Explore Downtown Edmonton It’s all happening here
April 01, 2021
Downtown really is the coolest place in town. Shopping, dining, hanging out, even living here, it’s where everyone wants to be.
Edmonton has made a concerted effort to revitalize the city’s core and it is now reaping the benefits of this investment. According to the City of Edmonton, the downtown core has seen an “incredible” transformation with a world-class arena, a vibrant foodie scene and a variety of infrastructure updates.
As everywhere else, the pandemic lockdowns may have changed some of the dynamics currently, but that hasn’t changed the fact that all of this will be there for everyone to enjoy once this has passed. Can you imagine what it would have been like in the ICE District right now with the Edmonton Oilers’ recent successes?
“The downtown revitalization promotes connectivity and encourages a car-free walkable lifestyle between the city’s most vibrant areas; ICE District, Brewery District, Legislative Grounds and 124 Street to name just a few,” says Sydney Bober, Multi-Family Real Estate Specialist at Westrich Pacific, one of the most active condo developers in the downtown.
The Boyle Renaissance is one of the latest phases of the downtown’s transformation. It is part of the Quarters Downtown revitalization that aims to build new housing, community facilities, and green spaces in the downtown east area. This project will re-establish Jasper Avenue, from 92 Street to 109 Street, as an Edmonton main street. Completion is anticipated in 2022.
But even now, there is already much to enjoy. “There are many great restaurants in the area which makes it hard to choose,” Bober says. She says it’s impossible to pick just one, and for her it would be a tie between the city’s best tapas, seafood and a glass of wine at SABOR or healthy salad rolls, a bowl of soup and bubble tea at XO Bistro Bar.
There is no shortage of places to explore in Downtown Edmonton. There is the Louise McKinney Riverfront Park or Louise McKinney Park. It is a municipal park that connects to the scenic North Saskatchewan River Valley park system.
The Royal Alberta Museum may be temporarily closed currently but it doesn’t change the fact that it is one of the must-see attractions in the downtown with 419,000 square-foot exhibition space. www.royalalbertamuseum.ca.
Lockdown or not, the avant-garde architecture of the Art Gallery of Alberta is also one of the most interesting sights in downtown and is surely worth a visit when it finally opens to the public again. www.youraga.ca.
Downtown Edmonton is getting quite a reputation as a foodie haven with a host of tasty, trendy offerings. There’s way too many to list! But we have some favourites, like KB&Co, whose
plant-based menu is free of meat, dairy, egg, and soy products. Every ingredient they use is organic and local whenever possible. www.kbandcompany.com.
They serve what could be the best ramen in the city, and you have to order early at Tokiwa Ramen as they only make a limited quantity each day and they close when all portions are sold out. Try one of their Ten Hour Pork Soup and see for yourself. www.tokiwaramen.ca to order.
SABOR features the flavours of Iberian coastal cuisine using sustainable seafood – served alongside the passion and energy of live music with a Latin flare. SABOR is located at 10220 103 St. N.W. and they are now open for dine-in. Go to www.sabor.ca for more info.
For the man with an interest in fashion and a redfined sense of taste, there is The Helm menswear. It opened up in 2012 in an effort to bring a higher quality shopping experience to men in Edmonton. Not only does it carry the finest brands in menswear, it also provides a relaxed and informed shopping experience. www.thehelmclothing.com.
Love vinyl and the culture that goes with it? Visit Freecloud record store, it’s just on the edge of downtown but it carries a comprehensive selection of CDs, vinyl and even cassettes in every genre. They’ve been around since 1985 and is an authorized Record Store Day Canada store. www.freecloud.ca
The Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market is a fixture in the city and has been around in one form or another since 1903. They are embarking on the next chapter of the Market at its new home on 10305-97 street in The Quarters. www.yegdtmarket.com.
About Pepper Rodriguez
Pepper Rodriguez is a writer, editor of New Home + Condo Guide's Calgary and Edmonton editions.