1) Edmonton is one of Canada’s top three sunniest cities, along with Calgary and Winnipeg. Each year Edmonton gets an average of 325 days of sun, or 2,345 hours.
2) West Edmonton Mall no longer holds the title of world’s largest shopping mall, but it does still boast the Guinness world record for the largest parking lot. Holding up to 20,000 cars at once, it even tops prime destinations like Disneyland.
3) At 18,000 acres, the North Saskatchewan River Valley in Edmonton is North America’s largest continuous urban green space. There are 150 kilometres of trails for year-round activities and 22 parks in the space. Much of the land was privately owned originally, but became public again when the city seized back the land after the North Saskatchewan River flooded in 1915.
4) In 1987, an F-4 tornado ripped through the city at speeds of 416 km/hr, killing 27 people and injuring numerous more. The day the deadliest tornado in Alberta’s history struck came to be known as “Black Friday.”
5) At 64 metres high, the Great Divide Waterfall on the High Level Bridge is seven metres higher than Niagara Falls. The waterfall feature was installed by artist Peter Lewis in 1980 to celebrate Alberta’s 75th anniversary. Before being shut off indefinitely in 2014 due to budget and environmental concerns, it pumped water into the North Saskatchewan River at a stunning 50,000 litres per minute.
6) Pigeon lovers beware! Edmonton Bylaw 13145 on Animal Licensing states clearly that Edmontonians may not keep more than 75 pigeons as pets.
7) Elk Island National Park has the second-highest density of hoofed mammals (bison, moose, deer, and elk) in the world, just behind the Serengeti Plains of Africa.
8) A wedding of royal proportions took place in Edmonton on July 16, 1988, when Wayne Gretzky married American actress Janet Jones. Thousands of Edmontonians lined the streets between St. Joseph’s Basilica and the reception hoping to catch a glimpse of the new couple (and Janet’s $40,000 gown). The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra serenaded the couple down the aisle.
9) In 1990, an Edmonton park was named after James Ramsey, a man credited with bringing the penny to Edmonton in 1913 so that his popular department store could put on 99-cent sales. Unfortunately, the city misspelled his name, calling it James Ramsay Park. The misspelling of the park has been noted by the city, but never formally changed.
By Danielle Mohr
WHERE Edmonton is giving away a 2017 Specimen Set from West Edmonton Coin & Stamp! Included is a one-of-a-kind loonie featuring a dramatic image of a snow goose, which was designed by Canadian artist Derek C. Wicks.
To enter to win this historic collector’s item, follow WHERE Edmonton on Twitter and watch for tweets about the contest! We will draw for the winner on October 16.