Edmonton

City of Edmonton

Downtown Edmonton from the air

(Coat of Arms of Edmonton, Alberta)

(Flag of Edmonton)

City of Edmonton
Location of Edmonton within census division number 11 in Alberta, Canada
Area 683.88 km²
Metro area 9,418.62 km²
Population 712,391 (2006)
Pop'n rank 5th
Metro pop'n 1,040,000 (2006 est.)
Metro rank 6th
Pop'n density 974.0
Location
Altitude 668 metres
Incorporation 1904
Province Alberta
Census Division 11
Members of Parliament Rona Ambrose, Ken Epp, Peter Goldring, Laurie Hawn, Rahim Jaffer, Michael Lake, James Rajotte, John G. Williams
Members of the Legislative Assembly Bharat Agnihotri, Dan Backs, Bill Bonko, Laurie Blakeman, David Eggen, Mo Elsalhy, Dave Hancock, Thomas Lukaszuk, Hugh MacDonald, Ray Martin, Brian Mason, Weslyn Mather, Bruce Miller, Rick Miller, Raj Pannu, Kevin Taft, Maurice Tougas, Gene Zwozdesky
Mayor Stephen Mandel

(Past mayors)

City Manager Al Maurer
Governing Body Edmonton City Council
Time zone Mountain (UTC-7)
Postal code T5A to T6Z
Area Code 780
Official website: City of Edmonton

Edmonton is the capital of Alberta, a Canadian province. It is the northernmost city with a population over 500,000 in North America. It is situated in the central region of the province, in an area with some of the most fertile farmland on the prairies. It is the second largest city in Alberta, with a population of 712,391 (2005), and is the hub of the country's sixth largest Census Metropolitan Area, with a metropolitian population of 1,040,000 (2006 est.). At 684 km², the City of Edmonton covers an area larger than Chicago, Philadelphia, Toronto or Montreal, although less than one-third of Ottawa. Edmonton has one of the lowest population densities in North America, about 9.4% that of New York City. A resident of Edmonton is known as an Edmontonian.

Edmonton is at the north end of the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor (one of four such regions that together comprise 50% of the Canadian population) and is a staging point for large-scale oilsands projects occurring in northern Alberta and large-scale diamond mining operations in the Northwest Territories.

Edmonton is Canada's second most populous provincial capital (after Toronto) and is a cultural, government and educational centre. It plays host to a year round slate of world-class festivals, earning it the title of Festival City.[1]. It is home to North America's largest mall and Canada's largest historic park. In 2004, Edmonton celebrated the centennial of its incorporation as a city.

Contents

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History

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Exploration and settlement

The first inhabitants gathered in the area which is now Edmonton around 3000 BC and perhaps as early as 10,000 BC, when an ice-free corridor opened up as the last ice age ended and timber, water and wildlife became available in the region.

In 1754, Anthony Henday, an explorer working for the Hudson's Bay Company, may have been the first European to enter the Edmonton area. His expeditions across the Canadian Prairies were mainly to seek contact with the aboriginal population for the purpose of establishing fur trade, as competition was fierce between the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company. In the 19th century, the highly fertile soils surrounding Edmonton helped attract settlers, further establishing Edmonton as a major regional commercial and agricultural centre. Edmonton was also a major stopping point for people hoping to cash in on the Klondike Gold Rush in 1897.

Incorporated as a city in 1904 with a population of 8,350 [2], Edmonton became the capital of Alberta a year later on September 1, 1905.

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The war years

During the early 1910s, Edmonton grew very rapidly due to rising speculation in real estate prices. In 1912, Edmonton amalgamated with the city of Strathcona south of the North Saskatchewan River. As a result, not only did Edmonton's population get a boost, but it now extended south of the river.

Just prior to World War I, the real estate boom ended abruptly, causing the city's population to drop sharply from over 72,500 in 1914 to under 54,000 only two years later[3]. The joining of many men to the Canadian military during the war also contributed to the drop in population. Afterwards, the city was slow to recover in population and economy during the 1920s and 1930s until World War II.

The first licensed airfield in Canada, Blatchford Field (now Edmonton City Centre Airport) was started in 1929. Pioneering aviators such as Wop May and Max Ward used Blatchford Field as a major base for the distribution of mail, food and medical supplies to the Canadian North. Hence Edmonton's role as the "Gateway to the North" was strengthened.

