City & Politics

Top 10 of 2012: What went on in Edmonton this year

1. Edmonton takes 3rd place in Numbeo’s Quality of Life Index

Yeah, that’s right cynics. Edmonton, aka Deadmonton or Edmonchuck, doesn’t look so bad after all. According to Numbeo (the world’s largest cost of living database), Edmonton was ranked 3rd in the quality of life index for 2012. It came in just behind Berlin and Zurich. Take that, Calgary!

Click here for Spectator Tribune’s entire list of Top 10s

2. Food

Local independent restaurants Tres Carnales and Corso 32 made it into Maclean’s Top 50 best restaurants in Canada. Closer to home, Edmonton’s best street press Vue Weekly invited locals to vote for their preferred restaurant in the Golden Fork Awards. Sugar Bowl took first for Best Brunch and Best Atmosphere. The Blue Plate Diner came in 2nd for Fine Dining, but it’s worth noting that The Biebs loved the food when he was in town.

3. Shit Edmontonian’s Say was a Youtube sensation

Well, sort of. A Youtube sensation amongst Edmontonians, anyway. The video, created by Musician Colin Priestner and Alanna Bateup has had well over 400 000 views. Watch out for Oilers stars Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle delivering #yeg one-liners.


4. Alberta’s first female premier

While it’s not strictly Edmonton, as the political capital of Alberta it would be just silly not to touch on the provincial elections. So congratulations to the leader of the Progressive Conservative Association Alison Redford, for becoming Alberta’s first female premier. She is also the 8th female premier to serve in the history of Canada.

5. Opposition woes

Redford’s Wildrose opponent Danielle Smith didn’t have as much luck. Her notorious campaign bus poster, with the wheels placed unfortunately around her chest area, made the media rounds. It was so ubiquitous that it even ended up on Jay Leno.

6. Television

Popular reality TV shows Eat St and The Bachelorette hit our fair city in August, broadcasting the best street food and street performance Edmonton has to offer (and causing some controversy along the way).

Proving that the food truck craze is here to stay, Eat St spent some time with local faves like Molly’s Eats, Drift, and The Act Out and About. Yum!

The Bachelorette‘s visit, on the other hand, left people wondering whether it was worth shelling out $20 000 for stars Ashley H. and J P Rosenbaum to write a few tweets about the Fringe Festival and stay at the Fairmont. But according to the  Edmonton Economic Development Corporation , the visit brought in $250 000 of media exposure. Now that’s advertising money can’t buy. Oh, wait.

7. Festivals!

What would the Festival City be without Festivals? It’s safe to say there was a festival for every occasion this year (some new ones, as well as classics). The Edmonton International Fringe Festival boasted the biggest turnout yet, selling over 110 000 tickets and saw 600 000 folk in attendance. Another classic – the 33rd annual Folk Fest – was a hit. We had the Shakespeare Fest, Bikeology Fest, Ice on Whyte, Litfest, Festival of New Ideas – enough organised events of awesome to last a lifetime. And we get to do it all again in 2013!

8. Music

Roger Waters, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Just some of the big names of music royalty who came through this year.

But the biggest act to grace Rexall Place was surely Sir Paul McCartney, who played two sold-out shows in November. In anticipation of Sir Paul’s visit, Mayor Stephen Mandel declared Nov 26th – 30th “Paul McCartney Week”, and the city celebrated with Beatle-themed events including carriage rides in Churchill Square and an Abbey Road recreation.

Oh, and The Biebs was here, too.


9. The New Arena Fiasco

Negotiations continued between Oilers owner Daryl Katz and the council over the proposed building of a state-of-the-art arena downtown. The latest demand by Katz – asking for a $6 million per year subsidy – has created a bit of a stir. Oh well, it’s not like there’s going to be any hockey any time soon anyway.

10. The NHL Lockout

Negotiations over the Collective Bargaining Agreement wreaked havoc on the hockey season, with half of the season officially cut. The Edmonton Oilers have been lending out their staff and players to anyone who will take them. Actually, that’s only half true. They did send twenty-six Oilers to play for the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons, and staff members have been loaned to the Winspear Centre.


Erin Headon has been reversing the polarity of the neutron flow since ’87 and writing trash since Y2K