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New Chemistry Graduate Students Arrival Guide Produced for you by the Chemistry Graduate Students’ Society (CGSS)

Getting Around Edmonton Using Edmonton Transit As of September, U-Pass is valid transit fare during the school year, and costs $74.25/term through your student fees. During the summer, one ticket will cost you $2.75. These prices are very competitive with other major Canadian cities. Schedules 1) Online at 2) At the information booth in CAB right across from TimHorton’s and the entrance to the Cameron Library 3) At the information booth in SUB or HUB 4) Google maps actually has an incredibly accurate schedule built into its “directions” function. The main bus terminal and LRT station on the U of A campus can be found beside the main entrance to HUB mall (E6 on your campus map). This is one block north of the corner of 87 Ave and 112 Street. In general, from 8am until about 6pm most bus routes run every 10-15 minutes. A few routes, such as the 130, only run every 30 after 9am. After 6pm, most bus routes reduce to running every 30 minutes, BUT some bus routes stop. From 9pm to 1am, only the main bus routes will be operational, usually running about every 30 minutes (eg. Japser Ave, Whyte Ave, etc.). The LRT runs until about 1:10am. A new train comes every 6 minutes during the rush hours and during the midday. After 6pm and on weekends, the LRT runs every 15 minutes. Good Routes to Know 1) West Edmonton Mall from campus – take the #4 bus that says “West Edmonton Mall” (~30 min) 2) West Edmonton Mall from downtown – take the #100 which is an express bus (~20 min) Or take the #1 bus that says “West Edmonton Mall” (~40 min) 3) Southgate Shopping Centre – another mall that is large, but not huge like West Edmonton Mall, is Southgate. The LRT now conveniently goes to this location. 4) Downtown – the easiest way to get to and from downtown is to take the LRT. LRT Stations On Campus 1) At the transit loop beside HUB mall (1 block north from the corner 87 Ave and 112 Street) 2) Across from University Hospital on the corner of 87 Ave and 114 Street

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LRT Stations Downtown 1) Corona – 101 Ave (Jasper Ave) and 107 Street 2) Bay – 101 Ave (Jasper Ave) and 104 Street 3) Central – 101 Ave (Jasper Ave) and close to 101 Street 4) Churchill – 102A Ave and 99 Street

Biking in Edmonton: There are many different bike routes and trails available to bicycles in Edmonton, and a great park system through the River Valley. Bike maps are available online at There are approximately 225km of bikeways in Edmonton. Bylaws 1) Biking on sidewalks is only permitted where it’s designated a “shared sidewalk”. They are marked with a sign. 2) University walkways are deemed “shared walkways” 3) Bikes must yield to pedestrians. 4) Passing must be indicated with a bell. 5) Vehicles have the right of way if you are crossing a road and you are on a shared sidewalk. If you dismount, crosswalk rules apply. 6) Helmets are not required for riders over the age of 18, but highly recommended! 7) All bicycles must be equipped with a bell. Lights and reflectors are required when riding at night. If you bike in Old Strathcona, be aware that rollerblades, bikes or skateboards are not allowed on some sections of sidewalk on Whyte Avenue. Using avenues north and south of Whyte are recommended if you want to avoid the traffic.

Getting Food Grocery Stores Near Campus Safeway – Corner of 82 Ave (Whyte Ave) and 109 Street Being on campus, this is the closest grocery store. It has a pretty decent selection of food that is more student orientated. Just as a note, since the food is more directed towards a student base, some of the food quality can be a little lower at times than at other grocery stores for the same price. The first Tuesday of the month, Save-On-Foods gives you an additional 15% off all food you buy. You need to sign up for a FREE club card to get savings from Safeway!

Created by the University of Alberta Chemistry Graduate Students’ Society


Save-On-Foods – Corner of 104 Street (Calgary Trail) and 79 Ave This is the second closest grocery store to campus. If you have a car or do not mind the extra walk or bus ride, Save-On-Foods will have a larger and fresher produce selection than the University Safeway. Also, on the first Tuesday of the month, Save-On-Foods gives you an additional 15% off all food you buy. You need to sign up for a FREE club card to get savings from Save-on-Foods! Sobey’s – Corner of 112 Street and 83 Ave Similar to Safeway in selection and price.

