Originally Posted by thebasketballgeek
I have been to Edmonton and I have been to Calgary in summer 2011. Their is one major difference. the amount of people in the inner city. I'm probably way off as I went to Calgary during the stampede so I don't know about that. Also now the new arena will be in downtown so that may make it more lively on occasions. Anyways when I went to Calgary their was a lot of people downtown. I didn't for a whole day so I saw it for a few hours because my hotel was in Lake Louise. During that time in Calgary it seemed so lively and this area was right next to a surface parking lot. While in Edmonton I stayed for 2 nights their because we got a good deal at the coast Edmonton house. The downtown was dead basically the whole time. For me it seemed like the West Edmonton Mall area was actually the more lively area. Well in 3 years it might have changed I don't know.
Well, technically, Chinook Centre is more lively year-round too.
I'm not sure when exactly you visited Edmonton (week, weekend?). During the week, if you just came from Calgary during the Stampede, then yeah, no contest. Even outside of that, with double the workforce population, Downtown Calgary will undoubtedly be busier on average.
However, the weekends during the summer always have some large festival going on downtown. Around Stampede, I'm guessing it would've been Street Performers or Taste of Edmonton. On Saturdays, there's also the City Market, outdoors, which is pretty busy as well. Not to mention the growing dining/nightlife scene for later on.
And of course, on the other side of the river, you'd find Old Strathcona, which is usually pretty busy on weekends and evenings. Though it would only compare to 17th during Stampede when the Fringe is on in August. But normally, they're both comparable in terms of vibrancy, maybe a slight edge to Old Strathcona due to the plethora of theatres and of course the weekly market.