1000 Things we Love About Edmonton


Edmonton is a really great place to live, and we want everyone to know about it. We’ve started posting a list of 1000 things we love about Edmonton on our fan page. The list includes things to see and do, places to go as well as some of our favourite stores and restaurants in Edmonton.

So far our list has included:

Like us and don’t miss another event in the Edmonton area!


Sara MacLennan is the Director of Marketing at Liv Real Estate and a licensed Real Estate Associate. The bulk of Sara’s experience and wealth of expertise lies in on-line technology and marketing both for agents and consumers. Sara is the former National Director for Interactive Marketing for Coldwell Banker Canada where she was responsible for an extensive training program traveling to offices across the country training agents and brokers on marketing and technology. Find Sara on Twitter @edmontonblogger.

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48 Responses to “1000 Things we Love About Edmonton”

  1. EDMONTON EXPATNo Gravatar 09. Aug, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    Edmonton is still a great place to be & live. However the ever climbing prices of RE & many other nasty side negatives made a few folks move away since 2007.
    Too bad, me being one of them who had to expat myself for a few years.
    My best place in Edmonton include the river valley park system, barred none. That place is truly the best in North America: nowhere else can you be in downtown of a million+ city and be in the wilderness. Another good point is the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit of many Edmontonians.

  2. SusanNo Gravatar 09. Aug, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    How do you feel about the latest EREB
    monthly report.

    • csmNo Gravatar 10. Aug, 2010 at 10:20 am #

      Shame on EREB ? They should be dis-credited… Its report about rental market is a total farce…. What is their research and evidence…. they provide nothing and its pure scare mongering….

      • Sheldon JohnstonNo Gravatar 10. Aug, 2010 at 12:50 pm #


        Sorry to burst your bubble, but EREB did not put out that report nor does EREB aggregate rental data. I hope this helps.

        • csmNo Gravatar 10. Aug, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

          Sorry my mistake… I got confused with EREB and CBRE….
          Anyway the report the rental rates are increasing are totally false and doesn’t reflect the actual conditions on the street. Since vacant rental inventory is down they are speculating the rents will rise. The reallity might be they are on MLS or its just the case of Schools re-opening etc etc. I just got my rents reduced by $250…. Also Broadwalk reduced my friends because he forced their hand… All you got to do is ask…

  3. Small BusinessNo Gravatar 09. Aug, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    - A taste of Edmonton.
    - Alberta Legislature (A beautiful building)
    - Muttart Conservatory!!! :-)

  4. NicNo Gravatar 10. Aug, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    - Pterodactyl-like mosquitos
    - Dry skin cracking air
    - More dust than any other city in Canada
    - Roads quality that rivals IED littered goat trails in Afghanistan
    - Heart stopping cold and a winter 2 months longer than most places

    • Sheldon JohnstonNo Gravatar 10. Aug, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

      For the last several years we’ve barely had any mosquitos. If you’ve travelled anywhere in Canada this year you’ll probably notice the skeeter population is higher than the american deficit. I actually love the dry air here. My bread and chips stay fresh while most places have to spend all year dehumidifying. Since your an expert on blowing dust I’ll just assume you know what you’re talking about here. I love the goat trail comment. Show’s you have a sense a humour and from what I’ve seen I haven’t notice too many canadian cities with better roads. Traffic moves pretty well here compared to alot of other cities as well. I guess when you live in the largest city per acre per person in probably the world (certainly North America) infrastructure can be a challenge so I’ll give you partial marks on that. But you definitely got Sara’s vote on the winter comment but don’t forget its a dry cold which is a huge plus. So I’ll give you 1.25 out of 5. Just out of curiousity is there anything you do like about Edmonton?

      • NicNo Gravatar 11. Aug, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

        I guess I hit a sensitive spot with that post… I really don’t mind it here actually.

    • carllecatNo Gravatar 10. Aug, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

      - Pterodactyl-like mosquitos

      Ridiculously funny…!

