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River Valley apartments.

South Central Edmonton is the urban and central area south of the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton. The area is artsy, trendy and edgy. In South Central Edmonton you will find some interesting architecture and great festivals. It includes the communities of Strathcona, the Garneau, Queen Alexandra, Windsor Heights, Mill Creek (east Strathcona), Bonnie Doon, Belgravia, Strathearn and Ritchie.

Understand[edit]

Much of what South Central today was once encompassed by the separate town of Strathcona (originally called South Edmonton), which was founded in 1899 after significant growth due to the Calgary and Edmonton Railway Company's decision to place a terminus station south of the North Saskatchewan River. The first train arrived in South Edmonton in 1891.

Strathcona was named for Lord Strathcona. The community grew very quickly between 1900–1910 and was a typical prairie town, which is reflected in some of the architecture in Old Strathcona today.

In 1908, the University of Alberta was founded under Premier Rutherford in "the Garneau" (always with the "the"). The Garneau was named after Laurent Garneau, a Métis who fought alongside Louis Riel in the 1869 Red River Rebellion, and who later settled in South Edmonton.

Eventually, in 1912, the whole of Strathcona became part of Edmonton when the City of Strathcona voted in favour of amalgamation.

In the 1930s, during the Great Depression, the University grew significantly and the area held up well in hard times. By the 1950s, the University continued to expand and began introducing the new "brutalist" architectural style.

In the 1970s, there was a plan to build a freeway in what is now Old Strathcona. The community protested to preserve the neighbourhood's character. Some buildings were demolished in preparation for construction, but the freeway was never built. By the 1980s plans were made to revitalize the area and by the 1990s Whyte Avenue and Old Strathcona had become the city's premiere bar and urban retail district.

Today South Central has a great nightlife scene -- Saturday nights are filled with bar goers and club lovers from around the city. The area is also considered a fun place to shop and dine. The area is highly educated due to the presence of the University of Alberta.

Get in[edit]

By public transit[edit]

Old Strathcona Map

Like most parts of the town, South Central has good public transit. The central area is served by two LRT stations, University and Health Sciences/Jubilee, both of which are located on the University of Alberta campus. There are two LRT stops further south: McKernan/Belgravia and South Campus. The frequency of LRT service is 5-10 minutes during the day and 10-15 minutes at night. Four buses serve popular Whyte Avenue: #4, #7, #57, and #94. It's easy to connect to these buses from the University LRT station. Use the Edmonton Transit System (ETS) Trip Planner to find the best route for your journey.

By vintage streetcar[edit]

The High Level Bridge Streetcar offers a limited, seasonal service, and also a direct route, from the area of the Alberta Legislature to Old Strathcona. It offers a magnificent view of the North Saskatchewan River from the High Level Bridge.

By car[edit]

South Central has good connections via four arteries: 109th Street, (Whyte) 82nd Avenue, Calgary Trail, and Gateway Boulevard. Aside from these, it is very navigable even on residential streets as the area mostly follows a grid.

See[edit]

