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Edmonton has a continental climate, with extreme seasonal temperaturesâ€”although the city has milder winters than either Regina or Winnipeg, both located at a latitude further south. It has warm summers and cold winters, with the average daily temperatures ranging from âˆ’11.7 Â°C (10.9 Â°F) in January to 17.5 Â°C (63.5 Â°F) in July. Annually, temperatures exceed 30 Â°C (86 Â°F) on an average of four to five days (but can occur often, anytime from late May to early September) and fall below âˆ’20 Â°C (âˆ’4.0 Â°F) on an average of 28 days. The highest temperature recorded in Edmonton was 38.3 Â°C (100.9 Â°F), on August 5, 1998. Some areas, however, such as the City of St. Albert and Sherwood Park, recorded temperatures of 37.7 Â°C (99.9 Â°F) on July 22, 2006. The coldest temperature ever recorded at city centre was âˆ’40.6 Â°C (âˆ’41 Â°F) on January 26, 1972 - this was the only time since recordings began in 1953 that city centre has recorded a temperature below âˆ’40 Â°C (âˆ’40.0 Â°F). The coldest overall Edmonton temperature recorded was âˆ’49.4 Â°C (âˆ’56.9 Â°F), recorded on January 19 and 21, 1886. The year 2006 was a particularly warm one for Edmonton, as temperatures reached 29 Â°C (84 Â°F) or higher more than twenty times during the year, from as early as Mid-May and again in early September. Typically, summer lasts from late June until late August, and the humidity is seldom uncomfortably high. Winter lasts from November to March, and varies greatly in length and severity. Spring and autumn are both short and highly variable. Edmonton's growing season is from May 24, to September 23; Edmonton averages 140 frost free days a year. Edmonton has a fairly dry climate. On average, Edmonton receives 476.9 mm (18.78 in) of precipitation, of which 365.7 mm (14.40 in) is rain and 123.5 cm (48.62 in) is snow per annum. Precipitation is heaviest in the late spring, summer, and early autumn. The wettest month is July, while the driest months are February, March, October, and November. In July, the mean precipitation is 91.7 mm (3.61 in). Extremes do occur, such as the 114 mm (4.49 in) of rainfall that fell on July 31, 1953. Summer thunderstorms can be frequent and occasionally 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 that struck Edmonton on July 31, 1987, killing 27, are rare. A massive cluster of thunderstorms occurred on July 11, 2004, with large hail and over 100 mm (3.94 in) of rain reported within the space of an hour in many places. This "1-in-200 year event" flooded major intersections and underpasses and damaged both residential and commercial properties. The storm caused extensive damage to West Edmonton Mall; the roof collapsed under the weight of the rainwater, causing water to drain onto the mall's indoor ice rink. As a result, the mall was forced to undergo an evacuation as a precautionary measure. Edmonton is the most northerly city in North America with a metropolitan population of over one million. It is at the same latitude as Hamburg, Germany and Liverpool, England. At the summer solstice, Edmonton receives seventeen hours and six minutes of daylight, with twilight extending throughout the entire night during summer. Edmonton receives 2,299 hours of sunshine per year and is one of Canada's sunniest cities.
Many events are anchored in the downtown Arts District, centred around the recently renovated Churchill Square (named in honour of Sir Winston Churchill). On the south side of the river, the University district and Whyte Avenue contain theatres, concert halls, and various live music venues. * The Francis Winspear Centre for Music was opened in 1997 after years of planning and fundraising. Described as one of the most acoustically perfect concert halls in Canada, it is home to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and hosts a wide variety of shows every year. It seats 1,932 patrons and houses the $3-million Davis Concert Organ, the largest concert organ in Canada. An interesting aspect of the hall's design is its separation into acoustically separate areas that are insulated from each other through acoustical barriers built into the structure. Patrons and artists can see these in the form of double-door "sound locks." * Across 102nd Avenue is the Citadel Theatre, named after The Salvation Army Citadel in which Joe Shoctor first started the Citadel Theatre Company in 1965. It is now one of the largest theatre complexes in Canada, with five halls each, specializing in different kinds of productions. For instance, the Maclab Theatre features a thrust stage surrounded by a U-shaped seating arrangement, while the Shoctor Theatre is a traditional stage setup. * On the University of Alberta grounds is the 2,534-seat Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, which recently went through a year of heavy renovations carried out as part of the province's centennial celebrations. Both it and its southern twin in Calgary were constructed in 1955 for the province's silver jubilee and have hosted many concerts, musicals, and ballets. The Edmonton Opera uses the Jubilee as its base of operations. On the front of the building is a quote from Suetonius' Life of Augustus: "He found a city built of brickâ€”left it built of marble." * Old Strathcona is home to the Theatre District, which holds the Transalta Arts Barns (headquarters of the Edmonton International Fringe Festival), The Walterdale Playhouse, Catalyst Theatre, and the Varscona Theatre (base of operations for several theatre companies, including Teatro la Quindicina, Shadow Theatre, Rapid Fire Theatre, Die-Nasty, and Oh Susanna!). Edmonton was named cultural capital of Canada in 2007. * Ukrainian Dnipro Ensemble of Edmonton, organized in 1953, preserves the Ukrainian musical culture within the parameters of the Canadian multicultural identity.
