JOIN ME IN AN INTERVIEW WITH BEN MCLAUGHLAN FROM EDMONTON, CANADA !
Ben was born in Edmonton, but moved to Australia for work. He left Australia for the first time when he was 25 with a backpack and a one-way ticket to Ireland. He was alone, with no idea of what he was doing, and the fear of everything he did not know. Skip ahead four years and over 50 countries visited, he now hopes to inspire us through his experiences, to travel and to create your own, to forge a positive impact with every person and place you visit.
Which is the best month to visit your city and why ?
July/August. Edmonton is known for its summer festivals and they are scattered throughout these two months. Street performers, cultural and food festivals make this the best time to visit Edmonton.
Which is the most convenient and favoured transport of your city ?
Driving is the best way to access most of Edmonton. There is a light rail system (LRT) and a bus network, unfortunately, both have their limitations. Hiring a car or a car share program is the best way to travel in Edmonton.
What are the top 3 must visit places in your city ?
Through the middle of Edmonton runs the North Saskatchewan River. There are many trails and beautiful sights as you walk around. Even in winter, these tracks are popular for walking and even mountain bike riding. There are even lookout higher up on the shore for a beautiful sunset.
The Muttart Conservatory is a great day out for the entire family. Inside the pyramid structures are different ecosystems and the plants that live in the separate climates. Every now and then the entrance fee is waived and sometimes even performers entertain the lines as they wait for entry.
If you’re looking for a little bit of history about not only Edmonton, then visiting the Alberta Legislature Building is a must! Only a short walk from downtown, the Legislature, or ‘ledge’ as it’s also known, is the best way to learn about the province of Alberta. If you have the time, taking a free guided walking tour of the building is well worth the walk. If you’re after something a little unique, due to the acoustics of the building, there’s a spot where you can distinctively hear flowing water right above your head!
Which is the most celebrated holiday of the year there ?
Thanksgiving is extremely popular as gatherings with friends and family is very popular – pumpkin pie is always a favourite at this annual event.
Which is the most happening area in your city and why? Is it easy to find street food in your city ?
Whyte Avenue (82nd Avenue) is the most happening area of Edmonton. Restaurants and bars line either side of the street and a variety of clubs go well into the early hours of the morning.
Street food is always found at festivals throughout the year in Edmonton. It is the best way to taste many street foods available in the city.
Where should one head to for affordable shopping ?
West Edmonton Mall used to be the largest mall in the entire world. With plenty of shops, there’s something for everyone. There’s also a rollercoaster and water theme park in the massive building.
Which is the most loved local food in your city, both sweet and savoury?
Green onion cakes are an extremely popular side dish, however, this is the savoury food to try. It is a popular dish in northern China and the cakes have somehow carved out a home in Edmonton but you cant find them if you go to the other cities of Canada. For sweet, maple taffy part of “Cabane à sucre,” tradition is a tasty treat.
Which side of the road does your city drive on ? Is it cycle friendly ?
Edmonton drives on the right-hand side of the road.
Many parts of downtown Edmonton have bike lanes and there are plenty of trails around the river area.
Would you recommend any popular local apps to tourists for transport, food and hidden gems in your city ?
For transport, a car share app called Pogo is great for getting around downtown. Parking is included in the very affordable price tag.