World War II saw Edmonton becoming a major base for the construction of the Alaska Highway and the Northwest Staging Route.

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The oil boom years

Oil rig monument at the southern entrance of Gateway Park on Hwy 2 (Queen Elizabeth II Highway).
Oil rig monument at the southern entrance of Gateway Park on Hwy 2 (Queen Elizabeth II Highway).

The first major oil discovery in Alberta was made on February 13, 1947 near the town of Leduc to the south of Edmonton. Oil reserves were known as early as 1914 to exist in the southern parts of Alberta but they produced very little oil compared to those around Edmonton. Additional oil reserves were discovered during the late 1940s and the 1950s near the town of Redwater. Because most of Alberta's oil reserves were concentrated in central and northern Alberta, Edmonton became home to most of Alberta's oil industry.

The subsequent oil boom gave Edmonton new status as the Oil Capital of Canada. During the 1950s, the city increased in population from 149,000 to 269,000[4]. After a relatively calm but still prosperous period in the 1960s, the city's growth took on renewed vigour with high world oil prices, triggered by the 1973 oil crisis and the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The oil boom of the 1970s and 1980s ended abruptly with the introduction of the National Energy Program in 1981. The population had reached 521,000 that same year[5]. Although the National Energy Program was later scrapped by the federal government in the mid-1980s, the collapse of world oil prices in 1986 and massive government cutbacks kept the city from making a full economic recovery until the late 1990s.

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Recent history

The 1987 tornado
The 1987 tornado

In 1981, the largest shopping mall in North America, West Edmonton Mall, opened. The mall is Alberta's most-visited tourist attraction, and contains an indoor amusement park, a large indoor waterpark, a skating rink, and a luxury hotel in addition to its over 800 shops and services.

On July 31, 1987, a devastating tornado, ranked as an F4 on the Fujita scale, hit the city and killed 27 people. The storm blew CN rail cars off a bridge crossing the North Saskatchewan River and hit the areas of Beaumont, Mill Woods, Bannerman, and the Evergreen Trailer Park. The day became known as "Black Friday". Then-mayor Laurence Decore cited the community's response to the tornado as evidence that Edmonton was a "city of champions", which later became the city's slogan.

The city entered its current period of economic recovery and prosperity by the late 1990s, helped by a strong recovery in oil prices and further economic diversification. While oil production and refining remains the basis of many jobs in Edmonton, the city's economy has managed to diversify economically. The downtown core and parts of the inner city, after years of extremely high office vacancy rates and neglect, have recovered to a great degree. It is still undergoing a renaissance of its own, with further new projects underway or about to become reality, and more people choosing to live in or near the downtown core.

This economic prosperity is bringing in large numbers of workers from around Canada. It is forcast that 83,000 new residents will move to Edmonton between 2006 and 2010, twice the rate that city planners had expected.[6] Many of the new workers moving to the city are young males. [7].

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Geography and location

Edmonton is located near the geographical centre of the province at an elevation of 668 m (2192 ft).

The North Saskatchewan River bisects this city and originates at the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park. It empties, via the Saskatchewan River, Lake Winnipeg, and the Nelson River, into Hudson Bay. It runs from the southwest to the northeast through the city and is fed by numerous creeks throughout the city, such as Mill Creek and Whitemud Creek. This creates numerous ravines, many of which have been incorporated into the urban parkland. Edmonton is situated at the boundary between prairie to the south and boreal forest to the north, in a transitional area known as aspen parkland. However, the aspen parkland in and around Edmonton has long since been heavily altered by farming.


St. Albert
Morinville
Sturgeon County Fort Saskatchewan
Parkland County
Enoch Cree Nation
Spruce Grove
Stony Plain

North
West  Edmonton  East
South

Strathcona County
Elk Island National Park
Devon Leduc County
Leduc (city)
Beaumont
Camrose
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Parkland and environment

Edmonton's river valley constitutes the longest stretch of connected urban parkland in North America, and Edmonton has the highest per capita area of parkland of any Canadian city. The public river valley parks provide a unique urban escape area with park styles ranging from fully serviced urban parks to campsite-like facilities with few amenities. This main 'Ribbon of Green' is supplemented by numerous neighbourhood parks located throughout the city, to give a total of 111 km² (27,400 acres) of parkland. Within the 7,400 hectare, 25 km long river valley park system there are 11 lakes, 14 ravines, and 22 major parks. Most of the city has excellent bike and walking trail connections.[8]

Edmonton's streets and parklands are also home to one of the largest remaining concentrations of healthy American Elm trees in the world, unaffected by Dutch Elm disease, which has wiped out vast numbers of such trees in eastern North America. Jack Pine, Lodgepole Pine, White Spruce, White Birch, Aspen, Green Ash, Basswood, various poplars and willows, and Manitoba Maple are also abundant; Bur Oak is increasingly popular. Introduced tree species include Blue Spruce, Norway Maple, Red Oak, Sugar Maple, Common Horse-chestnut, McIntosh Apple and Evans Cherry.

