River valley High Level Bridge illustration

Edmontonians share their hidden gems with mapped tours

There are so many variables when determining what encapsulates Edmonton — mood, company, interests, season, to name but a few — that it seemed best to let a variety of Edmontonians speak for the city. This side project is a result of the last question I ask in every TLG interview that I do — where are the five places in Edmonton that you unfailingly take friends or visitors?

My hope is that, for example, foodies will choose food-centric places, local leaders will choose neighbourhood spots and people-about-town will choose a variety of locations across the city, resulting in very different “tours” that intersect at unexpected sites. Click on each mapped location for an explanation of why each person (identified by map dot colour and route between points; legend is a drop-down menu in the top left-hand corner) chose that spot.

Editor’s note: Keep an eye on this project, as it will continue to evolve with more blog interviews generated. Plus, local artist and blog team member Stephanie Medford is working on illustrations of her interpretation of each spot on the map.

Ashley Green, Edmonton photographer: Ashley and I sat down in January 2014 to talk about her Love Letters to Strangers project. Appropriately enough, we met at Block 1912 on Whyte Avenue, where there are secret notes left in drawers by coffee shop patrons — and of course, Block 1912 was on Ashley’s five places list.

Anna Davidson and Kalea Turner-Beckman, Alberta Yarn Project: When this pair isn’t dreaming up new ventures for their Alberta Yarn Project that marries knitting and beer, they can likely be found at other places in the city that share their enthusiasm for those pursuits.

Wesley, Jane’s Walks 2015: Since this map discusses the nooks and crannies of the city, it only made sense to include someone who spent a weekend doing just that. Wes, a planner at the City of Edmonton, led the May 2015 Jane’s Walk through Spruce Avenue, and was kind enough to add his thoughts on other cool spots in the city.

Meredith Mantooth, program assistant at the Edmonton Heritage Council: When organizing curiosity tours for the Edmonton City as a Museum project, Meredith is very aware of the relationship between space and place, and human interaction. Like many people on this project, she named five places, and then had to switch out one or two as more came to mind.

Catherine Szabo, TLG blog co-ordinator: During our interview, Meredith turned the tables on me and asked me what my five places were. As a transplanted Edmontonian, my relationship with this city is still developing, mostly evidenced by the fact that I will drive across the city without thinking twice for an event that sounds interesting, simply because I’m curious.