HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForumSkyscraper Posters
     
Welcome to the SkyscraperPage Forum.

Since 1999, SkyscraperPage.com's forum has been one of the most active skyscraper enthusiast communities on the web.  The global membership discusses development news and construction activity on projects from around the world, alongside discussions on urban design, architecture, transportation and many other topics.  SkyscraperPage.com also features unique skyscraper diagrams, a database of construction activity, and publishes popular skyscraper posters.

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Alberta & British Columbia > Edmonton

Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #1  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2014, 4:03 AM
middeljohn middeljohn is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 879
Observations from my trip to Edmonton

At first I was going to post this in another thread, but I didn't want to derail so I decided to make my own.

I'm back from my trip to Edmonton. It was my first time there and you guys have a great city. I went there to check the city out and see if it's somewhere I would want to live, and I can definitely see myself living there happily. It's probably a good thing that I went there during a cold snap too, because now I know what it's like and I know that I can handle it fairly easily by dressing appropriately.

The downtown is big and the skyline stretches out way further than I thought it would. The river valley is awesome. If I'm there in the summer I already know that I'll be spending many hours there!

It's also awesome to see all the development happening. Downtown has a lot of parking lots, but a lot of them already are slated for construction. I also found people there to be surprisingly educated about suburban sprawl and the height limit being removed. Not just us skyscraper geeks.

YEG has the feel of a borderline big city airport. It's nowhere near as intense as Pearson, but it feels eons bigger than London International Airport (as it should).

I found Edmonton's rush hour to be very mild. Apparently the bridges can get clogged up, but that's about it. The city is definitely still very car oriented but it's good to see an effort being made to expand the LRT system (which I didn't get a chance to ride).

The city is physically big. It takes pretty long to drive from one end to the other. Of course I knew this ahead of time, but it was cool experiencing it in person.

The only negative I can think of is that the sprawl is worse than I thought it would be. I knew the city isn't as dense as Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa or London, but I thought that would be related to industrial parks and the river valley being huge. But the low density is noticeable. Buildings start very far from the arterial roads and parking lots were bigger than necessary I thought.

Looking at housing, prices weren't as high as I was expecting for buyers, but rents are pretty high. What this tells me is that it's a great place for landlords, haha. Overall costs of living seem cheaper than Toronto. Rent is slightly less. Gas is way less (only $1/L!!!). Food is about the same. Beer seems to be the same. That's pretty much all that my money goes to.

And of course I can't write this without commenting on the West Edmonton Mall. I was expecting a really big mall. I wasn't expecting three full-sized roller coasters, a full-sized waterpark, and a full-sized hockey rink. Not to mention sea lions! I don't shop at malls, but that was damn impressive!

All in all I'm happy I went and if all goes well I could very likely be moving to Edmonton in a month!
__________________
My music channel
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2014, 4:19 AM
hilman's Avatar
hilman hilman is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 1,046
Nice write up, the next few years are going to be huge for our downtown, hopefully you call Edmonton home soon
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2014, 4:23 AM
ue ue is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Edmonchuk
Posts: 6,750
Great to hear you had a nice visit to Edmonton and that you had a positive attitude about the cold snap (we're much more awesome when the snow melts).

The sprawl in Edmonton is an issue, but I don't find it any worse than comparable cities, such as Ottawa and Calgary. I guess it depends on what sprawl you've seen. It doesn't help coming up the QEII from the airport, the (now almost) first thing you see is South Edmonton Common, though.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2014, 4:39 AM
middeljohn middeljohn is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 879
Thanks. Another thing I forgot to note as that Toronto hatred is pretty obvious. I tried to limit my bringing up Toronto in conversation, and if I did just stick to the crappy weather we've had and the shitty traffic. It was interesting to meet Edmontonians who had never even been to Eastern Canada before. Same country yet a completely different perception of what Canada is. This country is really big.

Another cool thing is how it doesn't just go dark omce the sun is beyond the horizon. Due to the northern latitude and flat terrain there is an hour long glow outside. That was pretty cool. Also, you have a certain type of evergreen tree there all over the place that you don't see nearly as much in Southern Ontario. I don't know what it's called but I know what it looks like.

And it was really nice having the sun out during the day. No clouds. I think I much prefer -20, sunny and no wind over -5, overcast and windy in the winter. Only weird thing I noticed was how much more often I got shocked due to the dry air. I can live with that though

Really, the thing that I found surreal is the flight. First of all, the entire country is covered in snow. No breaks at all. This didn't surprise me, but it was really interesting to look at. More than that though, it was my first time on a plane in 10 years, and the first time since I've reached (legal) adulthood. For many years I've considered Albera this far away place that to get to is a real obstacle. I've imagined it over and over. Obsessively researched it with no way of knowing how accurate my assumptions were. Then all of a sudden I get an opportunity to go and I'm there 4 hours later. That was really weird to me.
__________________
My music channel
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2014, 6:42 AM
Hallsy's Toupee's Avatar
Hallsy's Toupee Hallsy's Toupee is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,405
Toronto hate isn't a uniquely Edmonton thing, it's countrywide!
Though I would say the hate is stronger in Calgary because they wanna be Toronto!

