Luxury Urban Camping Downtown!

Tent - Private room · Street Northwest, Edmonton, AB T5G 2A5, Canada

*October update: Camping season's officially come to an end (sob!), so we are no longer accepting camping bookings this year. We're keeping our camping listings up anyway though, for people wanting to book early for next year: weather-permitting, we'll offer urban camping again in May 2014. :)

The Space


GREAT space for luxury urban camping also available at the eclectic & bohemian ArtHaus, located in the heart of downtown Edmonton. Perfect for backpackers & hostelers who appreciate a laid-back, earthy atmosphere, beautiful eye-candy, and plenty of warm & diverse living spaces to relax & socialize. 

***This camping listing is for people *without* their own tent/gear and who want to use our "Living Room Tent" (ignore the "real bed" tag at right - the site won't let me delete/change it, sorry!). Also see our "Other Listings" (on my profile page) for cheaper camping options (with your own tent/gear) and/or the private indoor rooms we also have available.

Please read the following info in full before sending booking inquiries, as it contains many FAQs & may help to avoid any confusion about the space.

ESPA is a multiple award-winning non-profit activist-arts organization incorporated in 1998. The ESPA ArtHaus is our new downtown location which hosts an 'underground' Library & Archive, a few private/furnished guestrooms (listed separately on AirBnB), and will eventually include a small Artist-Run Gallery. Renting out our extra space subsidizes the maintenance of our library/archive and other non-profit activities.

CAMPING at the ESPA ArtHaus gives you access to:

• Shared kitchen facilities & dining areas

• Shared casual 'living' space in the main floor Library/Archive, or chilling out on a hot day on the lovely, umbrella'd side-deck or in the huge yard (seasonal usage), which includes 2 firepits, several lawn chairs, canopies, chemical-free lawn & flower gardens, and plenty of extra yard space for camping out, volleying badminton birdies, yoga and more. As of October 2013 we also have a furnished backyard tipi with firepit (unsupervised usage by guests is conditional).  

• Shared upper 4-pc bath/shower & a 2-pc basement washroom

• Free Wi-Fi internet connection

• Plenty of free, on-site vehicle & bike parking

• On-site laundry facilities ($5 charge per wash/dry load)

• Free firewood! If we're running low on wood we'd appreciate a hand gathering more from nearby construction sites (guests can also buy bags of seasoned/split wood at the gas station up the street).


• $25/night per first person + $10 per additional person* - this listing INCLUDES using our awesome "Living Room Tent", which can accommodate 4-6 adult sleepers (or more kids) and also has a separate screen-porch. Extra sleeping bags, pillows & foamies may also be available for no extra cost, but please inquire in advance about availability as our extras may already be in use.
• There is still a $100 security/damage deposit per each booking (one deposit would cover multiple people camping together, pre-authorized on your credit card when you confirm a booking here).
• A house key will be provided to all primary (booking) guests upon arrival. There is a $20 refundable CASH deposit required upon check-in. No key deposit = no key!!

*Extended/group rates also available (cost conditional upon number of guests using facilities/utilities) - our yard is huge and can comfortably accommodate anywhere from 5-10 more tents, depending on size. AirBnB allows us to extend a “Special Offer” on rates so don’t worry about their pre-sets - if you want to book for multiple days/people/tents just enter the closest info you can, send a note with details of your request, and I can send you new rates for your approval/confirmation from there.

Guest Access

In addition to the ArtHaus, guests also have access to:
• Walking distance to Kingsway Mall, Chinatown, Little Italy, NAIT, Royal Alex & Glenrose hospitals, City Hall/Churchill Square, Downtown Arts District, Alberta Avenue Arts District, City Centre Mall, supermarkets, and all other amenities
• On good bus & LRT routes for quick & easy access to the River Valley, Old Strathcona, Fringe Festival, Folk Festival (Edmonton Ski Club) & University of Alberta. Also close to major sports & recreation facilities.
• Brand new children's playground 2 blocks from back-alley (at Spruce Avenue School & Community League)

Interaction with Guests

Your live-in caretakers are ESPA's Artistic Director (an easy-going but somewhat introverted freelance artist/graphic designer who works from home) and her 5th grade computer-nerd son, but we are very accommodating hosts, so expect a tour of the facilities and otherwise free-reign to enjoy what our very unique space has to offer. We're a vegetarian household but can accommodate carnivores, with some restrictions (see House Rules). If the fire's burnin' we're up for chatting, music & socializing; otherwise feel free to light your own and otherwise make yourself at home!