Several golf courses, both public and private, are also located in the river valley. The long summer daylight hours of this northern city provide for extended play well into the evening. Golf courses and the park system become a winter recreation area during this season. Cross-country skiing and skating are popular during the long winter. Four downhill ski slopes are located in the river valley as well, two within the city and two immediately outside.

The City of Edmonton has named five parks in its River Valley Parks System in honour of each of "The Famous Five".

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Neighbourhoods

Further information: List of neighbourhoods in Edmonton
River valley west of downtown.
River valley west of downtown.

Edmonton has numerous distinct neighbourhoods.

The downtown core, which has seen increasing redevelopment since the 1997 Capital City Downtown Plan was introduced, is home to the Central Business District (CBD) as well as over 4000 residents. Downtown proper consists of the Commercial Core, Arts District, Rice Howard Way Pedestrian Mall, MacKay Avenue, Jasper-West, Warehouse District and Government Precinct.

Radiating from the core are numerous inner city neighbourhoods such as Oliver, Glenora, Westmount, Queen Mary Park, Central McDougall, Boyle Street, McCauley, Alberta Avenue and Norwood on the north side of the river, while Windsor Park, Garneau, Strathcona, Bonnie Doon, and Strathearn line the south side of the river. Several communities survived attempts by the municipal governments of the 1970s to rid the valley proper of all residents: these are Riverdale, Rossdale, Walterdale, and Cloverdale.

As with any city of its size, the inner communities give way to a collection of suburbs, generally classified as being outside the inner ring road and in extreme cases, outside of Anthony Henday Drive. The most well known of these is Mill Woods, which is home to approximately 100,000 residents. If Mill Woods were a separate municipality, it would be Alberta's third largest city after Calgary and Edmonton. Several new neighbourhoods are currently in formative stages in the South and Southwest, such as MacEwan, Terwillegar, and Rutherford.

Several transit-oriented developments (TOD) have begun to appear along the LRT line at Clareview with future developments planned at Belvedere (part of the Old Town Fort Road Redevelopment Project[9]). Another TOD called Century Park[10] is already under construction at the site of what was once Heritage Mall (currently under demolition) at the southern end of the future South LRT line. Century Park will eventually house up to 5,000 residents.

An overview of neighbourhoods can be found online.[11][12]

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Climate

Edmonton has a northern continental climate with extreme seasonal temperatures, although the city has milder winters than either Regina or Winnipeg, which are both located at a more southerly latitude. It has mild summers and chilly winters, with the average daily averages ranging from -11.7°C (10.9°F) in January to 17.5°C (63.5°F) in July [13]. Annually, temperatures exceed 30 °C (86 °F) on an average of 3 days and fall below −20 °C (−4 °F) on an average of 28 days. The highest temperature recorded in Edmonton was 37.6°C (99.7°F) on July 2, 1924, and the coldest temperature was −49.4°C (−56.9°F) recorded on January 19 and 21, 1886.[14] Summer typically lasts from late June until late August, and the humidity is rarely uncomfortable. Winter lasts from November through March and varies greatly in length and severity. Spring and autumn are both short and highly variable.

Edmonton has a dry climate. On average, Edmonton receives 476 mm (18.78 in) of precipitation and 123.5 cm (48.6 in) of snowfall per annum [15]. The wettest month is July, the driest months are October and November.[16] In July, the mean precipitation is 92 mm (3.6 in).[17] Extremes do occur such as the 114 mm of rainfall that fell on July 31, 1953. Summer thunderstorms can be frequent and sometimes severe enough to produce large hail, damaging winds, funnel clouds and even tornadoes. However, tornadoes near Edmonton are far weaker and short-lived compared to their counterparts farther south. Tornadoes as powerful as the F4 tornado which struck Edmonton on July 31, 1987, killing 28, are very rare. Edmonton has also been known to have other forms of severe weather, including a massive storm with both rain and hail which occurred on July 11, 2004. Although these occur infrequently, this "1-in-200 year event" flooded major intersections and underpasses as well as damaging both residential and commercial properties.