The hate is mainly due to the Centre of the Universe thing, where Toronto dominates everything from the national media to corporations to Canadian culture to federal politicians (all that even without the Rob Ford debacles). But that's really no different from much of the US hating New York or LA for the same reasons.

As a city, I certainly don't mind Toronto at all.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2014, 6:46 AM
ue ue is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Edmonchuk
Posts: 6,750
Sounds like a fun experience, then! Your remarks on Toronto are interesting because while harsh opinions of the place do exist, they rarely seem vocalized to people from the region. It also depends on who you talk to; many people here love Toronto, myself included.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2014, 2:06 PM
feepa's Avatar
feepa feepa is offline
Change is good
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,992
I dont think anyone really hates toronto, we just pretend we do. Kinda like when your older brother or sister gets something you want or can't have yet, because your just not grown-up enough, ... its like hey fuck you, why do you get all the attention? Look at me, LOOK AT ME for once!!! (as you try to draw attention to yourself, suddenly the older brother again steals all the lime light)

Nice summary of your trip - glad you enjoyed it, and the bitter cold didn't scare you away. Hope to see you here again!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2014, 4:39 PM
Coldrsx's Avatar
Coldrsx Coldrsx is offline
Community Guy
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 37,915
Good write up, next time let me know and a few of us can show you some good pubs.
__________________
"The destructive effects of automobiles are much less a cause than a symptom of our incompetence at city building" - Jane Jacobs 1961ish

Wake me up when I can see skyscrapers
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2014, 5:10 PM
ScottieA's Avatar
ScottieA ScottieA is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by middeljohn View Post
The only negative I can think of is that the sprawl is worse than I thought it would be. I knew the city isn't as dense as Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa or London, but I thought that would be related to industrial parks and the river valley being huge. But the low density is noticeable. Buildings start very far from the arterial roads and parking lots were bigger than necessary I thought.
You should see what Calgary is like in this respect. There, it's even more noticeable due to the fact that you can more easily see them due to the hills.

Quote:
Looking at housing, prices weren't as high as I was expecting for buyers, but rents are pretty high. What this tells me is that it's a great place for landlords, haha.
Yeah... Rental supply is lower than it should be for a city our size, especially because of conversions to condos during the last boom. Hopefully all the new rental projects slated will help with this.

Also, great to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed your trip to this city. We hope to see you here if you are successful in moving here.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #10  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2014, 5:25 PM
SpongeG's Avatar
SpongeG SpongeG is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Coquitlam/Rainbow Lake
Posts: 25,885
the trees are probably spruce trees
__________________
belowitall
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #11  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2014, 3:12 AM
Edmontonium's Avatar
Edmontonium Edmontonium is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 20
Good observations. I was surprised that so many Canadians have not been in east or west depends where you live respectively. Although I'm from Europe I haven't been only east of Quebec. I think you have to see countries capital at least once just because of respect to it.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2014, 3:13 AM
Edmontonium's Avatar
Edmontonium Edmontonium is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 20
PS. Why letters are so small...?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #13  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2014, 3:46 AM
Spliff Spliff is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 54
Its interesting that people from Toronto feel "hated." In my experience, living in Asia and Europe for the past 15 years, probably 50% of the people I meet from Ontario tell me, often the first time I meet them, that Alberta is redneck land, or "the Texas of Canada" and that the Oilsands are a national embarrasement that are ruining the environment and Canada's reputation.

Oops, they usually call them the "tarsands."

I don't know too many Albertans (including myself) who say things like that too other Canadians when they meet them. When I visit Alberta and tell my friends and family about these experiences they are in shock. They have no idea of the amount of "Alberta hate" in other areas of Canada - particularly the east.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2014, 3:53 AM
ue ue is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Edmonchuk
Posts: 6,750
^ The whole thing is very, very anecdotal. Some people will say they hear people all the time stereotyping Alberta, then the same will be said about Toronto/Ontario. Some will even hear both! Overall, it goes both ways, but the vast majority don't have some petty vitriol against parts of Canada. The only place that really stirs controversy out here seems to be Quebec.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #15  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2014, 4:11 AM
Spliff Spliff is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 54
There is a level of anti-Alberta that is communicated through national media environmental groups, that is based on half-truths and flimsy stereotypes connected to Albertan history, and the assumption that we are a wild-west Texas type place. All of it is readily digested by a gullible public in eastern Canada that believe every anti-alberta thing they hear - whether it being anti-oilsands rhetoric, or alberta is against universal health care, etc, etc, etc.

