Life as a student in Edmonton
What makes Edmonton unique?
Innovation: Edmonton is a place where people take risks, run with a new idea, start something new. The city invented the food bank and the North American Fringe theatre movement. It launched major global corporations like Stantec, PCL, The Running Room, Telus, Shaw, Ledcor, and Bioware; and Edmonton is a global leader in recycling and waste management. “At its best, this is a place for builders and creators.” -Mayor Don Iveson.
Cultural Capital and Festival City: Edmonton is known for its lengthy roster of festivals, foodie culture, eclectic neighbourhoods, and superb museums. Edmonton was named by National Geographic as one of the world’s top 10 summer cities in 2015!
River Valley: 18,000 acres of biking, hiking, skiing, and walking trails run through the city along the edges of the North Saskatchewan River. Edmonton has the longest interlinked stretch of urban parkland in North America--bigger than Stanley Park in Vancouver or Central Park in New York.
Sports and Fitness: Edmonton is home to several professional sports teams, including the Edmonton Oilers and Edmonton Eskimos. Edmonton hosts major international competitions, like the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 and has world-class athletics facilities like the Royal Glenora Club, Kinsmen Sports Centre, the City of Edmonton’s recreation centres, and Rogers Place.
Shopping: Edmonton features fabulous shopping, from hip boutique stores along Whyte Avenue to West Edmonton Mall, one of the world’s largest shopping complexes spanning 48 city blocks with more than 800 stores and attractions. Edmonton is also known for its numerous farmers markets, Night Market, and craft fairs.
Transit: The Edmonton Transit System has a Light Rail Transit system (LRT), as well as extensive bus routes. If you drive, King's has free parking! For more information, click here.
King's Guide to Edmonton
Cafés & Study Spots
10361 82 Ave | 780-433-6575
A spacious, comfortable, European-style café in the heart of Whyte Avenue featuring coffee, home-made desserts, gelato, and more! This is the perfect spot to enjoy a quick coffee to go, a conversation, or a long study session.
5010 106 Ave | 780-463-9918
This local coffee bar is owned and operated by Leah--a woman who welcomes you into her shop like she’s welcoming you into her own home. This hidden gem is sure to send a smile to your face and caffeine through your veins.
8627 91 St | 587-524-8090
Just a short bike-ride away from King’s, in the French Quarter, this small café offers French meals and coffee, with a side of trendy francophone ambiance.
9 Sioux Rd, Sherwood Park | 780-417-5523
Café Haven boasts the title of 'Best Café' in Sherwood Park. It's a great place to share a coffee or spend hours studying. Try the London Fog--it’s a menu favorite.
50 Brentwood Blvd, Sherwood Park | 587-269-4808
Ian and Eileen Edwards, pastors at the Moravian Church, have a mission of empowering and creating community for all in their non-profit, direct-trade coffee shop and its many volunteers.
#100, 10140 117 St | 780-756-3356
This little café is tucked away in a larger building just off Jasper Ave, but once you spot it, you want to go inside. The design is fresh, and besides coffee, they also serve breakfast and lunch.
6419 112 Ave | 780-479-4050
This little coffee shop is one of President Melanie Humphrey’s favourites. It is a great place to browse through books, sip on a coffee, or do some studying.
9562 82 Ave | 780-439-5535
Look no further for a sandwich that tantalizes your taste buds! Delicious home-made sandwiches and goods are bound to satisfy the foodie in you. The turkey, pear, and brie sandwich is one of the best in town.
8631 109 St | 780-433-3096
10279 Jasper Ave | 780-757-7720
10404 Whyte Ave | 780-760-1001
Remedy makes fresh, authentic chai tea and samosas. This anything-goes place is always bustling with students and hipsters looking for a unique experience. This is a great place to have coffee or to spend hours studying, whether it’s you and a friend or a whole group.
11801 48 St | 780-471-6037
Everyone on Urbanspoon raves about the freshly baked doughnuts of this underrated place. Weather permitting, you can take the 50th St bicycle bridge to get there. Is it worth checking out? You bet!
9351-118 Ave | 780-471-1580
This little 'community arts coffeehouse,' with an emphasis on community, is part of a grassroots and successful revitalization and restoration movement active on the avenue.
