Honestly I was not able to spend a lot of time walking around Vancouver itself, as I was fully preoccupied of arranging my tour and five days were not really enough to see British Columbia.
I got a few chances to see some of Vancouver Downtown. First was when I came from Whistler Tour, next when I was on my way to Victoria in Vancouver Island because I went to the Floatplane station at Coal Harbour. Then when I was came from walk in Stanley Park. And the last chance was while I was inside the bus on my way to the airport in Richmond flying back to Manila.
All the chances were quite unplanned because I was just passing by Vancouver Downtown, as I was already came from some tour or some place. All chances was not really intentional because of the situations at that time. Even all those were just unexpected chances I was able to see some places in Downtown.
When I heard the word downtown, the impression to me was that this is a place where most of the people go. This means that this is a busy place. I went outside the hotel to walk around the downtown at past 9PM. That night I saw City Centre Mall, Bell Tower and other shopping store. But to my surprise, most of the establishments were closed and I did not expect it. I was surprised because downtown looks dull to me that night and I saw few people around. I cannot stop myself to compare this place to cities we have in Philippines. Weekend made the cities busy too. There are lots of people outside, malls are open until 11 PM. When I was in downtown, I was a little bit shocked. Since mall were closed that time, I had difficulty to find a restaurant that I can have my dinner. I stopped at the front of Bell Tower and decided to take a cab and asked the driver to drive me to the nearest open restaurant. The cab driver brought me to a Chinese restaurant. I was glad because I can eat rice. The driver waited for me and he drove me back to the hotel. First night, was not that pretty much excited but I have a lot of time to enjoy Edmonton.For almost two months of staying in Edmonton, one thing that I can say about downtown is, it is a busy place during weekdays but dull or I can say ghost town during weekend. Weekdays because most of the offices are located here and lots of people are working here.When I met my colleague at work, I had a chance to dine in different restaurants in downtown. The following restaurants are Co co di,Haweli, Sherlock’s Homes and Kids In The Hall Bistro. I had a chance to eat at Courthouse Cafeteria too. There was another place where my colleague used to eat. I can’t remember the name now. It is located in the food court. All I can remember is the name of the owner. They call her Amy. I just like to mention it here because, there is something especial in this eatery. Since it was located in a food court, there are other diner near in Amy’s eatery but to my surprise, most people or I can say all people are falling in line with Amy’s eatery while none will be seen in other diner. Sometimes I pity the other eatery because competition to dining business does not really exist. It is like monopolizing the dining business in that place.Few days passed, some of my colleagues walked me around the Citadel, Canada Place, Sir Winston Churchill Square and City Hall. One thing that I noticed in places in downtown. There are connected ped ways to each building structure. And I learned that its purpose is not to go outside especially during winter season.
Magnificent Fountain at the front of City Hall
I was lucky when we visit City Hall, the reason was I met one of the councilor of Edmonton City. But unfortunately I did not bring my camera to have a picture with him.
I admired the city hall because it has a great and distinct structure of the building. It has a pyramid glass ceiling and impressive fountain at the front of the building. I remembered that one time, when I planned to stroll again at the downtown, I witnessed a high school graduation event in city hall.
Most of the prestigious hotel in Edmonton can also be found in downtown like Fairmont Hotel MacDonald, The Westin Edmonton, The Sutton Place Hotel, Crown Plaza Chateau Lacombe (where I stayed during my first five nights in this city), Courtyard by Marriott and a lot more.
The condo unit where I stayed is along 104Th street. One Saturday morning, I was surprised when I went outside, there is a market along 104Th street. And people are coming by. Then, I realized after I checked some of the features of Edmonton downtown guide, that 104Th street is what they call city market. I did look around and found a lot of stuff being offered, plants for gardening, foods and souvenir stuff
Bell Tower at Downtown Edmonton
Grant MacEwan College
102 Avenue from The Bay Mall
During my last day tour in Edmonton which happened last June 7, 2008 – Saturday, with my buddy at work. I had a chance to see what is inside the Shaw Conference Centre. During the time we went there, there is ongoing convention and to my surprise Shaw Conference Centre is vast and huge place. And like to add also that I cannot forget that my buddy and I tried to ride the slant elevator just for the experience. Well the ride was cool.
When I was strolling around downtown, I met few Filipinos at the front of City Hall. Unlike me, they are in Edmonton for contract working. They were also new in the city that was why they were also touring the place. Because of them, I had a chance to have some pictures of places in downtown with myself. I was really thankful because I met them.
TELUS Plaza, what can I say in this place? Of course, TELUS Tower is great and I like the open plaza, where you can just sit there and enjoy the beauty of the place. But there is one place that I really like, I don’t know what they call on that part of the plaza, most people do smoke in this place but I like the view, because I can see North Saskatchewan river and the panoramic view of south part of Edmonton. It was a really nice view.
I also had a chance to see the Little Italy. A place where buildings and houses looks like of course in Italy during my unplanned tour in Edmonton together with some friends I met at the church.
Another experience I had in downtown is watching ball games. How can I forget my first ever ball game that I watched in my entire life. I am not really a sports person but when I found out that David Beckham will be visiting Edmonton and will play football game, I bought a ticket and watched his game. I went to Commonwealth Stadium after the office and I had this experience where the LRT station are full of commuters, this was the first time that I saw a lot of people inside the LRT station, because my previous experience most of the time especially during weekend, not so much people riding the train. These people will watched Beckham games. Based on what I heard while inside the stadium, the people dropped by to watched the game was reaching 35000 and for me that was significant number. During the entire game, people are yelling of Beckham games, especially women. They loved David Beckham.
I can say that I have a lot of things that enjoyed in downtown, lots of places that I had been, and a lot of people who I met. And I think this ends my story at Edmonton Downtown.