Weather averages for Edmonton (City Centre Airport)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg high °F 18.9 25.5 35.8 52.3 63.7 69.9 73.0 71.8 62.2 51.6 32.0 22.3 48.2
Avg low °F 3.2 8.4 18.9 31.5 42.3 50.0 53.8 52.0 42.4 32.5 17.2 7.0 29.8
Avg high °C -7.3 -3.6 2.1 11.3 17.6 21.0 22.8 22.1 16.8 10.9 0.0 -5.4 9.0
Avg low °C -16.0 -13.1 -7.3 31.5 5.7 10.0 12.1 11.1 5.8 0.3 -8.2 -13.9 -1.2
Precipitation (in) 0.88 0.57 0.65 1.02 1.93 3.43 3.61 2.72 1.72 0.28 0.28 0.82 18.78
Precipitation (cm) 2.25 1.46 1.66 2.60 4.90 8.71 9.17 6.90 4.37 1.79 1.79 2.09 47.69
Source: Environment Canada[18] Jan 2007

Edmonton is the most northerly major city in North America with a metro population of over 1 million. It is at the same latitude as Hamburg, Germany and Liverpool, England. At the summer solstice, Edmonton receives 17 hours and six minutes of daylight, with twilight extending well beyond that. Edmonton receives 2,289 hours of sunshine per year, and is one of Canada's sunniest cities.

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Economy

Edmonton is the major economic centre for northern and central Alberta and a major centre for the oil and gas industry. In its Spring 2006 Metropolitan Outlook, the Conference Board of Canada forecast that Edmonton's GDP will be $42.4 billion, a 3.6% increase over 2005.[19] The Edmonton Economic Development Corporation estimated that as of January 2005 the total value of major projects under construction in northern Alberta was $81.5 billion with $18.2 billion occurring within Greater Edmonton.

Edmonton traditionally has been a hub for Albertan petrochemical industries, earning it the nickname "Oil Capital of Canada" in the 1940s. Supply and service industries drive the energy extraction engine while research develops new technologies and supports expanded value-added processing of Alberta's massive oil, gas and oil sands reserves(reported to be the second largest in the world after Saudi Arabia).

Despite the apparent focus on oil and gas, Edmonton's economy is now the second most diverse in Canada.[20] Major industrial sectors include a strong technology sector anchored by major employers such as IBM, TELUS, Dell, Intuit, BioWare, Matrikon, and General Electric. The associated biotech sector, with companies such as CV Technologies, has recently seen employment growth of 37%.[21]

Much of the growth in technology sectors is due to Edmonton's reputation as one of Canada’s premiere research and education centres. Research initiatives are anchored by educational institutions such as the University of Alberta as well as government initiatives underway at the Alberta Research Council and Edmonton Research Park. Recently the National Institute for Nanotechnology was constructed on the University of Alberta campus.

During the 1980s Edmonton started to become a major financial centre with both regional offices of Canada's major banks and locally based institutions opening. However, the turmoil of the late 1980s economy radically changed the situation. Locally based operations such as Principal Trust and Canadian Commercial Bank would fail and regional offices were moved to Calgary. The 1990s saw a solidification of the economy and now Edmonton is home of Canadian Western Bank, the only publicly traded Schedule I chartered bank headquarters west of Toronto. Other major financial centres include ATB Financial and Servus Credit Union (formerly Capital City Savings).

Edmonton has been the birth place of several companies which have grown to international stature such as PCL Construction [1], and Stantec [2]. The local retail market has also seen the creation of many successful store concepts such as The Brick, Katz Group, AutoCanada, Liquor Stores, Liquor Barn, Planet Organic, Running Room, Booster Juice, Fountain Tire, and XS Cargo.

The geographical location of Edmonton has made it an ideal spot for distribution and logistics. CN Rail's North American operational facility is located in the city as well as a major intermodal facility that handles all incoming freight from the port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia.

