Since the world of Pokemon Go exploded on to Canadian mobile devices last July (usurping Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and many others as the app with the most active users worldwide,) you’ve no doubt encountered wandering Pokemon trainers roaming the city. Perhaps you’ve downloaded the game yourself and are navigating the streets of #YEG in an attempt to catch ’em all. If so, Avenue has compiled a handy guide to where and how to best play the game, and take in the best of Edmonton while you do it.
The Courteous Trainer
Before making your way to some of the PokeStops and gyms in your area, be sure you’re playing courteously and responsibly. Some helpful tips:
Keep that head up: While the temptation exists to check your phone constantly for wild cartoon monsters, remember that real-world dangers such as traffic, ledges, potholes, pedestrians and other wandering trainers exist. Be sure to keep yourself grounded in reality while on the move.
Quit blowing smoke: The only puff that should haunt other players is the elusive Jigglypuff, not clouds of smoke emanating from smokers and vapers. If you need your nicotine fix while in a crowd of fellow trainers, do the courtesy of stepping back a few metres.
Clean up: Neighbourhoods such as Pokemon hotspot Griesbach have been complaining that the influx of trainers has left their public parks littered with trash. Keep green spaces green if you want to be welcome back to hunt for that rare Aerodactyl or Snorlax.
Engage in Public Art
Many of the PokeStops in Edmonton, like all cities, are often murals,sculptures, well-known buildings, historical landmarks and pieces of public art, so the Edmonton Arts Council is getting in on the game, asking users to tag photos of their Pokemon hunts at public art stops #PokemonGOyeg and #yegpublicart.
The Sweet Spots
Patricia Park In Griesbach
With five PokeStops in a relatively short distance, this area has been a hotspot for Pokemon trainers setting lures to attract ’em all.
This hip and trendy neighbourhood has got it all: coffee shops, shopping, restaurants and art galleries – many of which are teeming with PokeStops. Grab a coffee or snack at Remedy or Credo, and, on Thursdays, check out the 124th Street Market which features PokeStops on either end.
The battles at City Hall aren’t just for city councillors anymore. Here a gym has attracted those who wish to fight for glory. It’s also a good idea to collect items at the surrounding PokeStops in and around Churchill Square. The best time to play Pokemon with the kids will be Sept. 2-3, when Symphony in the City will take over the square with the ESO performing Disney’s most well-known classic songs.
102 Ave. and 100 St.
The Legislature Grounds
There are more stops here than you can shake a stick at as a majority of the Legislature Ground’s monuments, gardens and fountains double as PokeStops. There are even two gyms to test your Pokemon’s steel. Try visiting on a Saturday, when hundreds of other players congregate to set up a swarm of lures on the south side of the grounds.
9820 107 St.
West Edmonton Mall
The granddaddy of Edmonton destinations also features 22 Pokestops and three gyms, all of which are marked within the mall.
888 2170 St.
An area that’s always bustling with festivals, and abundant nightlife, restaurants and shops is a perfect place to snag wild Pokemon. It’s also helpful to note that a rare Pokemon, the Porygon, has been spotted at Chianti Cafe on a number of occasions.
This article appears in the September 2016 issue of Avenue Edmonton. Subscribe here.