in North America, the two-wheeled, battery-operated self-balancing Segway vehicle transports visitors across the Edmonton River Valley parkland and trails on fully-guided tours. The year round availability of the tours allows visitors to appreciate the changing landscape of the city. Riding around the city on Segways is an exhilarating experience.
Before embarking on the two-wheel tour visitors are instructed by qualified personnel on the correct usage of the Segway vehicles. These tours depart from Louise McKinney park south of the Shaw Conference Centre. There are different tour packages ranging from 30, 60 and 90 minutes long. One-hour tours start at CAD$49.99 and include safety and technical training.
Snowshoe guided tours are for those (frequent) Edmonton days when the temperature drops below zero. Sixty-minute tours through the River Valley start at CAD$15 per person with a minimum of 4 people. Snowshoe rentals start at CAD$7 per hour or CAD$25 per day.
Hundreds of kilometres of trails in the River Valley beg to be explored and there is no better way to explore North America’s largest urban parkland than by bike. River Valley Adventure Tours provide Rocky Mountain bike rentals starting at CAD$10 per hour or CAD$50 per day.
Skydiving in Edmonton is the best way to see the city from the sky and really get a rush of adrenaline. If you’re afraid of heights but still want to go for it there are tandem skydives with seasoned instructors who secure first time jumpers with a 4-point harness and assist them throughout the jump.
Prices for tandem skydives start at CAD$315 plus applicable taxes for one person. Experienced jumpers can book a freefall from 4,000 feet for CAD$28 plus taxes. Prices increase along with the altitude of the jumps. Contact details for Edmonton Skydive: 59509 Range Road 260, Westlock County, Alberta, phone: 1-800-SKYDIVE.
Edmonton day-long tours allow you to visit the city’s main attractions, heritage areas, the Alberta Legislature Building and the West Edmonton Mall. Tours may be offered by bilingual guides and operate all year long from 8am. The tour departs from downtown hotels and the TD Bank building in Chinatown. The cost is CAD$85 plus tax.
If you fancy a more in-depth exploration of the city and the beautiful surrounding parks and mountains you can take a tour that lasts up to 4-5 days. Depending on the type and length of tour chosen you can visit the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise, Bow Lake, Crowfoot Glacier, Banff Springs, Bow Falls, the Columbia Ice fields, Athabasca Falls, Emerald Lake, Natural Bridge, Johnston Canyon and Athabasca Falls. Tours beyond one day include hotel accommodations in Jasper and Banff. Two-day tours explore the Rocky Mountains and National parks with overnight accommodation at Mount Royal Hotel in downtown Banff.
There are themed tours that include skiing, golfing, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, hiking and more. Tour operator phone: 403-276-7816.
The Edmonton Hot Air Balloon Ride may not be an 80-day journey around the world but it is a favourite among visitors who want an aerial view of the city. The 4-hour ride takes you above Edmonton to explore the city, Jasper National Park, Lake Winnipeg, the Nelson River and the Hudson Bay. Edmonton Tours operate these rides from mid-May through mid-November from 6:30am to 5:30pm daily. Prices vary and are not inclusive of extra service charges, processing fees and taxes. Balloon Ride tour prices start at US$271.48 per adult. Reservation phone: 888-475-6190.
Tour Edmonton and the surrounding landscape with Cruises, Sailing and Water Tours. You can cruise Maligne Lake and visit Jasper City, Spirit Island, Jasper National Park and Medicine Lake. Tour prices start at CAD$110. Contact: 866-648-5873.
Edmonton Ghost Tours are all about Edmonton’s dark past. Tours include Old Strathcona where the macabre and the untold are unveiled. Visitors who have a penchant for all things dark and a little sinister can indulge in (true) retellings of mysteries, urban legends, murders and ghostly appearances. There is even a pet cemetery thrown in the mix. Prices start at CAD$200 per group.
What to See in Edmonton
Edmonton may not boast the sights and activities other Canadian cities have to offer but it certainly makes up for it in quality. The numbers alone speak for themselves. The heritage landmarks, architecture, museums, botanical gardens, shopping malls, restaurants, festivals, art galleries and urban parks draw thousands of visitors and locals each year.
