"Hidden Gems" around the University of Alberta Part 1

This is our new series on the blog entitled "Hidden Gems around UAlberta" where we explore unique places and spaces around the University of Alberta. Be sure to be on the look out for the next installment!


One of the joys of living in a new country is finding all the little "hidden gems", all those great places on campus that you might not know about, that your new home has. From the perfect study spot in one of UAlberta’s pre-WWI buildings to discovering where the best nature trail on campus is or the perfect gallery to relax and contemplate life in, there are so many different places to explore when you come to UAlberta. This next month we’ll be highlighting some of our recent “hidden gems” we find around campus on our Instagram page but until then we have complied a small list of hidden gems in this blog post. What gems will you discover when you come to the University of Alberta?!


UAlberta Observatory

One of the things you MUST do before you graduate from the University of Alberta is visit the UAlberta Observatory. Operated by the Department of Physics and located in the CCIS Building, the observatory offers free observing hours where you can view such visual delights like the Supermoon and meteor showers!  The observatory contains 3 telescopes, each located in their own dome. The smallest telescope is a 12” telescope that is used for public night-time observing along with the 14” telescope. The largest telescope is a 20” research-grade telescope that is for research, including undergraduate research projects. Make sure to stop by and view the famous Alberta skies!




FAB Gallery

During it’s more than 20 year presence on the University of Alberta’s campus The Fine Arts Building ( FAB) Gallery has been presenting and showing exhibitions that not only serve as beneficial to the UAlberta community but to the country of Canada as a whole. Many of the exhibitions in the Fab gallery feature work by students (both graduate and undergraduate) as well as works by faculty and staff. In addition to the “local” art work the FAB gallery also feature pieces by contemporary and historical artists with national and international reputations. Often times the gallery is the first opportunity students in the Department of Art and Design get to show their work publically. Some past exhibitions include “Wabi Sabi - East meets West” and this current exhibition by Alysha Creighton called “the space between us”.  

Hand Writing from Alysha Creighton on Vimeo.


 Make sure to visit the gallery when you are in need of some inspiration between those tough study sessions!


Paleontology and Mineralogy and Petrology Museums

About two years ago we had the pleasure of receiving a tour of these two lovely UAlberta Museums. They really are an oasis in the mist of the hustle and bustle that can be campus life so make sure to read our blog post on them and visit them when you’re at UAlberta!



Study room in Assiniboia Hall

Assiniboia Hall was one of the University of Alberta’s first campus buildings. Construction was completed on the building in 1912 and originally the building (along with its near identical twin Athabasca Hall) contained the President, Registrar and Bursar in addition to lecture rooms, laboratories and a library. Now it is used mainly as faculty offices but within the building you’ll find a charming student lounge that makes you feel like you’ve been transported to an early 19th century reading room. Be sure to check it out when you need a quite study spot!





Japanese Gardens in Business

So this hidden gem really is hidden. You have to get special permission to go up to the rooftop of business where the lovely Japanese Gardens are located but don’t be discouraged because often times faculty and clubs will book the roof for various activities which means you’ll most likely be invited to the gardens at least once during your UAlberta career. When you do go be sure to appreciate the beautiful Edmonton skyline!



Written By: Nathalie Batres





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