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Demographics

Visible minorities[22] Population Percent
Total visible minorities 159,700 24.3%
Chinese 39,860 6.1%
Aboriginal 30,365 4.6%
South Asian 27,845 4.2%
Filipino 13,100 2.0%
Black 12,920 2.0%
Southeast Asian 9,435 1.4%
Arab 8,760 1.3%
Latin American 7,265 1.1%
Korean 2,725 0.4%
West Asian 1,645 0.3%
Japanese 1,590 0.2%
Other visible minorities 1,530 0.2%
Multiple visible minorities 2,665 0.4%
All others (includes white) 497,660 75.7%

According to the mid-2001 census, there were 666,104 residents within the city of Edmonton proper, compared to 2,974,807 for all of Alberta. The total population of the CMA(Census Metropolitan Area) was 937,845 50.1% of the population within the city of Edmonton proper is female, while 49.2% is male. Children under five accounted for approximately 5.8% of the resident population of Edmonton. This compares with 6.2% in Alberta, and almost 5.6% for Canada overall.

In mid-2001, 11.7% of Edmonton's population were of retirement age (65 and over for males and females) compared with 13.2% in Canada. The median age is 35.3 years of age compared to 37.6 years of age for all of Canada.

Religion[23] Population Percent
Protestant 204,770 31.2%
Catholic 193,110 29.4%
No religion 160,150 24.4%
Other Christian 25,815 3.9%
Muslim 18,790 2.9%
Christian Orthodox 17,275 2.6%
Buddhist 13,640 2.1%
Sikh 9,235 1.4%
Hindu 7,525 1.1%
Other 2,345 0.3%

In the five years between 1996 and 2001, the population of the city of Edmonton proper grew by 8.1 %, compared with an increase of 8.7% for Edmonton CMA, and 10.3% for Alberta as a whole. The population density of the city of Edmonton proper averaged 974 people per square kilometre, compared with an average of 4.6, for Alberta altogether.

Visible minorities make up 23.9% of the total city population as of 2001, with the Chinese being the largest, at 6.1%. Aboriginal Canadians are the second largest, comprising 4.6% of the total city population.

The City of Edmonton has conducted a civic census in early 2005. The 2005 civic census has revealed that the City of Edmonton's population is currently 712,391.[24] The Greater Edmonton Area population as of 2006 was estimated at 1,040,000.

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Infrastructure

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Transportation

Edmonton is a major transportation gateway to northern Alberta and northern Canada. There are two airports in the city, of which Edmonton International Airport is the largest, flying passengers to destinations in the United States, Europe, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Interurban passenger rail service is operated by VIA Rail to Jasper National Park, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia.

A largely gridded street system forms most of Edmonton's street androad network. The address system is mostly numbered, with streets running north-south and avenues running east-west. In built-up areas built since the 1950s, local streets and major roadways generall do not conform to the grid system. Major roadways include Yellowhead Trail and Whitemud Drive, and the city is connected to other communities elsewhre in Alberta, BC and Saskatchewan via the Yellowhead Highway to the west and east, and the Queen Elizabeth II Highway to the south.

The Edmonton Transit System is the city's main public transit agency, operating an LRT line as well as a large fleet of buses and trolley buses.

There is an extensive multi-use trail system for bicycles and pedestrians throughout the city, however, most of this is within the river valley parkland system.

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Waste disposal

Utilizing the largest stainless steel building in North America, Edmonton's waste management services' modern composting facility is the largest of its type in the world having the capacity to recycle 65 per cent of its residential waste. The co-composter is 38,690 square metres in size, equivalent to 8 football fields. It is designed to process 200,000 tonnes of residential solid waste per year and 22,500 dry tonnes of biosolids, turning them into 80,000 tonnes of compost annually.

Together, the Waste Management Centre and Wastewater Treatment plant are known as the Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellence. Research partners include the University of Alberta, Alberta Research Council, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, and Olds College.[25]

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Electric & water distribution systems

Edmonton's first power company established itself in 1891 installing street lights along its main avenue, Jasper Avenue. The power company was bought by the Town of Edmonton in 1902 and remains under municipal ownership today as EPCOR. Also in charge of water treatment, in 2002, EPCOR installed the world's largest ultraviolet (UV) water treatment system at its E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant.

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Education

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Post-secondary

University of Alberta main campus on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River valley, as seen from the north side of the river
University of Alberta main campus on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River valley, as seen from the north side of the river

Edmonton has become one of Canada's major educational centres with more than 60,000 full time post-secondary students spread over several institutions and campuses (total enrolment between the schools is as high as 170,000, which includes students enrolled in multiple institutions[26]).

