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Edmonton Introduction Walk (Self Guided), Edmonton

The capital city of Alberta province, nicknamed "Canada's Festival City" for its year-round slate of festivals, Edmonton is a cultural, governmental and educational hub. Among its landmarks are the Royal Alberta Museum reflecting the region's aboriginal culture and natural history, the futuristic-looking Art Gallery of Alberta, renowned for its First Nations art, and more. To explore these and other key sights of Edmonton, follow this orientation walk!
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Edmonton Introduction Walk Map

Guide Name: Edmonton Introduction Walk
Guide Location: Canada » Edmonton (See other walking tours in Edmonton)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.2 Km or 3.9 Miles
Author: ChristineS
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Churchill Square
  • Art Gallery Of Alberta
  • Edmonton City Hall
  • Royal Alberta Museum
  • Francis Winspear Centre for Music
  • Stanley A. Milner Library
  • Citadel Theatre
  • McDougall United Church
  • Alberta Legislature Building
  • Rutherford House
  • University of Alberta
1
Churchill Square

1) Churchill Square (must see)

Churchill Square (officially "Sir Winston Churchill Square") is the main downtown square in Edmonton, which plays host to a large majority of festivals and events including: the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival, Edmonton Fashion Week, The Works Art & Design Festival, Taste of Edmonton, Cariwest and in recent years the annual Pride Festival.

Surrounding the square are several cultural and governmental buildings, including Edmonton City Hall to the north, the Law Courts and the Art Gallery of Alberta to the north-east, Chancery Hall and the Francis Winspear Centre for Music to the east, the Citadel Theatre to the south-east, the Stanley A. Milner Library to the south and Edmonton City Centre mall to the west.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Art Gallery Of Alberta

2) Art Gallery Of Alberta (must see)

The Art Gallery of Alberta is a public art gallery located in downtown Edmonton. Its collection of well over 6,000 works of art includes historical and contemporary paintings, sculptures, installation works and photographs by Canadian and international artists. In addition to its permanent collection, the AGA hosts visiting exhibitions and offers public education programs. The vision statement of the AGA is: "The Art Gallery of Alberta creates a welcoming and engaging environment where people are motivated to transform their understanding of the world by connecting with the visual arts."

Originally designed in 1968 as a Brutalist building by Don Bittorf, the gallery recently underwent an $88 million renovation designed by Randall Stout Architects. It officially reopened to the public on January 31, 2010. The newly renovated 85,000-square-foot (7,900 m2) space includes almost double the exhibition space of the original building; a restaurant, gallery shop, and 150 seat theatre; and dedicated gallery space for the AGA's permanent collection. Following the renovation annual memberships of AGA increased significantly and there were 30,000 visitors within the first six weeks of reopening.

Operation hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 11 am-5 pm; Thursday: 11 am-8 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Edmonton City Hall

3) Edmonton City Hall (must see)

Edmonton's City Hall was designed by Dub Architects, and completed in 1992. It features two steel and glass pyramids, one 43 meters high (ground to peak), on top of a three-story concrete structure. One pyramid provides natural light for the main atrium, the other for the council chambers. The building also features a 200-foot clock tower topped with a 25-bell carillon.

Edmonton's City Hall met with some controversy when it was first announced. The original designs called for the building to be topped with five cones. The cones were meant to pay tribute to the tipis that the First Nations once lived in the site. The design met with much negative feedback from the public, and was dubbed "the Cone Dome" by the press. Dub Architects then revised their design to replace the cones with the pyramids. The design was received much more warmly by the public, and was dubbed "Pyramid Power" by the press.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Royal Alberta Museum

4) Royal Alberta Museum (must see)

The Royal Alberta Museum is located in Edmonton and was named the Provincial Museum of Alberta until 24 May 2005 when Queen Elizabeth II visited, bestowing royal patronage. It has a natural history exhibit, a wildlife exhibit, an entomology exhibit, a Native Culture exhibit, as well as some smaller displays. It also houses an entomology collection and an arachnology collection. The museum was to undergo an extensive multi-million dollar renewal project, but funding has been put on hold causing delays. Also on the premises is Government House which is used by the Alberta Government Caucus. The museum has three permanent galleries: Wild Alberta, Syncrude Gallery of Aboriginal Culture, and Natural History. The Museum also has rotating galleries that welcome travelling exhibits as well as host exhibits created in house by the museums curators.

