LGBTQ Edmonton: Finding Your Place in Canada’s Festival City

Known as the “Festival City” for all of the annual celebrations and festivals it offers, Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta, and sits on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. It is a place of incredible beauty. Edmonton’s river valley comprises over 20 large parks, making it the largest expanse of urban parkland in all of Canada, offering 93 miles of trails to enjoy. In addition to its natural beauty, it’s a lively city, full of friendly, down-to-earth people, and plenty to see and do. Canada is a nation well-known for its openness and its welcoming spirit – and Edmonton is no exception.  

Edmonton History

Edmonton initially began as a trading post called Fort Edmonton in 1795, and was named after Edmonton, England, a town north of London. In the late 19th century, the settlement began to expand outside of the fort, and it was initially incorporated in 1904, and it was named as the capital city of Alberta a year later. In 1947, a large amount of oil was discovered in Edmonton, and as a result, the city began to grow very rapidly. Today, Edmonton is a thriving metropolitan city – one full of opportunity and a warm, friendly, and diverse culture. Truly, Edmonton is a city with something for everyone.

A Few Fun Facts About Edmonton

  • Edmonton is one of Canada’s sunniest cities – in fact, it receives about 2300 hours of sunshine a year!
  • Edmonton is known as Canada’s “festival city” – hosting more than 30 festivals annually.
  • Edmonton is home to the world’s highest street car bridge – The High Level Bridge Streetcar, which was built in 1912.

Find more fun facts about Edmonton here.


Edmonton’s LGBTQ Community

Edmonton has a diverse and thriving LGBTQ population. There are many community groups and ways to be involved, and several LGBTQ organizations that provide support and resources to LGBTQ communities and allies throughout the city. A few of many include:

The Fruit Loop Society

The Fruit Loop Society is a non-profit, volunteer-led society in Edmonton dedicated to supporting and promoting non-profit groups in the LGBTQ community by providing pop-up events throughout the city that showcase local talent and culture. The society also tries to educate the public about issues that are vital to the LGBTQ community.

The Pride Centre of Edmonton

The Pride Centre of Edmonton is a community center that exists to provide support to the LGBTQ community and its allies in Edmonton. Its vision is to create “[A] strong and vibrant community of Edmontonians who ensure belonging for everyone and who take pride in diversity.” The center offers resources, counseling, volunteer opportunities, and numerous activities to the community.


What’s the Weather Like in Edmonton?

Edmonton has what is known as a prairie-steppe type climate. Those who live in Edmonton experience all four seasons – although, regardless of the season, the weather is usually sunny.  Its average daily temperatures range from a low of 13.3 ° in January to a summer peak of 63.9 °F in July. Edmonton has a relatively dry climate with low humidity, though it does have fairly long and cold winters with plenty of snow. Fall, spring, and summer are typically pleasant seasons, with plenty of sunshine and mild temperatures.


Don’t Miss These Edmonton Events

Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival

The Edmonton International Fringe Festival is a yearly arts festival held each August in Edmonton. It is the oldest, and the largest fringe theatre festival in North America, and the second largest in the world, behind only the original Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Typically showing as many as 200 shows in five different venues, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy.   

Edmonton Pride Festival

Edmonton had its first pride celebration in 1980, which eventually grew into a weeklong festival in 1983. Over time, the festival continued to grow, and now it endeavors to be not only a yearly festival, but also a year-round community outreach as well.


Edmonton’s Best Neighborhoods

Canada itself is a very welcoming country, and Edmonton is no different. Most neighborhoods in the city are friendly, but here are two that particularly stand out for those looking for a thriving LGBTQ community:


Downtown Edmonton is a bustling, thriving neighborhood. One if its main thoroughfares, Jasper Avenue, is a growing gay village of sorts – including many gay businesses, bars, clubs, and restaurants. Yearly Pride celebrations are also held nearby, and diversity is celebrated. Those interested in this neighborhood can find homes in variety of styles and price ranges.

Old Strathcona

Old Strathcona is Edmonton’s historic heritage district. Funky, bohemian Whyte Avenue runs through this district, and historic buildings blend with youthful energy to make it of Edmonton’s trendiest neighborhoods. It is an eclectic, hip, fun neighborhood that celebrates diversity and offers for residents and visitors alike to enjoy. Current median home sale prices in Strathcona are approximately $470,000.

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Arts and Entertainment

The Royal Alberta Museum

The Royal Alberta Museum, located in downtown Edmonton, is an amazing museum of human and natural history, and is the largest in Western Canada. The museum features galleries showcasing Alberta's natural and cultural worlds, a variety of travelling exhibitions from Canada and around the world, a dedicated children's gallery, numerous other galleries and exhibits for visitors to enjoy.

West Edmonton Mall

The West Edmonton Mall is the largest mall in all of North America. It contains over 800 stores, 2 hotels, an indoor amusement park and a water park, an ice rink, golf, a fitness center, and a theatre, among other attractions. There is something here for everyone to enjoy!


Parks and Recreation

Team Edmonton

Whatever sport you enjoy, chances are that Team Edmonton offers the chance to play it – with other members of the LGBTQ community seeking to make friends, have fun, and get some exercise. This LGBTQ sports league seeks to unite a number of community-based sports and recreation groups to cultivate a community connected through sport.

Elk Island National Park

Elk Island National Park is a natural wonderland located just half an hour outside of Edmonton. It is an excellent place for hiking, cycling, fishing, and enjoying the beauty and splendor of the Canadian wilderness.


Edmonton Nightlife

Edmonton has an excellent selection of gay-friendly venues as well as many gay pop-up parties events throughout the year for the LGBTQ community and others to enjoy. A few of the most popular nightlife spots include:

Evolution Wonderlounge

Evolution Wonderlounge provides a festive and fun space for conversations, cocktails, and dancing. It frequently offers a variety of popular events, including trivia and comedy nights, poetry nights, karaoke, drag, and burlesque shows.

Yellowhead Brewery

Yellowhead is a locally owned microbrewery that is known for its active engagement with small local arts and cultural organizations, and other small business. They offer a number of excellent craft brews, as well as in-house smoked meat sandwiches. Even better, they have a significant following in the LGBTQ community.

The Sewing Machine Factory

The Sewing Machine Factory is a live music venue and arts space which regularly hosts an eclectic variety of comedy and music shows. It is very LGBTQ-friendly and has a eclectic, artsy vibe. Don’t miss your chance to enjoy a show!


Contact an Edmonton Realtor Today

Are you ready to find your next home in Edmonton? If so, there’s no time like today to begin the search for the perfect new house in a neighborhood you’ll love. Contact an Edmonton gay realtor today!

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