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Latest Lonely Planet guide throws shade on Edmonton

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  • Latest Lonely Planet guide throws shade on Edmonton

    http://edmontonjournal.com/news/loca...de-on-edmonton

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...gary-1.4275849

    Who writes this stuff? I hope that there is some sort of formal response from the city incl. EEDC and DECL. Why do we always seem to get the short end of the stick while Calgary gets heaps of praise as usual. Lonely planet is a well used resource for travel planning by many people.

  • #2
    Guess we didn't pay the right travel blogger. The ones we buy our reviews from always seem much more positive than this.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

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    • #3
      Surprised we didn't get credited for our 'gold standard' bike lanes
      Noah's ark was built by volunteers...... The Titanic was built by professionals.

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      • #4
        ^Zing......................nice one Barry.
        Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by edTel View Post
          http://edmontonjournal.com/news/loca...de-on-edmonton

          http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...gary-1.4275849

          Who writes this stuff? I hope that there is some sort of formal response from the city incl. EEDC and DECL. Why do we always seem to get the short end of the stick while Calgary gets heaps of praise as usual. Lonely planet is a well used resource for travel planning by many people.
          I don't know, but perhaps a former Calgarian now living in Toronto or somewhere else would be my guess. Whoever it is seems to have it in for Edmonton. It doesn't seem like they could be bothered to visit here for a while, so I am thinking the article was probably mostly cut and pasted from the previous edition with a few words changed to make it appear updated.

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          • #6
            I called the city today and expressed my concern about a lack of response from our city leaders. Why don't we publicly stand up for ourselves and challenge the publication and author? Where was our cities response when the Globe and Mail referred to Calgary as the capital of Alberta? How about we demand a retraction and apology from the paper. We need to stop being the kid in the playground that constantly has sand kicked in their face. We need to stand up, push back and demand the respect that we DESERVE.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Doug View Post
              I called the city today and expressed my concern about a lack of response from our city leaders. Why don't we publicly stand up for ourselves and challenge the publication and author? Where was our cities response when the Globe and Mail referred to Calgary as the capital of Alberta? How about we demand a retraction and apology from the paper. We need to stop being the kid in the playground that constantly has sand kicked in their face. We need to stand up, push back and demand the respect that we DESERVE.
              Oh I have given up on the Globe and Mail years ago. I used to care - when people used to think they were Canada's National Newspaper. Now, their best columnists work at the Toronto Star, which actually seems to sometimes write nicer articles about Edmonton.

              I think there is a belief by some in Toronto that all the important business and other leaders in Alberta are in Calgary, so they have to suck up to Calgary big time. I honestly don't think they realize how annoying or ignorant they are to the rest of us and because they are the centre of the universe they don't really care.

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              • #8
                Regardless of the source we still need to stand up and call them out on it.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Doug View Post
                  Regardless of the source we still need to stand up and call them out on it.
                  Don't let me stop you. My observation over the years is the Globe and Mail clings to their stereotypes more than anything else, I doubt they will change I suppose some might call it lazy journalism. I think they mostly ignore us now and are retreating from national coverage to just focus on TO - maybe that's for the best. However, I would be glad to be proven wrong here.

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                  • #10
                    ^^ I agree Doug. I feel like whenever people talk about Edmonton they only highlight the negatives, "oh it's cold in the winter." Whereas whenever people talk about Calgary they only highlight the positives, "oh the Stampede is great." In reality every city in the world has both positives and negatives. Nobody ever mentions that the average temperature difference between Edmonton and Calgary is something like 1 or 2 degrees. Instead it seems like everyone wants to market Calgary as a tropical paradise or something.

                    It's so frustrating when I read article after article crapping on Edmonton because those publications only reinforce old stereotypes. But whenever we complain everybody responds, "well it's just a joke, calm down." Can you imagine if Calgary, Vancouver or (heaven forbid) precious Toronto were ever the butt of those negative articles? The entire country would be defending them but when it happens to us it's totally fine.

                    Edmonton is like the runt of the litter. No matter how much we grow and change and revitalize it goes unnoticed because we'll always be seen as the baby of the family.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for a great post Mia. Exactly how I feel.

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                      • #12
                        It takes effort and time to change perceptions and some of the media old guard are not likely to change, but fortunately they do not control as much as they once did and there are new media and new people. Some of the old guard formed their views in the 1990's and early 2000's when Calgary was in the ascendancy. I would say things are more balanced now in Alberta, but the tired old stereotypes remain for some, probably especially for those that haven't visited Edmonton much in the last 10 years.

                        I agree the weather statistics don't support the cold stereotype. If there is a record cold day here it seems to get a lot of coverage in Toronto. If it is warmer here than Toronto (and that actually does happen) it seems like it is never mentioned - if it is cold in Toronto is is a "national cold snap" even when its minus 10 there and plus 5 here.

