Thursday, October 21, 2010

Snapshots of Downtown Edmonton

I am really enjoying staying in downtown Edmonton. Locals tell me that it used to be pretty awful with parking lots, drugs and prostitutes, but it has really been turned around. Huge chunks of downtown are taken up with office towers, high-rise condos, and a shopping centre, but there are hidden gems.

Warehouse District
Edmonton was booming in the first decade of the twentieth century, and many of the old warehouses and stores have been restored. I’ve had fun walking around and reading the plaques about the businesses that originally occupied these spaces.

The new Art Gallery of Alberta is a fascinating place to visit. The architect has woven silver metal ribbons around and through the glass front fa├žade of the building. Photographs really don’t capture the full impact as they only show a small slice of the circling ribbons and glass.

The Alberta Craft Council (101086 106 Street) is very close to the downtown core and has a large showroom selling beautiful craft objects from Alberta and the surrounding provinces. I particularly enjoyed this sculpture by Voyager Art & Tile in Red Deer. They also host temporary exhibits.

Audrey’s Books (10702 Jasper Avenue) is a huge treasure chest of books just waiting to be discovered. They even have a Writer in Residence.

Downtown Grocery Store
I was a little nervous my first evening to be walking around a strange city in the dark. But Sobey`s Fresh Market is open until 10, even on Sunday evenings, and there were lots of people stopping by to shop. It does a thriving business during the week as well as they have a large salad bar and deli section where office workers can pick up a quick lunch. Saskatoon needs one of these!

Alberta Legislature
The grounds around the Legislature are a great place to enjoy the sunshine.

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