      - Dry skin cracking air

      Go to Montreal or Toronto over summer time my friend and the humidity and the smog will make you realize that you miss Edmonton!

      - More dust than any other city in Canada

      More dust? What are you talking about??? Do you have any source to support this???

      - Roads quality that rivals IED littered goat trails in Afghanistan

      I have traveled the country on several occasion and drove from coast-to-coast and let me tell you that Edmonton and Alberta in general has a better road system than 99% of the other Canadian cities!

      - Heart stopping cold and a winter 2 months longer than most places

      Quit complaining, at least the winter is cold and dry… it could be worse and be cold and humid and when it’s -15 it feels like -45 and the thing gets to your bones…

      I think you got it too easy to appreciate the nice things you have here in Edmonton. If I would say something like this, my wife would call me princess. Thus, I guees she would also call you PRINCESS!

    • SpudNo Gravatar 10. Aug, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

      Nic the airport is very accessible. Perhaps exercise your right to move freely in this world, hop on a plane to anywhere and enjoy your new environment.
      PS try vacuuming your house to rid yourself of dust problems.

      • SpenceNo Gravatar 11. Aug, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

        LOL, Good call Spud. I’ll be hopping on a plane this weekend. Always nice to come back to Edmonton though.

    • rickyNo Gravatar 10. Aug, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

      Yep Dedmonton is a dull place …. its somewhere people come to make money & then leave. Its a town in the middle of no-where three or four hours to anywhere decent by plane or car. Sorry, but if it was nt for oil & the resulting money I’d never willingly set foot it.

      The winters are long & cold, the summer is nice but too short. The mosquitos have spoiled it this year. Things like Capital Ex (just a county fair really), Whyte Ave (an average street anywhere in Europe), FolkFest (a nice festival but hardly a big deal) its just an average North American city on the plains…. nothing much to shout home about and not worth a visit. Perhaps in terms of Canada it is n’t so bad, but I’ve had far better weekends in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Quebec City, Calgary that I ever have had here.

      • Sheldon JohnstonNo Gravatar 11. Aug, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

        I have to disagree. People don’t just come here to work and leave. Many people actually retire here for numerous reasons including healthcare, lack of crowding, good communities and many other reasons. I have witnessed that many people who have come planning on make some dough and leaving end up getting very rooted in the community.

        As far as dull. I’m constantly on the go from one thing to another, so IMHO you couldn’t be more wrong. Can you be more specific on what Edmonton is lacking?

        • rickyNo Gravatar 12. Aug, 2010 at 11:08 am #

          Different people are different, I’d hazard a guess that you’re probably Edmonton born and bred? If so, then I’m not surprised you think it fantastic. Many people come here and like it, fair enough, but a substantial number of people just tolerate the place, get the dough & go. With a downturn looking set to continue in the US then it’ll impact here and the dough aspect will not be the pull anymore. Think Canada is sensible but you’re just too close to the US and their economic mess is unavoidable.

          Unfortunately if you’ve lived elsewhere in the (first) world then this seems an empty cold place, it really lacks a vibrant downtown/centre (hope those proposals re downtown go ahead), downtown looks really shabby and is completely lifeless from 9pm onwards, the “communities” are soulless endless suburbs with identikit strip malls, the place has no character or atmosphere. The word community is used by builders and developers in some abstract sense, but not in a real meaningful way.
          The people here are incredibly polite, but do not confuse this for friendliness they would strip you for your last dime whilst smiling all the time! It is actually quite an unfriendly place in real terms.
          Here you have to make a real effort to find/ make things to do. In other cities I’ve lived in you just have to walk and look and something interesting will just happen.

          I can imagine retiring here from Whitehorse or Grande Prairie, but all the retirement parties I’ve been to have been for people moving to Victoria or BC or back “home” elsewhere in the world. Normally about ten years to go they position themselves with a condo in Victoria and then gradually ease themselves out of Edmonton.

