Although Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta, it is only the province’s second largest city, with a population of over 900,000 people. In its central location, Edmonton is bordered by the communities of Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Beaumont, and Fort Saskatchewan.
The North Saskatchewan River runs through the city, providing picturesque treed areas in an otherwise prairie landscape. Residents attend a variety of festivals throughout the year, and can enjoy a multitude of arts and cultural venues. The city is also home to North America’s largest mall, West Edmonton Mall.
Edmonton has reasonable house prices considering its size, with averages ranging from $250,000 to $450,000. The northern and central sections of the city have a mix of newer and older single-family homes at a variety of price points, with higher prices in the central section. There are also condo, commercial, and vacant land options. The southern section has many condo and single-family home options, with vacant land available along the city’s edge.
Edmonton’s northern and southern edges have been popular spots for condo construction in recent years. Completed in 2016, The Signature Condos by Westrich Pacific Corp are located in the southern section of the city and include 239 units in 12 storeys. The uniquely shaped building backs onto a lake and features amenities such as a fitness centre, concierge service, and a lounge/party room. Unit prices range from $330,000 to $580,000. Savida Condos by Landmark Homes is currently being constructed in the city’s northern section and is a more affordable option, with units starting at $160,000. The building is situated close to amenities such as rapid transit, shopping centres, and a recreation centre.
A cluster of condo developments can also be found in the city’s centre. Jasper House by Lamb Development Corp. is a 260-unit development in the preconstruction phase. The building will be a towering 36 stories and will include amenities such as a swimming pool and fitness centre. Units will be priced for a range of budgets, between $270,000 and $1,800,000. A smaller building, The Arbor at Avenue 83 by Krawford Construction, was completed in 2016 and has 35 units in 4 storeys. Units range from $350,000 to $525,000 and come with heated underground parking, available storage lockers, and a shared rooftop terrace.
Oil and gas are major industries in Edmonton, with approximately $40 billion worth of projects on the go. Extraction and transport of oil and gas (pipelines) employ many people in the area. Other important industries in the city include technology, education, research, finance, distribution/logistics, and retail. Larger companies operating in Edmonton include Canadian Western Bank, the University of Alberta, TD Canada Trust, Manulife Financial, Alberta Health Services, and Stantec Inc. The city’s unemployment rate has been rising slightly in recent years, hovering around 7% to 8%, which is higher than the national rate.
The Edmonton Transit Service has a light rail transit system and a fleet of over 900 buses. More than 90 light rail vehicles operate on two routes, providing efficient transportation for over 100,000 passengers each day. Buses service over 200 routes throughout the city and are accessible for those with mobility issues and strollers. More than 280,000 passengers use the bus service in Edmonton each day. Other transportation options in the city include VIA Rail (train), Greyhound (long-distance bus), and the Edmonton International Airport.
Three school divisions operate in Edmonton and include Edmonton Public Schools, Edmonton Catholic School District, and the Greater North Central Francophone Education Region No. 2. Edmonton Public Schools operates close to 200 schools (primary and secondary), while Edmonton Catholic School District operates close to 90 schools (primary and secondary). The Greater North Central Francophone Education Region No. 2 operates French-language schools in the city and surrounding areas. Private schools are also available.
Edmonton offers a number of post-secondary options, including Concordia University College of Alberta, the University of Alberta, The King’s University College, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, MacEwan University, Athabasca University, NorQuest College, the University of Lethbridge, and Yellowhead Tribal College.
The Edmonton Valley Zoo is home to a wide variety of species from around the world, including large and small mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The zoo offers animal talks, rides (train, carousel, paddleboats), day camps, party rentals, and various events throughout the year. There are also playground areas, a water play area, a concession area, and a gift shop.
For indoor fun, a visit to the Royal Alberta Museum allows visitors to explore exhibits on a variety of natural history and anthropology themes, including botany (plants), entomology (insects), zoology (animals), geology (rocks and minerals), Aboriginal culture, archaeology, and Canadian history. The museum holds events throughout the year and is available to book for parties and other gatherings.