Mill Creek houses
  • 1 William Hawrelak Park (Hawrelak Park), West of Groat Road, north of 87 avenue NW. 5AM-11PM. Once home to a gravel pit, now a jewel in the city's park system. Home of festivals and concerts in the summer, and the ice castles in winter, Hawrelak Park is a hub of outdoor activities, with trails along the forested riverbanks and plenty of open green space. The large pond freezes over in the winter for skating (rentals $), and a secondary ice surface is maintained for shinny hockey.
  • 2 Rutherford House, 11153 Saskatchewan Drive NW. Historic house museum, once belonging to the first premier of Alberta, located on the University of Alberta main campus. Rutherford House (Q7383343) on Wikidata Rutherford House on Wikipedia
  • Strathcona Historic District (Old Strathcona) (bordered by 88 Avenue in the north, 76 Avenue in the south, 111 Street in the west, and 102 Street in the east). is full of trendy shopping and a vibrant nightlife cluster. The industrial chic place is centred on Whyte Avenue which is a major shopping district, but do not forget the amazing nightlife found in this corridor. This area is full of a lot of architecturally pleasing houses too. There is also a lot of historic commercial buildings that were once churches, different stores, different offices, and industrial. If this is what you are looking for, then Old Strathcona is your pick!
  • Old Strathcona Mural Tour, Whyte Avenue NW between 99 and 109 St NW, +1 780 437-4182. This tour provides a look at 40 electric boxes painted in mural. A free brochure is available for where to go. Don't do this tour at night.
Pyramid habitats of the Muttart Conservatory
  • 3 Muttart Conservatory, 9626 - 96A St (Bus 85/86 to 96A St & 98 Ave), +1 780-442-5311, fax: +1 780 496-8747, . Closed until 2021. It is under refurbishment until 2021. This botanical garden is housed in four glass pyramids near Gallagher Park. A welcome respite from the cold in winter and a nice escape from the everyday anytime.
  • 4 Gallagher Park. A beautiful park near the Muttart. It is nice for a picnic and nice clean-cut grass and offers fabulous views of downtown.
  • 5 Edmonton Riverboat, Rafter's Landing, 9734 - 98 Avenue (Spring/Summer only), . Thursday through Saturday only. The riverboat cruises up and down a small stretch of the North Saskatchewan River near the city centre. Under a new owner as of 2018, Edmontonians are hoping that the dinner and brunch cruises have improved. $15 for cruise, $50 for cruise and meal.

Architecture[edit]

  • Mill Creek Architecture Walk (between 102 Street in the west, Whyte Ave in the south, 85 St. in the east and the river in the north). Check out any part in this area. This is a beautiful and cute, one-of-a-kind neighbourhood lined with nice old-style houses and buildings, some refurbished and is home to a lot of infills, which means a lot of modern homes are being built. They come in funky styles and clash interestingly with the older structures. Great for someone interested in design because there are some really beautiful houses. Nice quiet walk.
  • University of Alberta, Bound by 116 St/117 St (changes between those two at 87 Ave), E by 110 St until 87th until 112 St NW, S by 82 Ave, N by Sask Dr. NW. The U of A campus is eclectic to say the least. The historic "three sisters" facing the main quadrangle and the Old Arts building are the oldest buildings and most popular for photoshoots. Gaze at other buildings that are functional but austere.
  • Whyte Ave (between 109 and 100 St NW). Outside of the area between 103 and 105 Street, upon first glance, there probably isn't anything that "pops". But, there are tons of architecture that are appealing, although it depends on your style. There is a bunch of historical buildings between 102 and 105 Str. NW that would please most. Aside from that, there is some 1960s/early modern structures that are typical of that time frame. They are simple and use little detailing and elegant lines.

Do[edit]

Because Old Strathcona being within this district, there is endless choices for movies, sports, festivals, and events.

  • University of Alberta Golden Bears.
  • Kinsmen Pitch'n'Putt, 10661-91st Avenue, +1 780 432-1626. Behind the Kinsmen Sport Centre, on the south bank of the river valley (Public: par 54, 1222 yards) This is a true pitch-and-putt, with the holes averaging about 65 yards, and none over 100 yards. You can enjoy a pleasant two-hour walk with two or three clubs in your bag. Greens fees are low, club rentals are available, and the course is friendly for families looking for a spot to golf with the kids.
  • The Mill Creek Trails, Mill Creek Ravine[s]. Wind through well put trails in Mill Creek ravine[s] along the Mill Creek. Covered with beautiful trees and geography, you wouldn't think you were only 5 blocks from the bustling Whyte Ave. Definitely be careful in winter. Great for walking, running, biking, etc.
  • Edmonton Ski Club, 9613 96 Avenue NW, +1 780 465-0852. This facility is in the River Valley south of downtown, near the Muttart Conservatory and only a few minutes from the city centre. $19-25 for full day, seniors $9.