Situated between 82nd Ave NW and 104th St NW, Old Strathcona seems to have it all. History, architecture, character, trendy bars and pubs, a farmer’s market, unique and one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants, cafés, entertainment, a mall and so much more. Stretched out over five blocks this has been designated a Provincial Historic Area.
The Old Strathcona and the Business revitalization area extend along Whyte Avenue. A pleasant stroll away from the industrialized neighbourhoods of Edmonton, the area provides a more tranquil setting even if it is right in the middle of the city. This is a great place to look for unusual gifts, eclectic items, antiques and food.
Located about 50km east of Edmonton the Ukrainian-Cultural-Heritage-Village references the strong presence of Albertans of Ukraine heritage. The living history village is well maintained and organized and tells the story of the early days of the Ukrainian community through a series of artifacts, buildings, costumes and local scenery. This is a cultural chapter of the local history.
The über modern building situated at 2 Sir Winston Churchill Square is Edmonton’s Art-Gallery-Of-Alberta which was founded almost one century ago as The Edmonton Museum of Arts. After several location changes a new building was inaugurated in 2007 under the current name of the Gallery.
Also known as the AGA, Alberta’s gallery has themed exhibitions that highlight masters of the past who took part in the major modern and modernist art movements like Impressionism and Symbolism. Works include European photography and masterpieces by Lautrec, Goya and Chagall. There is a restaurant and café on site for refreshments, coffee or dinner. The on site shop sells items and books of interest to art lovers. Guided tours are included in the admission price of CAD$12.50 for adults.
The Alberta Legislature Building (10800 97 Ave NW) is home to the Government of Alberta where the Executive Council and the Legislative Assembly meet. Situated south of Jasper Avenue, overlooking the North Saskatchewan River, this is the historic site of the Hudson’s Bay Company trading post. The imposing Beaux Arts style, Roman, Greek and Egyptian-influenced architecture makes a statement of authority, stature and beauty.
The building is open 362 days a year. There are organized themed tours that outline the roles of the members of the government of Alberta. Tours are under one hour and are free of charge. Visiting hours are: 9am to 3pm Mon – Fri. Sat, Sun from 12pm to 4pm.
Enclosed in tall glass pyramids are four climate themed botanical areas collectively known as Muttart Conservatory (9626 96A St). Hundreds of dry, temperate and tropical climate plants and trees are on display in this urban oasis. The on site cafe is a lovely place for coffee and freshly baked pastries. Lunch features a homemade menu with herbs grown in the Muttart greenhouses. The gardens are open from 10am to 5pm Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri and weekends; from 10am to 9pm on Thursdays. Admission starts at CAD$12 for adults.
A great place for families, Royal Alberta Museum (12845 – 102nd Ave) is a place of discovering and learning – it has something for everyone. A natural science and human history museum, the collections and research areas housed in the building include 3 sectors: Cultural Studies, Earth Sciences and Life Sciences. The artifacts, documents and literature in these areas cover studies in anthropology, archaeology, military, history, geology, botany and zoology. The museum is open daily from 9am to 5pm. Admission tickets start at CAD$11 for adults.
Located at 1 Sir Winston Churchill Square, a few minutes north of the Alberta Legislature Building, Edmonton City Hall is a building with two 43-metre glass and steel pyramids that house the municipal offices. It is also a civic area with an outdoor winter skating rink and a summer wading pool. The pyramids are a tribute to the Teepees that belonged to the First Nations people who once inhabited the area.
Things to do in Edmonton
There is always something going on in Edmonton. There are a number of attractions, activities and a line-up of year round festivals and events. The Fringe Theatre Festival is undoubtedly the highlight of the city’s events calendar. Held each August in Old Strathcona, the arts festival has almost 1000 performers take part in more than 200 shows and over 1,600 performances. The visiting theatre companies perform in the theatres within the historic district. The Walterdale Playhouse, Varscona Theatre and King Edward Academy are just a few.
The LaunchPad Trampoline Park-Edmonton (6142 – 50th St NW) was created for endless fun for everyone. The indoor park is climate controlled and provides free-bounce areas with organized activities: open jump court, youth court, basketball extreme dunk area, dodgeball court, huge foam pit area and rope ladders. Open Mon – Thurs from 12pm to 10pm; Fri – Sat from 10am to 11pm.
