Edmonton Economic Development Corporation

Edmonton Economic Development Corporation

December 06, 2011 13:39 ET

Edmonton Economic Development Corporation: Shop Edmonton for One-Of-A-Kind Gifts

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Dec. 6, 2011) - Whether you're buying a gift for a loved one - or for yourself - there's nothing like the thrill of picking up something that's one-of-a-kind. And when it comes to that kind of shopping experience, Edmonton has what you're looking for.

"Funky". "Indie". "Canadian-made". Those are just some of the terms that apply to the shops and goods you'll find in Edmonton's historic Old Strathcona district, with unforgettable locally-owned shops such as The Tin Box, with tons of fun items for the home, and The Wish List, where you'll find very original Christmas ornaments and decorations. For the socially-conscious, there's Ten Thousand Villages, which sells fair trade goods including organic coffee and chocolate that are out-of-this-world.

This year, Old Strathcona is probably the best place in Edmonton to experience the Christmas spirit. Now until January 7, 2012 storefronts on Edmonton's famed "Whyte Avenue" are taken back in time, to the glamorous, tinsel and magic-filled days of the old-time department store displays of the 1940s and 50s. It's all part of "Return of the Magic." Showcased between 109 Street and 99 Street are eight different displays of thoroughly charming animatronic people and characters.

The glitz and glamour of these displays might make you think of any depiction you've seen of Macy's in New York in its heyday, but Return of the Magic offers a "new twist" to this grand old idea. Each window scene comes with its own pre-recorded story. Scan a QR code sticker on each window display storefront and download the MP3. There's even a scavenger hunt game you can play on your smart phone. Game details and clues can be found at www.returnofthemagic.com.

Another area of Edmonton that offers purely magical and one-of-a-kind Christmas shopping this year is an equally picturesque historic area, 124 Street. Located just west of downtown, the 124 Street area offers an eclectic mix of boutiques and salons that offer highly personalized services. (This is as far away as you can get from the "big box" mentally!). There are wine and cheese shops (check out Paddy's International Cheese Market), chocolate shops (like Carol's Sweets), and tea shops (like Acquired Taste Tea, which offers a multitude of bagged teas and loose teas that have an aroma that is practically intoxicating). If you're looking for unique greeting cards for Christmas or birthdays, check out Notables Stationers.

Take a break from shopping on 124 Street at the newly opened Cafe Tiramisu, a holistic restaurant that offers delicious healthy Italian cuisine and other specialty items that are rich in organic ingredients. (For the especially health-conscious shopper, they offer yoga and Pilates classes too.) There's also the famed Duchess Bakery, which offers a mouth-watering array of baked goods.

Of course, any trip to Edmonton during the Christmas season has to include one of the city's most famous places for shopping: West Edmonton Mall. It's not only North America's largest entertainment and shopping centre. It also offers BIG FUN. With its current multimillion-dollar renovation and enhancement project, West Edmonton Mall has sights, sounds, stores and experiences you won't find anywhere else in Canada.

West Edmonton Mall's World Waterpark has three new slides that bring a whole new adrenaline rush to the shopping experience. There's World Waterpark's Cyclone, which is the first waterslide of its kind in Canada and the first Aqualoop slide to be installed indoors anywhere in North America. After the floor releases beneath you, a slider sends you straight down for 17 metres, at a speed as fast as 60 kilometres-per-hour. Then you arch upwards into a near-vertical loop and shoot out into a splashdown lane.

For those who like their fun to be a little on the milder side, West Edmonton mall also offers its Holiday Music Program from now until Boxing Day. Watch for talented performers and groups throughout the mall. And listen to some great festive music that'll put you in the perfect mood for Christmas.

And for shopping too!

Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) provides leadership in economic development, markets Edmonton as a must-see destination, manages the Shaw Conference Centre and Edmonton Research Park, and acts as a stakeholder in TEC Edmonton, a joint venture with the University of Alberta. For more information, visit www.edmonton.com Learn more about Edmonton through the stories of people who've experienced it at www.edmontonstories.ca

Contact Information