Edmonton with a population of just over 800,000 is the Capital of Alberta Province, and situated north of Calgary 290 Kilometres (180 miles).
Being the most northern large city means that is closer to Alaska and the colder northern parts of Canada, and it has built its wealth through mining and Oil.
The City is located on the Saskatchewan River, and the City has a vibrant centre built around City Hall with Sir Winston Churchill Square being a place where there are cafes, an ice rink in winter, pool and fountains in the summer and lots of activities.
You will also find 4 big Glass Pyramids here too, which contain massive gardens and plants in what is called the Muttart Conservatory. The entrance is located at 9626 96A Street.
There are also tours of city Hall – Tel: 780 442 1385. Also see the Alberta Legislative Building at 100 97th Avenue NW. See www.assembly.ab.ca They have a Visitor Centre located at Capital Plaza, off 108th Street. The main business centre is located along Jasper Avenue.
Some of the many things to see in Edmonton are –
- CN Tower – 10340 100 Street NW. See www.cntower.ca This tower is 553.3 metres high (1815.4 feet) and has great view, the revolving 360 Restaurant and 'Edgewalk' up top too.
- Fort Edmonton Park – a large open air living history museum park, with re-created buildings from around 1846 , costumed characters and lots of history and stories portraying Alberta's history from the fur trading days, railway era, streetcars and modern times. See www.fortedmontonpark.ca Also look for the Capitol Theatre here, Henderson's Farm and Egge's Barn. Close by too is the John Janzen Nature Centre – next to the Saskatchewan River.
- Royal Alberta Museum – 12845 102 Avenue NW. This is a large museum with a number of galleries and a vast collection of items to see. See www.royalalbertamuseum.ca
- Alberta Railway Museum – 24215 34 Street. See www.albertarailwaymuseum.com There are around 50 Train engines and carriages to see here, showcasing the significant role that railways played in developing Canada.
- Telus World of Science – 11211 142 Street NW. See www.telusworldofscienceedmonton.ca Here you will find an IMAX Theatre, planetarium, observatory and exhibits.
- Art Gallery of Alberta – 2 Sir Winston Churchill Square in a dramatic building. See www.youraga.ca This Art Gallery has some of the best First Nation's art to be seen anywhere.
- Edmonton Valley Zoo – 13315 Buena Vista Road. They have around 350 animals to see.
- West Edmonton Mall – 8882 170 Street NW. This is one of the biggest shopping centres in America, with the indoor World Water Park (8882 170 Street)complete with Tsunami wave, Galaxyland with its giant indoor roller coaster and of course lots of shops to wander through. See www.wem.ca
- Edmonton Corn Maze – 26171 Garden Valley Road, Spruce Grove. This maze is created over 15 acres of corn fields, with 5 kilometres of twists and turns and 85 different decision points to make. The Maze is created each year. See www.edmontoncornmaze.ca
- Elk Island National Park – 35 kilometres east of Edmonton on the Trans-Canada Highway at Fort Saskatchewan. See www.pc.gc.ca Here you can see Bison and Elk up close in this park refuge, as well as a wide variety of birds. You can also camp or picnic in the park too.
- William Hawrelak Park – 9930 Grout Road NW – a large park covering 68 hectares of land, with a lake in its centre. During the winter this is a popular for ice skating.
- THEATRES – Check to see what's on at Citadel Theatre – 9828 101A Avenue NW. See www.citadeltheatre.com ; Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium "The Jube" – see www.jubileeauditorium.com ; Princess Arthouse Theatre 10337 82 Avenue. See www.magiclanterntheatres.ca ; Also see www.theatrenetwork.ca
- Fringe Theatre Festival – this is held each year in August and is one of the biggest of its kinds. See www.fringetheatre.ca/festival
- Francis Winspear Centre for Music – 4 Winston Churchill Square NW. See www.winspearcentre.com This is where the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra is based.
- Rabbit Hill Snow Resort – 25512 Township Rd, 510A Leduc County. See www.rabbithill.com In the middle of the winter snow season, this is the place to come to ski and snowboard.
- Northlands Park – 7515 118 Avenue NW. This is where you can see horse racing and also visit the casino here with its entertainment and restaurants. See www.northlandspark.ca
- MARKETS – in winter head to the City Market at City Hall and in summer it is at 104th Street. Also there is the Sunterra Market at 10150 Jasper Avenue NW. See www.city-market.ca/wp to find when they are on.
- Alberta Aviation Museum – 11410 Kingsway NW. See www.albertaaviationmuseum.com
- Ukrainian Rural Heritage Village – 25 minutes east of Edmonton on Highway 16 at Tofield. Open in the summer. Tel: (780)662 3640 See www.ukrainevillage.ca Here you will find the village with people in traditional dress. Many Ukrainians came to live here in Canada between 1892 and 1930, and this Village has some 30 buildings, including a tradtional 'Burdei' – a house build from sods of earth.
- Rutherford House – 11153 Saskatchewan Drive NW. See www.rutherfordhouse.ca This was the home of Alexander Rutherford, the first Premier of Alberta who held office from 1911 to 1941. The house is furnished in keeping with the era.
- Whyte Avenue – if you are looking for a street with cafes and restaurants, head to Whyte Avenue near the University.
- Edmonton Queen Riverboat – 9734 98 Avenue NW. This riverboat has cruises during the summer months here on the river. It is a good way to get a feel for both the river and the valley where Edmonton is located. See www.edmontonqueen.com
Edmonton is the closest big city to Jasper in the Rockies which is 365 kilometres east of Edmonton. The highlight of Calgary is the Calgary Stampede in July while in Edmonton the Fringe Theatre event during August attracts a lot of people to that city.
I hope you enjoy coming to Alberta and seeing Calgary and Edmonton while you are here.