Getting around

Very easily-accessible location just north of the downtown core, only a short cab ride from the Greyhound Bus Terminal & Airport shuttle stops (Sutton Place Hotel is 10 blocks south). The #151, #134 and #12 buses stop right out front (Buslink #1369). Buslinks #1348 and #1434 are also within our block. Visit Edmonton Transit's "ETS Trip Planner" on the web for bus schedules & route plans; visit Edmonton Sky Shuttle for shuttle rates from the International Airport (costs more, but much easier than coming by bus/LRT); Edmonton Bicycle Commuters' (EBC) BikeWorks North is also within walking distance - visit their website for details about affordable bike & trailer rentals from their south location.

Other Things to Note

• When inquiring about booking, please provide us with some info about yourselves, and your reason for visiting/seeking accommodation. Note we are unlikely to approve bookings by individuals using only initials, no profile picture or info, etc., for general security purposes. *For multiple campers, we require a list (full names) of all people in your party.
• Note we are increasingly hesitant to accept 3rd-person bookings as it inhibits communication with the actual guest(s), so please note upon inquiry if this is an issue, and/or please commit to keeping the lines of communication open.
• Campers are welcome to store their valuables/electronics inside the house when they're off-site.
• Children welcome, including access to children's book & educational/progressive video libraries, tons of craft supplies, board games & sports equipment (please inquire about age-appropriateness/safety of each floor & availability of the Kid Room).
• Pets negotiable (we have one friendly/elderly cat on-site).

• Food for cooking & personal toiletries (e.g. shampoo & laundry detergent) are the responsibility of the guest(s). However, we provide kitchen basics like coffee/tea, sugar/cream, cooking oil, spices & condiments as an extra convenience (no need to buy your own).
• Also note: we've set check-in at 2pm & check-out at noon; we're actually pretty flexible, but as this flexibility has been heavily exploited to our inconvenience, we must insist you let us know in advance what time you plan on arriving, and expect to stick to it within a 2-hour time frame, otherwise you are subject to working around our schedule (to your inconvenience). If check-out at noon is many hours away from your city-departure you are welcome to store your things in the library/foyer until you leave, but we do need to turn-over our rooms/rental spaces between 12-2pm to avoid conflicts with other/incoming guests. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

Any additional questions, please feel free to ask!

*ESPA is recipient of the Edmonton Social Planning Council's 2010 "Award of Merit for Advocacy of Social Justice"; a 2011 "Award of Excellence" by the Edmonton Urban Design Awards; and a Medal in the 2012 National Urban Design Awards (Royal Architectural Institute of Canada).

Room type: Private room
Bed type: Real Bed
Accommodates: 6
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1.5
Beds: 6
Extra people: $9 / night after the first guest
Minimum Stay: 2 nights
Security Deposit: $94
Check In: 2:00 PM
Check Out: 12:00 PM (noon)
Cancellation: Moderate
Pet Owner: Cat(s)
  • Funky house, great location, friendly host, interesting people, and a good night's sleep.
    Thanks Lynette!

    September 2013
  • A fun way to see the city, very friendly house with an amazing artists library inside. Definitely recommended for those who want to travel on a budget and meet interesting people.

