One of our biggest pet peeves about living in Calgary is how much everyone tries to trash talk Edmonton. It’s like they find out you spent part of your life life there and can’t stop themselves from apologizing and making a snide comment about the city. I get it, it’s easy to hate on a place that you deem to be your rival but come on, this rivalry is a little played out by now.Is Edmonton’s downtown as nice as Calgary’s? No Is Edmonton safer than Calgary? Still no. But you know what? Edmonton has a hell of a lot more charm than Calgary does.
You can walk around downtown Edmonton and see weirdos everywhere. Jasper ave is full of crazy kooks and Whyte Ave isn’t much farther off… they just refer to themselves as hipsters there. But in all honesty, Edmonton in my opinion is a great city. If you would have asked us that a year ago we would have agreed with all of the Calgary haters and trashed it as much as we good. But again, one of the great life lessons we learned about moving away is how you need to leave a place in order to appreciate it more. That said, would we ever move back to Edmonton? Never in a million years but we still love to come back for weekend visits.
The Oilers are clearly the better hockey team, so now that that’s out there why not give you some other reasons why Edmonton is so rad:
Cafe Mosaics: Who would have thought that a completely vegan restaurant would be so delicious?
Whyte Ave: There is literally nothing here that compares to Whyte Ave. You have restaurants, bars, farmers markets, and shopping all in one street. Here, all of that stuff is dispersed into different neighbourhoods around the city. Which is cool in it’s own way but kinda sucks when you just want to stick to one area.
Rogers Place: Unfortunately we don’t actually get to see this precious building until April 1st but from the photos we’ve seen and the stories we’ve heard from people who have seen it it’s like 10000 times better than the Saddledome. Honestly, it could be any shape it wanted and we would still think it looked better than a building shaped like a saddle.
The Funky Buddha: Name a better place that serves $4.50 Jager Bombs any night of the week and we’ll show you a liar. We’ve had some insane nights here. It’s two-storey’s and we can honestly say that we have no idea what the bottom level is like at all. The only time we’re down there is to either hit up the ATM or when we’re coming into the bar.
Nightjar: Want to experience one of the coolest bars you’ve ever seen in your life ran by some of the best degens you’ll ever meet? Well look no further! This bar is under/behind/beside Hudson’s on Whyte and has an old school classy vibe, but don’t let that trick you! You know what, just go and check it out for yourself.
118th Ave / West Edmonton Mall: Sure these really shouldn’t be classified together but the only reason we really go to either is to people watch. We’ve seen some crazy things on the streets of Edmonton like people snorting coke off of a bus bench
Farmers Markets: In the summer Edmonton has the best farmers market. It’s outside downtown and makes for the perfect Saturday morning. It actually makes you feel like you are in a different country. This is also where you can buy the next item we can’t go with out in Edmonton…MOONSHINE DONUTS!
Moonshine Donuts: We had always heard the hype about Moonshine and obviously followed them on Insatgram but it wasn’t until we got back from Thailand did we actually try them. We can’t go to Edmonton for a weekend now without going to a farmer’s market to grab a box of these tasty treats. They’re also super insta worthy so in all reality did you even get moonshine donuts if you didn’t post a picture of them?
Festivals: The festival scene in Edmonton is amazing, even in the winter. If we were bored we could see what festivals were going on and go check them out. There was one summer where we spent a full weekend checking out different shows at the Fring Festival along Whyte.
Donair Poutine: The donair poutine from Queen Donair is enough to make anyone want to stay in Edmonton for the rest of their lives. We have even shown people from other cities and whenever they go to Edmonton they always text us to figure out where to get it again. It’s life changing so if you haven’t tried it yet we highly suggest you do. Heck, some nights you even find yourself stumbling across the river from Whyte Ave just to get it. It’s always worth the detour home.
Starlite Room: If you haven’t ever been to the Starlite room he HIGHLY recommend that you check out a show here. The venue seriously makes it feel like you are getting a private show and a lot of bands play here before they move on to bigger venues like the Shaw or Rogers. A few years ago we saw Imagine Dragons play here. There was probably 60 people tops in attendance and now if they came back to Edmonton they would easily sell out Roger’s. This is one of the places that we miss the most. We still haven’t found a good venue for live music here that is close to downtown. It’s a little disheartening.
The people: We’ve met some of our best friends in Edmonton. It always makes it that much more exciting to go back knowing that we’re going to see some great people. Don’t get us wrong, we’ve met some pretty cool people in Calgary as well but they just aren’t the same. We aren’t sure if it’s because so many people from small towns have moved to Edmonton or what but the people there are much friendlier and we seem to be on the same wave length as them. We have given Calgarians the nickname of sheeple because a lot of them are scared to do their own things and just go with what everyone else is doing (don’t even get us started on the drivers here). When we first moved here we worked at a bar and were exposed to some pretty shitty people (not all, just some). We realized that cheating is also a way bigger thing here. We aren’t sure if it was just because of the crowd we hung out with in Edmonton but we never really heard of people cheating on each other that much. Here though, it’s like everyone is cheating on every one and it’s kind of disgusting thing that we aren’t okay with. Safe to say we distance ourselves from those ones.
All in all Edmonton was a great place to go to university and visit now. We met some of our best friends there and had some of the craziest nights of our lives. Calgary is also a great city though. It’s really difficult to try and compare the two since they do actually differ so much. We found that since living in Calgary we have grown up more than we ever did in Edmonton. We aren’t sure if it’s because the nightlife isn’t as good or if we’re finally going somewhere with our lives and not just stuck in school, but that’s definitely a positive for us. We still hate the flames, but really, who can beat being this close to the mountains?
Honorable mention (but if you mention it to us we’ll deny it): COOK COUNTY