No matter what season it is, the West Edmonton Mall World Water Park (8882 170th St) is a year-round amusement water park with waves and 17 water slides. The park’s enticing tropical 31 ºC temperature attracts adults and children when the outdoor temperature drops well below zero. Hours of operation are 10am to 6pm. The park is open until 9pm on Fridays. Prices start at CAD$39 for an all day pass and CAD$33 for children aged 3 to 10 years.
Named after the patron of the arts who donated $6 million for the construction of the building, the Francis Winspear-Centre-For-Music (4 Sir Winston Churchill Square) has been home to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra since 1997. A seating capacity of almost 2,000 people, the concert hall has adjustable acoustics made possible by simple adjustments of the interior velour banners and curtains. Depending on the seating arrangement you choose, ticket prices start at CAD$24. There are season and group passes with prices that fluctuate significantly.
Rutherford House Provincial Historic Site (11153 Saskatchewan Dr) is operated by a non profit cultural organization with the aim of preserving the heritage of the area. The numerous events and projects are a great way to learn about Edmonton’s history. The property is a popular venue for private functions, photo bookings and weddings.
Located at 11410 Kingsway, Alberta Aviation Museum is dense with aviation and space history told through hundreds of artifacts, documents and aircraft – some of which can be explored inside. You don’t necessarily need to be an aviation buff to enjoy the museum. The journey begins with a historical look at man’s early attempts to fly, through the great wars and the instrumental role of aircraft, right until today.
Located behind Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market building, High Level Bridge and Streetcar (103rd St and 83rd Ave) is operated by the Edmonton Radial Railway Society. The heritage streetcars are loaded with historic character and they’re a great way to learn about the history of the area. Take a ride from Whyte Avenue to downtown Edmonton and enjoy the city views along the way. The High Level Bridge Streetcar operates from 11am, every 40 minutes and costs CAD$5 per person.
The heart of Strathcona is home to the vibrant Farmer’s Market where you can shop, eat or browse the stalls featuring fruits, vegetables, organic vegetables and other products. The market opens Saturdays from 8am to 3pm.
Stretching along 82nd Ave NW, Whyte Avenue has a bohemian soul that attracts people all day long right into the night. By day go for a stroll along the streets lined with pubs, restaurants, bistros and cafés. By night, this area can get very busy as bars and clubs fill up with university students and party goers.
The largest planetarium in Canada is the Telus World of Science (11211 142nd ST) where you can also watch fascinating 3-D documentaries in the IMAX theatre and exhibits and events such as Indiana Jones ™ and the Adventure of Archaeology exhibition. The Observatory is a fascinating place to learn about and watch the moon phases, meteors and the planets. Hours are 9m to 5pm and until 10pm Fri and Sat. Rates start at CAD$20, CAD$26 and CAD$34.50 for adults.
Events in Edmonton
Edmonton works hard to bring to life annual events that attract thousands of local and foreign visitors. From film and music festivals, to sporting, food and cultural events, there is never a dull moment in this otherwise low-key city.
Every August Edmonton becomes a mega entertainment venue for Canadian and international entertainers who bring their craft to the stage. Inspired by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Edmonton International Fringe Festival is the largest in North America. A cultural event aimed at preserving the heritage of the city, it is staged in several permanent theatres in the Old Strathcona neighbourhood. Performers are selected on a non-juried basis through a lottery process and receive 100% of the ticket proceeds.
Edmonton beats the end-of-summer blues by putting on a Jazz event and the city parks provide the idyllic setting for this. There is nothing better than welcoming winter with a glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres – the Edmonton way!
Each year about 1,000 trees are planted during the Toot for Trees Fest, held each June in the River Valley Parks. The green event is accompanied by games, activities and a campfire.
From late June to mid July the Freewill Shakespeare Festival takes place in the Heritage Amphitheater in Hawrelak Park. The festival includes William Shakespeare plays and a summer drama camp for youths.
Hawrelak Park also hosts Symphony Under the Sky as Edmonton’s Symphony Orchestra brings the summer festival season to a close at the end of August.
From the end of January to the beginning of February Edmonton hosts the renowned International Ice Carving Competition, Ice On Whyte.