          I’m not completely down on the place, but you’ve got to have some perspective. It is an average North American city – Pheonix, Salt Lake City, Calgary, Spokane, St Louis etc … nothing really special.

          • AlNo Gravatar 12. Aug, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

            interesting comment… some good points and some totally wrong ones.. I agree that Edmonton is not as lively.. but people?!? edmonton has one of the best people in the world.. stripping you of your last dime? wow, thats totally wrong.. you should go to Toronto, where cabbies who are not allowed to be on the airport, tr to grab you in their cabs standing in the parking lot.. or wait, go to Hongkong, people will come up to you and say they will help you cary your luggage, when they actually just want to run away with it.. Go to California and try to change a lane at the last minute.. there is no courtesy… No one gives you a way to go… Go to London and your color will decide your fate – If your skin color is brown, be ready get stripped search at the airport in the name of rendom checking and then whereever you go, people see you with some kindda “why is he/she here” attitude? .. While Edmonton embraces everyone… doesn’t matter what is the color or race.. neighbours at times still come and shevel your snow.. In the cold and dry winters, people still give a hand to the one just fell caz of sleepery roads and ask “are you ok?”…

            so yes, it may not have the so called “liveliness” but its the people that make this place special…..

          • SpudNo Gravatar 12. Aug, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

            Ricky maybe the people in edmonton who would rip you of your last dime with a smile on their face are the transients that are only here for the money. The people that are born and bred in edmonton don’t fit your description. You seem to be in that category – just looking to make a buck before shooting through. With that mindset you’ll never be happy. Find somehwere you like then go about making a buck. Life will seem alot better.

          • Sara MacLennanNo Gravatar 12. Aug, 2010 at 8:09 pm #

            I’d just like to point out that there are three of us working on our list of 1000 thousand things we love about Edmonton…and two of us are from Ontario originally.

          • carllecatNo Gravatar 13. Aug, 2010 at 6:14 am #

            Quebec and Saskatchewan here… I would never go back to Montreal to raise a family. I guess it depends your age, as I do not really need to go in trendy bars and restaurants now as I prefer to ride my bike in the valley and go to the nice city parks with the kids!

            Maybe the downtown is not as vibrant, but Edmonton is a somewhat big city with generally speaking nice people and I did not get my as kicked yet after 10 years here because I speak French, which is a good sign to me!


          • dcw3No Gravatar 18. Aug, 2010 at 11:49 am #

            I lived in Edmonton and St. Louis for 4 years each. Edmonton does not hold a candle to St. Louis in terms of things to do, culture, cost of living, politeness of people etc

  5. buff_butlerNo Gravatar 10. Aug, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    hawrelak park geese… the’re by far the tastiest

  6. SpenceNo Gravatar 10. Aug, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    I have to agree with expat; the river valley’s are incredible in this city. I have lived here for a few years now and I continue to discover beautiful new places to explore with my wife and kids. I would also like to add that I have been very impressed with Edmontonians in general. This is a friendly city and I would certainly consider making Edmonton my permanent home if circumstances allow someday. A few more positives I can think of:

    - Heritage days
    - Plenty of parks and trails
    - The perogy ladies at Strathcona farmer’s market…..oh and the polish sausage vendors too.
    - Far enough away from Calgary that we rarely visit that city.

    Oh yes…..the hawrelak park geese…..nothing like loading the stroller into the back of the van only to find the wheels are covered in goose $*#t

  7. EDMONTON EXPATNo Gravatar 13. Aug, 2010 at 3:36 am #

    “and two of us are from Ontario originally”.

    I’m from Ontario originally as well. Like I stated earlier, Edmonton has great “plusses” on its sides but the added demographics of the past 10 years has tarnished the city for a long time…

  8. NopeNo Gravatar 13. Aug, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    Sorry. IN MY OPINION after living in about 5 of the biggest cities in Canada so far, and having been raised in rural Ontario … Edmonton isn’t anything really.

