I just perused this city guide about Edmonton and it made me realize a few things. Growing up I never really thought about Edmonton as a unique or even great place. It just was what it was; the place I grew up. But, the older I get, the more I appreciate this wonderful, vibrant city and how much it has changed and advanced over the last 10 years. I don't think I'm alone. I have a lot of friends who are youngish professionals, starting their careers and families, that feel the same.
Edmonton has become a place we choose to live, for a variety of reasons. My reasons are that it has been a fantastic place to have a meaningful and demanding career (with all the opportunities anyone could ever want); it has a vibrant arts community, great shopping and a wicked local restaurant scene. It's home to a bunch of hardworking people that are dedicated to their families and working hard. Edmonton is full of people with awesome ideas, doing incredible things. It has a great entrepreneurial spirit, a place where independent small businesses can thrive. Edmonton also has a relatively low cost of living. Wages are high; house prices are still pretty fair. It's a place where you can have the white picket fence if you want it, or a swanky downtown condo. It's a place that experiences and embraces all four seasons in all their glory. I actually get a little excited during the first snowfall because I know it means I'll soon be lacing up my skates, tobogganing with friends or enjoying a crunchy walk in the snow.
But, the Pièce de résistance for me? The amazing river valley. What a treasure; a vast wilderness within an expansive urban core. I spend as much time as I possibly can under its treed canopy, spring, summer, fall or winter! How many cities can boast a ribbon of green as expansive as ours?
Yes, Edmonton has changed from the place I lived just because my family moved here. It's become a place I truly love, and appreciate and I want to be here to contribute to its betterment.