Theatres[edit]

Princess Theatre
  • 6 Garneau Theatre (Metro Cinema), 8712 - 109 Street NW, +1 780 425 9212, . A one-screen cinema dating from 1940 run by a non-profit society devoted to film. Few blockbusters here: expect to see what's locally produced, the unusual, the subtitled, the rarely screened, and the occasional favourite from way back. The infamous The Room (2003) film is screened the first Friday of each month. Butter on the popcorn is real (and free!), and the cinema is fully licensed. $13 adult.
  • Princess Theatre, 10337 82 Avenue NW, +1 780 433-0728. The Princess Theatre is a cool cinema in the centre of vibrant Whyte Ave. Nestled in a beautiful old building, the interior features nice vintage décor and the main theatre has a popular balcony. The concession prices are very reasonable. There is the regular theatre, the Princess, as well as a sub-theatre ("basement") known as the Princess II. If you're looking for the Princess II, you go in a separate entrance, which is immediately east of the main theatre door. Staff are friendly and will help you get to the right theatre.
  • Varscona Theatre, 10329 83 Avenue NW, +1 780 433-3399. The Varscona is a nice little theatre with favourites such as Die Nasty, a weekly soap or Oh Susana a monthly favourite!
  • The Yardbird Suite, 11 Tommy Banks Way (corner of 102 Street & 86 Avenue), +1 780 432-0428. Edmonton non-profit jazz club with acts every weekend. The Tuesday jam is $2, and has some good talent. Closed during the summer.
  • Jubilee Auditorium. This place is 113,000 m³ (a.k.a really big, yeah) of performing arts land taken to new levels. The place was built in 1955 near the University of Alberta and is still today one of the biggest performing art's centres in Alberta.

Festivals[edit]

  • Whyte Avenue Artwalk (July). For three days, studios go to the streets and make a clash of construction and creation. See artwork from many artists and possibly buy some at a sale. You can also create your own artwork at the Gazebo in MacIntrye Park.
  • 7 Edmonton Fringe International Festival (August). Second largest Fringe Fest in the world, Edmonton's includes over 90 non-censored shows from around the Earth. There are so much food vendors and artisans out to sell you high-quality stuff at this outdoor place. Performances indoor and out are of high plenty. Edmonton International Fringe Festival (Q5339070) on Wikidata Edmonton International Fringe Festival on Wikipedia
  • Edmonton Heritage Festival, Hawrelak Park (August). This three-day event on the long weekend in August is a little trip around the world. Cultural associations representing over 70 nations each have pavilions with dance, music, national cuisine, and the occasional souvenir for sale. To sample the treats, buy strips of tickets sold at booths on site. Parking is not available at the park, so consider taking the free Park n Ride shuttles.
  • Ice on Whyte, 86 Ave and 104 St (January). Slide down snow and ice slides, wander through the ice maze, and more showcase wonderful Alberta talent using snow and ice.
  • Edmonton Folk Fest, Gallagher Park (Every August). Beautiful, world class folk music is played in a natural amphitheater with the backdrop of the Edmonton skyline. Bring your own (low-backed) lawn chair, a tarp, and get ready for a day outside! Cash is recommended. $75 or less for one day, $190 four day pass.
  • The EdmontonCanoe TheatreFest, Performed at the Third Space Theatre and U of A’s Timms Centre Second Playing Space (February). Stories told in neat ways like a solo for a Shakespeare play and talking about marriage and honour killings in the nation and a story by mimes about fresh water. It changes every year and be sure to check it out for neat plays/stories.
  • 8 Edmonton Intl Film Festival (October). Movie goers rejoice at this festival with short films and documentaries taking the focus. The point is to show unusual places through cinema. Definitely a nice place to go, even with older kids, but you might want to dress up a tiny bit (i.e. sweaters, nice jeans, combed hair), like semi-formal as it is a semi-fancy event. Edmonton International Film Festival (Q5339068) on Wikidata Edmonton International Film Festival on Wikipedia
  • Whyte Avenue Streetsale, Whyte Ave between 103 and 105 St (July). Whyte Avenue between 103 and 105 St is closed to vehicles to make way for a truly vibrant sale. The Whyte Ave Streetsale takes over the street with stores bringing their stuff to the sidewalk with live entertainment for you to listen. While you walk in the middle of the road, outside, you'll be shopping all kinds of neat stuff at neat deals. Something you should not turn down, even if you don't like shopping it's nice to just take in, plus the deals are nice.

