Listen up, future Edmontonians! If you’re planning on moving to E-Town (aka Edmonton, Alberta), there are some things you need to know. Not only is this the “city of champions,” but it’s also a city of unwritten rules that you should be aware of — unless you’d rather have a local explain them to you.
As Alberta’s capital city, residents are pretty equipped to answer the usual questions people have when it comes to their community. Locals chimed in — and we have answers for the top four things Edmontonians need to explain.
1. Foodies rejoice
For anyone who loves to dine out and visit the hottest restaurants across Canada, you’ll know that any “top dining” list that comes out will feature at least one Edmonton location. In fact, on Air Canada’s top restaurant’s list for 2017, Edmonton blew away the competition with three dining options in the top 10. With new establishments opening every day, this city is definitely a place for foodies to enjoy all of their favourite meals — new and old.
A favourite activity for foodies: Some of the best restaurants can be found along Jasper Avenue, but almost every part of the city has a local diner or bakery you won’t want to miss.
2. Only tourists visit West Edmonton Mall
At one point, West Edmonton Mall (WEM) was one of the biggest shopping centres in the entire world. While those days might be over, it’s still daunting to get through the whole mall without a map. What most locals know, but don’t tell — is that they hardly shop in WEM themselves. Always busy, full of people and with enough to satisfy any shopper for the next 10 years — locals prefer other options. Edmonton has plenty of places to browse throughout the city and is known as the shopping capital of Canada. Let’s just say that if this was your local mall, you might become sick of shopping sooner than you expect. However, no one can pass up the amusement park, mini golf and waterpark every now and again.
A favourite activity for shoppers: If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience, head down to Whyte Avenue in Old Strathcona for a trendy and fun vibe.
3. The “Battle of Alberta” is the real deal
When it comes to Edmonton vs. Calgary, it really boils down to, well, everything. To name a few: hockey, football, festivals and attractions. Alberta’s two jewels are in a state of constant competition with one another, so you know the rivalry is good. Locals will tell you that on game day, you’d better double check your outfit to make sure you’re not wearing Calgary Flames’ colours or Stampeders’ red. The best part though is that this rivalry results in some pretty awesome tailgates. If you’re new to the city and in the mood to make friends, this is when people come out and show the most civic pride. Looking to bond with folks from Edmonton? Just root against cowtown, and you’re a shoe in!
A favourite activity for (Edmonton) sports lovers: With some pretty amazing sports facilities such as Rogers Place and Commonwealth Stadium — if it’s in the budget, football and hockey games are a no-brainer.
4. It’s all about the Oilers
With Connor McDavid in town, the Edmonton Oilers are psyching locals up just as they once were when the Great One brought home the Stanley Cup in 1984. Seen as the most significant game in town for Edmontonians, now is your chance to fall head over heels in love with hockey. Once you learn a little bit about everyone in town’s favourite team, you’re just about guaranteed to strike up a conversation at any pub. Just know your stuff, and know that McDavid is the future.
A favourite activity for Oiler lovers: Check out the Oilers Foundation for events that true fans attend or follow, for the sake of the city.
The prairies are a great place to call home, and Edmonton is right at the centre of it all. Now that you have all of the local insight you need, you’ll be able to make your way through Edmonchuck without worry. There’s even more to see, so you’re going to have to plan your visit sooner than anticipated. If it’s winter — remember to bring your mitts and toque.