West Edmonton Mall

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West Edmonton Mall
West Edmonton Mall logo
West Edmonton Mall, Edmonton, Alberta (22094236672).jpg
The Sea Life Caverns wing, circa October 2015
Coordinates53°31′22″N 113°37′23″W / 53.52278°N 113.62306°W / 53.52278; -113.62306Coordinates: 53°31′22″N 113°37′23″W / 53.52278°N 113.62306°W / 53.52278; -113.62306
Address8882 170 St NW, Edmonton, Alberta T5T 4J2
Opening dateSeptember 15, 1981; 41 years ago (1981-09-15)
DeveloperTriple Five Group
ManagementDanielle Woo[1] alongside The Ghermezian family
OwnerTriple Five Group
No. of stores and servicesmore than 800
No. of anchor tenants15[2]
Total retail floor area350,000 m2 (3,800,000 sq ft)[3]
No. of floors3
Parking20,000+,[4] 10,000 overflow[5]
Public transit accessEdmonton Transit System Bus interchange West Edmonton Mall Transit Centre

West Edmonton Mall (WEM) is a shopping mall in Edmonton, Alberta, that is owned, managed, and operated by Triple Five Group. It is the second most visited mall in Canada,[6] after the Toronto Eaton Centre in Toronto, followed by Metrotown Mall in Burnaby,[7] and the 14th largest in the world (along with The Dubai Mall) by gross leasable area.[8] It is currently the 2nd largest shopping mall, by square footage, in North America behind the Mall of America. Mall of America encompasses 5.6 million square feet[9] and West Edmonton Mall encompasses 5.3 million square feet.[10] By store count, West Edmonton Mall is the highest in the Western Hemisphere as it currently counts over 800 occupants, in comparison to Mall of America's 520 occupants.[11] The mall was founded by the Ghermezian brothers, who emigrated from Iran in 1959.[12] The mall's major anchor stores are Hudson's Bay, London Drugs, Marshalls, Simons, The Brick, and Winners/HomeSense.

West Edmonton Mall covers a gross area of about 490,000 m2 (5,300,000 sq ft).[3] It holds over 800 stores and services including nine attractions, two hotels and over 100 dining venues in the complex,[13][14] and parking for more than 20,000 vehicles.[4] More than 24,000 people are employed at the property. The mall receives about 32 million visitors per year; it attracts between 90,000 and 200,000 shoppers daily, depending on the day and season.


West Edmonton Mall first opened its doors to the public on 15 September 1981. The mall was developed in four phases, completed in 1981, 1983, 1985, and 1999.[14] It was the largest indoor shopping centre in the world until 2004,[3][15] and was named such in the Guinness Book of Records. The four phases of construction are used in a colour-coded system as a guideline for finding stores and attractions. The indoor roller coaster, The Mindbender had a fatal accident on 14 June 1986 when one of the rear cars derailed from the track and slammed into a nearby concrete pillar. Three people died and one was injured in the accident.[16]

The former fire-breathing dragon animatronic at Scotiabank Theatre, circa March 2007.

On 23 December 2000, a 22-year-old man drowned in a recreational lagoon. A man matching his description was seen swimming at about 2:30 am as the nearby drinking establishments had closed, though a second security check did not find anyone in the lagoon area. The man's body was found around 10:30 am later that morning, fully clothed except for his shoes and jacket, which were never located. He is believed to have accidentally drowned while under the influence of drinking alcohol and cannabis.[17]

On 11 July 2004, the mall suffered millions of dollars in damage when a severe storm of hail and rain caused roofs to fail and drains to overflow. The Ice Palace and surrounding sections were the most damaged, and the World Waterpark had a sewage overflow. The damage was promptly repaired.[18]

Former tenants[edit]

The Phase III food court at WEM. The top image is what the P3FC looked like prior to 2013 (circa August 2006). The bottom image is what the P3FC looks like today (circa June 2015).