Buy[edit]

  • Whyte Avenue (main strip), 82 Ave between 103 and 109 St. Whyte Avenue is the heart of Old Strathcona, and is a vibrant mix of all sorts of people from artists to alternative, corporate to suburban mom's. The area is especially busy in the summer with many festivals right around the neighbourhood. Whyte Avenue itself boasts a wide range of different threads, clothing for all sorts of people. The area is also known for its neat art studios, interesting sorts of bookstores, and quirky gift shops. All of this among street music players and interesting vendors. It's truly Edmonton's vibrant strip.
Old Strathcona Farmers' Market
  • Old Strathcona Farmers' Market, 10310 - 83 Ave., +1 780 439-1844. Sa 8AM-3PM. The weekly Old Strathcona Farmers' Market is a great place to find locally made goods from food to crafts. A list of vendors is available on the market's website.
  • 104/103 Streets, Gateway (103) Boulevard and Calgary (104) Trail north of 76 Ave. The area south of Whyte Avenue is home to some different kinds of shops like interesting groceries, computer shops, salons, spas, and clothing shops.
  • The Junction, 82 Ave between 103 and 99 St; 99 St between 82 and 87 Ave; south of 82nd, east of 103, east of 99th, north of 75th. The Strathcona Junction is a kind of edgy area of Old Strathcona, and is separate from the mainstream Whyte Avenue. The area is commonly called East Whyte, referring to the strip of Whyte Avenue west of 103 Street, away from the main drag. Here you'll find stuff on a smaller scale, often catered to the locals, but still very unique. 99th has a bunch of flower shops and bakeries, whereas Whyte Ave carries many vintage music sorts of stores.

Specific shops[edit]

  • The Wee Book Inn on Whyte Ave., 10310 Whyte Ave., +1 780 432-7230. Daily 9AM-noon. A local bookshop with four locations, including this one on Whyte Ave. This location has new and antique books, as well as vintage records.
  • Wild Prairie Soap Company, 10746 Whyte Ave., +1 780 439-6640. Features an in-store soaperie where handmade soaps and personal care products (lotions, balms, scrubs, etc.) are made. You can find unique beauty products such as the Prairie Sunshine soap bar.
  • When Pigs Fly, 10470 Whyte Ave., +1 780 433-9127. Gift shop with pottery (some locally made), cards, and seasonal items.
  • Etzio Womens Wear on Whyte, 10338 Whyte Ave, +1 780 433-2568. M-F 10AM-9PM, Sa 10AM-5:30PM, Su noon-5PM. Women's clothing and accessories. This Whyte Avenue boutique features everything from fashion-forward street wear to special occasion wear and a trendy collection of jewellery and accessories.

Eat[edit]

Edmonton's Old Strathcona-University area is home to great dining. It has all kinds of options to satisfy your cravings. The best selection is in Old Strathcona -- you can choose from delicious pasta, tea and coffee, Indian food, Tex Mex, etc. The area around the University has mostly chains such as Earl's, but there are still some gem dining spots to be found.

Coffee, smoothies, and treats[edit]

  • Block 1912, 10361 - 82 Ave. (in the heart of Whyte (82nd) Avenue). This coffee shop is a favourite for late night dates, chatting with old friends, and family gatherings. Offers a variety of home-made desserts, gourmet coffees, and healthy lunch and dinner items. There's even a built-in gelateria for those who crave a delicious taste of Italy. If you've got a sweet tooth, you will find some of the best desserts in the city including chocolate cheesecakes. The excellent chai lattés are made from scratch. You'll love the eclectic décor and can't miss the enormous desert painting in the back corner.
  • [dead link] Leva Cafe & Bar, 11053 - 86 Ave., +1 780 479-5382. A lovely Italian-style cafe in the Garneau district. Serves great coffee, wine, as well as salads, thin-crust pizza, paninis, and amazing desserts including several gelato flavours.
  • Dream Tea House, 7912 - 104 St. (Old Strathcona Shopping Centre), +1 780 988-7878. Bubble tea. Open late every night.