According to the mid-2006 census, there were 730,372 residents within the city of Edmonton proper, compared to 3,290,350 for all of Alberta. The total population of the Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) was 1,034,945. In 2009, a municipal census showed the city had a population of 782,439. In the five years between 2001 and 2006, the population of the city of Edmonton proper grew by 9.6%, compared with an increase of 10.4% for the Edmonton CMA and 10.6% for Alberta as a whole. The population density of the city of Edmonton proper averaged 1,067.2 people per square kilometre (2,764/sq mi), compared with an average of 5.1 people per square kilometre (13.2/sq mi) for Alberta altogether. In mid-2006, 11.9% of Edmonton's population were of retirement age (65 and over for males and females) compared with 13.7% in Canada. The median age was 35.3 years of age, compared to 37.6 years of age for all of Canada. Also, according to the 2006 census, 50.5% of the population within the city of Edmonton proper were female, while 49.5% were male. Children under five accounted for approximately 5.6% of the resident population of Edmonton. This compares with 6.2% in Alberta, and almost 5.3% for Canada overall. In 2006, people of European ethnicities formed the largest cluster of ethnic groups in Edmonton, mostly of English, Scottish, German, Irish, Ukrainian, and French origin. According to the 2006 census, the city of Edmonton was 71.8% White and 5.3% Aboriginal, while visible minorities accounted for 22.9% of the population.
Edmonton (pronounced /ËˆÉ›dmÉ™ntÉ™n/) is the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta. The city is located on the North Saskatchewan River in the central region of the province, an area with some of the most fertile farmland on the prairies. It is the second largest city in Alberta (after Calgary), with a population of 782,439 (2009) and is the hub of Canada's sixth-largest census metropolitan area, 1,081,300 making it the northernmost North American city with a metropolitan population over one million. At 684 km2 (264 sq mi), the City of Edmonton covers an area larger than Chicago, Philadelphia, Toronto, or Montreal. 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 serves as the northern anchor of the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor (one of four regions that together comprise 50% of Canada's population) and is a staging point for large-scale oil sands 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, governmental and educational centre. It plays host to a year-round slate of world-class festivals, earning it the title of "The Festival City." It is home to North America's largest mall, West Edmonton Mall (which was the world's largest mall for a 23 year period from 1981 until 2004.), and Fort Edmonton Park, Canada's largest living history museum. In 2004, Edmonton celebrated the centennial of its incorporation as a city.