                        I suppose the lazy planet thinking is Edmonton is fairly far north on a map, so gee it must be very, very cold. Calgary is further south so it must be much warmer. Of course, western Canada weather doesn't exactly work like that - the mountains cause more temperature fluctuation in Calgary (colder at night than Edmonton on most summer days for instance), but lazy writers and journalists don't look that deep, they just repeat trope and stereotypes. Winnipeg is much further south than Edmonton, but its winters are colder than ours. I bet the lazy writers and journalists don't know that there is also an east/west temperature differential in the west.

                        Apparently our mayor asked the writer of this article to come visit here, as it seems Lonely Planet hadn't been here for a while. I wonder if they will bother to take him up on that offer.

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                        • #13
                          The uncomfortable thing is that reviews like this do reveal the basic truth about the places visited, and also about both tourism and the attitude to it.

                          Edmonton is indeed a stopover city. We are in no way unique, except perhaps for the mall that makes the hip squirm; we are simply the intersection of all the lines on the map, whether northwest to Alaska, north/northeast to the tar sands and to the territories, west to the mountains and the coast, east to the vast open spaces, or south to the waste land. All of which for a variety of reasons are the destinations.

                          What does that mean? Precisely nothing to the content, and everything to the bored. Those of us who are happy to survive here have all we need, until we do not and want to leave. Or for that matter come back.

                          Nor does it mean much from the point of view of real economic development. Those who would build plants and hire workers here will or will not do so without ever thinking of the Lonely Planet or any other such outfit. Or even the Globe and Mail.

                          But that does not satisfy the tourist.

                          Edmonton would not satisfy us if we were the tourists.

                          But we care, or are made to care, because of the dollars the tourist represent, a rare chance to get back some of the capital we ourselves constantly pіss away by mail order and long-distance travel. We don't care about the tourists, or what they think about us; they will go home and drink the same coffee they drink here; we only care about the little bit of lucre they leave behind.

                          And that is the great and meaningless thing about tourist travel and everything around it. It is a first-world solution to first-world problems. It is to migration what first-world problems are to real global and personal crises.

                          Take it all with a deep breath -- and a grain of salt.
                          Last edited by AShetsen; 06-09-2017, 07:30 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AShetsen View Post
                            The uncomfortable thing is that reviews like this do reveal the basic truth about the places visited, and also about both tourism and the attitude to it.

                            Edmonton is indeed a stopover city. We are in no way unique, except perhaps for the mall that makes the hip squirm; we are simply the intersection of all the lines on the map, whether northwest to Alaska, north/northeast to the tar sands and to the territories, west to the mountains and the coast, east to the vast open spaces, or south to the waste land. All of which for a variety of reasons are the destinations.

                            What does that mean? Precisely nothing to the content, and everything to the bored. Those of us who are happy to survive here have all we need, until we do not and want to leave. Or for that matter come back.

                            Nor does it mean much from the point of view of real economic development. Those who would build plants and hire workers here will or will not do so without ever thinking of the Lonely Planet or any other such outfit. Or even the Globe and Mail.

                            But that does not satisfy the tourist.

                            Edmonton would not satisfy us if we were the tourists.

                            But we care, or are made to care, because of the dollars the tourist represent, a rare chance to get back some of the capital we ourselves constantly pіss away by mail order and long-distance travel. We don't care about the tourists, or what they think about us; they will go home and drink the same coffee they drink here; we only care about the little bit of lucre they leave behind.

                            And that is the great and meaningless thing about tourist travel and everything around it. It is a first-world solution to first-world problems. It is to migration what first-world problems are to real global and personal crises.

                            Take it all with a deep breath -- and a grain of salt.
                            I think every place is unique - some places you have to dig a little deeper to find it, other places have certain things that might appeal more broadly to tourists. We don't have mountains nearby, but we do have a National Park about a half an hour out of the city, which is a great attraction, but could be overlooked by those only focused on the mountains to the west.

                            The two paragraph review (note: Calgary got only two paragraphs also) by Lonely Planet seems a bit shallow, so I wonder a bit about the writers and the readers of it. I suppose two paragraphs can give a sense of a place, but maybe not so well for those places whose charms are not as obvious or apparent.

                            While every place is unique, many major cities in Canada also have a lot of things that are the same. Is the Starbucks on Robson Street really better or that different than the one on Jasper Ave? Are the clothing stores in Pacific Centre that different from a mall in Edmonton?

                            I think in their defense I think Lonely Planet tries to find something distinctive about cities, but perhaps because they didn't dig very deep they didn't find it here and gave up and just wrote something that is not only not nice, but seems a bit off to those of us who know this city better.

                            I agree we shouldn't get too defensive about it - it is one person's opinion or review. Edmonton's identity or image is not as clear as other cities. We are a western city, but we are not a cowboy town. We are a somewhat northern city, but we aren't really in northern Canada. We are subtle and not easy for outsiders to figure out, but that doesn't mean we don't have attractions and charms. It just means they are sometimes overlooked.

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                            • #15
                              The question is not whether the Starbucks on Jasper is better than the Starbucks on Robson, but whether Jasper or Robson is the more fun place to be. And the answer is a hard one.

                              As regards uniqueness... that's even harder.

                              I'll just say this: Edmonton has defeated better and stronger people than whoever wrote the Lonely Planet review. J. Morris comes to mind.

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