The Edmonton Folk Music Festival takes place each August. The 3-day non-profit event has been entertaining Edmontonians for about 30 years.
Pure Speculation is the yearly Science Fiction & Fantasy Festival in Edmonton. The Festival brings together special guests, authors, merchants, celebrities and experts who highlight literature, games, technology, fiction and non-fiction.
Lake Louise is the pristine backdrop for the annual Alpine Ski World Cup that sees speed events for women and men. This is the only Club 5 Ski Classics world cup outside of Europe.
The Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival is the largest in Alberta. The day long event features wines, spirits, beer and all sorts of culinary creations. The Festival takes place each October.
The Edmonton Blues Festival held in the River Valley is a 3-day event with award winning Blues music delivered by guitarists, pianists, singers and songwriters.
Each summer Edmonton hosts an exhibition known as K-Days. The 10-day exhibition is held at Northlands park and dates way back to the end of the 19th century when the Edmonton Agricultural Society organized the Edmonton (later renamed Klondike Days) local exhibition. K-Days is a lively summer event filled with music, games, dance, and a farmer’s market.
Day Trip Itinerary
A single day in Edmonton should cover the main attractions and landmarks for which this city is known. Visiting the Rocky Mountains parks, Jasper and Banff areas requires more time and should be left for weekend or week visits to Edmonton or Calgary.
Start the day where the provincial government operates. Take a guided tour of the majestic building, learn about how the government operates and the history of the Legislature Building.
High Level Bridge Street Car (103rd St and 83rd Ave)
From the Legislature Building head over to 103rd St and 83rd Avenue, a few minutes away, and hop on the historic streetcar for a step back in Alberta history.
From the High Level Bridge Street Car get off at Old Strathcona and explore this historic part of Edmonton
Cap off the day with hours of shopping, browsing and people watching on this busy street. This is where you’ll want to look for unique gifts or items to take back when you leave Edmonton. There are pubs, cafes and restaurants for a snack or dinner. After dark you can visit any of the dozens of bars, trendy clubs and piano bars that line the streets.
High Level Bridge Streetcar (103rd St and 83rd Ave)
The ride begins at the south side of Edmonton and travels across the High Level bridge. This is a nostalgic ride back in time for some folks, for others it’s just plain fun.
Alberta Legislature Building (10800 97 Ave NW)
West Edmonton Mall (8882 170th St)
Old Strathcona (82nd Ave NW and 104th St NW)
Rocky Mountains, Jasper & Banff Tour
There are a number of ways to explore the beautiful parks, mountains and lakes surrounding Edmonton. Nature lovers can go on wildlife tours in Jasper, or visit the Maligne Canyon Ice Walk tours and walk along the bottom of the Canyon in Jasper National Park where they can see frozen waterfalls, ice caves and learn about the “disappearing” lake. Lake Louise, Banff national Park, Bow Falls and the renowned Banff Springs Hotel can be visited on half-day, full and overnight tours. The same tours are also available if you’re staying in Calgary.
Week Trip Itinerary
At the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village which is located 50km east of Edmonton, along the Yellowhead highway, East of Elk Island National Park, the open air museum uses historical interpreters dressed in period costumes to create the atmosphere and lives of the Ukrainian settlers from the late 1800s to the 1930s. This is a living history museum with staff that acts as cultural characters of that period to allow visitors to be fully immersed in time and history.
Alberta Legislature Building (10800 97 Ave NW)
High Level Bridge Street car (103rd St and 83rd Ave)
Rutherford House Historic Site (11153 Saskatchewan Dr)
Edmonton’s historical buildings are part of the city’s heritage. The architecture and function of these buildings give insight into the way people lived when Edmonton had a few thousand inhabitants. As the home of the first Premier of Alberta, A.C. Rutherford, the building’s historical worth has been carefully preserved over the years. The Edwardian mansion is complete with cultural interpreters with period costumes who are happy to take visitors on guided tours. Rutherford House is open from 10am to 5pm daily from May 15 to the beginning of September.
University of Alberta (116 St – 85 Ave)
Close to the Rutherford Historic Site the university campus is worth a visit. There is always something intellectually stimulating about visiting a university site. The area surrounding U of A is dotted with a mix of historic buildings that cohabitate with contemporary architecture.
