It’s time to quit procrastinating and start digging into the shit pile that is Edmonton, Alberta.
Edmonton is the capital of Alberta. To give you an idea of how attractive it is, see picture (left).
The current urban population is around the 900,000 mark (slightly over) and the metropolitan area is a little over 1.3 million people. It’s ethnic minority population is large at nearly 30%. The bulk of the city’s industry is tied to fossil energy and has been since the 1940s.
Edmonton began as a dumpy little town which was incorporated into a city in 1904 and became the capital a year later when the province of Alberta was created. The only reason anyone went there was because of the gold rush in nearby Yukon, the Canadian Pacific Railway, and cheap land used to attract settlers.
Edmonton’s biggest claim to fame came from the West Edmonton Mall built in 1981 which was the largest mall in the world for a couple decades, and remains the largest in North America. (It really speaks to the nature of the city — and climate — that the most exciting thing to do is to go to a mall and spend money.) Edmontonians tried to market it as the Eighth Wonder of the world – no joke.
Like Ottawa, Edmonton tries to be interesting by throwing countless “festivals” and giving itself the name “Canada’s Festival City”. Countless activities and performers who would be considered par for the course in other world class cities become “festival events” in Edmonton.
Yes, this is actually a name that Edmonton is known by in Canada. To quote the Urban Dictionary:
“An affectionate nickname for Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, a city trading places with Winnipeg for Murder Capital of Canada, where approximately 40% of the homicides are caused by stabbings, according to statistics.
Stabmonton mayor Mandel has called for a ban on the sale of “knives large enough to do serious bodily harm” or something similar.”
In fact, Global news has its own subsection called Edmonton Stabbing; as does the Edmonton Journal. In 2015 roughly half of Edmonton’s homicides were stabbings, putting it third place in Canada for such crimes. In 2016, over a quarter of its homicides were stabbings. By 2017 its 49 homicides made it third in Canada again for that crime, with at least one-third of those being stabbings.
The other nickname currently in use is Deadmonton – reflecting the city’s lack of appeal and the level of its inhabitants’ boredom, or alternately its murder reputation.
Sexual assaults remain high in Edmonton. In 2014, sexual assault was the fastest rising violent crime in Edmonton with 6 or 7 serious assaults every weekend. The city was seizing “gallons more” GHB than seen in other cities its size, and despite climbing rates of assault the police chief stated they knew only 10-15 percent of the assaults were reported.
By 2016 matters weren’t much better: Edmonton continued to have a significant amount of sexual assaults per capita, beating out major cities. For example: In Edmonton there were 92.2 sexual assaults per 100,000 people, compared to 62.9 in Toronto, 74.9 in Vancouver, 45.8 in Montreal, and 52.3 in Calgary.
And as 2018 ended, Edmonton had the second-highest sexual assault rate in the country, which the city laughably kept trying to play off as a result of the #MeToo Movement. (Which would explain an increase in reported numbers overall, but not specifically why Edmonton is in second place.)
Even more fun
Since the city amalgamated several nearby municipalities and areas into it’s CMA (Census Metropolitan Area), urban sprawl has become a large issue: its projected to cost the city over a billion dollars. The new $600+ million LRT is a complete mess. Like Ottawa, the transit system is a nightmare (‘safety concern’) and “reliability of the transit system has been dropping steadily since 2012.” This adds to the traffic congestion, emissions, and an already polluted city.
“Edmonton’s economy has always been driven by resource wealth. It is the major supply and service centre for a vast territory extending from central Alberta to the Arctic Ocean. Agriculture, energy production (coal, conventional oilfields, oil sands and natural gas), forestry …
Edmonton’s industrial base remains heavily dependent on natural resources (e.g., petroleum refining, petrochemicals, plastics, fertilizer) and the needs of resource-based industries (e.g., manufacturing of pipe and heavy equipment, metals fabrication), though Edmonton firms are prominent in a variety of fields, including construction, engineering services, electricity generation, banking and retailing.”
(Source) To sum it up: basically any time there is a dip in the oil and gas industries, Edmonton winds up screwed over and the economy starts shuddering with a bad cold. When companies lay off workers or pack up and leave town, the same issue repeats. Aside from resource extraction, Edmonton relies on retail. In other words, its overpaid workers have to spend a lot in the nearby malls and big box stores.
Edmonton is expensive, although not among the worst. Its “living wage” is calculated to be $16.46/hour to survive. The average price of a single-family home is $436,825 (after market declines).
As is typical of Canada, Edmonton has cold winters with the average temperature -18 C in January.
The city built a new “world class” hockey arena that cost over $600 MILLION. Yes in a city metro area of roughly a million people – with all kinds of issues – they spent that much on a hockey arena for their beloved team the Oilers. (The Canadian known as “The Great One” – Wayne Gretzky – hails from there.) Some of the stupidest comments: “build it and they will come“; “this changes Edmonton forever“; “People will look back on today ‘as the day the excitement began‘.”
Yes they built an arena with no parking so the city could crack down on drivers with tickets to earn revenue. There’s some irony in this, since Edmonton was named as the most hated location for NHL players who called it a “complete nightmare” and likened it to an arctic hell hole (it even beat out Winnipeg)!
Plenty more could be said, but I’ll end it here. Edmonton is an ugly, polluted, cold little town filled with mostly rednecks. The people getting government wages for “revitalizing” the city are overpaid, under-worked and drastically out of touch with its citizens’ needs. There is terrible traffic, pollution, urban sprawl and cost of living.
If you enjoy hicks, teenage mothers, rapists, crime, and manual labor – Edmonton is your town. Into knife-fighting or throwing? Edmonton is your town. Are you into an expensive, ugly dump (that will probably cause you health issues) with soul-crushing winters and grey, bleak outlooks? Edmonton is your town.
So enjoy this typical caker shit hole, everything included: winter, rednecks, expensive living.