EdmONtON, Alberta

Over 100 Years of Culture and Heritage....and Counting!

Talk about a birthday party!

Last October 8th, 2004, EdmONtON's Sir Winston Churchill Square was dressed up to commemorate 100 years of the city's rich past, its vibrant present and promising future. This huge day-long and evening event kicked off the "Homecoming Weekend" to celebrate Edmontonians' profound attachment for the city, under the theme: EdmONtON, A City called Home.

EdmONtON's Downtown and scenic River Valley

Chosen as the Centennial Legacy Project, Sir Winston Churchill Square emcompasses the Arts District, the Stanley Milner Library and City Hall. Back in 1912, plans called for sweeping boulevards and gardens that would start at the riverbank and end at a palace-like building (City Hall), but the plans were defeated by a public vote. Finally, over 90 years later, the Square was developed at a cost of $12.6 million to make it the most active public space in the city combining a world-class festival site, a community-gathering place and a beautiful urban park.

Hashers have already on occasion fully enjoyed Edmonton's newest and best public development (Gracing City Hall in Red Dresses).

Visiting Hashers should take time to discover how the city has developed, and visit the the many attractions that make up Canada's sixth largest centre. Its downtown overlooks the city's greatest asset - the North Saskatchewan River Valley. This lush park system provides a natural corridor for all-season recreation making EdmONtON one of Canada's safest, cleanest and greenest cities.

Infinite Treasures to Uncover

EdmONtON has endless places to see and things to do. The Capital Region features galleries, museums, zoos, six casinos and 70 golf courses. Some of the best attractions include the famous West Edmonton Mall, Telus World of Science (formerly the EdmONtON Space and Science Centre), Fort Edmonton Park and the Legislature Building. Also known as Canada's Festival City, EdmONtON has an impressive record for hosting first-rate conferences and special events.

Learn about and see the heavens at The Telus World of Science

Don't forget Old Strathcona in South EdmONtON, which is reminiscent of a turn-of-the-century town. Well known for its shops, nightclubs, pubs and restaurants, Whyte Avenue has been preserved as a time capsule, providing a glimpse of the early days when Strathcona experienced its most dynamic growth.

From Old Strathcona, you can take the High Level Street Car, which operates from May to October. Staffed by volunteers, the conductor captivates his audience with tales from the past. The high trestle, built between 1910 and 1913, provides a wonderful view, 150 feet above the North Saskatchewan - the world's highest streetcar river crossing. The first stop on the street car is the Legislature Building, where you can take a free guided tour.

The High Level Bridge Waterfall - The world's highest street car river crossing

A Royal Ramble

The majestic granite and sandstone Legislature building hides its century of aging very well.

Gleaming marble creates an imposing entrance with hugh pillars and a staircase. The fountain commerates the first official visit of Queen Elizabeth II in 1959. The vaulted dome, 55 metres (180 feet) overhead, is truly impressive.

In the rotunda, statues of Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, daughter of Queen Victoria, after whom the province is named and Chief Crowfoot, a Blackfoot leader who played a key role in the peaceful settlement of the West, stand proudly. The Grand Staircase leads to the Legislative Assembly Chamber and portraits of former Lieutenant Governors and Premiers line the halls of the third and fourth floors.

The Chamber ceiling has its own dome, brightened by 600 lights and stained glass skylights. Music from the carillon amplifies throughout the grounds and is especialy invigorating on a warm summer's night.

EdmONtON Hashers grace and dignify the entrance to the Alberta Legislature Building

Culture - EdmONtON Style!

From the music playing on the legislative grounds to the tunes of the EdmONtON Symphony Orchestra, Edmontonians take great pride in their vibrant, highly developed arts communtiy, which provides an incalculable contribution to the city's quality of life. The city is home to the Francis Winspear Centre for Music, one of the world's leading concert halls. Designed with superb acoustics, the centre sees the best in music performances, whether it be classical or classic rock, jazz, world beats or a chorus line. A high-tech Davis concert organ worth $3.6 million is the crowning touch. Imagine hearing Handel's "Messiah" in this setting.

Add to that, the Walterdale Theatre, the longest running community theatre in Western Canada and the Citadel, Canada's largest theatre complex, which is well known for its live theatre.

