Edmonton is the capital city of the western province of Alberta. It covers an area of 684.37 km² and a census conducted in 2014 showed that it is home to 877,926 people. Edmonton first became a town in 1892 and then as a city in 1904. It became the capital of Alberta when the province was created a year later. Today, Edmonton serves more as a staging post instead of a tourist destination in itself. Most travelers pass through on their way to the Jasper National Park or the West Edmonton Mall, the biggest shopping complex in North America.
Edmonton does not have an official red-light district, but it has a number of prostitutes that prowl 118th Avenue, close to the coliseum. Drive around the Old Cromdale, Shopper Drug Mart, and Homemade Steak & Pizza. The best time to get in touch with a street hooker is just before sunset and the girls typically charge $100-$200 for half an hour of sex and $200-$300 for one hour.
Stay Safe in the RLD
There are certain spots where extra caution is advised, especially after dark. The so-called "inner city" area located to the east of downtown has parts that must be avoided. 118th Avenue has a large homeless and transient population, and the area has been plagued by serious alcohol and drug abuse, along with gang-related violence.
Be careful of the closing-time outflow shortly after midnight on Friday and Saturday. Travel in groups and try to be out of the bar by 1:00 am. Head to your hotel, or, at the very least, refrain from lingering on the street after closing time.
Panhandling has increased considerably in recent years, especially in the downtown area and in Old Strathcona. Decline politely and it should not be a problem. Try to avoid staying in parking lots that are not gated shut because there is direct access for panhandlers and they can be more aggressive.
The adult entertainment industry in the city is not as big and lucrative as those in other major cities in North America. However, you won’t get bored if you want to unleash some sexual tension as there are several strip clubs and massage parlours where you can get laid. Majority of these venues are located in the downtown area. There’s also quite a number of brothels, sex clubs, adult stores, swinger clubs, and escort agencies.
To date, there are only two known adult cinemas operating in Edmonton.
It has been estimated that roughly 60 percent of the street sex trade takes place along 95th Street and 118th Avenue. Other notable areas include
The popular swinger premises in Edmonton:
The Canadian law states that it is now illegal to talk to prostitutes or street hookers for the purpose and purchase of sexual intercourse. This is a significant change from previous laws as it outlawed the act of negotiating the sale of sex at any given time. The act of buying sex was criminalized on December 6, 2014, with offenders facing a minimum fine of $500 and up to five years in prison. The fine and prison term increases with subsequent offences. It is illegal to sell sexual services close to any area where an individual under 18 years of age could be present; notably day care centers, school grounds, and playgrounds. It is also illegal to advertise personal services. However, sex workers are somewhat afforded ‘immunity” by advertising laws. This is actually a gray area because in-person negotiations are covered by the law mentioned above.
It is illegal to advertise the sexual services offered by other individuals. This cracks down on online ads and back-of-magazine ads. This provision of the law goes after those who will run the advertisements and can extend to publishers and administrators of websites.
In spite of the quasi-legal setup, the majority of those who engage in the sex trade are technically breaking the law. For instance, it is deemed illegal to operate a brothel or ‘bawdy house’, which means sex workers cannot use their homes to meet prospective clients. It is also illegal to help another individual to get into prostitution. This essentially criminalizes pimping and business transactions between sex workers.
In light of these developments, the Edmonton Police Service has decided to adopt a ‘balanced’ approach in going after both buyers and sellers of sexual services. The move was meant to eliminate illicit activities from the streets and minimize the violence related to sex, drugs, gangs and organized crime groups.
As for the gay community, their rights are considered as some of the most advanced in the Americas and in the rest of the world. During the early to mid-1900s, the law frequently portrayed homosexual men as sex offenders until the court case of Everett George Klippert. He was sentenced to life imprisonment after admitting to having sex with multiple men. Same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults was decriminalized in 1969, following a legislation that was introduced two years earlier.
Head downtown to get a read on Edmonton’s club and bar scene. Whyte Avenue is always bustling with activity even during the day but kicks it up a notch when night falls.
If you want live music on weekends, there are several bars along Whyte like the following:
Whyte Avenue is truly a one-stop bar-hopping spot. If you are looking for dance clubs, there's a lot of them there, too.
For some quiet drink, check out one of the many restaurants and just sit at the bar.
Unlike other metropolitan regions in Canada, Edmonton does not have a gay district that can allow the city to take pride in acceptance and equality. There have been sporadic yelling of homophobic slurs and even incidents of mugging. Of course, this is not unique to the city but homophobia is common and gay acceptance remains elusive. Nonetheless, gay and lesbian activists have paved the way to make Edmonton safe and accommodating to members of the LGBT community in general. They are working to someday create a setting where they can go for a night out or buy groceries without worrying about personal discriminations.
General Attitude Towards Gays
As previously mentioned, homophobia is still prevalent but there are certain areas that tend to be more liberal. The Light Rail Transit that runs through Jasper Avenue is quickly developing into the center of gay Edmonton as a majority of the city’s gay bars and clubs are located there. Another center for gay activities is Whyte Avenue, a neighborhood packed with restored heritage buildings and students from the University of Alberta. The gay community is hoping that one of these days, a designated district will emerge and make it more common, perhaps to a point where people don't mind that they are drinking beers with someone who happens to be gay or lesbian.
There are trannies, ladyboys and shemale prostitutes who reside in Edmonton, but most transsexual prostitutes prefer traveling from city to city. The rate for a quickie is $80-$150, while an hour of full service costs $150-$300.