7 iconic spots in YEG that closed and we wish would come back

Sep 12 2023, 8:22 pm

If you’ve been in Edmonton long enough, you’ve undoubtedly had to mourn some iconic spots around the city when they closed.

You may have never forgotten some of these places, but if you have, you’ll no doubt appreciate being reminded of them. Let us help jog your memory with our list of seven iconic spots in Edmonton that have closed, but we definitely want back.

The Empress Ale House

Iconic YEG spots

Empress Ale House/Facebook

This was one legendary music venue on Whyte Avenue that is sorely missed. The Empress Ale House was an icon of the Edmonton music scene. It shut down in 2020, and a cannabis shop now occupies its old space.

The Submarines at West Edmonton Mall

With its fleet of four submarines guided along a track, West Edmonton Mall had more submarines than the Canadian Navy in the mid-’80s. The subs were removed sometime in the mid-2000s, but it’s one iconic attraction we won’t be forgetting.

The Army & Navy store on Whyte Avenue

For more than 100 years, Army & Navy operated stores across Canada, ceasing operations in 2020. Its iconic Whyte Avenue storefront was fantastic for finding cheap work clothes. The building remains empty today, used occasionally as an art gallery.



Earlier this year, Galaxyland confirmed the closure of the Mindbender, the world’s largest indoor triple-loop roller coaster, which was introduced when the park opened in 1985. The ride’s retirement came as the park underwent its Hasbro-themed transformation.

Kites and Other Delights

Ask anyone who grew up in Edmonton, and they’ll say a visit to Kites and Other Delights as a child was a magical experience. The shop operated in Edmonton for 37 years, closing its doors for good in 2015.

Filthy McNasty’s

Filthy’s YEG/Facebook

With a name like Filthy McNasty’s, you can bet that many-a-wild-times were had at this severely missed pub on Whyte Avenue. It had plenty of character, cheap pints of Guinness, and incredible live music.

Elephants Never Forget

Iconic YEG spots

Lauren N./Shutterstock

Another sorely missed independent toy store, Elephants Never Forget, was where people of all ages could feel like a kid again. It was truly a special place, boasting two levels of high-quality toys, with stuffed animals lining the sides of the magical spiral staircase.

What’s one iconic place in Edmonton you want to see come back? Let us know in the comments.

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