Province/Territory: Alberta

Edmonton - The Festival Capital of Canada

  • 2300 hours of bright sunshine per year
  • 30 Festivals every year including Canada's biggest Fringe Festival
  • 150 kilomtres of pathways to walk, run, bike or blade

Alberta’s capital city is known as the “Festival City” for good reason. Annually over 30 festivals draw acts and visitors from around the world. When not tapping a toe, watching a Shakespearian play, cheering on champion cowboys or racing in a cross-country ski festival, the city is active with local attractions including tours of the architecturally grand Alberta Legislature building, the wildly contemporary Art Gallery of Alberta and the seemingly misplaced yet intriguing pyramids of the Muttart Conservatory. Over 3500 restaurants, coffee shops and pubs serve up the best Alberta beef.

And of course, a trip to Edmonton is not complete without stopping in at the biggest attraction in Alberta. The West Edmonton Mall is the largest shopping mall in North America offering more than just 800 shops. At one end of the mall an enormous indoor waterpark with wave pools, waterslides and bungee jumping delights the family. At the other end strap on a pair of skates at the full-size skating rink. A scenic drive west of Edmonton is Jasper National Park. A short distance east is the Elk Island National Park where herds of free-roaming bison and 250 species of birds make for the perfect been-there-done-that prairie photo of Alberta.

Urban adventures

  • Canada’s biggest shopping mall is the West Edmonton Mall, home to 800 stores, a waterpark, theme park and two hotels.
  • Explore an eclectic array of shops, boutiques and pubs along Whyte Avenue in Old Strathcona then take in the latest performance at Canada's largest regional theatre for live performance, the Catalyst Theatre.
  • From pictographs to petroglyphs, grizzlies to birds and bugs, experience Alberta’s natural and human history in the Royal Alberta Museum.
  • Step back in time to discover pioneer life on the prairies at the award-winning Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village.

Nature & Wildlife

  • The Edmonton River Valley Park is the biggest forested urban parkway in North America. Discover the wildlife that call it home on foot or biking the trails, or by paddling in the mighty North Saskatewan River.
  • Master your skiing or snowboarding at three local hills before venturing west to the mountain resorts.
  • The mighty plains bison, wood bison and moose are even bigger up close! Explore their habitat at Elk Island National Park.

Events & Festivals

  • Amusement rides, concerts, fabulous food and fantastic fireworks take over Edmonton for 10 days in July during the longest running festival - K-Days.
  • Edmonton Folk Music Festival starts the August lineup of festivals with musicians from around the world.
  • The Edmonton Fringe Theatre Festival unites the world’s best entertainers with half a million spectators every August.
  • Hold on to your hat and watch some bumpy rides! Every November the Canadian rodeo championships bring together North America’s toughest cowboys to ride the wildest bulls and horses.

Weather

  • The seasons change but the sunshine stays constant in Edmonton. Summer months expect the sunrise before 6 AM with it setting as late as 10 PM. In December however, expect the sunrise shortly after 8 AM, setting before supper hour.
  • The warmest weather is June through August with daily July temperatures of 23 C but cooling to 9 C in the evening. June is the wettest month with 88 mm of rain.
  • September marks the coming of fall with the trees turning shades of orange along the river valley. Normal daily temperatures are dipping from 12 C in September to 5 C in October with the evenings still above freezing.
  • Winter can be very cold, dipping on occasion to -30 C. Edmonton can expect a beautiful blanket of snow for Christmas with normal daily highs of -4 C dipping to -14 at night.
  • Spring temperatures rise dramatically from the winter months. March has highs of 1 C but by May the average is 16 C.
  • Discover local weather information. Research local weather patterns at the Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Normals website.
Quick facts

Area: 684 sq km
Elevation: 668 metres
Total Population: 817,498
Official Languages: English & French (English predominant)
Motto: Industry, Integrity, Progress

When to go
  • With the long days of sunlight, summer is delightful in Edmonton. So much can be done in a day!
  • The is Fringe Festival in August, during the hottest part of summer.
  • Golfing is best from late May until the snow flies in October with games played into the evening with the late summer sunset.
  • Just as it starts getting chilly and before the snow settles in The Canadian Finals Rodeo is held annually in early November.
  • Ski and snowboard season runs province-wide from November until May with the best snow conditions January through March.
  • Hike, camp, bike and ride in comfort near Edmonton from May until October but always be prepared for the cool evenings.
  • Plan your vacation to Edmonton around festivals, celebrations, competitions and concerts.
Getting Here
Getting around
  • Find general information about getting around Edmonton.
  • Taxi service is available throughout the city.
  • Alberta highway traveller information is available at Alberta Motor Association.
  • Find information about Edmonton public transportation.
  • The Edmonton Valley is fun to explored on bicycle in the summer or segway and snowshoes in the winter. Rentals are readily available.