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Edmonton is Not the Worst

Robynne Thompson (2L)

 So, you’ve moved to Edmonton. Or maybe you’re from here. Either way, you may be feeling a bit disappointed about living in Alberta’s capital, especially given the recent decisions made in our Legislature. But that’s the subject for another article…

 It might be true that Edmonton’s best moments are during the summer. Folk Fest, Fringe Fest, Heritage Fest, and all the other fests make summer in Edmonton great. Except for Taste of Edmonton. Don’t even get me started on that one (why is it SO expensive?!). But, I’d like to make a case for Edmonton year round. Just hear me out. And keep in mind this article was written by a Chinook-loving Calgarian forced to move Edmonton for the sake of education. In case the Calgary-Edmonton rivalry is new to you, what I’m saying is that it takes a lot for me to like Edmonton. Though it might be hard to see on the surface, this city is actually a really great place to live. And you, too, can fall in love with Edmonton.

 10 reasons why Edmonton is not the worst:

 1.     The River Valley: The longest stretch of continuous urban parkland in North America and one of the first reasons I fell in love with Edmonton. Though it doesn’t replace hikes in the mountains, there are so many trails and pathways to explore.

2.     Edmonton is home to one of Canada’s best patisseries:Duchess Bake Shop is my life. Every moment of everyday I’m thinking about when I can go there next. Just trust me and everyone else and go there.

3.     Edmonton’s mural game is on point:For the past three years Edmonton has hosted Rust Magic, a street mural festival. It features local and international artists. Personally, I’ll be checking out Jill Stanton’s work and I’ll probably get Duchess on the way. Edmonton’s art scene is actually pretty cool, and the murals are but one iteration. This isn’t particularly surprising as Brutalism architecture does make a great canvas for street art.

4.     Edmonton has great coffee:Steve’s Hello My Friend Café has to be top of the list – especially because no one can cheer you up like Steve when you’ve just failed your Property final. For other spots, check out Transcend and Rogue Wave.

5.     You get to complain about the weather and no one will roll their eyes at you:Yes, it gets cold, but this just means you get to pretend you’re tough and hearty! And yes, Vancouverites, 6 months of rain doesn’t sound great (*eye roll*) but at least it’s not -40.

6.     The Iceways At Victoria Park and Rundle Park:The perfect places to practice your moves when you join Swift Justice and “know how to skate” but you really don’t know how to skate.

7.     Edmonton is full of interesting people:Whether it’s the Mad Hatter – Lucien Facciotti -on the train or your 94-year-old neighbour who has a whole lot of stories, there is always someone interesting to talk to.

8.     Whyte Ave is cool, and 124thStreet is cooler: Whyte Ave pretty much has it all when it comes to restaurants, shopping, and night life – it’s always exciting. If you prefer a slower pace, 124thStreet is lined with art galleries, unique shops, and great restaurants. It’s Whyte Ave’s quieter cousin.

9.     There plenty of ways to be involved: Edmonton has a reputation of being…“Deadmonton.” but that just means there are plenty of ways to get in involved the Community. And that. Is how. You pivot. You can join plenty of organizations and people working to make Edmonton a safe and inclusive place to live.

10.   At least it’s not Calgary: Edmonton has less traffic, shorter commutes, and slightly better transit service.

 Whether you’re transferring after one year, here for three, or you’re a lifer, Edmonton is not the worst. Edmonton is what you make it. Though you might not have a ton of free time to explore the city, it’s worth getting out of the law building every once in a while – even if it’s cold outside.