World records[edit]

Current West Edmonton Mall world records include;

  • World's tallest indoor roller coaster[19] - the Mindbender
  • World's largest indoor lake[20] - Deep Sea Adventure Lake
  • World's largest parking lot with more than 20,000 spaces, and over 10,000 overflow spaces.[4][5] - WEM's parking lot

Other records (past)[edit]

In 2007, Peter Charney broke the world record for the most bungee jumps in 24 hours.

Major attractions[edit]


Mindbender rollercoaster at Galaxyland, circa August 2010

Galaxyland was originally known as "Fantasyland;" however, during a court battle with the Walt Disney Company, West Edmonton Mall changed the park's name to Galaxyland in July 1995 after completing major renovations. It undertook a complete redesign from the original theme, old Victorian fantasy, to a galactic space theme.[22] It is an indoor amusement park on the north side of the mall and is the second-largest indoor amusement park in the world, behind Ferrari World, and features 24 rides and attractions. There are eight beginner rides, nine intermediate rides, seven thrill rides, the triple loop Mindbender roller coaster, the world's largest indoor triple loop roller coaster. The latest attraction in Galaxyland, which opened in 2018, named HAVOC. The management closed Drop of Doom in the early 2000s. The tower area was replaced shortly after by a more modern launch ride, the Space Shot, a S&S Double Shot Tower Ride.[22] In late 2019, the park announced a new partnership with Hasbro, with several rides and attractions being rebranded with Hasbro toy brands. The renovation is scheduled to finish by Winter 2020.[23]

On March 16, 2020, Galaxyland closed due to public health orders in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.[24] In July 2021 it reopened but is operating with a reduced capacity due to further health mandates stemming from the ongoing pandemic. Ticket sales may end or pause temporarily when capacity limit is reached.[1]

World Waterpark[edit]

Main wavepool, circa August 2014.

The World Waterpark is the world's 4th-largest indoor waterpark,[25] built in 1985, with a size of 20,903 square metres (5.165 acres). The park has the world's largest indoor wave pool. The highest slides in the park are the Twister and Cyclone, which are each 25.3 metres (83 ft) high.

The wavepool has six wave bays, each with two panels with a total of 1,500 horsepower (1.1 MW) generating waves up to two metres high.

In 2018–2019, the waterpark underwent a $2.5 Million dollar renovation. The renovations included new paint jobs to the Corkscrew slide, the handrails, and the Blue Thunder Wave Pool. Bathrooms were introduced to a more convenient location, as well as a rooftop balcony on top of the bathrooms for social gatherings. A hot dog stand, Tiki Dog, was added.[26]

Along with Galaxyland, the World Waterpark was closed on March 16, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[24] Both reopened to the public in July 2021.

Ice Palace[edit]

An ice hockey rink seen from a second story above it. There are two teams playing at the far end. People are watching the game from both levels; there are stores behind them. Above the rink is a glass ceiling from which advertising banners hang promoting the tournament sponsors, as well as the Canadian and U.S. flags (circa June 2015).
Ice Palace

Ice Palace is a scaled-down version of a National Hockey League (NHL) regulation-sized ice rink in the centre of the mall. The Edmonton Oilers occasionally practised at the Ice Palace during the 1980s. The Oilers' contract for using the rink has since expired. The rink is used for various hockey and other sporting tournaments. In 2015, the Ice Palace was renamed Mayfield Toyota Ice Palace after the mall sold the naming rights to a local auto dealership.[27]

During special events, such as Remembrance Day, the ice rink is covered for ceremonies.[28] In July 2017, West Edmonton Mall announced that the Mayfield Toyota Ice Palace would get a $3 million renovation. It closed for the summer and reopened in December 2017.[29]

Professor WEM's Adventure Golf[edit]

Professor WEM's Adventure Golf viewed from top floor, circa October 2015

Professor WEM's Adventure Golf is an 18-hole miniature golf course. The miniature golf course was originally known as Pebble Beach Mini Golf, and was designed to be a mini golf version of Pebble Beach Golf Links. The course was refurbished and given the Professor WEM theme in the mid-1990s.

