Let’s face it—no one wants to live in a frigid wasteland 12 months of the year. Hell, even Santa flies down to Arizona with the rest of the snowbirds from January to November, leaving a bunch of elves working for next to nothing (typical 1%er) while he lives the high life sipping rum and eggnog and working on his “physique.” While Edmonton is only a frigid wasteland for about 8 months of the year, it can be tough to remember why we stay here. But then another ironic hipster saunters by wearing his “Still in Edmonton” t-shirt, and I think to myself, it can’t be all bad. There’s obviously some redemptive qualities in our fair city (excluding the hipsters), otherwise I’d refer to it as a squalid hell-hole instead of a fair city. And the more I think to myself of said redemptive qualities, the more I fall in love with Edmonton. There’s nothing like getting behind the wheel of my Ford and cruising the streets of the best damn city in the world. Which is why, we here at Team Ford —Edmonton’s favourite Ford dealership— are going to tell you about Edmonton’s favourite landmarks.
Perhaps the city’s most famous landmark, a safe haven for shopaholics and listless, up-to-no-good teenagers— West Edmonton Mall has been open for business since September 15th, 1981. Valued in 2016 at over $1.3 billion dollars, the mall is easily Edmonton’s most valuable property. Employing over 24,000 people, WEM (as the locals like to call it) has parking for over 20,000 vehicles; this makes it a perfect place to park your Ford while you enjoy a movie, the Waterpark (don’t wear any jewellery), the Mindbender roller coaster (the world’s largest indoor triple-loop coaster), or one of 72 different frozen yogurt stands (approximately). Load up the entire family in one of Ford’s third row seating SUVs like the Flex or Explorer, and head to West Edmonton Mall for a great time on those too-hot summer days when you’re afraid you’ll die without AC, or one of those frigid winter days when you find the rare strength to leave your bed. But be forewarned—avoid it at all costs in December. They estimate that around 200,000 people fill the mall on its busiest days, making it equivalent to a human zoo. I mean, unless you’re into that sort of thing.
Not into the crowded mall parking lots? Even if you’ve got the power of Ford’s Park Assist? Fine—we’ve got some spots in the great outdoors for you to enjoy. Your Ford’s SYNC Connect will have no trouble leading you to the city’s giant corn maze; but be warned, it’ll be of no assistance if you get lost in the maze itself. I always bring a week’s worth of fresh drinking water and food rations after my uncle Fred couldn’t find his way out for nearly eight days. But to be fair, he’s got a pretty severe inner-ear problem (and he’s not too bright either). If the idea of a maze gives you anxiety, then you can still find your way to one of Edmonton’s many beautiful parks, all part of our river valley. Your SYNC Connect-equipped Ford, that doubles as a wifi hotspot, is perfect for planning the perfect Instagram post of your picnic at Rundle Park; conversely, your Escape has more than enough towing power to bring a small boat down to the launch at William Hawrelak park. Relive your Princeton days rowing down the beautiful North Saskatchewan river.
Take a wild road trip through the centre of the city and see the wonders that Edmonton has to offer. Check out Chinatown’s Harbin Gates (surely a rival to the Great Wall), before checking out Edmonton City Hall (surely a rival to the pyramids of Egypt), before checking out the Hotel Macdonald (surely a rival to Edinburgh castle), before heading north and checking out 118th Ave’s 14.9 metre tall aluminum baseball bat (surely a rival to, uh… something somewhere).
If you’re more of an urban explorer, i.e. you wear a North Face jacket in the city to take photographs for your Instagram, then there’s no shortage of new architecture to photograph from a very slightly different angle than the thousands that have come before you. Tell people at the bar about your love for “the old brick and wood of the Mercer building, and its juxtaposition beside the ultra modern Stantec Tower, or brand new arena Rogers Place (where the best damn hockey team in the world plays!). Not extreme enough? Well, then you need to check out the Art Gallery of Alberta created by architect Randall Stout, who spent time honing his craft under the esteemed Frank Gehry. A 190-metre steel ribbon wraps around the side of the building, emulating the North Saskatchewan river that has had an indelible impact on the shape of our city.
Of course, there’s more to do —like parade your Mustang down Whyte Ave and flaunt your wealth to the University students all drinking their chai lattes, or stop at the Muttart Conservatory and literally smell the flowers— but we feel like we’ve given you a pretty good head-start on some of Edmonton’s landmarks. If you have any questions about these, or any of the fine vehicles made by Ford, then give Team Ford a shout.