Edmonton is the major economic centre for northern and central Alberta and a major centre for the oil and gas industry. In its autumn 2007 Metropolitan Outlook, the Conference Board of Canada forecast that Edmonton's GDP for 2007 will be $44.1-billion (2007 dollars), a 3.6% increase over 2006. 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. These are 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. Major industrial sectors include a strong technology sector anchored by major employers such as IBM, Telus, Intuit Canada, Canadian Western Bank, BioWare, Matrikon, General Electric, and Stantec Inc. The associated biotech sector, with companies such as Afexa Life Sciences Inc. (formerly CV Technologies), has recently seen employment growth of 37%. Much of the growth in technology sectors is due to Edmonton's reputation as one of Canadaâ€™s premier 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 1970s and 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 some regional offices were moved to other cities. The 1990s saw a solidification of the economy, and Edmonton is now home to Canadian Western Bank, the only publicly traded Schedule I chartered bank headquarters west of Toronto. Other major financial centres include ATB Financial, Servus Credit Union (formerly Capital City Savings), TD Canada Trust and Manulife Financial. Edmonton has been the birthplace of several companies that have grown to international stature, such as PCL Construction, Stantec Inc. and more recently, Capital Power Corporation. The local retail market has also seen the creation of many successful store concepts, such as The Brick, Katz Group, AutoCanada, Boston Pizza, Pizza 73, Liquor Stores, Liquor Barn, Planet Organic, Empire Design, Running Room, Booster Juice, Earl's, Fountain Tire and XS Cargo. Edmonton's geographical location 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. Edmonton was judged to have the "best economic potential" of any North American city by the Financial Times publication, FDi magazine. In a 2007 study, FDI placed Edmonton immediately ahead of Mississauga, Charlotte, Tijuana, and Calgary among cities with populations between 500,000 and two million. Edmonton's economic potential, expanding infrastructure, human resources, cost effectiveness, and high standard of living place it in the No. 4 spot on FDiâ€™s list of top-ten North American large cities. The survey also named Edmonton in the top-five large North American cities for business development and investment promotion. Edmonton is known for its exceptional environmental stewardship, strong life-science sector, and burgeoning high-tech industry economy.
Electricity and water distribution systems
Edmonton's first power company established itself in 1891 and installed streetlights along the city's 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 or ultraviolet disinfection system at its E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant.
Edmonton plays host to several large festivals each year, attributing to its local nickname, "The Festival City." Downtown Edmonton's 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 and design from well-known award-winning artists as well as emerging and student artists. The Edmonton International Street Performer's Festival 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 that eventually adopted a gold rush theme. In early 2006, it was decided that the festival would be renamed "The Capital City Exhibition" ("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 worldwide. 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 Edmonton Heritage Festival, which is an ethnocultural festival that takes place in Hawrelak Park on the Heritage Day long weekend. Many other festivals exist, such as the Free Will Shakespeare Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival, the Whyte Avenue Art Walk, and the Edmonton International Film Festival.
Edmonton is located near the geographical centre of the province, at an elevation of 668 m (2,190 ft). The terrain in and around Edmonton is generally flat to gently rolling, with ravines and deep river valleys, such as the North Saskatchewan River valley. Despite the fact that the Canadian Rockies come as close to Edmonton as roughly 220 km (140 mi) to the southwest, the city is too distant for any of its peaks to be seen from even its tallest buildings. The North Saskatchewan River bisects the 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 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 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 and other human activities, such as oil and natural gas exploration.
There are four main hospitals serving Edmonton: The University of Alberta Hospital, The Royal Alexandra Hospital, Misericordia Community Hospital, and The Grey Nuns Community Hospital. Other area hospitals include the Sturgeon Community Hospital in St. Albert, the Leduc Community Hospital in Leduc, the Westview Health Centre in Stony Plain, and the Fort Saskatchewan Health Centre in Fort Saskatchewan. Dedicated psychiatric care is also provided at the Alberta Hospital. All hospitals are under the administration of Alberta Health Services, although Misericordia and Grey Nuns are run separately by the Covenant Health.
The first inhabitants settled in the area that is now Edmonton around 3,000 BC and perhaps as early as 12,000 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 (HBC), 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 the fur trade, as competition was fierce between the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company. By 1795, Fort Edmonton was established on the north bank of the river, as a major trading post for the Hudson's Bay Company. The name of the new fort was suggested by John Peter Pruden after Edmonton, London, the home town of both the HBC deputy governor Sir James Winter Lake, and Pruden. In the late 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 stopping point for people hoping to cash in on the Klondike Gold Rush in 1897, although the majority of people doing so chose to take a steamship north to the Yukon from Vancouver. Incorporated as a city in 1904 with a population of 8,350, Edmonton became the capital of Alberta as the province joined Confederation a year later, on September 1, 1905. In November 1905, the Canadian Northern Railway (CNR) arrived in Edmonton, accelerating growth. During the early 1910s, Edmonton grew very rapidly, causing rising speculation in real estate prices. In 1912, Edmonton amalgamated with the city of Strathcona, south of the North Saskatchewan River; as a result, the city extended south of the river. Just prior to World War I, the real estate boom ended suddenly, causing the city's population to decline sharplyâ€”from over 72,500 in 1914 to under 54,000 only two years later., Recruitment 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 (Blatchford Field) Airport), commenced operation in 1929. Pioneering aviators such as Wilfrid R. "Wop" May and Max Ward used Blatchford Field as a major base for the distribution of mail, food, and medicine to Northern Canada; hence Edmonton's role as the "Gateway to the North" was strengthened. During World War II saw Edmonton's becoming a major base for the construction of the Alaska Highway and the Northwest Staging Route.