Other attractions[edit]

Open Sea, a bronze whale by Robin Bell, in its original location before it moved to outside of the now-defunct Sears Canada, and removed the water surrounding it, circa November 2005. This sculpture is a statue of a North Atlantic right whale.
The brass man, originally from Bourbon Street, in the phase III food court, circa November 2010. Now, he sits in the Phase I court
Running In oil workers statue by Robin Bell, circa January 2016
  • Fantasyland Hotel,[30] located within the mall; WEM is also affiliated with a second hotel, the West Edmonton Mall Inn, across the street from the shopping centre on 90th Avenue.
  • An indoor shooting range[31] (named "Wild West Shooting Centre")
  • Large-scale replica of the Santa María, one of the ships sailed by Christopher Columbus in 1492 to San Salvador Island. The deck can be booked for private functions.
  • 24-hour Gym, Crunch Fitness
  • Dinner Theatre: Jubilations Dinner Theatre offers original Canadian three-act musical comedies along with a four-course dinner. Full bar service is available and the theatre's productions run Wednesday to Sunday. This space was formerly a Famous Players cinema.
  • Previously, the mall has had a history of nightclubs and recreation spaces including the Empire Ballroom, Edmonton Events Centre (now demolished), The Joint and Ka'os Nightclub. The former Edmonton Events Centre space has been purchased by Gateway Casinos & Entertainment for their expansion of the Palace Casino, which was renamed to Starlight Casino. (Phase II)
  • The Rec Room
  • West 49 skate shop, built in the 1st floor in Phase II, in former movie theatre, with a indoor skatepark in the basement then moved to former Sears temporarily, when DRIVE Go Karts moved in, before moving back to Phase II in a different store space then before. Stitches Factory Outlet takes the 2nd floor. (Phase I)
  • West Edmonton Christian Assembly (WECA), an inter-denominational chapel[32] (Phase III)
  • Three radio stations: 97.3 K-Rock (classic rock), 840 CFCW (classic country and news programming), 96.3 The Breeze, are owned by Stingray Radio. The Stingray-owned area features studios, offices, and a small free museum. Stingray studios are in Phase IV, with the broadcast studios visible from the mall (illuminated "on air" signs indicate when broadcasts are underway from those studios). (Phase III)
  • Dragon's Tale Black-lit Mini Golf is near Galaxyland, along with the Crystal Labyrinth Mirror Maze.
  • From 1985 to 2005 a Deep Sea adventure ride took visitors on a narrated tour of the lake in one of four submarines.[33] The submarines have now been removed but guests can still visit the Marine Life at Sea Life Caverns — an underground aquarium that is home to more than 100 species of fish, sharks, sea turtles, penguins, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. Or watch thee free daily sea lion shows.[2]

Themed streets[edit]

Bourbon Street before it was refurbished, circa November 2005.
Europa Boulevard in June 2003, ten years before La Mason Simons moved in.

The mall also includes several theme areas including:

  • Brbn St. (Bourbon Street): Features clubs and restaurants in a New Orleans-influenced setting. Several restaurants and clubs are here including 1st Rnd, Boston Pizza, Earl's, Hudson's Canadian Tap House, Marble Slab Creamery, Moxie's Classic Grill, Mr Mikes Steakhouse & Bar, Rick Bronson's the Comic Strip, the Old Spaghetti Factory. The lighting in this area is left dim to simulate a nighttime atmosphere. The area can be closed off from the rest of the mall, allowing for the hosting of special events, and for its establishments to stay open past the closing time of the rest of the mall. As part of the 2011–2014 mall renovations, this area was renovated and Bourbon Street was renamed Brbn St.
  • Europa Boulevard: Eclectic shops in an area designed to look like a European streetscape. It is home to Europa Watch & Jewelry, Fleurs Flowers, Opulence, G-Star Raw, Plush Skateboard Shop, Dr. Martens, B3, Waffloos, FYidoctors, Yasmin, Stitch It, and several rentable conference rooms that look down on the Boulevard. Also, Europa Boulevard is home to the first La Maison Simons to open outside Quebec.[34]
  • Chinatown: Asian-themed area anchored by a T & T Supermarket (in the former Canadian Tire location). It is directly above Bourbon Street. The Chinatown signage was removed in May 2012 and the section, though it still maintains an Asian décor, is no longer exclusive to such businesses.