Budget[edit]

  • Arriba Mexico, 10768 82 Avenue NW (just north of Whyte Avenue on 108 St). Tiny Mexican restaurant with inexpensive, fresh, and delicious cuisine. Family run and the owner (Jorge) is very friendly. The kitchen and all tables are in one unpretentious room. $8-13.
  • Burger Baron, 9908 70 Avenue NW, +1 780 433-7634. The classic drive in has a shop in South Central and offers delicious burgers, fries, and chicken and reasonable prices. Food is made when you order.
  • Café Mosaics, 10844-82 Ave., +1 780 433-9702. M-Sa 11AM-7:45PM, Su closed, holidays 10AM-3PM. This little café offers a warm and inviting dining experience. It is one of Edmonton's premiere restaurants for vegetarian and vegan cuisine, served at reasonable prices in a comfortable room.
  • Chianti's, 10501 82 Avenue (in the old Post Office building, at the corner of 105 Street and 82 Avenue), +1 780 439-9829. This popular multi-room Italian eatery serves simple, inexpensive pasta and meat dishes. The atmosphere is contemporary, bustling, even a little noisy on busy nights. The south-facing patio is a terrific place to spend a warm summer evening, but pick a quiet night to have a chance for a seat. Service is friendly and professional, and the wine list has choices from bargain to blowout. $10-20.
  • Funky Pickle, 10441 whyte Avenue NW. Pizza with offbeat topping choices. Buy a whole pie or by the slice.
  • Nhon Hoa Sandwich Bar, 10154 - 82 Ave, +1 780 757-9988. This tiny spot does not thrive because of its atmosphere, which is simple and sparse, but because of its fresh Vietnamese sandwiches. Crusty baguettes are stuffed with fresh vegetables, interesting meats, and spicy sauces to deliver flavours far from the chain submarine sandwiches. Vegetable-only fillings are also tasty, and you may want a container of bubble tea to round out the meal. Under $10.
  • Route 99 Diner, 8820 99 Street NW, +1 780 432-0968. Vintage 1950s/60s memorabilia fills this cute neighbourhood hit in the Mill Creek neighbourhood. Offers greasy burgers, delicious milkshakes, fries, chicken fingers, and all that fancy casual stuff.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Accent European Lounge, 8223 104 Street (not the trendy downtown leg). Located a half-block north of Whyte (82nd) Avenue, this bistro/bar has a warm, wood-panelled main room with a welcoming bar for those awaiting company or a table. There's also a cheerful west-facing (sunny!) four-table patio in the summer. The menu features wiener schnitzel, steak a la tartare, other European dishes, and hearty salads at good prices. An excellent European beer selection and a busy street scene make this the perfect Fringe Festival patio break.
  • Culina Mill Creek, 9914 89 Avenue NW, +1 780 437-5588.
  • Dadeo New Orleans Diner & Bar, 10548a Whyte Avenue, +1 780 433-0930. Serves good portions of delicious Cajun and Creole food in a 1950s style diner. Also offers an extensive drink menu.
  • Furusato, 10012 82 Ave. The decor of this attractive, family-run spot emulates a Japanese village restaurant: the walls are wooden panels, and the room is roofed with thatch, while wooden floors and tasteful Japanese wall decorations round out the decor. Sample the special Volcano Rolls (a spicy, oven-hot sushi roll), or the Ika Kara-Age (breaded fried squid with a tangy ginger sauce). All dishes are delivered quickly by friendly and competent staff. The restaurant doesn't take reservations, so try to avoid the frequent line-ups by visiting outside of the main dinner hours (5:30-7:30PM). Visitors from Vancouver claim it's better than most Lower Mainland Japanese restaurants, high praise from people who have a broad choice of Japanese restaurants at home.
  • High Level Diner, 10912 88 Ave. (Near the High Level Bridge). This is a long-time Edmonton favourite, known for its cozy atmosphere and a broad selection of food. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner equally well. For breakfast, try the self-branded hot cereal, a bowl brimming with a half-dozen or more types of hot, flavorful grains. The cereal mixture is also available dry for taking home - it's a great gift to out-of-town Edmontonians pining for a taste of home. The main menu's bias is towards simple but hearty Mediterranean cuisine, but it includes robust dishes from other cultures as well. The Diner serves a number of flavorful vegetarian dishes, and the menu also includes sufficient meat meals to amply satisfy the family carnivore. In summer there is a small patio area which gives a nice view of the surrounding area, good for people watching. Long Island iced tea made from scratch. On Sunday mornings, arrive early or be prepared for a line at the door.
  • Julio's Barrio, 10450 82nd (Whyte) Ave. Julio's serves good Mexican food and lots of it. The menu is extensive, and the servings are generous. The interior is colourful, although the tables and chairs - authentic equipale furniture made from rosewood and palm slat frames with stretched pig skin - are somewhat eccentric. Fresh home-made salsas, in every temperature from mild to "salsa of mass destruction," accompany free bowls of corn chips before dinner. The bar stocks several Mexican beers as well as the usual domestic brands, and has notable automation in place to speed the creation of margaritas. With friendly but professional service, Julio's is one of Whyte Avenue's busiest eateries, and justifiably so.
  • Korean Village, 7729 85 Street (Look carefully), +1 780 466-5666. Hidden in a strip mall, this restaurant's interior recalls a rustic Korean lodge. Rugged wooden floors and posts house benches, tables, and tatami-style rooms. The restaurant's major attraction is an all-you-can-eat, self-serve Korean BBQ for $25. A food bar on one wall carries several varieties of raw meat and seafood, marinating in appropriate sauces, as well as side vegetable dishes. Load a plate with goodies, return to your table, and grill to taste on the hotplate in the centre of the table. Tip: ask them to change the grill if yours gets black and crusty.
  • Max Light Cuisine, 7809 109 Street (Four blocks south of Whyte Ave), +1 780 432-6241. Cozy restaurant that offers mainly vegetarian cuisine, including vegan options, tofu dishes, as well as some meat dishes.
  • MKT, 8101 Gateway Blvd (in the old Canadian Pacific train station, on Gateway Blvd at Whyte Ave), +1 780 439-2337. M-F from 11AM, Sa Su brunch from 11AM. Offers a variety of beers, and meals from locally-sourced ingredients, under the slogan "Fresh Food - Beer Market". The patio seating is pleasant in the summer. Entrees $20-25.
  • Yiannis Taverna, 10444 82nd (Whyte) Ave. Fun place, especially in the summer when the large garage doors in the front open onto the bustling streets of the funky Old Strathcona neighbourhood. Loud and busy.