Edmonton has three publicly funded school boards (districts) that provide kindergarten and grades 1â€“12. The vast majority of students attend schools in the two large English language boards: Edmonton Public Schools, and the separate Edmonton Catholic School District. Also, since 1994, the Francophone minority community has had their own school board based in Edmonton, the North-Central Francophone School Authority, which 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, including Edmonton Academy and Tempo School. The Edmonton Society for Christian Education used to be a private school; however, it has become part of Edmonton Public Schools. Both the Edmonton Public Schools and the Edmonton Catholic School District provide support and resources for those wishing to homeschool their children.
Edmonton has nine broadcast television stations shown on basic cable TV or over-the-air. The cable television providers in Edmonton are Telus (for IPTV) and Shaw Cable. Previously, network programming from the United States was received on cable via affiliates from Spokane, Washington, but local viewers now have more choice, given the advances with cable or satellite television that are now being offered as digital or HD (high definition) service. Broadcasts from both eastern and western locations in the United States can be viewed. At least seventeen FM and eight AM radio stations are based in Edmonton. Edmonton has two large-circulation daily newspapers, the Edmonton Journal and the Edmonton Sun. There are also a number of smaller weekly and community newspapers.
Edmonton is at the centre of a metropolitan area that includes 25 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, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, Nisku (a 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 amalgamation has of yet been approved by the provincial government since Edmonton absorbed the town of Beverly in 1961.
Edmonton is home to 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (1 CMBG), the Regular Force army brigade group of Land Force Western Area of the Canadian Forces Land Force Command. 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, service, and support elements. Although not part of 1 CMBG, 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron and 1 Field Ambulance are located with the brigade group; all of these units are located at Lancaster Park, immediately north of the city. From 1943, as CFB Namao (now CFB Edmonton/Edmonton Garrison) 53Â°40â€²28â€³N 113Â°29â€²29â€³Wï»¿ / ï»¿53.67444Â°N 113.49139Â°Wï»¿ / 53.67444; -113.49139ï»¿ (CFB Edmonton), it was a major air force base, and in 1996, the aviation units were transferred to CFB Cold Lake. The Canadian Airborne Training Centre had been located in the city in the 1980s. The move of 1 CMBG and component units from Calgary occurred in 1996 in what was described as a cost-saving measure. The brigade had existed in Calgary since the 1950s, and Lord Strathcona's Horse had traditionally been a Calgary garrison unit dating back to 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); 41 Combat Engineer Regiment; HQ Battery, 20th Field Artillery 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, a Naval Reserve division. There are numerous cadet corps of the different elements (Sea, Army and Air Force) within Edmonton as well.
Edmonton is represented by a mayor and 12 councilors - two for each of the six wards. It was first used in Edmonton in 1971 so that each part of the city has an equal representation. In 2006 it was discussed to add a new ward to Edmonton due to its rising population, but it was later turned down and decided to stay with the current system.
