With spring just arriving in Edmonton, everyone is just dying to go out and take some refreshing photos with family, friends, and that special someone. In Edmonton, the golden window for tree blossoms around the city has been between May 16 to May 28. Note that these are tree blossoms, as opposed to bush blossoms, which starts blooming early. The golden window is based on a review of images of blossoms in Edmonton over the past 20 years. There has only been two exception years.
Here are some fabulous locations to keep an eye on to capture those wonderful spring blossoms.
5. Alberta Legislature Grounds
This one makes the list for its location. Just a word of caution. Although this is a popular spot for spring photos, there aren’t a lot of blossoming trees here. However, that doesn’t stop photo enthusiasts from coming here for the venue and beautiful architecture of the Alberta Legislature. You’ll find pockets of pink by the interpretive centre, as well as by the Legislature Annex (pictured).
Notable Mention: Heritage Promenade
Sadly the tree in front of MacDougall United Church appears to have been chopped down. It was probably the most appreciated trees in downtown Edmonton during the spring. That said, be sure to walk along the Heritage Promenade towards Fairmont Hotel MacDonald and capture a gorgeous panorama of the river valley. We’re waiting to finally take a picture of this one this spring. In the mean time, here’s the view at the lookout point by ATB Place.
4. Victoria Promenade
The Victoria Promenade overlooking the river valley across from the University of Alberta is a beautiful unobstructed view westward and is a perfect location to watch the sunset over Victoria Golf Course. Benches line the promenade linking Jasper House to Grant Notley Park.
3. French Quarter
Hidden away in the heart of Bonnie Doon, you’ll find the French Quarter of Edmonton. At the main intersection of Rue Marie Anne Gaboury (91st) and 88av, you’ll find yourself surrounded on all corners by the wonderful sign of spring when you arrive at the right time. If it’s your first time here, make it an afternoon to enjoy. Take a stroll down the Rue’s decorative street front to explore Faculté Saint-Jean, the French campus to the University of Alberta. On the way back, grab a bite of poutine or pastry at Café Bicyclette inside La Cité Francophone.
The three corners of the French Quarter from left to right: Duggan’s Boundary, Bulgogi House, and the southwest corner.
2. Muttart Conservatory feature & grounds
This venue is popular year round for Edmontonians, but few visitors venture out past the decorative footbridge and gazebo where a hill of tulips await in mid-May. Capture the bloom on the ground and in the trees with the skyline as another added bonus. During their annual spring plant sale, you’ll also be able to enter their greenhouses to see the plants they grow for locations around the city.
Note: The outdoor grounds are closed for 2019/2020 due to Valley Line tram construction. The indoor Muttart Conservatory will be completely closed for spring 2020 & 2021 for renovations.
What’s also great about Muttart Conservatory is that because it has indoor feature spaces, it’s a perfect plan B when the weather doesn’t cooperate with your planned outing. Every spring, they have a show to highlight colourful spring flowers.
Notable Mention: St Joseph’s Basilica Rectory
St. Joseph’s Basilica has been the cathedral to be for the ultimate Catholic wedding location. If it’s a spring wedding, right beside it at the rectory (residence for priests) are two giant trees which perfectly frame the walkway leading up to the building. If you catch it at the right time, petals cover the ground for a complete pink overhaul.
1. Top pick: George F Hustler Memorial Plaza
The Yegventures top pick for the most fairytale spring photos is hands down at George F Hustler Memorial Plaza. If you’ve never heard of the place, chances are you’ve passed by it. Located within walking distance of Muttart Conservatory, it’s a hidden gem for wedding photographers and family portraits. A luscious green carpets the park, surrounded by pink blossoms in full bloom. Depending on the time of day, you could have a well lit space, or find shots for a warm sunset glow. These pictures were only taken 9 minutes apart!
Late Bloomer: Fairmont Mac Courtyard
If you miss out on the blossoms because the height of it comes during the busy May long weekend, there’s another opportunity at the historic Fairmont Hotel Macdonald courtyard patio. The blossoms on their well-maintained shrubs are in bloom just the week after in early June. As an added bonus to the view of the entire downtown riverscape, it’s always an excuse to enjoy a light lunch, cappuccino, or sorbet on their patio.
Note: Fairmont Hotel Macdonald is currently closed due to coronavirus.
The locations listed above of course aren’t the only ones in the city which will make some great photo opportunities. Right at Churchill Square there are locations at City Hall and the sunken courtyard at the Law Courts. The both ends of the MacEwan University Campus main buildings have green spaces. And if all those places really don’t appeal, there are picturesque front yards to capture before the dandelions mature. Great for photos with little ones who are on the ground.
The Calder Edmonton Public Library also has a beautifully pink plaza matching the blossoms.
Can’t wait until mid May to see spring in Edmonton? Here’s local singer/songwriter Joyce Chan featured in all four seasons in Edmonton.