Operation hours: daily 10:00 am - 6:00 pm, Thursday, Friday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Francis Winspear Centre for Music

5) Francis Winspear Centre for Music (must see)

The Francis Winspear Centre for Music is a performing arts centre located in downtown Edmonton. Built in 1997, it is the home of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. The center is named after Dr. Francis G. Winspear, who donated $6 million to the construction of the facility - the single largest private donation to a performing arts facility in Canadian history. The Canadian federal government contributed $15 million and the Alberta government contributed $15 million as well.

In 2002, the Davis Concert Organ was installed at the Centre. Launched at a sold-out performance on September 14, 2002, the pipe organ was built by Orgues Létourneau Limitée of St. Hyacinthe, Québec. It features 96 stops, 122 ranks, and 6,551 pipes. It is named after Dr. Stuart Davis, to acknowledge his generosity and also in memory of his late wife Winona.

The concert hall itself has a seating capacity of 1,716 people and when seating is available in the choir loft above the main stage area the hall can hold up to 1,932, and is a tall, rectangular room with stepped, curved balconies and terraces. With its parallel side walls, the Winspear represents a modern adaptation of the classic "shoebox" shaped concert halls of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Stanley A. Milner Library

6) Stanley A. Milner Library (must see)

The Stanley A. Milner Library is the main library for Edmonton Public Library, located on the southern side of Sir Winston Churchill Square in downtown Edmonton. As a central location in Edmonton, the library often takes part in various events held at Churchill Square. In 2010, the library held an outdoor book sale in the square, selling aging and duplicate materials to the public. The Stanley A. Milner Library has a number of meeting rooms and a small theater in the lower level, that are used for library programs and can also be rented out by the public. The building is directly connected to the underground pedway network and to Edmonton's LRT. A number of ETS bus routes also serve the library along Harbin Road and 100 Street.

The Stanley A. Milner Library is also a centre for assistive services. Specialized magnifiers, projection reading rooms, large print books, braille material, voice dictation stations, and specialized computers are available as part of the library's mission to provide information access to all.

The Stanley A. Milner Library is the main library for Edmonton Public Library, located on the southern side of Sir Winston Churchill Square in downtown Edmonton. As a central location in Edmonton, the library often takes part in various events held at Churchill Square. In 2010, the library held an outdoor book sale in the square, selling aging and duplicate materials to the public. The Stanley A. Milner Library has a number of meeting rooms and a small theater in the lower level, that are used for library programs and can also be rented out by the public. The building is directly connected to the underground pedway network and to Edmonton's LRT. A number of ETS bus routes also serve the library along Harbin Road and 100 Street.

The Stanley A. Milner Library is also a centre for assistive services. Specialized magnifiers, projection reading rooms, large print books, braille material, voice dictation stations, and specialized computers are available as part of the library's mission to provide information access to all.
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Citadel Theatre

7) Citadel Theatre (must see)

The Citadel Theatre is the major venue for theatre arts in the city of Edmonton, located in the Downtown Core on Churchill Square. Originally located in a former Salvation Army Citadel bought by Joseph H. Shoctor, James L. Martin, Ralph B. MacMillan, and Sandy Mactaggart, the theatre's first production to be performed was Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. The theatre was founded on October 12, 1965 with its first opening night on November 10, 1965. In its current location The Citadel has the distinction of being the only venue where the Jule Styne musical Pieces of Eight has been produced.

