The Secret is Out - 124 is the Best Place to Be in the Summer

Before you leave the house, you look in the mirror. You're smart. Sharp. Sophisticated. Ready to spend the day on 124.


And you know more secrets than James Bond.


The secret places, treasures and treats all along 124 street. The best place to take visiting relatives for dinner. The ideal stores to buy unique birthday presents for your family. The absolute go-to shops to enhance your wardrobe. The best galleries in the city.


You hear people complain about parking. That's okay. You know another secret: that the 124 Street neighbourhood actually has almost one thousand parking spaces. You drive just one more block off the street and see the parking opportunities open up before you. And you're still a shorter walk to the stores you want to visit than you ever are when you visit the mall.


Or perhaps you know the secret joys of biking. There's always room to park at the bike racks up and down the street. And with the early onset of summer, it's another great excuse to be outside, soaking up the sun.


Knowing that some of the businesses are extending their hours for the summertime, you wait until the rush-hour traffic dies down, and then head out with several hours left to explore. Especially on Thursdays, when the 124 Grand Market is on every week from 4pm to 8pm.


You secretly know that many of the stores on 124 are independent businesses, so they are always looking at new products. You explore the shops regularly, revealing new treasures each time. New discoveries are lurking behind every corner and you know what hidden corners to explore, finding several presents for your family and a new outfit that will be perfect for the warm weather.


You know all the patios, and the secret times of day, when several of them are bathed in wam sunlight, and several are protected with cool shade. You take a break and have a coffee, a tea, a chai or a mimosa.


You know the galleries are constantly changing their displays, showcasing new artists, both local and international. You explore them all, conveniently clustered in a one-block radius.


You know that 124 is a hot-bed of independent Edmonton restaurants. Slipping into one of the new ones, you're treated like gold as you try a meal that isn't offered anywhere else in the city.


You walk the extra block back to your car, burning off the calories (and guilt) from that spectacular dessert, and head home. You've had a well-deserved day of indulgence, and are coming home with a full belly, a new outfit and some treasures for your family and friends.


But shhhhh! Don't tell anyone.


It's a secret.