Best Of Edmonton

SEE’s 16th annual Best of Edmonton has its quirks

Welcome again, devoted SEE readers, to our annual Best of Edmonton edition. This is our 16th BOE (as we call it here), and after all this time you’d think we’d be ready to expect the unexpected.

There are, as always, some oddities. Quirks, if you will. But then, it’s a quirky city.

In the category of best use of taxpayers money, public transit was the clear winner. Our magnificent/hideous Art Gallery of Alberta was No. 3 on the best list, and No. 2 on the worst list, divided by exactly one vote. As the saying goes, ‘I don’t know art, but I know what I like’. Topping the chart in the worst use of taxpayers’ money list was something we haven’t spent any money on yet — the proposed new arena, the runaway winner in that category. But it also had pretty strong support in the ‘best use’ category as well.

Safe to say that most of that arena support came from Oilers fans, of which there are many. The formerly-great NHL squadron was the easy winner in the best pro sports team category, besting the formerly-great CFL squadron Eskimos. (Apparently, a lot of Oiler fans are not exactly loud and proud in their support, as the team topped the ‘guilty pleasure’ category.) In the alternative sports area, the revival of roller derby topped the chart, even without Skinny Minnie Miller (a very obscure reference to a long-ago roller derby star from the 1970s).  

On the political front, Mayor Stephen Mandel has been a popular enough figure that he has won the mayoralty for three straight terms. That explains why he topped the list if best civic politician — and after being around for so long, it might explain why he also topped the list for worst civic politician. (Newcomer Kerry Diotte, who has latched on to social media in a big way, was the only new face on the ‘best’ list at No. 4 — and he also secured fourth spot on the ‘worst’ list. )

Provincially, NDP MLA Rachel Notley was the people’s choice for best politician, with headline grabbing health care hero Raj Sherman close behind at No. 2. But apparently, all that headline grabbing has ticked off a few people, as the newly-minted Liberal MLA also topped the ‘worst’ list, even ahead of the notorious PC MLA Carl Benito, who never came through with his promise to give his salary to charity.

In the category of ‘most missed business’, shoppers are still pining for Megatunes and Nokomis Clothing. And next year, the Langano Skies restaurant — the runaway winner in the best African cuisine category —  might make the ‘most missed’ list. Sadly, a fire destroyed Langano Skies during the voting for Best of Edmonton.

But enough with the spoilers. Check out the results pages and enjoy the best of what this unique northern metropolis has to offer.


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