Moving to Edmonton- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Moving to Edmonton

    I will be going to grad school at the University of Alberta, so I will be moving to Edmonton at the end of the summer.

    It seems from what I could find that rent is pretty expensive? It seems most apartments are $500+ a month. I found a house with another grad student that will be around $500 a month. It's a bit much considering I've been paying half that here in Minnesota.

    It seemed really bike friendly there when I visited in January. Commuting on bike seems to be a year round activity for people. I really liked that. I have a 29ered surly 1x1 that I use for about everything, so I am excited to get to explore the area and meet people.

  2. #2
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    Welcome (soon) to Edmonton.

    There is some great riding here all year long, plenty of riders here to go out with and show some of the trails.

    I'm not too familiar with rents here, but some of the guys are telling me around 5-600$ for a single room shared with other people.

    IIRC there is a house listing on the students union website at the U of A. What program are you going into?

    *edit*

    Found it:
    http://www.rentingspaces.ca/search.htm?ref=2

    Just check university area and leave everything else, prices/location/everything else shows up.

  3. #3
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    I am getting an MFA in Printmaking.

    Thanks for the link, I will have to do some checking.

  4. #4
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    Rent is pretty expensive. $500 is dirt cheap. I have a small 1 bedroom apartment and pay $700 a month, and that's cheaper than a lot of people I know. I have friends paying around $1000 a month for an apartment.

    Welcome to edmonton. I am also a grad student at U of A (sadly, I want to be done with school). There are a lot of amazing trails in edmonton. You will probably be surprised.

  5. #5
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    Is it pretty easy to get around Edmonton on bike? I was always probably within a mile of campus, and it seemed okay from there.

    Also, how is bike theft? I saw a few stripped down bikes downtown.

  6. #6
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    dana, how was your experience at the university?

  7. #7
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    Bike theft is pretty bad. I know a lot of people who have had bikes stolen. Especially from the university.

    Biking is pretty easy in Edmonton. The river valley links everything.

    I have mixed feelings about U of A. It depends on your faculty.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprintcarblue
    Is it pretty easy to get around Edmonton on bike? I was always probably within a mile of campus, and it seemed okay from there.

    Also, how is bike theft? I saw a few stripped down bikes downtown.
    I find it quite easy to get around, but bike theft is a problem. I've had 2 bikes stolen form a locked garage. I keep my stuff inside now.

    I like the University (grad student here too), but like everything it has it's pros/cons. I feel the opposite of Dana though, I never want to leave . I like the flexible hours (good if you have kids) and am going to procrastinate getting a real job as long as I can. I also really like the light rail for getting downtown fast (free pass for students).

    As Dana said, you will probably be surprised at how good the trails are for being right in the city.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tanyarose123
    ........spam ............
    Not you again.........

  10. #10
    slaving away in paradise
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprintcarblue
    I am getting an MFA in Printmaking.

    Thanks for the link, I will have to do some checking.
    My wife got her BFA in printmaking, and she seemed to enjoy the school a lot. Edmonton, not
    so much. She lived there since she was 14-15 y/o so she had plenty of time for it to get old.
    She really loved the three days of spring, summer and fall but it was the 362 days of winter
    that she was over.

    $500 for rent is pretty cheap out this way, and no way you're getting anything half that range
    where I grew up. Good luck, and enjoy everything the place has to offer.

  11. #11
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    I am really excited about the river valley area. It seemed nice, although what I saw was minimal.

    May I ask what area of study you're in?

    I am hoping to keep my bike in the studio while I am there, so hopefully that is not a problem. Maybe I will have to invest in one of those crazy new york locks.

  12. #12
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    Civil, what is your area of study?

    I was really impressed with the transit system. Coming from the Midwest, we don't have anything really.

  13. #13
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    I did my undergrad at U of A in classics and linguistics from 99-2003. Then I did a M.A. in religious studies in B.C. Now I'm doing a Master of Library and Information Studies at U of A.

  14. #14
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    I worked in a library for 5 years (undergrad and part of my master in arts). I kind of thought about trying to get a part time job there if I could.

    I assume you plan to be a librarian?

  15. #15
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    Yes. I work at the reference desk at Grant Macewan library, which is a smaller community college (now technically a university), while I'm at school. So I work at a library, and I want to be an academic librarian.

  16. #16
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    Good Luck.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprintcarblue
    Civil, what is your area of study?

    I was really impressed with the transit system. Coming from the Midwest, we don't have anything really.
    I'm doing structural engineering (note my "I couldn't think of a better mtbr name" ).

    This is the first city that I've lived in with light rail transit so I think it's great, but I don't have much to compare it with.

    I think two large U-locks would suffice to lock in an open/public area, but I wouldn't do anything overnight with any bike of value.

  18. #18
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    So one thing I have been curious about, for winter commuting on bike, do the roads stay pretty clear for the most part? Or are they constantly messy once winter hits? I need to pick up some new tires and can't decide between something with some bite like some maxxis cross marks, or go with some smooth rollers like big apples.

  19. #19
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    The roads most definitely do not stay clear, or even close to clear. They are snowy, icey, and messy. If you have to go on a side street, chances are pretty good that there is up to 6 inches of packed snow between you and the pavement and probably ruts a few inches deep all around.
    Some of the main roads may be clear. But you should be ready for snow and ice if you plan on winter riding.

