5 Must-See Architectural Landmarks in Edmonton

5 Must-See Architectural Landmarks in Edmonton

Do you have a penchant for architecture and buildings? A form of art that is often overlooked, a country’s architecture tells us a story of a city’s rich history and transition from contemporary design to modern. 

Just like how paintings brighten up an art gallery, architectural buildings add vibrancy to any city. From the different materials used to the color palettes and different styles, it serves as an expression of creativity. 

Want to discover Edmonton’s architecture? Read on for our must-see architectural landmarks in Edmonton. 

1. Edmonton City Hall 

Edmonton City Hall

The Edmonton City Hall was designed as a public gathering space for the community to meet and celebrate. Council and committee meetings are held here, but they also host events and festivals year-round. 

The building itself is quite an attraction. It features 2 steel and glass pyramids and is designed in a way to provide natural light in the main atrium. The credit for this award-winning architecture is given to local architect, Gene Dub.

The fountains in front of the city hall is a public space where guests can come and visit. During the winters, it is converted to a skating rink. 

2. The Fairmont Hotel MacDonald 

The Fairmont Hotel MacDonald

The Fairmont Hotel MacDonald is a historic luxury hotel located in the heart of Edmonton. It first opened on July 5, 1915, and has been a standout in the city’s skyline since. 

With stone details on arches and pillars around the hotel, the majestic structure of the building looks like it’s been pulled out straight from a fairy tale. 

Want to feel like royalty when visiting this historic landmark? Why not stay in one of its 198 grand guestrooms. 

If a hotel check-in seems like a serious splurge, then join them for a majestic brunch buffet on Sundays.

Not a morning person? Why not visit for an afternoon high-tea that’s fit for a queen. 

3. Fort Edmonton Park 

Fort Edmonton Park

Transport yourself back to the 1800s by visiting Fort Edmonton Park. It is an open-air museum that has old buildings and streets reconstructed to show you the history of Edmonton across 4 periods. 

Visitors can ride a horse-drawn wagon or steam train to explore the area. The park also features an amusement park and a 4D experience theatre. 

Planning your big day? Or maybe looking to do personal and family portraits? 

Call your event planner and photographer as the park features over 10 unique venues that serve as the perfect backdrop for fabulous photographs. 

4. High Level Bridge 

High Level Bridge

We can’t make mention of architectural sightseeing in Edmonton without mentioning the iconic High Level Bridge. It first opened in 1913 before WW1 and is one of the four great steel truss bridges built by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in Canada. 

It was built with the purpose to connect Edmonton and Strathcona when the two communities were still separate. Initially, it was able to accommodate rail, streetcar, two-way automobile, and pedestrian traffic. 

Currently, it is converted into one-way street traffic that accommodates cars, pedestrians, and bikes. Seasonally, you will find tourist streetcars running on the upper deck. 

At night, the bridge is displayed beautifully with LED lights for all to see and marvel over its architectural charm. 

5. Art Gallery of Alberta 

Art Gallery of Alberta

The famous Art Gallery of Alberta can be spotted from a mile away. With its artistic elements and larger-than-life design, it is impossible to miss it. 

The building in itself is a work of art that complements the exhibits and displays that are placed in it. The architecture of the building is a combination of glass windows for transparency and fluid shapes of stainless steel for reflectivity. 

According to architect Randall Stout, this was inspired by the city’s contrasting weather patterns of long summer days and short winter nights – An ode to the city indeed!