Edmonton Diaries: Genesis

Edmonton sometimes feels like a confluence of past, present and future.

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Edmonton, Alberta

I came to Edmonton in 2007. I first heard of Alberta during my job search days of 2005. I was just fresh out of college and was looking for a job. Being a Chemical Engineer, like just any fresher out there, I just googled ‘Chemical engineer jobs’ and the first search result was a posting from the Alberta Research Council for chemical engineers. Being a fresher, I was sensible that applying for this job was a no go, since it needed someone with tons of experience. But as they say, ‘fortune favours the brave’, I applied and in days, I received a rejection letter, which politely refused my application. I was not surprised, but I was awoken to this new place in Canada, namely Edmonton where ARC is situated.

Outside Canada, the three Canadian cities that are renowned are known by an acronym MTV-Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. In the recent past, Calgary has started to get famous due to the economic boom arising from the massive oilsands development in the province of Alberta. But what escapes people’s attention, is that the actual surprise of Alberta is the lovely city of Edmonton.

When I first landed in Edmonton, the scale of city surprised me. I came from Abu Dhabi, a city of never ending construction boom and having seen the mad building boom in Dubai, Edmonton stuck to me as an oddity. Here I was in a place that had the second largest oil deposits and its city looked like a blast from the past. It was almost as if I had got into a time machine and went back decades into time. The Edmonton downtown was a pale, pale shadow when compared to any of the oil rich Middle Eastern capitals.

But what sets this city apart is its people and the friendliness and openness embraced by them. Throughout all 4 seasons, the city hosts a myriad of events which has helped it rightly own the title of ‘Cultural Capital of Canada’. It has everything for everyone and its one million population represents a melting pot of cultures.

Infrastructural progress is slow here but thats the way things happen around here. It takes it time and is done well. Dubai built an entire metro rail by the time LRT extended from University to Century park.

Edmonton sometimes feels like a confluence of past, present and future. It sometimes feels that it has just begun its growth into a city as the suburbs expand rapidly in the outskirts of the city. It sometimes feels like the growth has stagnated and there is nothing more left for the city to grow. But it survives and keep going on and on.

To be continued..

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