Shops & Services[edit]

West Edmonton Mall is home to more than 800 stores and services including twelve world-class attractions, two hotels, over 100 dining venues, the widest variety of one-of-a-kind retailers, and entertainment for all ages.[3]  Recent luxury brand tenants include:


Phase 3 after the renovation, featuring the musical dancing water fountains, June 2015

Construction on a total renovation of the mall shopping areas through all the phases began in spring 2011. The 'face lift' included the renovation of all mall common areas, which started in Phase I and finished in Phase IV. The most notable upgrades included the retrofit of an existing water fountain into new choreographed musical dancing fountains, hanging decor of ceramic roses in the Rose Court outside Victoria's Secret and glass oil droplets around the Oilmen Statue outside the Phase I Food Court. Most of the renovations were completed in 2014, however some areas of the mall continue construction, such as Park Lane and Chinatown.[36][37]

In 2017, the mall announced that the Mayfield Toyota Ice Palace would undergo a renovation, retrofitting it with the latest technologies including modern lighting and sound. The Ice Palace closed in mid 2017 and reopened in December.[38] Later in mid 2018, the mall announced that the World Waterpark would undergo renovations worth $2.5 million in September 2018.[39] All upgrades have since been completed.

In 2021 local car dealership Mayfield Toyota made their move to the mall and rebranded as West Edmonton Mall Toyota which is the world’s largest full service in mall dealership.[40] The dealership has developed and is in the old Sears retail space. It is approximately 118,000 square feet (11,000 m2) and includes 65 service bays, a detailing centre, and a three-aisle drive-thru that intersects the entire mall.

Since 2019, the mall has added several high-end retailers in phase III[41] including Gucci, Tiffany’s, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton.

Future developments[edit]

In 2002, the City of Edmonton approved plans for the mall to expand with an additional 30,000 square metres (320,000 sq ft) of retail space, a facility for sports, trade shows and conventions, a 12-storey office building, and a 600-unit apartment building, along with more parking.[42] However, none of these projects has begun construction except for the completed parking lot expansion by the Rec Room.

As part of Mayfield Toyota’s move to the mall,[43] the project is yet to include the addition of a 200,000-square-foot (19,000 m2) parkade with 1,000 parking stalls and valet service.[44]


In February 2015, the jihadist terrorist group al-Shabaab released a propaganda video calling for attacks on West Edmonton Mall and other Western shopping centres. Although the group had hitherto never launched attacks in North America, security at the mall was tightened in response. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police also indicated that there was no evidence of any imminent threat.[45]

In response to growing security threats, West Edmonton Mall developed a lockdown protocol in case of major emergencies. As of 2013 drills continued to be executed every two to three months.[46]


In 2011, a video recording allegedly showed WEM security assaulting a woman after arresting her for trespassing. A judge agreed to release the video after charges against the woman were dismissed.[47]

West Edmonton Mall Transit Centre[edit]

West Edmonton Mall
Transit Centre
General information
Owned byCity of Edmonton, TransEd LRT
Line(s)Valley Line - West (future)
Platforms13 bus bays,[48] 1 Elevated LRT Station (future)
Tracks2 (future)
ConnectionsBus interchange SunDog Connector,[49] Valley Line - West (future)
Platform levels1 (2, future)
ParkingYes, at West Edmonton Mall
Bicycle facilitiesYes
Disabled accessYes
Other information
WebsiteWest Edmonton Mall Transit Centre