Museums and galleries
There are also over seventy museums in Edmonton of various sizes. The largest is the Royal Alberta Museum (formerly the Provincial Museum of Alberta until renamed by Queen Elizabeth II during her 2005 visit), which houses over 10 million objects in its collection; the museum showcases the culture and practices of the diverse aboriginal tribes of the region. 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. The Telus World of Science is located in the Woodcroft district. It opened in 1984 and has been expanded several times since then. It contains five permanent galleries, plus one for temporary exhibits, an IMAX theatre, a planetarium, an observatory, and an amateur radio station. The Alberta Aviation Museum is at the City Centre Airport, in a hangar that was built for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Its collection includes both civilian and military aircraft, of which the largest are a Boeing 737 and two CF-101 Voodoos. Every summer, it holds a small airshow, featuring modern fighter aircraft that fly in from Maple Flag for the event. As well, it has one of only 3 BOMARC missiles in Canada. The Alberta Railway Museum is located in the extreme north end of the city. It contains a variety of locomotives and railroad cars from different periods, and includes a working steam locomotive. Since most of its exhibits are outdoors, it is only open between Victoria Day and Labour Day. The Valley Zoo is in the river valley to the west of the city centre. The Art Gallery of Alberta is the city's largest single gallery. Formerly housed in an inconspicuous 1970s building downtown, the AGA collection had over 5,000 pieces of art. The Art Gallery was demolished in July 2007 to make way for construction of a new facility designed by Randall Stout, estimated to cost over $88-million; the amount that the Edmonton City Council has donated towards the construction was met with some controversy. The new structure will be completed by the year 2009. Independent galleries can be found throughout the city, especially along the 124th Street/Jasper Avenue corridor, such as the gallery walk. Fort Edmonton Park, Canada's largest living history museum, is located in the river valley. Edmonton's heritage is displayed through historical buildings (many of which are originals moved to the park), costumed historical interpreters, and authentic artifacts. In totality, it covers the region's history from approximately 1795 - 1929 represented by Fort Edmonton, followed chronologically by 1885, 1905, and 1920 streets, and a recreation of a 1920s Midway. A steam train, streetcars, automobiles and horse drawn vehicles may be seen in operation (and utilized by the public) around the park. It is open from Victoria Day until the end of September, with other themed events throughout the year. The University of Alberta operates its own internal Museums and Collections service. The John Walter Museum and Historical Area (c. 1875 to 1901) is on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.
Edmonton has numerous distinct neighbourhoods. Downtown Edmonton consists of the Commercial Core, the Arts District, Rice Howard Way Pedestrian Mall, MacKay Avenue, Jasper-West, the Warehouse District, and the Government Precinct (AKA the Grandin neighbourhood). Radiating from the core are many inner-city neighbourhoods, such as Oliver, Glenora, Westmount, Queen Mary Park, Inglewood, Central McDougall, Boyle Street, McCauley, Alberta Avenue, and Norwood on the north side of the river, while Windsor Park, Garneau, Old 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 (Alberta Highway 216). One of the most well-known communities within Anthony Henday Drive is Mill Woods, which is home to approximately 100,000 residents. It is often incorrectly referred to as "Millwoods," due to a typographical mistake on street signs dating back to the neighbourhood's inception. If Mill Woods were a separate municipality, it would be Alberta's third largest city, after Calgary and Edmonton. Other communities within the boundaries of the Anthony Henday on the south side of Edmonton include Riverbend (situated between the North Saskatchewan River and Whitemud Creek), Aspen Gardens, Westbrook Estates, Royal Gardens, Sweet Grass, Blue Quill, Blue Quill Estates, Greenfield, Lansdowne, and Grandview Estates, with their main transportation hub being Southgate Transit Centre. Surrounding the new Century Park development are communities such as Yellowbird and Twin Brooks. Several new neighbourhoods are currently in formative stages in the south and southwest, such as MacEwan, Terwillegar, Southbrook, 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). Another TOD, called Century Park, 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.
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 Street and 99 Street; it 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. Beginning in the 1970s, a concentrated effort to revive the area 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 (such as Murietta's and the Black Dog Freehouse) to trendy clubs (Wooly Bully's and Lucky 13) while hosting a wide variety of shops during the day (Plush, Foosh Apparel and Bamboo Ballroom). 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 such as The Rose and Crown, Sherlock Holmes', and Elephant & Castle, as well as many hotel lounges and restaurants. The past decade has seen a strong resurgence in more mainstream venues. Edmonton also has a high demand for pub crawl tours in the city. Various clubs such as the New City Suburbs, Oil City Roadhouse, The Bank, 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 ten screens. The nonprofit Metro Cinema shows a variety of alternative or otherwise unreleased 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; clubs and casinos can also be found within the complex. Scotiabank Theatre (formerly known as Silver City), at the west end of the mall, is a theater that features twelve screens and an IMAX.
