One of the few reasons Edmonton is even a thought is their famous hockey superstar hero, Wayne Gretzky. And yes, it is the capital city of Alberta province. Edmonton is known in Canada for its theater, year around festivals, national sports teams, and year around outdoor recreation.
The town developed by Hudson’s Bay Company because of the fur trade, much like other towns in the region. When wealthy families arrived in the late 1800s, the town was officially founded. Oil was discovered in 1947, forever changing life here. The VIA train station is a short distance to downtown. Jasper Avenue is the heart of the downtown area, and the area is known for its great biking routes (over 274 km of trails).
The Edmonton Oilers (NHL hockey) are one of the most recognizable sports teams in the area. They also have a Canadian Football League team, the Eskimos. The city sits on the Saskatchewan River, which splits the city in two.
The biggest event of the year here is the Edmonton International Fringe Festival, the largest in North America. Attended by over 500,000, it boasts over 1000 performances! Over 30 festivals are held here each year.
For those getting hungry, Edmonton is the birthplace to two Canadian chains, Boston Pizza, and earl’s (small e).
Famous people: Michael J. Fox (Alex Keaton), Tommy Chong, k.d. lang, W.P. Kinsella (Field of Dreams), Robert Goulet, Leslie Nielsen, Mark Messier, Marshall McLuhan, and Nickelback.
Edmonton is the northernmost North American city with over a million population. It also has the largest mall in North America, the West Edmonton Mall, the equivalent of 48 city blocks. It was the world’s largest until 2004. It is so large it has a gun range! It still contains the world’s largest indoor lake. And it has parking space for 20,000 vehicles.
There are no rats in Edmonton, or in Alberta! Two legged or four legged? The University of Alberta has produced 67 Rhodes Scholars. Jasper National Park is a 4 hour drive from Edmonton. It is also a gateway to the Aurora borealis.
Green onion cakes from Tsingtao, China, are one of Edmonton’s favorite dishes. It may soon become the official dish of Edmonton.
That is probably more than you ever wanted to know about Edmonton.