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Lonely Planet Basically Called Edmonton A Frozen Shithole And Now Everyone's Mad

Calling a Canadian city "frigidly cold" is kind of redundant, no?

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People in Edmonton are super steamed over Lonely Planet’s description of the city as cold and boring.

Wwing / Getty Images

The 13th edition of the venerable travel guide, released in April, paints the city as a forgettable stopover en route to more exciting places like Jasper National Park.

"Modern, spread out and frigidly cold for much of the year, Alberta’s second-largest city and capital is a government town that you’re more likely to read about in the business pages than the travel supplements," reads the introduction to Lonely Planet's write-up.

It hasn't gone down very well with locals.

Well, Lonely Planet can eat shit. I love living here! Introducing Edmonton via @lonelyplanet

Many are accusing the writers of not actually visiting the city.

Hey @lonelyplanet, what you said about #yeg confirmed my suspicions. I've always thought you didn't visit half the places you blab about!

"Did [you] guys really visit or speculate?"

@lonelyplanet Lived in Edmonton all my life. Its one of the BEST places to live, work, shop and play. Did u guys really visit or speculate?


(Although there have been some dissenters.)

Friends, @lonelyplanet gave Edmonton a shit review. I'm sorry to say, they're dead on. Don't like it? Tell me I'm wrong

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson and others on the city council have come to the defence of their city, insisting that Edmonton is actually quite cool and hip.


“Whoever wrote the Lonely Planet thing hasn’t actually been here in a few years,” Iveson told reporters this week. “I’d be happy — if we ever figured out who it is — to invite them here and show them around myself because they clearly got it wrong."

He said what really angered him was the guide book's description of Calgary's generosity in response to the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires, considering Edmonton also provided support to those affected.

"I can abide all of the other mistakes, but that one is a bit of an insult to the generosity of Edmontonians and northern Albertans," he said.

Lonely Planet defended its work, telling BuzzFeed Canada that writers have to "tell it like it is" and that the write-ups can't necessarily capture all the nuances that locals are familiar with.

"Lonely Planet writers visit and research every destination they write about," spokesperson Natalie Nicolson said in an email. "In this case, our writer was in Edmonton researching the Canada guide in June 2016."


This post has been updated to include comment from Lonely Planet.

Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at

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