8708 109 St | 780-756-8882
9869 62 Ave | 780-430-9198
Transcend boasts about having the best coffee in town. If you find yourself valuing the art of coffee making over the necessity to caffeinate, you’re on the right track. Any of the meticulously created drinks are sure to please your well-trained palate.
5515 101 Ave | 780-465-0771
If you’re looking for a nearby eatery, look no further than Boston Pizza. It’s King’s closest North American style restaurant, right beside Capilano Mall.
#305, 5015 101 Ave | 587-754-6077
Located by Capilano Mall, this fast food chain offers made-to-order burgers, fries, and hot dogs, plus free peanuts while you wait.
50 St & 101 Ave
This restaurant is close to King’s, just across from the Capilano Walmart.
9004 50 St | 780-469-1223
Close to King’s, it serves fine donair wraps, such as beef, chicken, and falafel. Traditional options include: burgers, poutine and fries. You can even order online for pick-up or delivery.
10922 88 Ave | 780-433-8369
The Sugar Bowl is always bursting with university students eager to experience delicious food in an inviting atmosphere. This fun, inexpensive diner is sure to have you coming back for more.
10807 106 Ave | 780-477-7896
This inviting neighbourhood style café is sure to have you feeling like you’re home in no time. The menu rotates with the seasons, and the specials change daily. Arrive early to get a seat!
10501 82 Ave | 780-439-9829
Chianti serves excellent home-made Italian food at a reasonable price. Portions are bound to satisfy even the strongest appetite. And Tuesday’s are pasta night!
10548a 82 Ave | 780-433-0930
Do you like Cajun food and sandwiches? It’s hip, it’s inexpensive and the food is great. Dadeo is famous throughout Edmonton for its award-winning yam fries.
9700 105 Ave | 780-428-3388
Love Chinese dim sum? Dynasty Century Palace is located in the heart of Chinatown and offers both dim sum and authentic Chinese food!
4820 76 Ave | 780-468-2224
A very fine all-you-can-eat Indian buffet, just a few minutes south of King’s. Every dish will tantalize your taste buds and send the foodie in you reeling in delight.
9920 Whyte Ave | 780-432-3334
This is the place to have an authentic Ethiopian eating experience! All dishes are served on a large platter with sourdough crepes.
10350 109 St | 780-425-8096
Mikado boasts some of Edmonton’s best sushi and sashimi. Ingredients are flown in weekly from Japan, Nova Scotia, and the West Coast to make your eating experience as fresh as possible.
8424 109 St | 780-757-2600
Three Boars serves globally inspired dishes using local products. The taste is exceptional. Make sure you try the poutine!
10119 100A Ave | 780-429-0911
Enjoy authentic tacos, tortillas, and quesadillas--arguably the best in town. Tacos and tortillas come in sets of four, perfect for sharing. Show up early to avoid lineups!
10724 95 St | 780-423-3213
10523 99 Ave | 780-756-8188
Viphalay serves authentic Thai and Laos food. Family-owned and operated, this restaurant oozes cultural esteem. It is an Edmonton must-see.
Arts and Culture
Tours of the Legislature Building are offered to all ages. Topics covered include the levels of government; the roles of the Lieutenant Governor, Premier, Speaker, and Members of the Legislative Assembly; a brief political history of Alberta; the daily Routine followed in the Chamber; parliamentary traditions and ceremonies; and the art and architecture of the building itself. Tours last approximately 45 minutes.
Edmonton has world-class art begging to be seen, but what if you don’t have the money to cover admission? The AGA offers free admission from 5-8 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. You may need to wait in line for a few minutes, but it’ll be worth it. Remember, exhibits change every few months, so check online to see what’s new and upcoming.
Love live theatre but can’t afford to go? The Citadel theatre offers some seats on Sunday afternoon on a pay-what-you-can basis. Sunday doesn't work? Choose another evening and show up an hour before show time to get rush tickets at half price!
Edmonton has the largest fleet of heritage streetcars in Western Canada and operates two routes. It runs from the Strathcona Terminal (Gateway Blvd at 84 Ave), crosses the North Saskatchewan River, makes a stop at the Alberta Legislature Building, and ends at the Jasper Ave terminal (109 St & 110 St). The streetcar operates daily from the May Long Weekend until Labour Day.
