Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Sunny Days and Starry Nights

Iyna Bort Caruso

Edmonton, Canada, may be cold yet the sun shines bright. In fact, the city is one of the country’s sunniest. But even the winter has its perks, namely an abundance of clear night skies for viewing the northern lights.

Edmonton is located in the North Saskatchewan River Valley. The river runs through the city. Edmonton is easily accessible by rail and air. Dozens of nonstop domestic and international flights are available daily.

The city grew around Fort Edmonton in 1795, the first of several fur trading posts built in the area. The settlement would experience rapid growth starting in the early 20th century, spurred by two major developments. In 1906, the city became the provincial capital of Alberta, followed by the establishment of the University of Alberta two years later turning Edmonton into a center of government and academia. Edmonton saw another boom in 1947 with the discovery of oil. New roads were built, new suburbs were created, and the city’s skyline saw an abundance of high-rise construction.

Despite the cold climate, Edmonton buzzes with activity year-round. In town are multi-use trails that border many residential neighborhoods. Skaters, snowshoers, birders and river paddlers converge on the city’s parklands. Skiing and snowboarding are available within city limits. Two of Canada’s most popular national parks, Banff and Jasper are an afternoon’s drive away. And for those who prefer watching sports rather than engaging in them, Edmonton is a big league city with pro hockey, soccer and football teams. Even the mall is as much a destination for recreation as it is for shopping. The West Edmonton Mall, one of the world’s largest, has bowling, ice skating and an indoor waterpark.

Edmonton knows how to put on a show. It’s been dubbed the Festival City for the many big-time street bashes, music series and multi-day entertainment celebrations it hosts.

Edmonton offers a wide range of housing, from downtown condominiums in high rise towers with skyline and North Saskatchewan River views to golf course homes, townhomes, rowhouses and estates designed for multigenerational living. Some of the oldest homes are in Glenora, a well-preserved and leafy neighborhood that developed out of the Garden City urban planning movement of the late 19th century. Among the neighborhoods with more contemporary homes as well as some of the area’s highest prices is in the master-planned community of Windermere.