Edmonton is located at the junction of Alberta Highway 2 and Yellowhead Highway 16, 180 miles north of Calgary and 363 miles southeast of Dawson Creek, BC.
Contact Edmonton Tourism, visit www.exploreedmonton.com, phone 780-401-7696 or toll-free 1-800-463-4667. Edmonton Tourism operates a visitor information center downtown at the Shaw Conference Center (9797 Jasper Ave.). Be sure to pick up Edmonton city maps and a #YEGWeekend book; a traveler to traveler endorsement that combines traditional print with the digital world to highlight Edmonton’s essential experiences. Elevation: 2,116 feet/645m. Climate: Average temperatures in July range between 60–72 ̊F/16–22 ̊C. Average high is 73 ̊F/23 ̊C. In January from 0 to 16 ̊F/-18 to -9 ̊C with an average high of 16 ̊F/-8 ̊C. Average annual precipitation includes 18 inches of rain and 49 inches of snow. Edmonton is located on the 53rd latitude and enjoys 17 hours of daylight in mid-summer. Edmonton is one of the sunniest cities in Canada, with 325 days of sunshine a year. Newspaper: Edmonton Sun (daily), Edmonton Journal (daily), Edmonton Examiner (weekly).
Edmonton traces its roots back to 1795, and its beginning as a fur-trading outpost. During the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897, prospectors boosted Edmonton’s economy when they stopped for supplies en route to Yukon. Many also made Edmonton their permanent home, increasing the population to 6 times its previous size.
Today the city, which sits in the geographic center of the province, is the hub for energy development and petrochemicals for Alberta. It has become a center of excellence in research through the University of Alberta and the high technology industries located in the region, such as the National Institute of Nanotechnology.
Historic Edmonton can be seen in its magnificent Alberta Legislature building and grounds, throughout downtown, in Fort Edmonton Park, and in walking tours of Old Strathcona. For a glimpse of Edmonton’s commercial history, visit the Neon Sign Museum at 104 Street and 104 Avenue. It features 19 restored signs from Edmonton’s past. Modernday Edmonton is reflected in the scale of West Edmonton Mall, 4th Street Promenade and the distinctive architecture of newer buildings throughout the city.
The North Saskatchewan River winds through the center of Edmonton. Flanked on both banks by swaths of green, it is the focal point of a series of parks and bikeways and the largest stretch of urban parkland in North America, 22 times the size of New York’s Central Park. Located along the river’s parkland is Victoria Golf Course, the oldest municipal golf course in Canada; it was first developed in 1896, pre-dating the city. William Hawrelak Park in the river valley has a lake and is home to the Heritage Amphitheatre, which hosts a number of special events. Located in Louise McKinney Park, River Valley Adventure Co. offers Segway tours through the river valley year-round. It is a great way to take in the beautiful view and learn about Edmonton’s natural history. Phone 1-877-433-7347.
A city filled with sports fans, Edmonton is home to the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League (NHL) and Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League (CFL).
West Edmonton Mall
North America’s largest shopping and entertainment center. Visitors shop at over 800 stores and services and enjoy exciting attractions like Galaxy land, the world’s largest indoor amusement park, and World Waterpark, home of the world’s largest indoor wave pool. The mall offers dining on Bourbon Street, bowling, billiards, mini-golf, a movie theater, dinner theater and nightclubs. Reserve a luxury theme room at Fantasyland Hotel or stay just across the street at West Edmonton Mall Inn.
Located between 87 and 90 avenues and 170 and 178 streets, the shopping and entertainment center is open daily. Visit www.wem.ca. RV parking is allowed in Lot 34 or at the overflow lot north of 90th at 175 Street.
Alberta Legislature Building
Discover Alberta’s parliamentary history and traditions by taking a free guided tour. Registration is required. For details visit www.assembly.ab.ca/visit. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone call 780-427-7362. Visitors can access the Legislature building through the West Entrance. Security scans of persons and carried items is mandatory. Visitors may also enjoy scavenger hunts of the grounds, taking a dip in the wading pools during the summer, skating on the rink in winter, or taking in one of the many special events year-round (all subject to availability). The Alberta Legislature Building is located at 10820–98 Ave. The Legislative Assembly Visitor Center, just north of the Legislature building, offers the Pehonan Theatre and Capital Gifts. For more information, phone 780-427-7362; www.assembly.ab.ca/visit.
Art Gallery of Alberta
Known for its exhibits of contemporary and historical Canadian art, the AGA maintains a collection of over 6,000 objects. It is the oldest cultural institution in Alberta and the only museum in the province solely dedicated to the exhibition and preservation of art and visual culture.
The gallery underwent a major reconstruction designed by Los Angeles architect Randall Stout. The ultra-modern structure of steel and glass is 85,000 square feet and includes a gift shop and restaurant. For current hours and exhibits phone 780-422-6223; www.youraga.ca.
Fort Edmonton Park
Fort Edmonton Park, located on 158 acres of wooded parkland, takes you on an iconic journey through the city’s incredibly rich history. As the largest living history museum in Canada, Fort Edmonton Park offers visitors authentic, immersive experiences as well as access to special events, live performances, private event rentals, and culinary delights. Attractions include the Indigenous Peoples Experience, 1846 Fort, 1885 Street, 1905 Street, 1920 Street, Capitol Theatre, carnival rides and games, as well as train, streetcar, wagon and pony rides. Located at Fox Drive and Whitemud Drive. For more information, phone 780-496-7381; www.fortedmontonpark.ca.