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 river valley is 22 times larger than New York City's Central Park. The public river valley parks provide a unique urban escape area, with park styles ranging from fully serviced urban parks to campsitelike 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 ha (18,000 acres), 25 km (16 mi)-long river valley park system, there are eleven lakes, fourteen ravines, and twenty-two major parks, and most of the city has excellent bike and walking trail connections. These trails are also part of the 235 km (146 mi) Waskahegan walking trail. The City of Edmonton has named five parks in its River Valley Parks System in honour of each of "The Famous Five." 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,Mountain Ash, Amur Maple, Russian Olive, Green Ash, Basswood, Various Poplars and Willows, Flowering Crabapple, Mayday Tree and Manitoba Maple are also abundant; Bur oak, Silver Maple, Hawthorn and Ohio Buckeye are increasingly popular. Other introduced tree species include White Ash, Blue Spruce, Norway Maple, Red oak, Sugar Maple, Common Horse-chestnut, McIntosh apple, and Evans Cherry. Three walnut speciesâ€”Butternut, Manchurian walnut, and black walnutâ€”have survived in Edmonton. 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 from early morning well into the evening. Golf courses and the park system become a winter recreation area during this season, and 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.
In 1892 Edmonton was incorporated as a town. The first mayor was Matthew McCauley, he quickly established the first school board in Edmonton and Board of Trade (later Chamber of Commerce) and a municipal police service. Due to mayor McCauley's good relationship with the federal Liberals this helped Edmonton to maintain political prominence over Strathcona, a town on the south banks of the North Saskatchewan River. Edmonton was incorporated as a city in 1904 and became the capital of Alberta in 1905.
Edmonton has become one of Canada's major educational centres, with more than 60,000 full time postsecondary students spread over several institutions and campuses (total enrollment among the schools is as high as 170,000, which includes students enrolled in multiple institutions). The University of Alberta (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. About 36,000 students are served in more than 200 undergraduate programs and 170 graduate programs. The main campus consists of more than ninety buildings on 890,000 square metres (220 acres) 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) and subscriptions to 13,000 full-text electronic journals and 500 electronic databases. Other universities within the borders of Edmonton include Athabasca University, Concordia University College of Alberta, King's University College, Taylor University College and Seminary, and the Edmonton campus of the University of Lethbridge. Other Edmonton post-secondary institutions include Grant MacEwan College, which enrolls 40,791 students in programs offering career diplomas, university transfers, and bachelor's degrees; the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), with 48,500 students enrolled in 190 technical, vocational, and apprenticeship programs; and NorQuest College, with 11,300 students, specializing in short courses in skills and academic upgrading. Edmonton is also home to the Antarctic Institute of Canada.
According to the 2001 census, 31.2% of Edmonton residents are Protestant and 29.4% are Catholic. 5.5% belong to other Christian denominations, 7.8% are adherents of other religions, and 24.4% profess no religion. One of Alberta's three BahÃ¡'Ã Centres is located in Edmonton; the other two centres are situated in Sylvan Lake, Alberta and Athabasca, Alberta. The first mosque established in Canada-the Al-Rashid Mosque, founded by Abdullah Yusuf Aliâ€”is situated in Edmonton. Edmonton also hosts a Maronite Catholic church, on 76th Avenue/98th Street, with services in English on Saturdays and Arabic on Sundays. Another sign of the Lebanese community's visibility is the existence of a Druze Community Centre, on the north side of the city. The Edmonton Alberta Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was dedicated on December 11, 1999. The Hindu Community in Edmonton is served by the Hindu Society of Alberta (North Indian Temple) and the Maha Gahapathy Society of Alberta (South Indian Temple). The Jewish Community in Edmonton is served by Jewish Federation of Edmonton. The region is served by five synagogues.
