A recent article in the Ottawa Citizen criticizes its own city planners by saying Edmonton of all places is doing a better job than they are.
When a city like Ottawa has fallen behind Edmonton, it ought to be a wake-up call.
According to the author the only thing Edmonton has going for it is the City Centre Redevelopment, and he calls our city “dull.” The article got over two pages of comments supporting our city and I have to wonder if the author has ever visited Edmonton.
The author says our best know cultural achievement is the West Edmonton Mall. My first reaction to this article was this guy is a pompous ass. I could list dozens of reasons to choose Edmonton over Ottawa. But then I realized, perception is reality in many cases. Just because Edmonton has tons of great features, it doesn’t mean the rest of the country or the world knows about them. I think our city is getting better and better all the time, and eventually people are going to start to notice. In the meantime, here are some of the reason I think Edmonton kicks Ottawa’s butt:
- Festivals, festivals, festivals – over 30 each year including one of the world’s largest Fringe Festivals and Folk Festivals
- Canada’s largest Urban Park – our river valley is 22x larger than Central Park in New York with over 150km of trails
- 17 hour days in the summer
- Cultural capital of Canada a few years ago
- One of the 10 best shopping districts in Canada – Old Strathcona
- Ottawa hasn’t one the Stanley Cup since 1927, if that even counts
- Capital Health continually recognized as one of the best health care systems in the Country
- The Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute has made Edmonton the undisputed heart transplant capital of Canada
- One of the best publicly funded education systems in North America
- 10 post secondary schools including one of the top-funded research Universities in Canada and the largest technical school in Canada
- 830 parks, 338 playgrounds and 40 off-leash dog parks.
- The city’s residential recycling programs keep 70 per cent of the city’s waste out of the landfill
- One of the highest per capita incomes, and lowest personal tax burden in Canada. Low municipal property taxes and no provincial sales tax.
- Less traffic
- Lower cost of doing business
- I could go on and on…
Stats taken from City of Edmonton web site. What reasons do you think Edmonton is better than Ottawa?
*I have never lived in Ottawa, but I have been there many times and I have lived in Ontario.