Edmonton encounter – close-up

Close-up, Edmonton’s a strange mix – the glittering towers of steels and glass reflecting each other in the sunlight, with construction cranes sitting in the gaps sending up more buildings. There’s not much left of the old buildings in the centre – just one or two remain, uncomfortably overshadowed by larger modern neighbours.

Welcome to Canada!

On the surface it is all neat and tidy – the wide roads easily absorb the limited amount of traffic – even in the centre it’s relatively calm and quiet compared to European cities. The main street – Jasper Avenue – on closer inspection is more run-down with only a limited number of shops, and cheap eating establishments, not the high quality or density of retail activity you would normally expect in a downtown area. Like many of the main streets of North American towns it seems to have had the life sucked out of it. The growth of the shopping mall might be part of the problem (West Edmonton mall was the largest shopping mall in the world not so long ago), and high rents from the financial services industry are also forcing out other forms of activity.

View of the downtown area across the North Saskatchewan River
North Saskatchewan River


Nearby – splitting the central business district from the large suburban areas to the south, flows the North Saskatchewan River – a green corridor and recreational space enhancing the feeling of space and ecological quality.






The river’s cold and flowing fast, not for swimming in and we only see three canoes on it all day – looking somewhat frail on such a large river.


Mums out jogging with their babies

There’s a lot more activity on land with forest trails, walkers and even a troupe of young mothers jogging while pushing their young offspring in covered tricycles.  The activity  we don’t see are people walking their dogs, – perhaps Canadians are not dog lovers!