The West Edmonton Mall Transit Centre is a major hub of the Edmonton Transit Service (ETS). As of August 2021, it is in a temporary location on 90 Avenue beside the West Edmonton Mall Inn.[50] This is due to the upcoming construction of the LRT system's Valley Line West elevated station.[51]

The permanent transit centre is on the south side of West Edmonton Mall, outside mall entrance 48. Buses using the transit centre enter and exit from 87 Avenue. The large shelter building at the transit centre is accessible and equipped with power doors. This transit centre has vending machines and a payphone but no park and ride, public washrooms, or drop-off area.[52] The transit centre is served by ETS and St. Albert Transit.

$3 million in upgrades to the transit centre were completed in June 2017 and included a new heated indoor shelter (double the size of the previous shelter), new sidewalks, new lighting, and a new public art installation, among other changes.[52][53]

The following bus and LRT routes serve and will serve the transit centre:[54]

To/From Routes
Bonnie Doon 4 ETS
Capilano Transit Centre 4 ETS
Century Park Transit Centre 56 ETS
Clareview Transit Centre 54 ETS
Donsdale 913 ETS
Downtown 2, 7, 900X ETS
Edmonton Valley Zoo ODT, 994 ETS
The Grange 916, 917 ETS
The Hamptons 916, 917 ETS
Highlands 2 ETS
Jasper Place Transit Centre 52, 914, 915, 925 ETS
Leger Transit Centre 56 ETS
Lessard 916, 918A/B ETS
Lewis Farms Transit Centre 4, 900X, 916, 917, 920X ETS
Lymburn 917 ETS
MacEwan University 7 ETS
Meadows Transit Centre 55 ETS
Mill Woods Transit Centre 56 ETS
Northgate Transit Centre 52, 54 ETS
North-West Industrial 54, 906, 907 ETS
South Campus/Fort Edmonton Park Transit Centre 4 ETS
Southgate Transit Centre 55 ETS
Stadium Transit Centre 2 ETS
St. Albert Nakî Transit Centre 205 StAT
University Transit Centre 4, 920X ETS
Wedgewood Heights 913 ETS
Westmount Transit Centre 52, 904, 906, 907 ETS
Westridge 923 ETS
White Industrial 906 ETS
Whyte Ave 4 ETS
Millwoods/Lewis Farms (future) Valley Line (future) ETS