    It wants to be a “top city” but it just fails to impress. It reminds me of a suburb of a larger city and maybe some people (like most of you) like that sort of thing … endless strip malls, pathetic “urban” planning, terrible public transit and where sidewalks just discovered here? The roads are in fact terrible and the fact there are traffic lights on a hwy just sums that up. It is dusty and dry, the housing is well I am going to put it as I see it … a bunch of off-white vinyl cladded shoes boxes in most cases.

    It’s not just me either most of the friends and family that come out to visit say the same thing… “meh … that’s it? ”

    It has its pluses … closish to mountains, Calgary, nice dry summers (not this one tho), and some nice parks.

    …. but to say this city is “OMG THE BEST” … come on … no … not even close.

    • carllecatNo Gravatar 13. Aug, 2010 at 9:18 am #

      As I assume you know how to read… The title of this tread is not ”OMG EDMONTON IS THE BEST CITY IN CANADA… ”, it is perhaps ”1000 Things we Love About Edmonton”

      Can you please tell me why you live in Edmonton then , there might be a good reason I assume?

      There are also + and – about cities such as Montreal, Vancouver, Saskatoon, and Toronto, because nowhere is really perfect!

      Let me ask you the question now, anything you like about Edmonton?

      • Sara MacLennanNo Gravatar 13. Aug, 2010 at 10:12 am #

        Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  9. bubuNo Gravatar 13. Aug, 2010 at 11:54 pm #

    Money.. other than that nothing… I’m wondering in how many cities or countries you lived to have an idea about quality of life. Edmonton has one of the lowest if we don’t consider jobs and money.

    • rickyNo Gravatar 14. Aug, 2010 at 9:24 am #

      Yep me too … its just for the money …. think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. I struggle to think of a 1000 good reasons, hope Sara etc so better than the Edmonton Journal, they had 52 good reasons to love edmonton as a feature or something like that – at one stage they had “Magpies” at that point I knew something was really wrong!

      • carllecatNo Gravatar 14. Aug, 2010 at 9:36 am #

        Probably because you guys are working too hard and do not take time to enjoy. Personally, I would never live in a place just because I make good money and sacrifice the rest of my life just for… money! I guess it’s a personal choice.

      • Sheldon JohnstonNo Gravatar 16. Aug, 2010 at 6:40 am #

        Ahhhh I love magpies. I would have put them higher. Like #16. lol…kidding of course but I’m not kidding when I say I don’t struggle at all with things I like about Edmonton. Of course there are things I don’t like but a few people but a loud few who will point those out so I’ll point out the positive.

    • AlNo Gravatar 15. Aug, 2010 at 11:23 am #

      lol… define quality fo life.. for you may be its just money anyways.. so you have great quality fo life here..haha..

    • Sheldon JohnstonNo Gravatar 16. Aug, 2010 at 6:35 am #

      Let’s just say we agree to disagree. Healthcare, education, opportunities and the people are what make Edmonton great to me.

  10. bubuNo Gravatar 14. Aug, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    wrong… it’s one of the places where you don’t need too work hard.. .it’s full of dumb people and because of this competition it’s low… I’m talking about professional jobs. The taxes are still lower than other places and if you work smart 10-15 years you can retire in a nice place where you have decent weather, decent city life, it’s not far from the world and many, many other good things Edmonton will never have. As you said., it’s personal choice. I prefer to work 10 years in Edmonton ( 1/2 it’s done:) ) and then enjoy the rest of my life than be a slave in a working camp and consider I live in the best city in the world. Don’t tell me you didn’t make compromises in your life… to achieve something sometimes you have to do it.

