With exciting new additions coming to our skyline like the 45-story Emerald Tower, it’s easy to forgot about the iconic landmarks that have defined Edmonton for years. There’s the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald which has overlooked the River Valley for almost a century (the building itself is more than 100 years old, but it was closed between 1983 and 1991). The Muttart Conservatory a much more recent addition, but its pyramidal architecture is just as iconic in its own way.
No discussion of the city’s landmarks would be complete without mentioning West Edmonton Mall, but what hasn’t already been said about the behemoth structure? As the largest shopping mall on the continent, it offers no shortage of attractions. Fort Edmonton Park is the biggest living history museum in the country: its four sections chronicle Edmonton’s history from the fur trade era to the metropolitan era. Finally, a 2009 restoration has revived the historic Garneau Theatre for the benefit of generations to come.
Edmonton has been derided for its abundance of boxy, concrete-heavy brutalist architecture, but there are dozens of stunning buildings that break the mold and give the city personality.