124th Street Boasts Edmonton Shopping Galore & Renowned Gallery Walk

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124th Street offers Canada's oldest gallery walk on October 17 & 18 and unique, local shopping experience.

Edmonton shopping extends far beyond West Edmonton Mall. The beautiful tree-lined boulevards of one of Edmonton's best neighbourhoods, known as 124th Street, are not only a shopper's paradise but also the site of Canada's oldest gallery walk. Extending from Jasper Avenue north to 111th Avenue in central Edmonton, 124th Street offers Old World charm, with cobbled sidewalks and decorative streetlights, and an array of galleries and stylish retail shops.

"Our stores bring back an old-fashioned sense of pride in product and customer service," says Helen Nolan, executive director of 124th Street Business Association. "We're the opposite of the 'big box' approach."

The twice yearly Gallery Walk, upcoming from October 17-18, highlights just one of the unique aspects of 124th Street. An impressive eight galleries line 124th Street including The Scott Gallery, featuring contemporary Canadian fine art by over 30 emerging, mid-career and established Canadian artists. The Bearclaw Gallery specializes in traditional Native and Inuit arts and crafts, original paintings and sculptures (and, including stunning soapstone sculptures by a number of master carvers). And then there's TU Gallery, with exquisite, one-of-a-kind furniture, innovatively framed art and photography, and in particular, art crafted almost entirely from wood.

With the perfect blend of Edwardian elegance and modern style and convenience, 124th Street has also been one of the most fashionable retail areas in the city for nearly a century. Many of its historic homes and commercial buildings have been carefully preserved. On par with the most well known Edmonton attractions, there is an amazing amount of shopping opportunities, from sporting goods, travel and home décor to high fashion, flowers, books and designer furniture.

For those to whom the sound of music is akin to paradise on earth, there's Audio Ark, with all the equipment needed to make the music sound even better. Campers and outdoorsy types, meanwhile, flock to Mountain Equipment Co-op, Canada's leading supplier of quality outdoor gear, clothing and camping equipment. T.K. Clothing, Floc Boutique, Ginger's, and Thread Hill offer an eclectic assortment of top clothing designs from around the world, cherry-picking from L.A. to New York to Paris to Holland to Vancouver to home. On the outside, Windscape Clothing presents itself as a cute little bright yellow house. Inside, the stores houses elegant casual and business wear for women, accessories, and jewelry that won't be found anywhere else in the city.

For a shopping experience unlike any other, there's Carmela's Profumeria, which specializes in European fragrances and formal women's fashion and accessories. The shoes, jewelry and evening bags might be gorgeous, but what's particularly something about this place is the scent.

In addition to galleries and shopping, 124th Street is home to quaint accommodations and some of the most delectable restaurants in Edmonton. From the classic ambience of Glenora Bed and Breakfast to the local character of Albert's Family Restaurant, a getaway to 124th is sure to be memorable and personalized.

The Dish offers tasty soups and desserts… and a "secret garden" through the back entrance. Matahari features a tantalizing sampling of Chinese and Thai food, while Cosmos and Koutouki serve succulent Greek cuisine. "It's feels like you're vacationing on a little island in Greece," says Helen Nolan, who also raves about the charms of Back Home Fish n' Chips… "the best fish and chips in the city," she says.

After supper, the Roxy, with Theatre Network, presents some of the most startlingly original plays in the city: provocative, poignant, hilarious and gripping… everything live theatre should be.

For more information about the Edmonton's 124th Street or Edmonton vacation details, visit http://www.edmonton.com/liveallyear.

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Jenifer Christenson
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