Edmonton Valley Zoo
Edmonton Valley Zoo is a great destination for travelers with children, with its birds of prey demonstrations and “Let’s Talk Animals” programs, pony rides and paddle boats. The zoo has more than 100 exotic, endangered and native animals. Board the mini-train for a tour through the zoo; open daily and located at 13315 Buena Vista Rd. (87 Ave.); phone 780-442-5311; visit www.valleyzoo.ca.
High Level Bridge Streetcar
High Level Bridge Streetcar operates spring through fall. The world’s highest streetcar bridge, the High Level Bridge was built in 1912. This is a great way to travel from downtown Edmonton to Old Strathcona (one of Edmonton’s trendiest neighborhoods) while taking in beautiful views of Edmonton’s river valley. Fee (cash only) is $7; free for children under 6. Access to Jasper Avenue terminal is between 109 and 110 streets just south of Jasper Ave. Website: www.edmonton-radial-railway.ab.ca/highlevelbridge.
The Ice District
The Ice District is a mixed-use sports and entertainment area spanning 25 acres in Edmonton’s downtown, around 104th Avenue. It includes a 24,000-square-foot Winter Garden attached to Roger’s Place and a 77,000-square-foot public plaza, easily accessible to the arts district. There are 2,000 hotel rooms, shopping and restaurants and 5 light rail transit stations within a 5-minute walk. More details at https://icedistrict.com.
The 4 spectacular glass pyramids of Muttart Conservatory showcase plants from the temperate, tropical and arid climates of the world. Open daily. The conservatory has a cafe, gift shop and outdoor courtyard for programs. Perfect for family picnics, walking or biking. Located at 9626–96A Street; phone 780-442-5311; visit www.muttartconservatory.ca.
Royal Alberta Museum
The Royal Alberta Museum, 9810–103A Ave. NW, is the largest museum in western Canada. The museum collects, preserves, researches, interprets, and exhibits objects and specimens related to the heritage of Alberta’s people and natural environment. The museum’s expansive permanent galleries feature engaging exhibits complemented by internationally touring features. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays, with the exception of holiday Mondays. The museum is closed Dec. 24-25. Admission charged. Visit https://royalalbertamuseum.ca.
Sir Winston Churchill Square is an entertainment destination, providing a venue for events and festivals throughout the year. Churchill Square is located in the heart of Edmonton’s vibrant downtown. The Square is bound by 99 and 100 streets and 102A and 102 avenues.
Surrounding the square are several of the attractions including: City Hall; the Stanley A. Milner Library; the Francis Winspear Center for Music, home to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Davis Concert Organ (www.winspearcentre.com); the Citadel Theater, presenting mainstage and special live theater (www.citadeltheatre.com); and the Art Gallery of Alberta.
TELUS World of Science
The TELUS World of Science–Edmonton is the city’s space and science center, boasting the largest planetarium dome in North America, an IMAX theater, and 5 interactive exhibit galleries. The space and science center is located at 11211–142 St. NW; phone 780-451-3344 or visit online at https://telusworldofscienceedmonton.ca.
Known as “Canada’s Festival City,” Edmonton hosts more than 60 annual music, arts and cultural festivals throughout the year, in addition to regular theater and symphony seasons. Among the popular events scheduled for summer 2022 are International Street Performers Festival (July); A Taste of Edmonton (July); Heritage Festival (July); Folk Music Festival (Aug.); and the International Fringe Theatre Festival (Aug.). Visit https://exploreedmonton.com/event-calendar.
Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village
History is brought to life at this open-air museum where costumed role-players recreate the life of early Ukrainian pioneers that settled in east central Alberta from 1892 to 1930. Step back in time to hear real stories of hardships and triumphs in Canada’s oldest and one-time largest bloc settlement of Ukrainian pioneers. Explore more than 30 relocated and restored structures including a burdei (sod house), a one-room school, grain elevator, blacksmith shop and 3 churches of Eastern Byzantine Rite. Special events take visitors of all ages back to east central Alberta’s cultural and agricultural roots. Make your experience complete with authentic Ukrainian food. Open Tuesday–Sunday from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M., May long weekend to Labor Day. Located 25 minutes east of Edmonton along Highway 16. Phone 780-662-3640 or visit https://ukrainianvillage.ca.
Elk Island National Park
Just 35 minutes east of Edmonton on Highway 16, Elk Island protects the wilderness of the aspen parkland, one of the most endangered habitats in Canada. This beautiful oasis is home to herds of plains bison, wood bison, moose, deer and elk, and more than 250 species of birds. Astotin Lake Sandy Beach Campground provides 77 tent and vehicle/RV campsites; flush toilets, free showers. There are also Equipped Campsites where tent, sleeping pads, chairs, propane stove, cooking gear and lantern are provided. Enjoy wildlife viewing, hiking, cross-country skiing, picnicking or overnight camping. Phone 780-922-5790 or visit www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/elkisland/visit.aspx.