Edmonton is the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta.
It is situated along the North Saskatchewan River in the centre of the province.
As of March 2020, the population of Edmonton is almost 1 million people. It is the 5th largest city in Canada.
The city covers a total area of 684 square kilometers (264 square miles).
The average altitude is 645 meters (2,116 feet) above sea level.
The first inhabitants settled in the area that is now Edmonton, around 3,000 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.
Edmonton, like many places in North America, had been inhabited for thousands of years by First Nations groups.
Europeans began to enter the western plains in the 18th century.
Settlement was built in 1795, when the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company also built the first of a series of fortified trading posts near the present city of Fort Saskatchewan.
By 1795, Fort Edmonton was established on the river’s north bank as a major trading post for the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Permanent settlement outside the fort did not begin until the 1870s, and even then was slow to develop.
The advent in the early 1900s of railways and later of roads, oil and gas pipelines, and an international airport transformed the city into a transportation centre known as the “Gateway to the North.”
Edmonton is the service and supply centre for the oil industry as well as the petrochemical centre for western Canada.
It is also a cultural, governmental and educational centre.
The Royal Alberta Museum is a museum of human and natural history in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The museum is located in Downtown Edmonton, north of City Hall. The museum is the largest in western Canada with more than 7,600 square metres (82,000 sq ft) exhibition space and 38,900 square metres (419,000 square feet) in total.
The Art Gallery of Alberta is an art museum in Edmonton. The museum occupies a 8,000 square metres (86,000 square feet) building at Churchill Square in downtown Edmonton. The museum building was originally designed by Donald G. Bittorf, and B. James Wensley, although portions of that structure were demolished or built over during a redevelopment of the building by RandallStout. The art museum was established in 1924. Its collection includes over 6,000 works, with a focus on art produced in Alberta, and other parts of western Canada.
St. Joseph’s Cathedral Basilica is a minor basilica in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The basilica, located west of downtown Edmonton is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton and is one of the largest churches in Edmonton. St. Joseph, which seats 1,100 people, is one of the two minor basilicas in Western Canada—the other is in the St. Boniface Archdiocese in Winnipeg.
Fort Edmonton Park is an attraction in Edmonton. Named for the first enduring European post in the area of modern-day Edmonton, the park is the largest living history museum in Canada by area. It includes both original and rebuilt historical structures representing the history of Edmonton (including that of post-horse Indigenous people), and is staffed during the summer by costumed historical interpreters.
West Edmonton Mall, located in Edmonton, is the largest shopping mall in North America, followed by American Dream Meadowlands in New Jersey. It is also the most visited mall in Canada. It was the world’s largest mall until 2004. The mall was founded by the Ghermezian brothers, who emigrated from Iran in 1959. Its anchors are Hudson’s Bay, London Drugs, La Maison Simons, The Brick, and Winners/HomeSense. Today, West Edmonton Mall covers a gross area of about 490,000 m2 (5,300,000 sq ft).
World Waterpark is a water park located at West Edmonton Mall. Opened to the public in 1986, it is the largest indoor water park in North America. It has a maximum capacity of about 5,000 guests, an average air temperature of 31 °C (88 °F), and also contains the world’s largest indoor wave pool with a capacity of 12.5 million litres (3.3 million gallons).
Galaxyland, previously known as Fantasyland, is an indoor amusement park. It is also located in the West Edmonton Mall. It is home to the world’s tallest (14 stories) and longest indoor roller coaster, the Mindbender. It is also home to the Space Shot, the world’s tallest indoor tower ride, at 36.5 metres (120 ft).
The Muttart Conservatory is a botanical garden located in the North Saskatchewan river valley, across from the downtown core in Edmonton. One of the best-known landmarks of Edmonton, the conservatory consists of three city-operated greenhouses, public gardens, as well as four feature pyramids for display of plant species found across three biomes, with the fourth pyramid hosting as a seasonal display. A fifth minor skylight pyramid lights up the central foyer.
The Edmonton Valley Zoo is a zoo located in the heart of Edmonton, Alberta’s river valley. It opened on July 1, 1959, as a replacement for a previous Edmonton Zoo which was torn down to expand Northlands Park (now Northlands). The zoo is home to over 350 exotic and native animals and houses over 100 different species.
Edmonton hosts a year-round slate of festivals, reflected in the nickname “Canada’s Festival City”.
The city is home to members of a number of world religions. About 60 percent of metropolitan Edmonton residents identify as Christian.
Edmonton has the highest amount of parkland per capita of any Canadian city.
A resident of Edmonton is known as an Edmontonian.