  20. #20
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    yeah, that is what I experienced in January when I went up to visit. I would probably be living about a mile and a half from campus and would experience mostly side roads. Do people use studded tires a lot?

  21. #21
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    If you are close to Campus and the downtown core you will have no trouble getting around by bike and public transit. The River Valley is amazing for riding. We have excellent singletrack, multiuse, and paved trails for cycling and running, trackset x/c skiing in the winter. There is even some decent hiking in Whitemud Creek ravine.

    Studded tires are a good idea in the winter. We can get a ton of snow in the winter, but you can't really count on the same winter year-to-year. February is quite mild this year, and I remember we had a good long stretch of -30C one year. If you can handle the cold, you can bike year-round. I never bothered in the winter because the bus was easier (I was 11km away, across the river). Mile-and-a-half from Campus isn't that far. You could probably walk every day if you wanted to.

    You will want to see the Rocky Mountains eventually for outdoor recreation. A car or a friend with a car is quite useful. As a past executive of the U of A Outdoors Club, I strongly recommend checking out the club for the best in affordable outdoor recreation, daytrips, trips to the mountains, and as a way to meet cool people. Membership is only $10. Rent a piece of gear for free and it pays for itself. http://www.outdoorsclub.ca

    I just recently started working at a place that is going to keep me on as a mechanical engineer down the road (class of spring '09 - share the job hunt pain), and I am beginning to look for a place, too. $500 seems to be the minimum unless you know a friend or get lucky.
    if it ain't broke you ain't ridin' hard enough
    http://www.outdoorsclub.ca - I'm the webmaster and I help run trips!

  22. #22
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    Excel, thanks for the information! This sounds really interesting. I've been thinking about how I could possibly utilize living so close to the mountains.

  23. #23
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    Well you are not so close to the mountains. Jasper is a good 3 hour drive, Banff further.

    I lived in Edmonton for a few years -- winters are brown and cold but sunny. In theory it is sure possible to ride at -10 or -15C (typical winder temps) but the reality, not so much. Face and extremities constantly very cold.

    Yes there are people who do it. Yes, there are those who love Edmonton. Yes, those people are crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by sprintcarblue
    Excel, thanks for the information! This sounds really interesting. I've been thinking about how I could possibly utilize living so close to the mountains.

  24. #24
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    Well, growing up in Minnesota I am probably 12 hours from mountains. I grew up 3 hours away from Minneapolis, which isn't that bad of a drive. So I guess I consider it pretty close.

    -10 or -15 isn't terrible temperature wise. I generally don't give up riding until it's below -18c, after that I give up, especially if there is wind.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprintcarblue
    Well, growing up in Minnesota I am probably 12 hours from mountains. I grew up 3 hours away from Minneapolis, which isn't that bad of a drive. So I guess I consider it pretty close.

    -10 or -15 isn't terrible temperature wise. I generally don't give up riding until it's below -18c, after that I give up, especially if there is wind.

    While I admire you putting on a brave face....Edmonton sucks, especially the winter.

  26. #26
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    Edmonton isn't that bad. The winter sucks, but the summer is awesome.

  27. #27
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    Well, it seems temperature wise very similar to Minnesota, and I have commuted almost every day on my bike with no issues. Winter is no fun a lot of places. I was kind of bummed on the lateral move weather wise considering my other choice was Knoxville...

  28. #28
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    I am very excited to see Edmonton in the summer. I know summer/winter can be night and day difference in impressions of a place.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dana109
    Edmonton isn't that bad. The winter sucks, but the summer is awesome.

    Lets see that means Edmonton sucks most of the time?

  30. #30
    slaving away in paradise
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    Quote Originally Posted by dana109
    Edmonton isn't that bad. The winter sucks, but the 3 days of summer is awesome.

    FYP

  31. #31
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    SCB, Welcome (almost) to Edmonton.

    I did grad studies at the U of A (M.Eng. (Environmental Engineering) ) and it is a great place to study.

    Rent in the University area is expensive. When we moved to the area, we got a 2 bedroom bsmt suite for $650/mo inc. utilities (before the last boom) and left at $725. We were extremely lucky as when we left we looked around and most places like ours were $1000+. We went and bought a house instead of renting. Keep your eyes open and there are some good places out there...though I would advise to try to avoid Boardwalk properties based on my past experience with them.

    The City is fairly bike friendly...there are over 400 km of bike trails and a wicked river valley in town to ride. I live in Millwoods (far southeast) and can got to the northwest (across town in the opposite direction to the river valley) in about an hour. We even have a small mtb park (Rabbit Hill).

    You will definitely want to invest in a rally good bike lock (or two) and secure your bike well at the U. It is worth investing in the bike parking they have. My wife was doing at program down at the hospital a few years ago and spotted someone stealing a bike in broad daylight. She made a big stink about it and not even the hospital security did anything...that sucks. A beater bike for the U may be a good suggestion.

    You can ride here year round (I'm one who does it) though if you do winter ride, dress for the weather....it can be quite cold.

    Anyway, that's it for my welcome and my $0.02 of advice
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

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