    August 2013
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Edmonton Small Press Association (ESPA)
Artist, activist, founding director of a multiple-award-winning non-profit arts org, single mom of a great kid & friendly old feline. Lived in the Canadian Arctic, Northern Manitoba, Southern Ontario & Québec before bartending my way out west in my early 20s. Musically, we love all roots, R&B, Motown, Creole/Cajun, old-school funk & hip-hop, old RnR, African, South American & Middle Eastern music the most (did I mention we have a biggish vinyl LP collection too?)! Big fans of sci-fi & fantasy films, social-justice documentaries, underground comix & zines, political posters, beautiful artwork, good books, exotic instruments, drums & percussion, nice rugs, candles, incense, canopies, tents & tipis, nightlights & great firepits! Vegetarian, organic gardening & Fair-Trade advocates. Avid recyclers & composters. Responsible/social drinkers & smokers. "People Before Profits!" is a main motto. We've had great guests here from across Canada & the U.S., Mexico, New Zealand, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Brazil, China, Korea, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bosnia, Poland, Somalia, Namibia & Jamaica... so far! Amongst the travelers & vacationers we've also had several guests stay here while searching for work or a permanent place in the city, camp workers in town on their days off, professionals visiting for work-related functions, trade unionists here for training, students, starving artists, cool babies and friendly pets! Life's too short to accommodate grotty punks & takers, so we're givers—bring on the matchers & makers! Together we can build a better world! :) This website has made some changes recently so if you're looking for a room (or summer camping) at the ESPA ArtHaus but it comes up as unavailable, please see our other rooms/listings on the left side of this profile page (under my photo & verifications) - click on "view all listings", and ignore the weird map - all of our rooms/camping spaces are on one property! **** HOUSE-UPDATES (a.k.a. "Rants for Rule-Breakers") **** THE RED HEN RANT: Seriously folks, we are not our guests' maidservants. Good guests don't leave us their weeks of travel-junk, or empties, or fast-food to clean-up after. The reason hotels cost a lot is because they have paid staff to take care of all that stuff. We are not the Hilton, and our rooms are not $160+ night. The sheets & plates & chairs (and, well, pretty much everything) don't match but they're clean and shared with love. We're willing to offer rooms for so low because we're volunteers, but we won't be able to offer cheap rooms if our guests treat us like paid staff with nothing else to do. Tin cans & take-out containers take 2 minutes to empty, rinse & put in the recycling bin. The recycling gods (and our garbage-bag budget) will shower you with good karma. We believe in a "sharing economy" but it only works if everyone (willingly) participates. REVOLUTION BEGINS IN THE SINK! :) ALLERGY ALERT: It appears some guests haven't read our "Amenities" section before requesting space here. If you have allergies or asthma we are probably not a good fit for you. We have a cat & permit pets! We have hardwood floors with many rugs that collect pet hair despite our ongoing maintenance. The house is very nice & loaded with character but it's also 100 yrs old with a million tiny nooks & crannies. We currently permit smoking in one room only, and while our house is not "smoky" we do also often burn candles & incense to keep it smelling pleasant. We're still doing light reno & mural/painting work when time permits. Come warmer weather doors & windows are wide-open, but in June the caragana bushes send out a lot of pollen. All things combined, very-light allergics seem to be fine with antihistamines, but otherwise we're probably not the best choice. WI-FI NOTICE: If guests BitTorrent (illegal downloading/distributing of copyrighted material) via our wifi, we will keep 100% of their security deposit. We expect guests to fully disable torrents while on our property, so we don't get surprise abuse-notices from our ISP and risk having our internet accounts disabled, or being sued for enabling copyright-infringement. Okey dokes? LAUNDRY/ENERGY NOTICE: Our laundry* & kitchen facilities are a privilege, not a right. People who repeatedly violate the laundry rules risk losing a portion of their security deposit. That means cold water & appropriate load-size. Guests who launder *a single t-shirt and one pair of socks* with a full-load of hot water? Nooo! (They can use the laundromat 5 blocks up the street.) Guy who had the oven on 350° for 2 hours to roast a *single bulb of garlic*? Nooo. (People who don't like it can spend a fortune eating out instead.) Woman who repeatedly had 'full baths' despite us not even having a bath-plug? Nooo. Sing in the shower instead please. Our awesome-cheap rooms won't be cheap if our utilities skyrocket due to unmindful behaviour. (Oh, so many stories...) *Laundry used to be free but it's now $5 per load (wash/dry), unless previous arrangements have been made. (People who advance-booked rooms before the 'new policy' will still be offered free laundry privileges.) Please also be sure to preview the "House Rules" and "Amenities" tabs before booking so we can avoid expanding the above rant-section. :D Thanks for your consideration & have a great day!
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