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "General Manager at West Edmonton Mall Property Inc". linkedin.
  2. ^ "Store listing". West Edmonton Mall. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Pocock, Emil (January 2000). "Table 3 World's Largest Shopping Centers Compared". American Studies at Eastern Connecticut State University. Archived from the original (Archive) on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Westly, Erica (10 November 2008). "The World's Largest Parking Lots". Forbes. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Largest car park". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  6. ^ "Canadian Shopping Centre Study 2019" (pdf). Retail Council of Canada. December 2019. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  7. ^ Van Santvoort, Albert. "This Burnaby mall is now the third-busiest in Canada - despite its size". Burnaby Now.
  8. ^ Sheth, Khushboo (11 January 2019). "The Biggest Shopping Malls in the World". WorldAtlas. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  9. ^ "Mall of America By The Numbers" (PDF). 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "About | West Edmonton Mall". www.wem.ca. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  11. ^ "About | West Edmonton Mall". www.wem.ca. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  12. ^ "The Ghermezians build the West Edmonton Mall". CBC News. 9 November 1985. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  13. ^ "Facts about WEM". Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  14. ^ a b "History of WEM". West Edmonton Mall. Archived from the original on 28 August 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  15. ^ Heidenreich, Phil (15 September 2021). "West Edmonton Mall's larger-than-life vision still attracts shoppers, stores 40 years after opening". Global News. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
  16. ^ "Three killed in roller coaster accident at Edmonton mall". Star Tribune. Minneapolis. 16 June 1986. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  17. ^ "two die in Alberta malls". theglobeandmail. 26 December 2000.
  18. ^ "Adjusters assess storm damage to West Edmonton Mall". CBC News. 12 July 2004. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  19. ^ "Tallest indoor rollercoaster". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  20. ^ "West Edmonton Mall". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  21. ^ "Most bungee jumps in 24 hours (indoors)". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  22. ^ a b "Way Back WEM: From Fantasyland to Galaxyland and beyond". CBC News. 3 October 2018.
  23. ^ Bartko, Karen (18 December 2019). "West Edmonton Mall's Galaxyland to undergo Hasbro-themed rebrand". Global News. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  24. ^ a b "West Edmonton Mall closes waterpark, Galaxyland in response to COVID-19". Global News. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  25. ^ https://www.tripsavvy.com/worlds-largest-indoor-water-parks-3225931
  26. ^ "West Edmonton Mall waterpark undergoes $2.5 million renovation". Edmonton Journal. 21 September 2018.
  27. ^ Mah, Bill (14 June 2015). "West Edmonton Mall sells Ice Palace naming rights to auto dealer". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  28. ^ "Edmontonians honour those who fought for our country". CTV News. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  29. ^ Bartko, Karen (13 July 2017). "West Edmonton Mall ice rink undergoing $3M renovation". Global News. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  30. ^ "Fantasyland Hotel". Fantasyland Hotel. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  31. ^ "Home". Edmonton Shooting Range. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  32. ^ "Marketplace Chapel". Marketplace Chapel. Archived from the original on 29 September 2002. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  33. ^ thatbemguy (25 January 2021). "Deep Sea Adventure". Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  34. ^ Mah, Bill (20 January 2011). "Simons to dominate mall's Europa Boulevard". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  35. ^ Kenty, Gordon (25 October 2017). "The future of retail is 'micro malls,' says West Edmonton Mall owners". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  36. ^ Mah, Bill (21 January 2011). "Multimillion-dollar facelift set for WEM". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
  37. ^ "WEM Revitalization". West Edmonton Mall. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  38. ^ "West Edmonton Mall ice rink undergoing $3M renovation". Global News. 13 July 2017. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  39. ^ "West Edmonton Mall waterpark undergoes $2.5 million renovation". Edmonton Journal Updated. 21 September 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  40. ^ "Toyota Opens World's Largest In-Mall Service Dealership at West Edmonton Mall [Interviews/Photos]". Retail Insider. 20 October 2021. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  41. ^ "Gucci just opened its first store in Edmonton | Venture". dailyhive.com. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  42. ^ International Council of Shopping Centers. "West Edmonton Mall gets go-ahead for expansion"
  43. ^ "Toyota Opens World's Largest In-Mall Service Dealership at West Edmonton Mall [Interviews/Photos]". Retail Insider. 20 October 2021. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  44. ^ Labine, Jeff (13 October 2019). "Mayfield Toyota announces 118,000-square-foot dealership plans for West Edmonton Mall". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  45. ^ "No "imminent threat" to West Edmonton Mall visitors, RCMP says". Edmonton Journal. 22 February 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  46. ^ Parrish, Julia (27 February 2013). "West Edmonton Mall tests emergency lockdown procedures". CTV News Edmonton. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  47. ^ "Edmonton woman alleges assault by mall guards". CBC News. 19 December 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  48. ^ "West Edmonton Mall Transit Centre Map" (PDF). City of Edmonton. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  49. ^ "Edmonton → Jasper Bus | Book Today". 27 October 2020.
  50. ^ "West Edmonton Mall Transit Centre relocates for several years due to LRT construction - Edmonton | Globalnews.ca".
  51. ^ "Valley Line West. Downtown to Lewis Farms" (PDF). City of Edmonton. Spring 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  52. ^ a b "West Edmonton Mall Transit Centre". City of Edmonton. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  53. ^ Osman, Laura (13 May 2016). "West Edmonton Mall transit centre construction begins Monday". CBC News. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  54. ^ "Brochures in PDF". City of Edmonton. Retrieved 1 September 2019.

External links[edit]