Grocery Stores Downtown Safeway – Corner of 104 Ave and 116 Street Unlike the Safeway by campus, the quality of produce and fresh items is much better at this Safeway than the one by campus. The price is the same on the same items at the Safeway by the university, but the quality is higher. However, even with this said the produce and meat are priced a little higher here than at Save-on-Foods. The food will probably also be a little better quality, but not always. However, the bakery is much larger than any of the Save-on-Foods listed in this guide. You need to sign up for a FREE club card to get savings from Safeway! Save-On-Foods – Corner of 101 Ave (Jasper Ave) and 109 Street This Save-on-Foods is also easy to get to by LRT from campus. The nearest LRT stop is Corona. Simply, take the LRT to Corona and when you come up any set of stairs head towards 109 Street. You cannot miss it. It is a very large shopping complex. Also, on the first Tuesday of the month, Save-On-Foods has an additional 15% off all food you buy. You need to sign up for a FREE club card to get savings from Save-on-Foods! Big Fresh Organic Market – Corner of 101 Ave (Jasper Ave) and 121 Street This is an organic only grocery store. Their selection is quite large for an organic food store, but it is fairly expensive. However, if you want certified organically grown food, then this is the best and closest store for that need in the downtown area.

Farmers’ Markets Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market – Between 103 and 104 Street on 83 Ave The Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market is open 8am to 3pm Saturdays all year (It’s inside!). They offer vendors that sell fresh vegetables, fruit, baking, preserves, meats, seafood, fresh eggs, cheese and ethnic foods. For more information, their website is

Created by the University of Alberta Chemistry Graduate Students’ Society


City Centre Farmers’ Market This outdoor market, located on 104 Street just north of Jasper Avenue, is open 9am to 3pm on Saturdays. The closest LRT Station is Bay Station. This market is more disperse and slightly smaller than Old Strathcona, but selection is good.

Renting Places to Live Edmonton is a relatively cheap place to live when compared to other major Canadian cities with an average monthly rent of $994 (April 2010).

Types of Housing 1 Bedroom A one-bedroom unfurnished apartment will be a bit more expensive than the average 2-bedroom, but depends greatly on its proximity to the university. Utilities in Edmonton (power, water, electricity, trash removal, etc) will cost you another $100 to $200 a month. Items such as phone, cable, and internet will cost about $100 in total. The final cost for rent, all utilities, and phone type items will cost you between $750 and $1000 a month if you plan to live by yourself in a one-bedroom apartment. You’ll be closer to $1000 if you are located downtown or close to the university eg. Garneau Towers and Newton Place is about $850 and up a month and Windsor Park Plaza is $980 and up a month (this includes all utilities except for cable, phone and internet). 2 Bedroom (shared) If you are sharing an unfurnished two-bedroom apartment, you should only be paying approximately $450 to $650 for your share. Utilities in Edmonton (power, water, electricity, trash removal, etc) will cost you another $50 to $100 a month provided that you are now sharing the cost. The final cost for rent, all utilities, and phone type items will cost you between $500 and $750 a month if you plan to live with one other person in a 2 bedroom apartment. So, if you are willing to share your space with someone, you can save yourself anywhere from $150 to $300 a month.

Looking for a Place When choosing a place to live, make sure you are happy with how far it is from the university, how close it is to a grocery store and/or drug store, how the transit system is around it. You will be coming into the university almost every day. Make sure that you are happy with how long it takes to get to the university. If the trip takes more than 30 minutes, you may want to re-think the location since that means you’ll be traveling at least an hour a day! If you do not have a car, if becomes very important to see how good the bus and LRT routes are in the area you want to live. Especially, if you have walk more than 3 blocks to a grocery store.

Created by the University of Alberta Chemistry Graduate Students’ Society


Where to Look The Students’ Union The Students' Union offers an off-campus housing search page. Be aware, some of the ads are out of date. Also, in August a lot of students are starting at the University of Alberta. If you see something, be aware that you have to act quickly. If you do not act quickly, or even if you do, you still may not get it. The International Student Centre Located on the Ground floor of HUB (Near HUB entrance 9101 and 9102) Phone: 492-1137 E-mail: There are several people here to help you with everything from finding a place to live, to getting around, to just getting more adjusted to Edmonton. The centre is focused mainly for international students; however, all students are welcome to use the centre’s services. Something to keep in mind when looking for housing: there are several people at the international centre that can speak several languages. If you feel at a loss, someone here can probably help you out. Walkabout Walk around the neighbourhood you want to live in. Especially in August and May, you will often see vacancy signs for places that are not advertised in the papers. This is also help you gain an idea of how long it will take you to get to the university everyday. This is something important to keep in mind, especially when Edmonton winters can get very cold at times (–25oC or colder). Posters and Flyers Around Campus There are many posting boards located around the University of Alberta; For example, in SUB, in CAB, in HUB. Also there are poster boards located around campus, for example by the bus loop or by the gymnasium. These will have advertisements and posters of people generally wanting roommates, but also, once a while there are posters for housing that do not have to be shared. Fellow Graduate Students Chemistry graduate students are quite friendly people at the University of Alberta. Talk with them about their research and labs. During a conversation you can always ask if they know of any places for rent. You would be surprised how many people might know of a place for rent near them or by someone they know.