Splurge[edit]

  • Continental Treat, 10560 Whyte (82) Avenue North West, +1 780 433-7432. Daily 11AM-10PM. This restaurant faces onto busy Whyte Avenue, serving eastern European cuisine to the well-heeled. Its dark wood floor and furniture give it a comfortable, slightly old-fashioned air. The menu favours sizeable dishes from Germany, Hungary, Poland, and related locales: chicken or beef stroganoff, goulash, wiener schnitzel, and dessert tortes. The wine list has over 100 varieties, with twenty or so available by the glass. You will not leave hungry. $25-45.
  • The King and I, 8208 107 St NW, +1 780 433-2222. A standby for good Thai food, it's always been a bit pricey, and often the portions are somewhat small. Lunch dining is more economical: you can enjoy a substantial mid-day meal for around ten dollars. Those looking for an authentic experience might consider a different Thai restaurant, as this one is known to cater to "cautious" diners. It's a great introduction to Thai food, however, and beginners won't be disappointed by the flavours. It serves excellent coconut rice.
  • Packrat Louie, 10335 83 Avenue NW (Whyte Avenue commercial area). This pleasant room features exposed brick in the walls and real cloth on the tables, a little tonier than most of Edmonton's Italian restaurants. The dishes are not the conventional pasta you'll find elsewhere, instead emphasizing flavorful meat and seafood dishes, and including crisp pizza from a wood-fired oven. The food is well-prepared and crisply served, and when you finish your meal you're right in the heart of Whyte Avenue's entertainment zone, just a block or two from live theatre, repertory cinema, and most of the area's main bars and clubs.
  • Red Ox Inn, 9420 91 Street NW, +1 780 465-5727. This little room has thrived in the same out-of-the-way location for decades. The menu changes regularly and is quite brief, though it always features fish, fowl, and red meat dishes. Cuisine is gourmet Canadian, service is professional but friendly, and given the room size, you should make reservations if dining here. $35-55.
  • Von's, 10309 81 Avenue Northwest. Locally raised beef and live oysters flown in. Impeccable standard of service and excellent quality ingredients, with prices to match. Reservations recommended. From $50 before liquor.