Very frustrating. I don't see national newspapers and media outlets like CBC feeding Canadians a steady diet of anti-Ontario and Quebec information.

Therefore, I don't think it can simply be brushed off as "anecdotal".
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2014, 4:15 AM
ue ue is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Edmonchuk
Posts: 6,750
Sorry, I don't recall the CBC publishing an article stating Alberta is against universal health care.

Regardless, I was meaning more on the streets, with the locals, not in the media, where things are more anecdotal. In this area, I see hate spewed both ways, though it's not that common. Quebec is much more of a sensitive issue, so it makes sense that the national media would tread lightly, but that same sensitivity leads to a lot of emotional responses about the place in places like Alberta.

And for the record, I'm not saying that it should be brushed off due to being anecdotal. I'm just pointing out that because it is anecdotal, you may only be getting part of the story, especially when you let bias in. The reality is this is a two-way street.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #17  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2014, 5:39 AM
middeljohn middeljohn is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 879
Well back in my university years (granted not that long ago) when I had a lot of time on my hands and therefore the oppprtunity to do research and form very strong opinions, I was 100% against the oil sands. Then once I started working I stopped thinking about that because I was busy. One day I realized I don't really care about the oil sands anymore. I thought to myself "what were those reasons that 21-year-old me had against the oil sands again?" and then realized how that seemed like a worse and worse idea the more I thought about it. I like to think that 25 year old me is smarter than 21 year old me.

Fact is, I drive, you drive, your baby mama's mama drives. Better that the oil comes from Canada where we can at least control the environmental policies as opposed to overseas operations. Do I want to see us still being reliant on fossil fuels 30 years from now? No. But this is what we have for now so might as well make the most of it. Very few issues are black and white, and the oil sands aren't an exception to that.

Edit:

Forgot to add, another thing that struck me hard was that there was nothing in Edmonton that made me feel like I'm in some far off place in terms of culture. It was still 100% identifiably Canada. I've gone off before on here how Detroit feels more familiar than Quebec (a statement to which I still stand), but Edmonton felt more familiar than Detroit, despite being 3500km away and despite a huge portion of the population in each province never having gone to the other. I don't know why I was expecting any different, but even 3500km away I still knew I was home.
__________________
My music channel
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2014, 4:32 PM
CMD UW's Avatar
CMD UW CMD UW is offline
Urbis Maximus
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 10,030
^Very true. I spent 3 years in Waterloo while attending university and I call SW Ontario my home away from home. It felt like home. I also have a soft spot for Toronto and find my way back there at least once a year for business reasons.
__________________
"The marginal players, the guys who thought they could raise some money, hire an architect and call themselves a real estate developer -- those guys are out of business right now." - Ian Gillespie
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #19  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2014, 5:19 PM
feepa's Avatar
feepa feepa is offline
Change is good
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,992
Quote:
Originally Posted by middeljohn View Post
Fact is, I drive, you drive, your baby mama's mama drives.
You need to expand on what oil does. It's not just about driving you and baby mama's around or even just transportation of all our goods/services and trades. Oil of some sort is in just about every product we buy or use or consume. Without oil/gas, none of these goods moves around the planet like they do. Without oil, your life would be unrecognizable now.
I find environmental groups that attack the 'tarsands' are quite hypocritical, and ignorant. These hate on oil, but turn a blind eye to many other primary industries in Canada, even in their own backyards, that do as much or more damage to the environment.
Next time you buy anything, consider what it's made of, and just how far it had to travel from origin as a product of the earth to get to you, and how infuse oil is in every step sourcing/creating/transporting that product to you.
Those in Toronto (and else where) that hate on the Oilsands should realize that Oil and gas companies make up 20 to 30% of the value of the TSX. According to the TSX, the petroleum companies trading at the stock exchange were worth $357 billion as of December 31, 2009, with approximately half of these shares owned by Canadians.

Last edited by feepa; Mar 1, 2014 at 5:33 PM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2014, 8:58 PM
Harrison's Avatar
Harrison Harrison is offline
A Better Place
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Waterloo/Fort Mac/Athabasca
Posts: 468
Quote:
Originally Posted by CMD UW View Post
^Very true. I spent 3 years in Waterloo while attending university and I call SW Ontario my home away from home. It felt like home.
Seconded.
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Alberta & British Columbia > Edmonton
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 6:26 PM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.