Last minute ticket buyers can take advantage of great seats at great prices! Rush tickets to all ESO performances are $24 and go on sale at the Winspear Centre Box Office two hours prior to each ESO concert, subject to availability. Rush tickets are available to students of all ages, people aged 25 and younger, and seniors aged 65 and up. Valid ID required at time of purchase.
4 Sir Winston Churchill Sq | 780-428-1414
Home to the Edmonton’s Symphony Orchestra, the Winspear is Edmonton’s most loved music hall. Student rush tickets are $20 for any available seat in the house.
Love outdoor theatre and Shakespeare? Check out the Freewill Shakespeare Festival in June and July. On Tuesday nights and Saturday Matinees, you pay what you want!
9626 96a Ave | 780-496-8755
This is a nature-lover’s paradise. Stroll through the temperate, arid, tropical and feature pyramids. Be sure to bring your camera!
10329 83 Ave | 780-433-3399
Hosting over 350 cultural events per year, the Varscona plays a vital riles in Edmonton’s art scene. Try out the legendary weekly Live Improvised Soap Opera: Die-Nasty. Check the website for all showings.
Did you know that if you’re an Edmonton resident who fell into the low-income category on your last tax return, you could be eligible for a leisure access pass? This pass gives you FREE access to Edmonton’s swimming pools and arenas, as well as Fort Edmonton Park, the Valley Zoo, the Muttart Conservatory, and the Sir John Walter Museum. Want more? You got it! You can get 75% off of 3 of the cities registered courses. Always wanted to take pottery, learn to cook, or take dance lessons? Now is the time!
SPC is Canada’s most popular loyalty card that provides students with discounts and deals at thousands of the best stores and restaurants across Canada.
9562 82 Ave | 780-496-9193
The Bookseller boasts a large collection of used books. Let loose your inner nerd by perusing the shelves of well-loved, affordable treasures.
3414 Gateway Blvd | 780-435-1922
Here you can enjoy ten-pin bowling, five-pin bowling, virtual golf, mini golf, billiards and even laser bowling. Come early to get a lane or reserve one!
103 St and 84 Ave | 780-437-7721
Take a historic trip across the North Saskatchewan River from 49 meters above water level. The railcar was fully restored in 2011 and has been running ever since.
5074 130 Ave | 780-472-9779
Tuesdays are cheap nights at the theatre. See the latest flicks for only $1.75! Only $3.50 on all other nights.
11230 110 St | 780-414-4625
Take in all the action of a junior level hockey game at Rexall Place. The Oil King’s promise all the excitement of an NHL game at a fraction of the cost.
401 Festival Ln, Sherwood Park | 780-410-8600
This is a great place to go study. The quiet atmosphere and the shelves of books are bound to get your brain focused and your thoughts flowing!
11211 142 St | 780-451-3344
Satisfy the explorer and scientist in you by checking out a variety of exhibits, both featured and permanent.
Check out Cineplex on Saturday mornings at 11 a.m. for Cineplex Family Favourites. Watch a family favourite film each week for only $2.99. A portion of the proceeds goes towards supporting Free The Children. It's a fun and affordable way to enjoy the weekend!
One of the best things about Edmonton are the annual FREE ADMISSIONS DAYS. On this glorious day, the City of Edmonton throws open the doors to nearly every facility in town for the general public’s enjoyment. You can enjoy Edmonton’s swimming pools and arenas, as well as Fort Edmonton Park, the Valley Zoo, the Muttart Conservatory, and the Sir John Walter museum, among many others!
Every Tuesday evening in August, the city puts out a massive three-storey high inflatable screen in Churchill Square and shows movies for free! Bring your own chair and come early. Check out their website for show times.
Just Outside of Edmonton
51227 AB-60, Parkland County | 780-987-3054
The University of Alberta created this garden in 1959. You can take a walk in their 240 acres of gardens, explore their indoor greenhouses, and enjoy a cup of tea at their Patio Café.
Visit one of Canada’s bison conservatories! Go for a walk, a picnic, or for a camping trip at Elk Island. Enjoy the trees, meadows, lakes and wetlands, and the bison who live there.