The University of Alberta (also known colloquially as the U of A), whose main campus is situated on the south side of Edmonton's river valley, is a board-governed, public institution with annual revenue of one billion dollars. 35,000 students are served in more than 200 undergraduate programs and 170 graduate programs. Main campus consists of more than 90 buildings on 890,000 square metres of land, with buildings dating back to the university's establishment in 1908. It is also home to Canada's second largest research library which ranks first in volumes per student with over 10 million (in 2005)[27] and subscriptions to 13,000 full-text electronic journals and 500 electronic databases. The University of Alberta has been recognized on several fronts internationally.[28]

Other universities within the borders of Edmonton include Athabasca University, Concordia University College of Alberta , the King's University College, Taylor University College and Seminary,[29] and the Edmonton campus of the University of Lethbridge.

Other Edmonton post-secondary institutions include Grant MacEwan College, which enrolls[30] 40,791 students in programs leading to careers or university transfer,[31] the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), with 48,500 students enrolled in 190 technical, vocational and apprenticeship programs[32] and NorQuest College,[33] with 11,300 students, specializing in short courses in skills and academic upgrading.

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K-12

Edmonton has three publicly funded school boards (districts), who provide kindergarten and grades one through twelve. The vast majority of students attend schools in the two large English language boards: the Edmonton Public Schools board and the separate Catholic School District.[34] As well, since 1994, the francophone minority community has had their own school board, the North-Central Francophone School Authority, which, based in Edmonton, includes surrounding communities. Most recently the city has seen a small number of public charter schools open, independent of any board. All three school boards and public charter schools are funded through provincial grants and property taxes.

Some private schools exist as well. Included are the Edmonton Academy and Tempo School.[35] The Edmonton Society for Christian Education[36] used to a private school, however they became part of Edmonton Public Schools recently.

Both the Edmonton Public Schools and the Edmonton Catholic School District provide support and resources for those wishing to home school their children.

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City life

See also: List of attractions and landmarks in Edmonton
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Nightlife

The skyline of Edmonton at night.
The skyline of Edmonton at night.

There are several key concentrations of nightlife in the city of Edmonton. The most popular is the Whyte Avenue (82nd Avenue) strip, concentrated between 109 St. and 99 St. which today has the highest concentration of heritage buildings in Edmonton. Once the heart of the town of Strathcona (annexed by Edmonton on February 1, 1912), it fell into disrepair during the middle of the 20th century. A concentrated effort to revive the area beginning in the late 1970s through the establishment of a Business Revitalization Zone has produced an area rich with restored historical buildings and pleasant streetscapes. Its proximity to the University of Alberta has led to a high concentration of establishments ranging from restaurants and pubs to trendy clubs while hosting a wide variety of shops during the day. This area also contains two independent movie theatres: the Garneau and Princess theatres, as well as several live theatre, music and comedy venues.

Downtown Edmonton has undergone a continual process of renewal and unprecedented growth since the mid 1990s. Many buildings were demolished during the oil boom starting in the 1960s and continuing into the 1980s to make way for office towers. As such, there have always been numerous pub-type establishments which cater primarily to the office crowd such as The Rose and Crown, Sherlock Holmes', and Elephant & Castle as well as many hotel lounges and restaurants. The past decade, however, has seen a strong resurgence in more mainstream venues. Various clubs such as the New City Suburbs, the Globe and Halo are also to be found along Edmonton's main street, Jasper Avenue. The Edmonton City Centre mall also houses an Empire Theatres movie theatre featuring 10 screens and the non-profit Metro Cinema[37] shows a variety of underground or alternative films every week.

West Edmonton Mall holds several after hour establishments in addition to its many stores and attractions. Bourbon Street has numerous eating establishments and clubs and casinos can also be found within the complex. Silver City, at the west end of the mall, features 13 screens and an IMAX theatre.

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Culture

The Francis Winspear Centre for Music
The Francis Winspear Centre for Music

Edmonton has always been a city proud of its cultural accomplishments. As the city has grown, so has the cultural scene. Today, Edmonton is a proud home to many features which add to its cosmopolitan flair.

Many events are anchored in the downtown Arts District, centred around the newly renovated Churchill Square (named in honour of Sir Winston Churchill).

