Naturally, any talk of a shopping trip to Edmonton includes West Edmonton Mall (at 87th Ave. and 170th St.), the world’s largest shopping and amusement complex; the mall is covered under Sights, earlier in this chapter.
Downtown’s major shopping centers are City Centre and ManuLife Place, while on the southern outskirts, South Edmonton Common (corner Gateway Blvd and 23rd Ave.) provides a home for 35 big-box stores.
Camping Gear and Western Wear
Downtown, Uniglobe Geo Travel (10237 109th St., 780/424-8310) stocks a wide range of travel clothing and accessories, and also operates as a travel agency. Mountain Equipment Co-op, a Canadian outdoor equipment cooperative similar to R.E.I. in the United States, is west of the Royal Alberta Museum (12328 102nd Ave., 780/488-6614). Across the railway tracks from Old Strathcona is Track ‘n’ Trail (10148 82nd Ave., 780/432-1707), which carries a wide variety of cross-country skiing, camping, and climbing gear.
Alberta’s largest supplier of western wear is Lammle’s, with five outlets through the city, including one in West Edmonton Mall (Phase I, 780/444-7877). High-quality boots are also sold by Diablo Boots (3440 Gateway Blvd., 780/435-2592).
Scattered throughout the city are commercial art galleries, many of which exhibit and sell Canadian and native art. Eight galleries within six blocks of each other and the corner of Jasper Avenue and 124th Street have formed the Gallery Walk Association of Edmonton (www.gallery-walk.com). All are worth visiting, but the Bearclaw Gallery (10403 124th St., 780/482-1204) is of special note for those searching out the unique art of the First Nations.
Tucked in among the shoe shops and souvenir stands in West Edmonton Mall is Northern Images (780/444-1995), also with a good collection of native and northern arts and crafts. Finally, headquarters for the Alberta Craft Council is the Edmonton store (10186 106th St., 780/488-6611).
Of the independent bookstores, Audrey’s (10702 Jasper Ave., 780/423-3487, Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–9 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Sun. noon–5 p.m.) has the city’s largest collection of travel guides, western Canadiana, and general travel writing on two vast floors. Map Town (10344 105th St., 780/429-2600, Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.) stocks the provincial 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 topographical map series along with city maps, world maps, Alberta wall maps, travel guides, field guides, atlases, and a huge selection of specialty maps.
Old Strathcona is an excellent place for browsing through used bookstores. Wee Book Inn (10310 82nd Ave., 780/432-7230) is the largest and stocks more recent titles and a large collection of magazines. Alhambra Books (10115 81st Ave., 780/439-4195) specializes in Canadiana and has an extensive collection of Albertan material, including pamphlets and newspapers. Athabasca Books (8228 105th St., 780/431-1776) stocks mostly history and literature books. Old Strathcona has only two new-book stores. They are Greenwood’s (7925 104th St., 780/439-2005), which stocks a lot of everything, and Chapters (10504 82nd Ave., 780/435-1290).
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition