The beautiful city of is the capital of the province of Alberta. The city is situated on the North Saskatchewan River. The city itself has a population of over 812,000 people, while the greater metro area is home to more than 1.2 million Edmontonian's. It is the second biggest city in Alberta, and the fifth largest municipality in Canada.
Edmonton has grown over the years by converging with a number of other municipalities, namely, North Edmonton, Beverly, Jasper Place, West Edmonton and Strathcona, as well as some smaller rural townships. The city is often called the Gateway to the North. Over the years the city has been use as a staging area for oil and diamond mining ventures in the Northwest Territories and northern Alberta.
Often coined as The Festival City, it hosts a myriad of different events and festivals, and for the shopaholics, it has the largest shopping mall in North America, West Edmonton Mall. From a commerce perspective, it is an educational, governmental and cultural hub.
As with just about all of Canada there is a whole bunch of stuff to see and do. Please ensure that your Edmonton bucket list includes Fort Edmonton Park, Edmonton Valley Zoo, Rexall Place, the Royal Alberta Museum, the Art Gallery of Alberta, the Alberta Legislature Building, World Waterpark, the Muttart Conservatory, Galaxyland, the Alberta Aviation Museum, Rutherford House, Strathcona Science Provincial Park, the Alberta Railway Museum, Big Lake, Gallagher Park, the Princess Theatre, Forest Heights Park, the McLeod Building, St John Cathedral and Whitemud Creek.
I told you that Edmonton was big on festivals, so here you go. The following is a list of the more major festivals, and I've even put them in alphabetical order for you. They include Animethon, A Taste of Edmonton, Bikeology Festival, Blueberry Bluegrass and Country Music Festival, Canadian Finals Rodeo, Cariwest Caribbean Carnival, Dreamspeakers Film Festival, Edmonton Accordion Festival, Edmonton Chante, Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Edmonton Heritage Festival, Edmonton International Film Festival, and the Edmonton International Fringe Festival.
So you ready for the next bout? Here goes, Edmonton International Jazz Festival, Edmonton International Street Performer's Festival, Edmonton Poetry Festival, Edmonton Pride Festival, Edmonton Rock Music Festival, Edmonton Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival, Free Will Shakespeare Festival, Hip Hop in the Park Festival, Ice on Whyte Festival, Improvaganza, Interstellar Rodeo, K-Days, Labatt Blues Festival, LitFest Edmonton's Nonfiction Festival, Nextfest, Pure Speculation, Silver Skate Festival, Sonic Boom Festival, Sourdough River Festival, Symphony Under the Sky Festival, Vocal Arts Festival, Water For Life Festival, and finally The Works Art and Design Festival.
Having spent a fair bit of time in Edmonton, I have to admit that the city holds a very near and dear place in my heart. I have always found the people extremely warm and friendly, and some of the best restaurants I have ever eaten at have been in Edmonton. If you get the chance you absolutely must go to Packrat Louie's in Old Strathcona in Edmonton.
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