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Museums and Galleries

There are also over 70 museums in Edmonton of ranging sizes. The largest is the Royal Alberta Museum (formerly the Provincial Museum of Alberta, it was renamed by Queen Elizabeth II during her 2005 visit) which houses over 10 million objects in its collection. The main building, located on the river valley west of downtown in Glenora, was opened in 1967 and is now in the early stages of large-scale redevelopment.[41]

The Art Gallery of Alberta is the city's largest single gallery. Housed in an inconspicuous production of 1970s architecture, the AGA collection has over 5000 pieces of art. Fundraising is currently underway for a new building designed by Randall Stout. Independent galleries can be found throughout the city, especially along the 124th Street corridor.

The University of Alberta operates its own internal Museums and Collections service.[42]

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Festivals

2001 Sourdough Raft Race, passing beneath the High Level Bridge's Great Divide waterfall during Klondike Days.
2001 Sourdough Raft Race, passing beneath the High Level Bridge's Great Divide waterfall during Klondike Days.

Edmonton plays host to several large festivals each year, hence its local nickname as 'the Festival City.' The following highlights some of Edmonton's larger festivals.

Downtown and Churchill Square host numerous festivals each summer. The Works Art & Design Festival, which takes place from late June to early July, showcases Canadian and international art & design from well-know, award-winning artists, as well as emerging and student artists. The Edmonton International Street Performer's Festival[43] takes place in mid-July and showcases street performance artists from around the world.

Edmonton's main summer festival is Capital EX (formerly Klondike Days.) Klondike Days (or K-Days) was originally an annual fair and exhibition which eventually adopted a gold rush theme. In early 2006 it was decided that the festival would be renamed 'The Capital City Exhibition' (or Capital Ex). Activities include chuckwagon races, carnival rides and fairways, music, trade shows and daily fireworks. Since 1960, the Sourdough Raft Races have also been a popular event. Later in November Edmonton plays host to the Canadian Finals Rodeo and Farmfair. This is a significant event in Canada's rodeo circuit and second only to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in prestige.

The Edmonton International Fringe Festival, which takes place in mid-August, is the largest Fringe Theatre Festival in North America, and second only to the Edinburgh Fringe festival in the world. In August, Edmonton is also host to the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, one of the most successful and popular folk music festivals in North America. Another major summer festival is the Heritage Days Festival which is an ethnocultural festival that takes place in Hawrelak Park on the Heritage Day long weekend.

Many other festivals occur such as the River City Shakespeare Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival and the Edmonton International Film Festival.

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Sports and recreation

Edmonton has a proud heritage of very successful sports teams including the Edmonton Grads, Edmonton Eskimos, Edmonton Trappers and Edmonton Oilers. The primary professional sports facilities are the Commonwealth Stadium, TELUS Field and Rexall Place.

Numerous minor-league teams in the City include the Edmonton Cracker-Cats, the city's 13 baseball franchise since 1884.

Edmonton hosted the 1978 Commonwealth Games, the 1983 World University Games (Universiade), the 2001 World Championships in Athletics, and the 2005 World Master Games.[44] In 2006, it played host to the Women's Rugby World Cup.

Edmonton has a circuit on the Champ Car World Series known as the West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix Presented by The Brick Champ Car series. This event is the best attended event in the series.

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Current professional franchises

Club League Venue Established Championships
Edmonton Oilers National Hockey League Rexall Place 1972 5
Edmonton Eskimos Canadian Football League Commonwealth Stadium 1949 13
Edmonton Rush National Lacrosse League Rexall Place 2005 0
Edmonton Cracker Cats Northern League Telus Field 2005 0
Edmonton Oil Kings Western Hockey League Rexall Place 2007 0
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Media

Edmonton has six broadcast television stations shown on basic cable TV. The cable television provider in Edmonton is Shaw Cable. Network programming from the United States is received on cable via affiliates from Spokane, Washington, which is in the Pacific Time Zone despite the fact that Edmonton is in the Mountain Time Zone.

At least eight FM and 17 AM radio stations are based in Edmonton.

Edmonton has 2 large-circulation daily newspapers,The Edmonton Journal and The Edmonton Sun and a number of smaller papers which focus on different themes, such as See Magazine[45] and Vue Weekly[46], both of which focus on the independent arts scene in Edmonton.