    In how many places did you live before Edmonton and for how long? In Canada, please consider Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver as places.. other than that it’s like you are talking about Edmonton. It’s useless to tell me you lived in Regina or St. John… Those are not cities…. When you talk about cities talk about NY, LA, SF, Milan, Rome, Prague, Vienna…

    • carllecatNo Gravatar 15. Aug, 2010 at 7:16 am #

      That’s actually funny, because I lived in Montreal my whole life and moved here 10 years ago. Back four years ago, I would have moved back to Montreal in a heartbeat as all of my family is still there… However, I realized that I would get annoyed fast because when you work on a big city like Montreal, that is located on an island, you have to travel in the traffic to go to work and come back from work and it at least takes a good 3 hours of your day. So living in the suburb of Montreal (outside the island) is not an option to me. The other option was actually to live on the island, but with a family with young kids, Montreal is not really a good place to raise kids.

      It’s okay that you want to work another 5 years of your life so you can retire in a nice big city… All I am saying is that the place you choose as your home is depending on many factors and I know for a fact that Montreal is not a place for me anymore.

      …And I forgot, an house on the island is the same price as a house here, but people make less money and pay more taxes on their income…

      Good luck with your next 5 years and I really hope that you can find the place you like and hopefully, you won’t be dissapointed, or it will have been a big waste of your precious time!

    • AlNo Gravatar 15. Aug, 2010 at 11:39 pm #

      You really think you know it all eh! your replies seem to start with ‘Wrong”..all the time.. no wonder you dont know edmonton manners.. anyway,

    • Sheldon JohnstonNo Gravatar 16. Aug, 2010 at 6:48 am #

      So I’m pretty thick but are people dumb because they live somewhere where they pay less taxes. If so then we should all be in Sweden. Seriously though how you live is your choice. I’ve been to many of the cities you’ve mentioned and I’ve assisted people who have relocated here from all over the world who have been more than surprised how good the business and social enviroment is. However I do believe that in any city you go to you will find a detractor. A New Yorker may say, “New York is too big I have no space, no privacy”. They might generally appreciate the open skies and space Edmonton’s offering. Anyway I’m not trying to say you live in the best city in the world but I do.

  11. CarllecatNo Gravatar 15. Aug, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    San Francisco is not a nice city to live in for the simple reason that the housing market is really expensive and it us common fir home owners to rent their garages as apartments to families that cannot afford a house. Might be a nice place to visit, but I was not impressed by that practice very common to San Francisco… However, Ireally like San Diego for its downtown, bitinical garden, zoo, LEGO factory and of course La Jolla beach!


    • Sheldon JohnstonNo Gravatar 16. Aug, 2010 at 6:54 am #

      We go to San Francisco every year. Great Restaurants and shopping. It has one of the worst health care problems in the U.S. Every restaurant bill has 4% added on for just healthcare. Its almost 15-19% in taxes total. Most people don’t have healthcare like we do in the states and San Fran isn’t immune to it. In addition the homeless problem there is out of control. It actually has some of the worst cell coverage of a major city in the U.S. If I recall they have the most dropped calls because the city council will only allow 4′ cell towers and not 6′ towers. Oh and the coldest winter I’ve ever spent was any summer I’ve been to San Fran. Having said that I still think its a great place and we’ll go back to visit.

  12. CarllecatNo Gravatar 15. Aug, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    As for Milan, Rome, Prague and Rome, you are comparing cities that have been existing for milleniums, whereas Edmonton has been on the map for only a century. Even comparing the place with Montreal and Toronto is not appropriate.

  13. DonNo Gravatar 15. Aug, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    So much Edmonton disdain! I moved here, intentionally, because I didn’t like where I was, and I love it here. I’ll give you three easy reasons that are at the top of my head right now:

    1) A huge, vibrant arts community, which can support
    2) North America’s first and still best Fringe Theatre festival, and
    3) Much of that same Fringe spirit poured into each winter’s Die-Nasty.