Site 6 Box 9 RR1, Lacombe | 403-302-1709
Every year they create a new maze design on their 50 acres of corn. It takes about an hour and a half to complete the whole maze.
Hwy 16 E, Tofield | 780-662-3640
This outdoor museum is much like Fort Edmonton Park, with authentic buildings and costumed actors. Take part in one or more of their activities while you feel like you've stepped back into an early pioneer's life.
Edmonton is unofficially known as the Festival City and hosts over 61 different festivals across all seasons. These festivals cover a wide range of interests, including music, film, theatre, sports, and world cultures. Chances are there is an Edmonton festival you will enjoy!
Many festivals have free events you can attend. Here are some to look out for:
- Symphony Under The Sky
- Kaleido Family Arts Festival
- International Street Performers Festival
- Comic & Entertainment Expo
- Comedy Festival
- Valley Zoo Festival of Light
- New Year's Eve and Canada Day in Churchill Square
- Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Festival
- Silver Skate Festival
- Sand on Whyte
- Art Walk
- Taste of Edmonton
- Cariwest Caribbean Arts Festival
- Heritage Festival
- Fringe Festival
Check out a full list of Edmonton's Festivals here.
Capilano Park: 10810 54 St
Gold Bar Park: 10955 50 St | 780-442-5311
South of the river on 50th St, both parks have a bicycle bridge to cross the river and are a jumping-off point for trail use year-round.
2909 113 Ave | 780-442-5311
With Frisbee golf, tennis, baseball, walking/biking, picnic spots, cross-country skiing, and skating rinks, it’s Edmonton’s best-kept secret.
10535 65 St | 780-442-5311
A friendly atmosphere and unique programs: the fitness centre, circuit training, lane swims and aquafit are popular with many active people.
8523 Argyll Rd | 780-496-9390
Edmonton’s favourite rock-climbing gym. Whether you’re new or a weathered climber, this place is guaranteed to give you a thrill.
Do you love watching the sky for Aurora Borealis? Check out the University of Alberta’s Aurora Watch so you’ll always know when to look out for the Northern Lights.
Edmonton is full of cross-country ski trails! Head out to places like Kinsmen Park or look up the full list on the City of Edmonton's webpage. Haven't been cross-country skiing before? Sign up for one of the many lessons.
Edmonton's expansive river valley offers some convenient skiing options if you don't feel like driving to the mountains. The Edmonton Ski Club has five different hills suited for different levels of skiers, along with a variety of lessons and programs! Check out their website for more information on lift passes and ski rentals.
Edmonton has plenty of options for skating whether you want to use an indoor rink or an outdoor rink, including the ever-popular Alberta Legislature, City Hall, and Hawrelak Park rinks! Edmonton's Victoria Park has a speed skating rink and a Freezeway--a 400m scenic path that takes you through the trees. Many community leagues also manage their own outdoor skating rinks.
There’s 48 km of trail along the North Saskatchewan River, the largest urban expanse of parkland in North America. There’s nothing more refreshing than a hike down by the river. The closest access to King’s is Capilano/Goldbar Park. Check out Edmonton’s interactive parks map that shows which parks you’re nearest to. Float down the river with a group of friends or even go paddle boarding! Check out the parks scattered throughout Edmonton. Explore Edmonton has a blog on all of Edmonton’s Best Picnic Spots. Check it out for great locations!
There are many parks in Edmonton that are perfect for snowshoeing! Some parks have packed down paths, but you can even snowshoe in spots where there are no trails.
The best way to stay cool during the summer months is to head to one of the City’s free, drop-in water play features. There are lots of places to splash away the day. Check out favourites in Churchill Square and at the Legislature.
What better way to spend a winter night than looking at the stars? Some of the best locations to see the stars are the Telus World of Science Observatory, the U of A Observatory (free star gazing Thursday's) or Elk Island. You never know what you might see. Fingers crossed you'll see the aurora borealis!
If you want to have fun in the snow, Edmonton has a number of different locations to go sledding!
What better way to have fun in the winter than having a massive city-wide snowball fight? There is no set date for this event. All you need to do is text the organizer your number and follow them on Twitter, and they'll let you know more when the time comes. You never know when the excitement will begin!