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Edmonton
  • $540   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $824   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1361   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of  Canada)

Most errands require a car. 5
overshopping
public transit, winter festivals, museums, snow sports, parkland, retail shopping at one huge mall 6
annoying mall crashing kids, haunted hospital, endless beautiful river valley, beer for every occasion, ice cream, alpacas, people let their dogs roam wild, hipster rednecks, folk fest highway, BRRRR, and suicyclists are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Edmonton roommate rundown:

Edmonton is indisputably best in show in two arenas: snow and shopping.

Edmontonians also adore festivals, many presenting opportunities to enjoy both snow and shopping at the same time. Shopping an outdoor festival during snowy weather is as Edmontonian as it is possible to be.

Because those festivalgoers do not stand down, snow or no. If anything, their snowy festivus fiesta fests harder through winter, just to show you how hard they will not stop. Edmonton hosts over 30 festivals a year, and those are the larger ones. Every other weekend could meaningfully be one of your new annual festival holidays.

Shopping = options! Many more than most, even in larger American cities.

For instance, you could stroll Whyte Avenue. It's somewhat funky and usually eclectic for several city blocks. You could explore 124th Street's higher end boutiques including furniture and home improvement. You could drop by the Edmonton City Centre, with 175 mainstream retail purveyors over 3 city blocks . . .

. . . or you could visit West Edmonton Mall, which is the largest shopping mall on the ENTIRE CONTINENT of North America with over 800 stores!

Options!

So many shopping options you'll need to travel through snow to pursue, at least much of the year.

If you're unfamiliar with driving in winter in the middle of Canada, you should know that conditions can deteriorate a lot inside an hour. Check road conditions throughout the day when any snow is forecasted. Edmonton will clear its major arteries, but experienced drivers know any winter driving even through light snow still means snow tires, plenty of windshield washer fluid, and a full winter outfit with boots in case you still have problems anyway.

Those same experienced drivers also know heavier snow = stop driving your tiny car entirely until conditions improve.

If you'd like to avoid driving but don't want to stay home, Edmonton has the Edmonton Transit Service, which is both efficient and inexpensive. Hundreds of bus routes cover the city, going almost everywhere within it. Service only completely drops between 3 and 5 a.m., with peak service as frequent as every 15 minutes. The ETS also added a light rail system with two main lines so far, both connecting with the buses and serving the University of Alberta.

Edmonton also has excellent marked cycling routes, featuring no freeway crossings and limited overall traffic on a flat terrain. Roommates who love cycling elsewhere should love these routes too . . . during the spring and summer!

But can you cycle in wintertime too? In a sense, in that there shall be some number of cycling friendlier winter days. But during those less friendly more snowstormy days? Did you read what we said above regarding driving your car through a storm? And . . . now you'll be without the car.

If that sounds fun to roommates moving from hundreds of miles south, please attempt your first snowy bicycle ride dressed head to toe in your best winter gear. Also best to remain entirely within easy walking distance of your home or another warming station.

Then just pedal around one urban block, hopefully one you already know well. See how your bike handles. See how you handle too, hopefully not requiring the unexpected assistance of an emergency rescue team.

Canada's Festival City!

The rest of the Edmonton roommate lowdown:

  • capital city of Alberta, Canada's fifth largest city, home to about 1.3 million
  • Edmonton's terrain is mostly flat, with weather ranging widely across seasons - long cold winters, and humid summers with heavy rain
  • even though Edmonton is Canada's northernmost metro, its weather is milder than Regina, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg, all further south
  • relatively easy for most roommates to navigate as most roads are within a numbered grid, with streets running south to north and avenues running east to west
  • Edmonton area has 7 large casinos, including a casino and horse racing track at the Edmonton International Airport
  • home to University of Alberta, Athabasca University, Concordia University College of Alberta, King's University College, MacEwan University, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Norquest College, and the Edmonton campus of the University of Lethbridge
  • Edmonton is appreciated for its stunning river valley park system, the North Saskatchewan River Valley, over 60 miles of recreational trails with wildlife. This valley contains the longest piece of connected parkland in North America, 22 times the size of NYC's Central Park.
  • Edmonton refers to itself as "Canada's Festival City," and they're not wrong, with over 30 festivals throughout the year. Depending on when, there's something for everyone, including: Canoe Fest, Chaos Alberta Festival, Deep Freeze Byzantine Winter Festival, Edmonton Cariwest, Edmonton Blues Festival, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, Edmonton International Reggae Jamboree Festival, Edmonton International Street Performer's Festival, Edmonton Pride Festival, Edmonton Ukrainian Festival, Flying Canoe Volant, Heritage Festival, Ice Magic Festival, K-Days, Symphony Under the Sky, TD Edmonton International Jazz Festival, Works Art & Design Festival . . . and last but not least, one of their most popular . . . A Taste of Edmonton!



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Edmonton's:

  • Muttart Conservatory: 4 glass pyramids, 3 climate zones, 100s of plant varieties
  • Whyte Ave Artwalk: Stroll around, see some local art
  • Francis Winspear Center for Music: Could be the most acoustically perfect concert hall in Canada, and definitely home to its largest concert organ
  • Fort Edmonton Park: Canada's largest living history museum
  • West Edmonton Mall: It's the largest shopping mall in North America. It's 5.3 million square feet. It's like a small city but accredited as a zoo. This human zoo includes over 800 stores and over 100 restaurants. Also 2 entire hotels, who probably host a nice-sized chunk of the approximately 30 million visiting yearly. There's also an artificial beach, an indoor lake, indoor lagoon, pool hall, arcade, bowling alley, mini-golf range, casino . . . and of course, a movie theatre.


Here's the city of Edmonton's official .ca for Transit (ETS), which roommates new to Edmonton will probably need to consult at least a few times.





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.


7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.