Drink[edit]

The Whyte Avenue area is the city's most concentrated "party zone" and no doubt has a wide range!

  • Black Dog, 10524 Whyte Ave. Frequently rated Edmonton's best neighbourhood pub in city polls, this friendly drinking spot caters to the young and body-modified (pierced and tattooed) crowd as well as any place on Whyte Avenue. It serves a wide selection of imported and micro-brewed beer at middle-of-the-road prices, features live music on Saturday afternoons, and has one of the city's favourite pub "patios" on their roof - a terrific place to waste a summer afternoon.
  • Commercial Hotel - Blues on Whyte, 10329 82 Ave. Rock-bottom prices on beer, with a crowd to match. The bar serves all the low-brow beers, and has a surprisingly good selection at the opposite end of the spectrum - at the best prices in town. You can get Guinness on tap at a good price (for Edmonton), as well as Strongbow cider and several of the Big Rock brews. Live blues music on stage weekday evenings, with a locally-famous open stage on Saturday afternoons (arrive early if you want your own seat).
  • O’Byrne's, 10616 Whyte Ave. An excellent authentic Irish pub, rather roomy inside with two levels and an outdoor patio open in summer. O'Byrne's is one of 'the' places to be on St. Patrick's Day in Edmonton and throughout the summer months. Although you will want to get there early for that day as there is usually a line out the door from 4PM onwards. O'Byrne's hosts excellent Celtic music on Tuesdays and plays host to a rather eclectic group of performers throughout the week.
  • The One on Whyte, 10544 Whyte Ave. Located in the space occupied by the old Roxy club on the second floor of what used to be Old Strathcona's favourite bowling alley, the One on Whyte sports an attitude that tones down the nightclub aspect a bit and emphasizes an expanded food menu and more live music. Yes, there are still plenty of opportunities to shake it until closing time, just like the old Roxy, but it seems that the owners are shooting for an entirely new image.
  • Purple Onion, 8032 104 Street (two blocks south of Whyte Avenue). No one knows exactly where the hordes of people that press the flesh at the "P.O." every weekend come from. But come they do, as they have for close to 15 years now. And for anyone who wasn't already cheerful and dazed courtesy of Happy Hour, the DJ helps out with current dance hits and classic rock. Various drink and shooter specials are available, seemingly all the time. And unlike most of the licensed establishments in the area, you probably stand a better chance of getting your beverage faster from one of the numerous waitresses than you will from going to the bar.
  • Remedy Café, 8631 109 St NW, +1 780 433-3096. Casual cafe, with nice beers on draft, delicious Indian food, and awesome cakes.
  • Union Hall, 9920 62 Ave. Aimed at the classic-rock loving thirty-something set, the Union Hall advertises itself as a place "where the only labels you'll find are on the bottles."

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

Mid-range[edit]

Splurge[edit]

  • Meterra Hotel on Whyte, 10454 - 82nd Ave. NW. Very nice boutique hotel in the heart of Whyte Ave. $139 and up (high season).
  • Varscona Hotel on Whyte, 8208 - 106 St. NW (Just go a tiny bit north of Whyte on 106th Street), +1 780 434-6111. Not to be confused with the theatre, this trendy boutique hotel is in lovely Old Strathcona and is great if you will be spending lots of time in the area or even downtown. $135 and up (high season).

Connect[edit]

Internet and computer access[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

If you decide to park in the area, make sure vehicle doors are locked and valuables are out of sight, as you would in central areas of any large city, to minimize the chance of break-ins. If you are worried, there are several businesses and hotels that offer private parking (however it can be costly).

At night, particularly on the weekends, Whyte Avenue gets very busy with people looking to party. Drunken rowdiness can sometimes lead to violence, especially in the early morning hours after last call (2AM). If you aren't looking for a fight, you should be safe from this sort of shenanigans. The police maintain a strong presence on weekends to keep the peace.

Old Strathcona sees a moderate level of panhandling in the warmer months.

Go next[edit]

Routes through South Central Edmonton
North EdmontonCentral Edmonton  N Light Rail Transit (LRT) S  South EdmontonEND



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