The organization moved to its current building just off Churchill Square in 1978. Architect Barton Myers designed the structure. The building itself houses the Maclab, Shoctor and Rice Theatres, Zeidler Hall (the venue for the art-house Metro Cinema), the Tucker Amphitheatre, and the Foote Theatre School. The Maclab and Tucker are part of the Lee Pavilion, a luscious greenscape right in the middle of Edmonton.
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
McDougall United Church

8) McDougall United Church

McDougall United Church is impressive because of its heritage and history. It is one of the oldest Protestant congregations in Edmonton and all of Alberta. Their first church was built in 1873 and the present sanctuary was built in 1910; it can hold approximately 2000 people. They provide institutional religion, worship services began each Sunday at 10.30 am and their Sunday School also begins at 10.30 Am. Inside you will see a wide number of icons and religious statues and figurines. Most of the icons were created by John Magafas.
9
Alberta Legislature Building

9) Alberta Legislature Building (must see)

The Alberta Legislature Building is located in Edmonton and is the meeting place of the Legislative Assembly and the Executive Council. It was built between 1907 and 1913 in the Beaux Arts style by architects Allan Merrick Jeffers and Richard Blakey. Allan Merrick Jeffers served as the Alberta Provincial Architect from September 1907 to 1910. The Alberta Archives hold drawings for virtually all provincial buildings executed under his supervision.

The use of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian architectural influences was considered appropriate for a public building, as they suggested power, permanence, and tradition. Beaux-Arts buildings are characterized by a large central dome above a spacious rotunda, a symmetrical T-shaped plan, doors and windows decorated with arches or lintels, and a portico supported by massive columns. The building is supported on concrete piles and constructed around a steel skeleton. The first floor is faced with Vancouver Island granite; upper floors feature sandstone from the Glenbow Quarry in Calgary. The interior fittings include imported marble, mahogany, oak, and brass.
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Rutherford House

10) Rutherford House (must see)

Rutherford House was built by Alexander Cameron Rutherford in 1911 on a large lot in Strathcona near the University of Alberta campus. The residence, initially called Achnacarry by the Rutherford family, after their ancestral castle in Scotland, is now known as Rutherford House Provincial Historic Site. In 1966 the house was designated for demolition as the University of Alberta made plans for expansion. It quickly became a public concern to save the structure. The University Women's Club played a key role in saving this historic resource and in 1970 the Alberta government announced its decision that the house would be preserved. The Rutherford House is operated by Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Sites and Museums branch and is assisted by the Friends of Rutherford House, a non-profit, charitable society, formed in 1985 to assist the province with the preservation and presentation of this historic site.
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
University of Alberta

11) University of Alberta (must see)

The University of Alberta is a public research university located in Edmonton. It was founded in 1908 by Alexander Cameron Rutherford, the first premier of Alberta and Henry Marshall Tory, its first president. It has been recognized by the ARWU as one of the best universities in Canada. The university's main campus consists of over 90 buildings and covers 50 city blocks on the south rim of the North Saskatchewan River valley, directly across from downtown Edmonton. Its enabling legislation is the Post-secondary Learning Act.

The university has two main newspapers, Folio and The Gateway. Folio is the official newspaper published by Marketing & Communications/University Relations every two weeks from September to June and once each in July and August. The Gateway is the official student newspaper. Fully autonomous, it publishes "most Wednesdays." The university also has a monthly student newspaper, the Dagligtale, published at Augustana Campus in Camrose, Alberta.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Edmonton, Alberta

Create Your Own Walk in Edmonton

Create Your Own Walk in Edmonton

Creating your own self-guided walk in Edmonton is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Museums and Galleries Walking Tour

Museums and Galleries Walking Tour

If you want to have a unique experience you should not miss the chance to visit the most interesting museums and galleries located in Edmonton. Whether it’s a museum, an art gallery or a cultural centre, Edmonton offers its visitors different cultural spots every day. These museums aren’t just “typical” attractions, but also beautiful landmarks with deep historical roots. Go ahead and...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.2 Km or 5.1 Miles
Edmonton's Historical Churches

Edmonton's Historical Churches

When it comes to cultural or religious attractions, Edmonton will amaze you by its large number of beautiful buildings. Indeed, this city boasts not only the biggest number of churches, cathedrals and temples in all of Alberta, but also the oldest religious buildings. Take this self-guided tour to discover the most beautiful parishes and churches in Edmonton.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles