More of Edmonton, Alberta

August 5, 2007 at 12:14 am 22 comments

As I’ve mentioned last time, my sister and her family planned to go swimming at the World Waterpark in West Edmonton Mall (WEM). But after learning about the exorbitant fees, they decided not to go.  We could easily go swimming in Manitoba for a family fee of only $20.00.

So when we came back to Comfort Inn that night after our first trip to WEM, my very resourceful niece started calling around for other places we could go to around Edmonton.  I was intent on going back to the mall the following day since I didn’t have enough time to explore the entire mall yet.  But my sister and her family wanted to go to places other than the mall.

I decided to join them the following morning before I went back to the mall.

We first went to John Walter Museum.  Admission is free.  But we didn’t know that the museum is open only on Sunday afternoons.  It was Tuesday when we went there.

John Walter Museum   John Walter Museum

Well, anyway, since we were already there, we just had a look around.  We learned that John Walter was one of Edmonton’s early settlers and industrialists.  The museum includes the three homes that John Walter built and lived in 1875, 1884 and 1901.  The first house displays his life as a bachelor.  The second one was built when he was starting to develop and prosper in his businesses. The third and largest one (the green one in the picture above) had the luxuries of the day including running water and telephone.  He was already a millionaire by then. We didn’t get a chance to go inside the houses because they were all closed so we just took these pictures outside.

Muttart Conservatory   Muttart Conservatory

Next, we went to the Muttart Conservatory. The four glass pyramid-shaped greenhouses were a sight to see as we were driving down towards it.  The Muttart Conservatory is a botanical garden and the greenhouses showcase plants from arid, tropical, and temperate climates, providing a welcome oasis of warmth during winter. The fourth pyramid hosts a theme that changes throughout the year. 

Look at this banana plant.  This must have been planted in one of the greenhouses.

banana plant

There are admission fees ranging from $4.50 to $8.75, depending on age.  And there is also a discount rate for families, but we opted not to pay.  Are you seeing a trend here?  Yes, if we could avoid it, we won’t pay.  Well, we are one big group.  And if you add it all up, it’s a lot.  But we always have fun just taking pictures and we were all like kids going up that hill, posing beside the pyramid structures and just enjoying the view from up there.

After several pictures, we went back to the hotel to have lunch.  Five of us – me, Ryland (my youngest), Reggie (my oldest), hubby and Mama – then headed back to WEM.  My middle son Ryan, decided to go along with sis and family.  While the five of us went our separate ways inside the mall, sis and her group went to Telus World of Science.  It’s a space and science museum with IMAX, exhibit galleries, planetarium, computer lab, etc.  But they also didn’t go inside.  Yes, there are also entrance fees.

They also went to Fort Edmonton Park, one of Edmonton’s premier attractions and represents four distinct time periods, exploring Edmonton’s development from a fur trade post in the vast Northwest, to a booming metropolitan centre after the First World War.

Before we leave Edmonton, here are just a few things I noticed about the capital of Alberta as compared to Winnipeg:

1.  License plates on their vehicles are attached only at the back.  Here in Winnipeg, license plates are attached at the front and back of vehicles. 
2.  License plates in Alberta bear the motto: Wild Rose Country.  Here in Manitoba, it’s Friendly Manitoba.
3.  I noticed that garbage bins, not only in Edmonton, but also in Banff are slanted.  Here in Winnipeg, they’re upright.

garbage bin  garbage bin in Winnipeg

4.  Traffic lights in Edmonton are horizontal.  Here in Winnipeg, they are vertical.  I also noticed that they do have a lot of cable wires on the streets.  I found out later on it’s because they have cable cars.

traffic lights in Edmonton   traffic lights in Winnipeg

5.  Transit buses in Edmonton are blue.  Here in Winnipeg, they’re usually orange.
6.  Their bus route numbers go up to three digits, i.e. 109, 120.  Here in Winnipeg, they only go up to 98. (Note: Except for this four special DART routes 101, 102, 109, 110, which I didn’t know until I checked out the Winnipeg Transit website for accurate information. He he he.  Who takes the DART routes anyway? ).
7.  I didn’t see a single mosquito in Edmonton while we were there.  The hotel rooms at Comfort Inn have sliding doors at the back so you can go to the parking lot easily, but they don’t have screened doors, unlike here in Winnipeg.

hiring age 14

8.  Legal working age in Alberta is 14.  Here in Manitoba, it’s 16.  Just look at this sign in front of the hotel.   When we had lunch at the Food Court of WEM on our first day there, I sent Reggie and Ryan to buy their own food at A&W.  They said that it took them a long while to get their orders because there was this kid at the till serving them.  Ryan said he looked like he was only 12 years old.  But I guess he must be at least 14, if that’s the legal working age there.

You can view my Edmonton album here.


Entry filed under: Alberta, Vacation.

West Edmonton Mall Drumheller, the dinosaur town

22 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Wil  |  August 5, 2007 at 1:48 am

    The Muttart Conservatory looks interesting. I wonder why they’re pyramid-shaped. I mean I wonder if there’s an advantage to having a greenhouse with that shape.

    Telus World of Science sounds like an interesting place to visit.

  • 2. Kyels  |  August 5, 2007 at 3:30 am

    The architecture of the conservatory is very unique and creative. I’m amazed!


  • 3. Agnus  |  August 5, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    Observation # 9: the fire hydrants in Edmonton are yellow-green. The hydrants in Calgary are light green. Hydrants in Winnipeg are red. 😛 I took some pictures for my own amusment in Lola’s car, but we were going to fast for the photo to be satisfactual. ;P

  • 4. JO  |  August 5, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    i can very well relate to you not wanting to pay for entrance fees and all… ganyan din kami pag ng out of town, kailangan may budget!

    The Telus World of Science looks interesting. We haven’t been there yet.

  • 5. bw  |  August 5, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    Great to know that you had fun in Alberta, visiting Banff and Edmonton ! Funny that Canadian provinces have diffrent rules on working age. Here in Ontario it is 14 years old too.

  • 6. niceheart  |  August 5, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    Wil, you also got me thinking there. Is there an advantage in the pyramid shape or are they constructed that way just to make them attractive?

    JO, and also Wil. Yes, Telus does look interesting. But you see, we have two museums here in Winnipeg, namely: The Manitoba Children’s Museum and the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature that also display science exhibits and which the kids usually visit on school field trips. I’ve also brought my kids there on few occasions when they were younger. Could be the reason why Telus didn’t interest us anymore. I should probably post some of our pictures from those two museums. We’ll see. I have to scan them first.

  • 7. niceheart  |  August 6, 2007 at 12:00 am

    I agree with you Kyels. 🙂

    Thank you Agnus, for adding that observation. I didn’t even notice them. Also, do you remember those red flowers at the gas station? The ones we were wondering if they were roses or poppies? We should have taken pictures eh? I wonder if that’s why Alberta’s called the Wild Rose Country.

    BW, 14 years old too, huh? That’s really interesting. Yes, we had a great time in Alberta. Thanks. 🙂

  • 8. verns  |  August 6, 2007 at 2:34 am

    Maybe Edmonton is really clean considering there are no mosquitoes huh?

  • 9. Major Tom  |  August 6, 2007 at 6:42 am

    The subtle or even the stark differences that Edmonton has only shows how varied Canada could be—culture-wise as well as everyday lifestyle of the populace. And it affirms how Canada is one of the larest country in the world too.

  • 10. pining  |  August 6, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    the conservatory reminded me of the Louvre 🙂
    the slanted bins are interesting, it makes sense somehow 😉

  • 11. Rach (Heart of Rachel)  |  August 7, 2007 at 2:04 am

    I have enjoyed reading about your whole road trip. I’m sure you had a terrific time with the family. The Muttart Conservatory sounds like a nice place to visit.

    Slanted garbage bins and horizontal stop lights, now those are unique concepts.

  • 12. Ferdz  |  August 7, 2007 at 7:04 am

    I was amused with those pyramid light houses. They’re huge.

    It’s the same with me as well. If we could avoid paying for some fees, we will. Sometimes those establishments just extort you somehow…

  • 13. Belle  |  August 7, 2007 at 10:10 am

    i try to avoid paying fees if it can be avoided because it adds up especially in the big city like Edmonton. But, you had fun and that is what counts.

    legal working age is 14? what does a 14 year-old know nowadays? i guess it is a good way of teaching kids responsibilities.

  • 14. iskoo  |  August 7, 2007 at 10:33 am

    kami din kapag namamasyal sa labas lang kung may mga bayad, tulad sa sentosa island ng singapore. pwede umikot ikot sa loob island pero bawat attraction may bayad kaya sa front nalang kami nag pipinture picture, hehe.

    kaya pala maraming work availabel dyan sa canada kasi at age of 14 pwede na mag work.

  • 15. eric aka senor enrique  |  August 7, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    So many wonderful things you mentioned about this trip of yours, Irene. You make a wonderful travel writer. I love the comparisons you made as well.

    And yes, entrance fee costs can surely add up. But on those theme parks, how can you say no to the kids, so on our family vacations in the States, we’d all make sure we have enough saved up to cover the fees. Otherwise, you’d never hear the end of it from these kids … hehehe.

  • 16. Toe  |  August 8, 2007 at 1:04 am

    Hahaha… kami rin ganyan… basta pwede libre. 🙂 But sometimes, the free stuff are so much fun too! What’s important is spending time with the family. 🙂 I love those greenhouses. If I were with you, I’d go back to the mall too. 🙂

  • 17. Tin  |  August 8, 2007 at 6:51 am

    I was fascinated to the glass pyramid! Very nice architecture. 🙂

    I wonder if a 14 years of age could work properly already. The job offer there is kinda stressful. Even I got awfully tired when I applied a work in fast food chains before.

  • 18. zingtrial  |  August 9, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    Hi !I want to go there now,liked the pic’s .He!He!He!.
    Wish you well

  • 19. annamanila  |  August 10, 2007 at 2:04 am

    Legal age owrking is 14! What about the higher ceiling? As long as they can still work ha. Nice … whille here even able bodied young men and women can’t find jobs. slanted garbage bins … interesting .. maybe they look more inviting if they are slanted!?! Ty for more interesting info about your travelogue, niceheart.

  • 20. tutubi  |  August 10, 2007 at 6:06 am

    love that place that looks like pyramids…
    and the garden too

  • 21. rhodora  |  August 12, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    Wow, that’s some vacation indeed, Irene!

    I guess that is one reward anyone so deserves. A nice trip or vacation each year, to loosen up the nerves tightened by the daily grind. 🙂

  • 22. Your Dream  |  September 28, 2007 at 9:48 am

    I think it’s totally awesome that you went to these museums. I would totally love to see them. You should post some pics of them though.


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