Edmonton bleg

I'll have a free day there Saturday.  What should I do, where should I go, and what/where should I eat?  As always I thank you in advance for the suggestions; they do guide my decision-making.

It is one of my goals to visit the fifteen or so of the largest metropolitan areas in Canada, plus (maybe) Regina and Saskatoon.

Comments

the first thing to do is find a local and ask how edmonton has changed. Edmonton is the new Dallas. The leathernecks and wildcatters over at Fort McMurray come to Ed to spend spend spend. It's boomtime in Alberta and sometimes Calgary is just too far to go for booze 'n' wimmin. It honestly seemed to me to be a near complete repeat of texas in the 80s. Lots more money than class, but beyond a doubt a happening place.

Best thing to do with a free day in Edmonton is leave town.

If you can find someone to give you a tour, visiting Canadian Forces Base Edmonton, might be worthwhile as well. Before the recent oil boom, the military was (and still is) a big part of the culture of the city.

http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/cfb_edmonton/main.html

Hardware Grill in Edmonton is as good a restaurant as you will find anywhere (and much better than anything Calgary can offer). Be glad you don't have enough time visit our loser neighbors to the south and enjoy a city where Western Hospitalitiy still exists!

I live in St. Paul, Minnesota, and find the Mall of America to be atrocious and dull. But the West Edmonton Mall is pretty spectacular. It has a water park, an ice skating rink, sea lions, a chapel, flamingos, three radio stations, and a replica of the Santa Maria. The largest mall in the Western Hemisphere, its axial shape--unlike the Mall of America's multi-floor boxlike shape--takes advantage of the large mall's power to awe.

Plus, there really is nothing else in Edmonton.

For food, Red Ox Inn is constantly raved about (http://www.theredoxinn.com/) or try restaurants from this list: http://www.originalfare.com/directory/

The Winspear Centre is a fantastic concert hall (full disclosure, I work for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, which performs at the Winspear this Sunday, but not Saturday, unfortunately) and there is a thriving local theatre scene. Or live jazz at the Yardbird Suite... there is much to see on any given night.

Why would you take out Southern Ontario?

Let me know if you're ever in London, ON...

Get a time machine, then go watch the 1980s Oilers.

i just confirmed that they had snow in edmonton over the weekend - i don't expect they had any accumulation to last til you get there, but it's a threat to snow at this time of year

The Hardware Grill is one of the best restaurants in town. Another option (just down the street) is the Madison Grill in the Union Bank Inn. Also, I suggest the Hotel MacDonald for a night-cap.

On the side issue that's being raised. Here's a list (I cheat and offer 19 cities and a "region") that would give you a pretty decent coverage of the country.

Toronto
Montreal
Vancouver
Calgary
Ottawa
Quebec
Iqaluit
Victoria
Winnipeg
Saskatoon
Kelowna
Sudbury
White Horse
Banff
Halifax
Charlottetown
St. John
Kingston
Niagara-on-the-lake
Muskokas

Of course, I mean St John's NL not St. John NB.

David - For regions I'd add Cape Breton.

I'm an Edmontonian. If you want to try a different type of food, I highly recommend the Thanh Thanh Oriental Noodle House on 101st St and 107th Avenue. Try the hot satay beef soup and the lemongrass beef. It's awesome.

For seeing the sights, the legislature grounds are nice, and West Edmonton Mall is probably the premiere tourist attraction.

If you give us more details on the kinds of activities you enjoy, I can be more specific. We do have a Museum, there's the Telus World of Science, which is a Planetarium/science education center with an IMAX screen and traditional star theater.

Within a couple hours' drive is the Rocky Mountains to the West, the Drumheller badlands with the Tyrell Dinosaur Museum/Research center to the Southeast, and a whole lot of prairie to the north and east...

When I was last in Edmonton, I presented a paper at a conference hosted by U of A's Department of Rural Economics. They have an integrated department that includes sociologists under their umbrella. I thought it made for interesting discourse.

They took me curling at one of the local curling clubs. They love their curling in Edmonton, but it is a team sport and one that you should be introduced to by someone who knows the ropes.

My suggestion: beg the locals (be it UofA economists or otherwise) to take you curling.

Its a 3 hour drive to the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum. They're open 9:00AM to 5:00PM on Saturdays at this time of the year. You will never forget the exhibits in this museum.

Going to be a balmy 15 degrees celcius here in edmonton this saturday.

Would have been nice if you come here on a weekday. You'll be able to chat with our students and with a lot of interesting faculty @ MacEwan University.

Places to visit: Muttart Conservatory, Fort Edmonton Park, The Read Piano Bar (@ West Edmonton Mall), Superstore (nice cultural experience), among others...

There's a nice little whorehouse on stonyplain road...A regular patron can tell you much about it.

I would spend the day at the beach watching the girls in their bikinis.

As a a visitor, I'll second the West Edmonton Mall. I remember walking through it and eventually trying to return to my original starting point and thinking "Hm, I must have made a wrong turn, I don't remember passing a fountain with a life size whale in it." followed instantly by "Whoa! What was that last thought?"