Strathcona Farmer’s Market 10310 83 Ave NW)
Royal Museum (12845 – 102nd Ave)
This fascinating natural science, history and anthropological museum has something for people of all ages. Don’t miss the geological sections – minerals and rocks, and the First Nations sections.Photography buffs will appreciate the collection of of photography works. The museum exterior is a striking example of modernist architecture. Temporary exhibits include European collections from the all-time masters from various artistic periods.
You can easily spend the entire day at the West Edmonton Mall. Visitors with children will find it hard to get away from the Water Park. The temperature inside is 31 C regardless of the time of year. On Frigid, Edmonton winters you can forget all about old man winter by splashing around the wave pool or pushing your children down one of the dozen or so water slides.
Designed to make dreams come true, if only for a fleeting moment, Galaxyland is a place for kids and adults. There is a hotel, restaurants and almost 1000 shops all under one roof.
Fort Edmonton Park
Alberta Aviation Museum
This historic museum provides a wealth of information. The museum administrators have done everything to make it interesting even to those who are not particularly interested in aviation. Several of the very knowledgeable curators are retired aviators.
Telus World of Science (11211- 142nd St). This is a fine example of how science can be fun and educational at the same time. A great place for families, the interactive games are among the most favourite activities. Don’t miss the cool Indiana Jones exhibit.
Dinner on Whyte Avenue. There is a lot of local colour in this part of town. Be sure to go before the shops close if you’re after unique items. When you’re ready to have dinner all you have to do is go for a stroll down Whyte Avenue to choose from a bevy of bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes.
Devonian Botanic Garden (Parkland County)
If you can’t get enough of plants, trees and shrubs you’ll love this place. Located 30 minutes south of downtown Edmonton, the botanical gardens are always a nice retreat from the urban madness of the city. The Japanese Gardens are simply Zen!
Treehouse Indoor Playground (10181 34 Ave NW)
The indoor playground features age-appropriate sections for tots and older children, which makes it safe and fun for everyone. The areas are equipped with ball pits, children’s kitchens, toys, games, toy cars, throw balls, tree houses and tunnels.
John Janzen Nature Centre (7000-143 St)
Just 15 minutes from downtown Edmonton, this is a nature oasis within an urban setting. There are programs and engaging activities that make learning about the area’s ecosystem interesting and fun. If you haven’t seen Edmonton’s wildlife yet this is your chance to do so.
Alberta Water Cruises
An area exploration of the postcard-pretty landscape is a must before leaving Edmonton. There are numerous options for taking scenic boat rides in Jasper and Banff. A boat ride across Upper Waterton Lake is like watching a National Geographic wildlife documentary.
Muttard Botanical Gardens (9626 96A St)
After cruising the beautiful Alberta lakes head over to River Valley Park for a full immersion in tropical and desert flora life. The pyramids housing hundreds of plant species are micro-areas that recreate the climactic conditions of the planet where tropical rain forests grow wild and desert plants survive through clever adaptation mechanisms.
City Hall (1 Sir Winston Churchill Square)
As with any city or town, the city’s administration building is always the focal point where all roads converge. The outdoor pool becomes a skating rink in the winter and a fun wading pool in the summer.
Winspear Centre (4 Sir Winston Churchill Square)
A great way to end the day, Winspear Centre has been home to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (ESO) since 1997. A 56-professional musician orchestra, the ESO performs 42 weeks each season and brings to life all the classical music masterpieces, the Edmonton Opera and the Alberta Ballet productions.
Rocky Mountain Tour
The Canadian Rockies can be viewed by train, bus or boat vessel. Attractions include Columbia Ice field, Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise, Pyramid Lake and the Valley of the Five Lakes, among others. The spectacular scenery and wildlife includes bears, mountain sheep, deer, elks, foxes, wolves and endless bird species.
The Festival City
Canada’s Oil Capital is the fifth-largest municipality in the country. According to the Financial Times it is a city with the best economic potential of any North American city. Hard-working and low key, Edmonton also knows how to play hard. They don’t call it the “Festival City” for nothing. No matter what time of year you visit Edmonton, there is always a festival going on!
*All fares, prices and rates are subject to change without notice.