And then there's EdmONtON's best-kept secret - 124th Street - an attractive, residential area with specialty shops and a centre for the arts. Called "A Small Town in the Heart of a City," 124th Street is filled with everything you could want, including high fashion, books, flowers, fine restaurants and bistros. And don't miss the Gallery Walk, which offers some of the best art in the city. These walks are arranged several times a year to present projects in the visual arts from over 70 art galleries, including the 84-year-old EdmONntON Art Gallery.

Explore Nature and History

Next to the art scene, EdmONtON is blessed with beautiful natural scenery around the North Saskatchewan River. Over 7,400 hectares of urban parkland have been protected for at least 90 years, making it the largest urban park in North America. The valley's trails are used for cross-country skiing in winter and cycling or hiking (or hashing) the rest of the year.

Located within the urban park, Fort EdmONtON continues to be the largest living history park in Canada. Costumed interpreters take visitors back to 1846, when the fort was a fur-trading centre. Development is traced from EdmONtON's frontier town befinnings in 1885, all the way to 1905, when Alberta entered Confederation and EdmONtON became the provincial capital. Visit the Hotel Selkirk, a replica of the original property that was lost to fire in 1962. This $4 million character property has 30 rooms outfitted with modern amenities, yet holds the style and elegance of a 1922 high-class establishment.

Re-live a day in EdmONtON's history at Fort EdmONtON Park

For more history, the Provincial Museum of Alberta is amazing! Guests are guided on a journey to explore Alberta and help preserve its natural and human heritage for generations to come. It also boasts some of the continent's finest collections of birds and eggs, gems, minerals and even live insects in the Bug room.

Experience "Wild Alberta," the museum's newest exhibit. It recreates actual locations of forests, lakes, prairies, mountains and badlands. Visitors learn first-hand how human cluture affects wilderness and are encouraged to consider creative solutions for environmental conflicts. Sixteen dioramas reveal various animals' natural habitats - you can enter the den of a hibernating bear or watch a moose gather its food.

Down the hall, the Syncrude Gallery of Aboriginal Culture is unforgettable. It brings 11,000 years and 500 generations of native history to life. Recorded voices, film, light, interactive computer technology and 3,000 artifacts are used to tell the story. The heart of the gallery is an immense teepee used for teaching and strorytelling. The dark period of the last century when government sought to suppress the native culture is vivid and haunting. Eventually, visitors are brought to the present day where the emphasis is on healing and hope.

The Provincial Museum of Alberta

Shop, Drive and Stroll!

After taking in some nature and history, you'll be primed to shop to your heart's desire at EdmONtON's most popular attraction - the West EdmONtON Mall. Opened in 1981, its phase III development makes it the largest shopping centre in the world with 800 shops, 110 restaurants, an amusement park and theatres. Fantasyland Hotel and the World Waterpark were added in 1986, and a casino and day spas were added more recently, making the mall a destination unto itself.

Pirate ship at West EdmONtON Mall

In spite of the giant mall, retail does not make up the city's foundation. Defined as the "Gateway to the North," Edmonton has been both an aviation and transportation hub since the building of the Alaska Highway in 1942. Its future was clinched in 1947 when the Leduc oil discovery transformed it into the "Oil Capital of Canada." The oil and gas industry remains the city's economic cornerstone.

Nearly 100 years old, EdmONtON is still alive with and kicking. Its downtown core thrives with retail, business and government buildings. Gettting around is comfortable in all kinds of weather with 17 kilometres of a covered pedway system, connecting major shopping areas and public buildings.

Come to the land of the Northern Lights tho celebrate its beauty and the creativity of its citizens, not to mention some great hashing!

EdmONtON Skyline at Dawn

EdmONtON offers many activities with plenty of things to do and see......

Take in a day at the races at Castrol Raceway

Ride the 1880's Styled Paddle-Wheeler

Attend the EdmONtON Folk Music Festival

Take in the Klondike Days Sourdough Raft Race

Ride the miniture train at the Valley Zoo

Check out amazing and diverse flora at The Muttart Conservatory

We're On-On in EdmONtON!

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