One of the largest tourist attractions in the Edmonton area (and in Alberta) is the West Edmonton Mall. Not only does it have over 800 stores within a five million square foot radius, but it is also contains an indoor amusement park and waterpark. It’s no surprise that over 30 million people visit the mall annually!
The West Edmonton Mall was founded by the Ghermezian family, who originally emigrated from Iran to Canada decades ago. They were first known for their persian rug business; however, with great ambition and business-savvy minds, the Ghermezians eventually grew their family business into the real estate and construction industry. The mall itself first opened on September 15, 1981. The concept behind the mall was to replicate urban bazaars of Persia; to become a centre of entertainment, shopping, and hospitality for locals and tourists alike.
With humble beginnings, the West Edmonton Mall contained roughly 220 stores and was only around one million square feet in area. As the years passed, new and unique features began development. These new additions included the Ice Palace Skating Rink, Dolphin Lagoon, Galaxyland, and the World Waterpark. The Fantasyland Hotel was also added in 1986! As attractions increased, so did the tourist count. In 1999, in order to accommodate the influx of tourists, the West Edmonton Mall Inn opened right across the street.
There is always something to grab your attention at the West Edmonton Mall! You can have dinner and catch a comedy show on Bourbon Street, attend dinner theatre at Jubilations, go mall-walking in the early morning to get some exercise, skate around the indoor rink, watch the latest movie at the IMAX/3D theatre, or simply hop around the various shops… you just might discover the indoor skate park while you are at it! Feeling lucky? You can make a wish by tossing a coin in one of the mall’s several water fountains – all coins collected go towards charity!
The West Edmonton Mall is located at 8882 170 Street and can be reached using the Edmonton Transit System or by vehicle – there are over 20,000 parking stalls to choose from! The mall is open from 10am-9pm Monday to Saturday and 11am-6pm on Sundays, with holidays having varying restricted hours.
Connect with the West Edmonton Mall on Twitter and Instagram at @Official_WEM, and on Facebook at /WestEdMall.