The are two online forums focusing on Edmonton: Connect2edmonton, a new and growing online community forum focusing on the city and its people, and the Edmonton based Nexopia, which is a youth oriented site most popular in Western Canada but used worldwide.

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Metropolitan area

Edmonton City Hall
Edmonton City Hall

Edmonton is at the centre of a metropolitan area that includes 35 independent municipalities either adjacent to Edmonton's city limits or within several kilometres of it. Larger communities include Sherwood Park (part of the Specialized Municipality of Strathcona County), St. Albert, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, Nisku (major industrial area in Leduc County), and the towns of Beaumont, Devon and Morinville. This large scale fragmentation has played a role in the development of the Edmonton region. Although several attempts have been made by the City of Edmonton to annex surrounding municipalities, no proposal has of yet been approved by the provincial government.

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Military

Edmonton is home to 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (1 CMBG), the regular army brigade group of Land Forces Western Area of the Canadian Army. Units in 1 CMBG include Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), 1 Combat Engineer Regiment, two of the three regular force battalions of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, and various headquarters, medical, and service and support elements. Although not part of 1 CMBG, 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron is collocated with the brigade group.

Historically, Edmonton's Regular Force military had been small until the 1990s. The Canadian Airborne Training Centre had been located in the city in the 1980s. The move of 1CMBG and component units from Calgary occurred in 1996 in what was described as a "cost saving" measure.[47] The brigade had existed in Calgary since the 1950s, and Lord Strathcona's Horse had traditionally been a Calgary garrison unit dating back before the First World War.

Edmonton also has a large army reserve element from 41 Canadian Brigade Group (41 CBG) including the The Loyal Edmonton Regiment (4th Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry), 8 Field Engineer Regiment, and B Squadron of The South Alberta Light Horse, one of Alberta's oldest army reserve units. Despite being far from Canada's coasts, Edmonton is also the home of HMCS Nonsuch,[48] a Naval Reserve division.

There are numerous cadet corps[49] of the different elements (Sea, Army and Air Force) within Edmonton as well.

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Religion

Al-Rashid Mosque is a notable part of Edmonton, Alberta as it is the first mosque in North America [3] and was founded by Abdullah Yusuf Ali.

There are also 23 Pentecostal churches which are actively involved in the life of the community.

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Sister cities

Edmonton is an official sister city of the following several cities worldwide:

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See also

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References

  1. Edmonton - Festival city
  2. City of Edmonton Population, Historical
  3. City of Edmonton Population, Historical
  4. City of Edmonton Population, Historical
  5. City of Edmonton Population, Historical
  6. Ctv news
  7. Statscan
  8. Edmonton Trail map
  9. Old Town Fort Road redevelopment project
  10. Century Park
  11. City of Edmonton's map website
  12. Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues' website
  13. Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000 - Edmonton City Centre Airport
  14. Climate Data Almanac for Edmonton from Climate Data Online (Environment Canada)
  15. Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000 - Edmonton City Centre Airport
  16. Climate at WeatherOffice
  17. Precipitations in Edmonton
  18. Environment Canada - Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000, accessed 19 January 2007
  19. Edmonton.com - Statistics
  20. Edmonton economic outlook
  21. Edmonton.com - Life Sciences
  22. Statistics Canada. 2001 Census - Visible minorities for Edmonton. Retrieved on 2007-01-20.
  23. Statistics Canada. 2001 Census- Religion by population in Edmonton. Retrieved on 2007-01-20.
  24. Edmonton Statistics - Population
  25. Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellence
  26. School statistics
  27. University of Alberta Libraries
  28. University of Alberta
  29. Taylor University College
  30. Grant MacEwan College Student Profile
  31. Grant MacEwan College university transfers
  32. North Alberta Institute of Technology
  33. NorQuest College
  34. Edmonton Catholic School District
  35. Edmonton Academy
  36. Edmonton Society for Christian Education
  37. Metro Cinema
  38. Francis Winspear Centre
  39. Edmonton Symphony Orchestra fundraising
  40. Citadel Theatre company history
  41. Redevelopment of Royal Alberta Museum
  42. University of Alberta - Museums
  43. Edmonton International Street Performer's Festival
  44. 2005 World Master Games
  45. See Magazine
  46. Vue Weekly
  47. Parliament of Canada - Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence; Issue 16 - Evidence, March 7, 2005
  48. HMCS Nonsuch
  49. Edmonton cadet corps
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External links

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