Seeing as you are at the university for a friday lecture, I would add to the list a few on campus/near campus items for then: you may have seen it on your last visit but if not HUB mall (Housing University Building) is an interesting piece of architecture not far from the lecture place. Try the HIgh level diner for lunch, and after take a short hike to the middle of the High Level bridge. Quite spectacular, if ugly, built for the railroad in 1909, it provides a great panorama of the river valley, which is quite a strong feature of the city. Don't know if you will have a car, (truly a must here) but if so, I'd try Barb and Ernies on 99th street for breakfast or lunch; german oriented food diner style. Downtown is absolutely dead at night, Whyte Ave, just east of the university is the go to place. If there, I would suggest eating at Yianni's greek restaurant. Great food, with a "floor show" of a belly dancer, and staff greek dancing. Lots of plate smashing. For the afternoon I think 124 street, between the Mountain Coop (think REI north), and 111 Ave is more interesting these days than Whyte Ave for shops, and more good greek food. And just to the east along 104 Ave is the arts district, and the recently upgraded from College Grant McEwan University. Agree with previous post that the Telus science center is interesting, from the U go up Groat Ravine Road (interesting in itself for the many curves) passing by one of the first enclosed mall in north america (westmount, recently rebuilt so not much to see in itself) Muttart conservatory (3 pyramid shaped buildings) is fun if you are into botany, including a recent addition of a type of pine tree from Australia that has been in existance since the dinosaur age. Bottom line, the forecast is for good weather, take some time to view the river valley, from on high, or on one of the many trails, it is quite lovely.

I recommend West Edmonton Mall, Muttart Conservatory and Hawrelak park. If they still have it (it's been 15 years since I lived there), Sawmill has a good brunch buffet although it may only be on Sunday... Also, from a Texan's perspective, Edmonton is like Houston while Calgary is like Dallas.

I'd say that Edmonton:Austin::Calgary:Dallas.

Like Austin, Edmonton is the seat of government, home of the largest and best university, has a thriving arts scene, and is an oasis of cosmopolitanism in a sea of redneckery. Plus both have a nice river valley.

Jimmy: that's the most bizarre advice I've ever heard. Rocky Mountain House?

Bartman gets it right, nice post!

Look up the hackcanada crew and ask them for some opinions. Nobody knows a city like an old-school hacker.

Sugar Bowl near UofA is a pretty nice spot to get a sense of the small, but devoted Edmonton hippie community. My favorite part of the city though is the river valley. The trail system is phenomenal, I suggest going for a walk along the river. The trails near the Provincial Museum and neighborhoods of Glenora / Crestwood / Valleyview are particularly nice on the North side of the river.

The Yardbird Suite is also a favorite jazz club.

Enjoy your trip!

You can't go wrong with DaDeO http://www.dadeo.ca/, cajun food on Whyte Ave.

If you're OK with the weather, strolling on Whyte Ave is also a good use of a Saturday in Edmonton, particularly in the evening when the bars fill up with university students and locals.

10) Wish you were in Calgary.

I don't want to start a pissing match, but I've lived in both cities (and I'm from neither), and I found Edmonton to be a far better place to live. Calgary is a flashier place to visit, is probably a more esthetic city architecturally (except for the Edmonton river valley park system), has better transportation infrastructure, is much closer to the mountains and K-Country, and the climate in winter is often better, but for the kind of stuff I liked doing at the time (non-mainstream music, film, theatre, radio, dining on a student budget, indie bookstores, coffee-house revolution talk, minus 30 bike riding...), Edmonton was way more "liveable", whereas Calgary always seemd kind of soul-less, plastic and superficial, a wannabe "world city". Calgary is a trend-follower, Edmonton is a trend-maker. When an interesting neighborhood develops in Calgary (e.g., Kensington, 17th Ave SW) it seems to get commercialized and generified very quickly.

But that's just one guy's take.

Since I work in the energy biz, there's probably a >50% chance I'll end up in Calgary, so maybe I'll have to make peace with the place.

Also, half your hockey team is from Edmonton. It's been a long-standing mystery as to why Edmonton produces so many more top-flight NHLers than Cowtown.

@ David Rotor 4:09pm

Nothing wrong with Saint John, NB. Christ - you included Sudbury. SJ's actually a bit of hidden gem at the right time of year (July/Aug).

For Edmonton-related music, consider the [now Toronto-based] Rural Alberta Advantage. Here's the link to "Edmonton", which one could interpret as suggesting a trip to the Provincial Legislature building and its bright lights...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB3ceGXtj_M

They also have a song called "Frank, AB" about a rock slide that destroyed a town.

Oh, I had a great meal at Culina on the South Side, not far from a pretty cool view of downtown across the river.

I haven't eaten here yet, on whyte ave, but I did attend a lyrical performance in the downstairs of the restaurant by Moe Clark , which was phenomenal. The "expose it" track is an introduction to residential schools, which is something we are dealing with right now.

Anyway, I left my phone there, and they phoned up some of the contacts in it to get a hold of me. So I'm just repaying there kindness with a recommendation. The bar downstairs was good. And I guess the noise we heard upstairs was belly dancing. Across the street is blues on whyte, not classy, just a blues bar.

My paternal Grandfather was a ordained minister in the Church of God (Holiness) for several decades. Pretty much the beliefs were the same as churches where snake handling is/was practiced. Old testament heavily emphasised. No make-up or adornment and ankle length dresses proscribed for women. Laying on of hands and speaking in tongues. No consumption of tobacco or alchohol.

Comments for this post are closed