  14. bubuNo Gravatar 15. Aug, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    Carllecat, I agree with you about the cities in Europe we mentioned. For me those are cities and not Edmonton… For me, those are great cities to raise kids… culture ( Don, sorry but you don’t know what culture means if you mention the Fringe), very good education ( sorry but I met so many people in Edmonton who don’t have a clue about Canadian history, geography or writers so we can’t talk about education here), on top of that university is 500-1000 Euro per year and not so expensive as here. The only issue in Europe is the taxes and this is why I say here you make easier the money. I was surprised with so many nations in this city, people don’t speak a second language.. not even the official Canadian language – French. I’m not talking about first or second generation of emigrants, I’m talking about third or forth generation of emigrants. Go to Switzerland, Netherlands or other European countries and you will be surprised how many languages they can speak. Here, everybody goes to Mexico and is shocked about the cultural impact…

    I bet, if the oil will go down to $20 for 2-3 years 30% of the population will move out. Why in 2000-2003 nobody moved to Edmonton? Because it is a nice city? Because it has nice weather? Because it is affordable? Let’s be honest and see the truth… Edmonton is far away from everything and other than oil it doesn’t attract people. To fly everywhere is expensive and too long… but again.. it’s my opinion.

    Edmonton is good also for people without too much education. Where in the world a welder or a framer can make these money? Even in Mc D. they pay way better than in other places so this is why some people like Edmonton.. But this will last as long as the oil will be high.. .after?

  15. DonNo Gravatar 16. Aug, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    And I’m sorry, too, bubu, that my tastes are too plebeian to meet your clearly superior cultural standards. Thank goodness we Edmonton Deltas and Epsilons can be here to facilitate your wealth accumulation, until you’re rich enough to spend your remaining days sipping Kir Royales in an arena in Barcelona, enjoying the sublime cultural experience of watching bulls be tortured to death.

    Then again, perhaps I don’t feel like apologising for enjoying the Fringe. Maybe one of the things I like about Edmonton over the cities you seem to prefer is that in Edmonton, I so rarely find anyone staring down his or her nose at his or her neighbours because those neighbours enjoy a Metallica concert or the local Indy. I encourage you to make your way as quickly as possible to a city where smug arrogance is more welcome, lest you find yourself Statler and Waldorfing your way through life. Personally, I can’t imagine the amount of money I’d have to recieve to continue living in a place that I so clearly dislike, but I’m just a simple-minded Fringe fan.

  16. LarryNo Gravatar 16. Aug, 2010 at 8:24 pm #

    Keeping it simple – to know is to like and I like Edmonton because Sheldon and Sara live here. Could you ask for anything more?

  17. MortilNo Gravatar 17. Aug, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    Average Joe — I was born and raised in Edson, Alberta. I worked for Court of Queens Bench in Edmonton for 19 years. I am now in NE Saskatchewan and love it.

    Edmonton has many great things going for it but you had best like long lines, huge crowds, and crime. We had tired of all three.

    We are now in an area with none of the three. We laffed hilariously when they published the crime stats for our area and included the number of bicycles stolen. We have been here for better than three years and there has been two murders….both solved and were family oriented. No car jackings, no dial-a-dopers, no rapes. People here look you in the eye and say hello while you walk the street. They wave as you drive the highway. The average salary here is $15.00 per hr and there is work. We are in the Melfort/Tisdale/Nipawin area.

    I visit Edmonton yearly (an 8-9 hr drive) but would not consider moving back.

  18. NopeNo Gravatar 18. Aug, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    link to ted.com

  19. Carmen BrodeurNo Gravatar 19. Aug, 2010 at 12:06 am #

    OMG the negativity here about Edmonton is pathetic. Get over it. If you don’t like it then go somewhere else and forget about it. I’m a former Edmontonian and I think it is charming.

  20. bubuNo Gravatar 19. Aug, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    nice summer guys, isn’t it? i discovered the 999th thing i love about edmonton… smog:)

    • Sheldon JohnstonNo Gravatar 19. Aug, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

      You must mean the smoke from the forest fires in B.C., since you love Edmonton sooooo much, you must also love the camp fire smell that comes with the smoke…