Over the course of the last 5 years, I have had the pleasure of getting to know the amazing neighborhood of St. Albert via the man I married. My husband was born and raised in this city, and considers himself to be somewhat of an expert on “all things” St. Albert related. Want to know where the Best Bakery, Italian Deli, or Burger joint is located? Or maybe you want to know when the largest farmers market in western Canada is open, or when the Fire and Ice Festival takes place? Maybe your enthusiasm for the outdoors has you looking for a place where you can explore wetlands trails, or kayak, or walk your dog in one of the 30 off leash areas. Perhaps you’re a “foodie” and are looking for a trendy place to hang out and enjoy a craft beer or experience fine dining at an elegant restaurant. Whatever you are looking to experience in the City of St. Albert, my husband will happily point you in the right direction. Since directions have never been my strong suit, seriously, Google maps and I are like bread and butter, I’m lucky enough to be able to rely on my husband to show me the way to “all things wonderful” about the place he grew up in. And in fact, he has done just that! So, just as I grew to love the man I chose to spend my life with, I also grew to love and appreciate the community he grew up in.
Here are a few of the favorite things I have discovered about St. Albert. The old-world charm reflected in the brick architecture, tree-lined streets, and grand clock tower. Spending time shopping in the boutiques and café’s of the Perron district, standing in line outside to buy seafood at “Effing Seafoods”, and filling up a growler of craft beer at the “Endeavour Brewing Company”. I have also visited some of the 300 pieces of artwork that are part of the “art in public places” program, how amazing is the bear sculpture! I’m sure most everyone has heard of the Enjoy Center, well let me tell you from personal experience, there is much to enjoy here. I start by relaxing at the full-service Wellness Within Spa and Yoga Center, where they offer massage, naturopathy, accupuncture, manicures & pedicures, facials and so much more. I’ve booked the therapeutic massage here on a few occasions, and pardon the pun, but I have thoroughly “enjoyed” it. My next stop is coffee and a pastry from the Wild Earth Bakery, nutrition is required for the energy needed to wander the greenhouse. Then I try, and fail, to select just one bottle of oil and vinegar to buy from “Evoolution”. I think my sampling is actually more like snacking, and the mix and match packs are perfect for those of us who just can’t decide on a favorite. My final stop “Liquid Harvest” where a nice bottle of vino is waiting to take home and savour, the store is quite literally at the exit where I parked my car, as I head for home to relax after a full day at the Centre.
In July of 2018, our families threw an engagement party for us, and where there’s a party there is also lots of food. Happily, some of the food supplied for the event was from the shops in St. Albert. We were treated to Charcuterie delicacies from Mercato (Italian Bakery) and Nut-Free baked goods from Grandin Bakery, which was an exciting discovery for our family as my sister and mom both have nut allergies, bring on the cupcakes! That same August, my parents joined us for the Rock’n August car show and once we’d had our fill of cars, it was time to fill up our own fuel tanks. So we walked over to our favorite authentic Mexican restaurant, “Cerdo Tacos and Tequila” to enjoy the street corn and taco’s. A year later, the rehearsal dinner for our wedding party was held at the St. Albert Botanical Garden, a very lovely venue and a must-see if you’re visiting.
I think it’s fair to say that many of the important events in my life have been made even more special by the businesses and people from the neighborhood of St. Albert. It is a smaller city with a big heart and pride of ownership is noticeable everywhere, as businesses and residences alike showcase clean walkways and neatly trimmed lawns. The community is close-knit and family-oriented, demonstrated by the fact that our closest friendships now, began in kindergarten, with many of the group currently residing in St. Albert. I think it speaks very highly of a community; when the second and third generations in a family choose to build their homes and live in the neighborhoods where they grew up. There is so much more I could share about the lovely city of St. Albert, so if you’d like to learn about the neighborhood and all that it offers, I’d be happy to chat!