Weather in Edmonton You may have heard it gets cold in Edmonton. Let us also tell you, it does get COLD in Edmonton in the winters. From November to February the average temperature is –10oC. On some days, with the wind it can easily feel like –25oC o or –30 C. Make sure that you have a good winter coat, gloves, and a toque for the winter season. However, despite the cold it does not snow very much

Created by the University of Alberta Chemistry Graduate Students’ Society


(127.1 cm annually) compared to Ontario, Québec and the East Coast In summer, Edmonton is quite nice with an average temperature just over 20oC and. Edmonton is Canada’s third “sunniest city”, receiving 2,315 hours of sunlight per year. This is very obvious in the summer. Fall and spring have a temperature range from approximately 5oC to about 15oC. Since Edmonton is not on the coast, it does not rain too much (465.8 mm annually). On average it only rains a couple of days a month. However, during the fall and spring, the wind can be quite intense. Be prepared in April and in October for strong wind gusts in the city in these months.

Entertainment in Edmonton Places to Visit West Edmonton Mall Take bus #4 from the university or the #1 or #100 bus from downtown West Edmonton Mall is the largest mall in the world. It has an indoor waterpark, an amusement park, 2 mini golf courses, a bowling alley, 2 movie theatres (a cheap one and an expensive one), mini-Chinatown, and then it has over 800 stores for you to shop at! Hawrelak Park Go to Saskatchewan Drive North of Chemistry and walk 7 blocks west. Located west of the University of Alberta, it is a very large park. The park has an amphitheatre where plays and orchestras play. There is also a large manmade pond where you can rent a paddleboat in the summer or skate on it in the winter. The park is also attached to the River Valley which has several easy to medium difficulty hiking and biking trails. Whyte Avenue (82 Avenue) Walk 7 blocks South of the Chemistry building and go East Whyte Ave is located about 7 block South of the chemistry building. Starting at the corner of 109 Street and Whyte Ave you will find a variety of neat, unique shops and restaurants. Whyte Ave becomes quite active at night as well, with many restaurants, pubs and bars.

Things to Do Professional Sports and Music Events Edmonton is home of professional hockey, football and baseball teams. Discounts seating is available for students. Edmonton also hosts many international music, dance and theatre tours. Tickets for many events are available at 1) Edmonton Eskimos – CFL Football team who play early June until November at Commonwealth Stadium, next to Stadium Station on the LRT. Student seating in “College Corner” is $15.00, and available from the Gold

Created by the University of Alberta Chemistry Graduate Students’ Society


Office in Van Vilet Centre. 2) Edmonton Oilers – NHL Hockey team who play September until May at Rexall Place, which is at Coliseum Station on the LRT. “Nosebleed Seats” are usually sold from the University Bookstore, and cost about $35-40. 3) Edmonton Cracker Cats – Northern Baseball League team who play at Telus Field in the River Valley (Near the Epcor Water Station) during the summer. Tickets are $8-10 from the Cracker Cats box office. 4) Edmonton Oil Kings – WHL Hockey team who play September until March at Rexall Place. If you want to watch a hockey game, but can’t afford the Oilers, the Oil Kings are an excellent alternative. Tickets are $25-28 for ice level seats. 5) Edmonton Rush – NLL Lacrosse team who play January until May at Rexall Place. Tickets start at about $15. University of Alberta Athletics – Hockey, Football, Volleyball, Basketball…the list continues! Great Entertainment available at about $8 a ticket or less.

Festivals and Events Throughout the year there are dozens of festivals and events to see. Some notable festivals include: January -Ice on Whyte February - The Silver Skate Festival & Winter Triathlon - Family Day April - Edmonton Kiwanis Music Festival May - St. Albert Kinsmen Rainmaker Rodeo June - The Works Arts and Design Festival - Edmonton International Jazz Festival

Created by the University of Alberta Chemistry Graduate Students’ Society


July - Canada Day (July 1st, Lots of events around town) - Street Performers’ Festival - Capital Ex - Taste of Edmonton - Edmonton Grand Prix August - Heritage Festival - Edmonton Folk Music Festival - Edmonton Cariwest (Caribbean Arts) Festival - Edmonton Fringe Festival - Edmonton Dragonboat Festival - Edmonton's Labatt Blues Festival September - Symphony Under The Sky Festival - Edmonton International Film Festival October - Edmonton International Lit Fest - Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival November - Canadian Finals Rodeo December - New Years Eve Downtown

Created by the University of Alberta Chemistry Graduate Students’ Society


New Chemistry Graduate Student Survival Guide  

New Chemistry Graduate Student Survival Guide

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