Edmonton is home to several shopping malls, including Canada's first mall, Westmount Centre (still in operation but under development) and West Edmonton Mall, one of the world's largest malls and presently the largest in North America. Other malls include Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre, Edmonton City Centre (formerly Eaton Centre), Southgate Centre (currently undergoing expansion), Kingsway Garden Mall, Northgate Centre, Abbotsfield Mall, Londonderry Mall, and Mill Woods Town Centre. Edmonton also has many big box shopping centres and power centres. Some of the major ones include South Edmonton Common (North America's largest open air retail development), Skyview Power Centre, Terra Losa Centre, Oliver Park, Southpark Centre, The Meadows, Christy's Corner, and Westpoint. In 2008, construction started on the Windermere power centre. In contrast to suburban centres, Edmonton has many urban retail locations. The largest of them all, Old Strathcona includes many independent stores between 99 Street and 109th St on Whyte Avenue and area. In the downtown of Edmonton there are a small handful of shopping districts. Areas around Jasper Avenue, 104 street, 109 street, and 100 street have small pockets of retail. Near Oliver there is 124 Street which is home to a bunch of retail. Edmonton is the Canadian testing-ground for many American retailers such as Bath & Body Works and Calvin Klein.
* List of mayors of Edmonton * List of Edmontonians * List of tallest buildings in Edmonton
Edmonton has four sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International: * Gatineau (Canada) â€“ 1967 * Harbin (China) â€“ 1985 * Nashville, Tennessee (United States) â€“ 1990 * Wonju (South Korea) â€“ 1998
Sports and recreation
Edmonton has a proud heritage of very successful sports teams, including the Edmonton Grads, Edmonton Eskimos, Edmonton Oilers, Edmonton Trappers, and Edmonton Oil Kings. Having won so many championships, the city has earned the title of "City Of Champions". Each sports team has a huge rivalry against the Calgary sports teams. The primary professional sports facilities are the Commonwealth Stadium, Telus Field, and Rexall Place. Among the numerous minor-league teams in the city are the Edmonton Capitals, the city's thirteenth baseball franchise since 1884. Local rugby players compete in the Rugby Canada Super League with the Edmonton Gold. Also, the city hosts the Edmonton Rush national lacrosse team, which plays out of Rexall Place. Edmonton is also home to the Edmonton Energy, a minor league basketball team which plays out of the International Basketball League. All Edmonton Energy home games are played at the MacEwan Centre for Sport and Wellness. In addition to the minor-league teams, Edmonton also has very successful university-level sports teams, including the U of A Golden Bears, the U of A Pandas, the NAIT Ooks, and the Grant MacEwan Griffins. Edmonton hosted the 1978 Commonwealth Games, the 1983 World University Games (Universiade), the 2001 World Championships in Athletics, the 2002 World Ringette Championships, and the 2005 World Master Games. In 2006, it played host to the Women's Rugby World Cup, and in the summer of 2007, Edmonton hosted the FIFA U-20 World Cup (the third-largest sporting event in the world) as well as the CN Canadian Women's Open. Edmonton has a circuit on the Indy Racing League known as the Edmonton Indy (formerly the Grand Prix of Edmonton). In addition, Castrol Raceway brings sprint cars and a national IHRA event to their facility, next to Edmonton International Airport.
Edmonton is a major transportation gateway to northern Alberta and northern Canada. There are two airports serving the city, Edmonton City Centre (Blatchford Field) Airport and Edmonton International Airport, the latter being the larger. Edmonton International Airport has passengers flying to destinations in the United States, Europe, Mexico, and the Caribbean, along with charters to Japan. Edmonton City Centre Airport is a general aviation facility (since air services consolidation in 1995) and the only airport located within the city limits; it is home to a variety of aviation companies with key markets in northern Alberta. Inter-city passenger rail service is operated by VIA Rail to Jasper National Park, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia. Edmonton serves as a major transportation hub for Canadian National Railway, whose North American operations management centre is located at their Edmonton offices. With direct air distances from Edmonton to places such as New Delhi in Asia and London in Europe being shorter than to other main airports in western North America, Edmonton Airports is working to establish a major container shipping hub called Port Alberta. A largely gridded system forms most of Edmonton's street and road network. The address system is mostly numbered, with streets running south to north and avenues running east to west. In built-up areas built since the 1950s, local streets and major roadways generally do not conform to the grid system. Major roadways include Yellowhead Trail (Alberta Highway 16) and Whitemud Drive, and the city is connected to other communities elsewhere in Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan via the Yellowhead Highway to the west and east and the Queen Elizabeth II Highway (Alberta Highway 2) to the south. The Edmonton Transit System is the city's main public transit agency, operating the Edmonton Light Rail Transit (LRT) line as well as a large fleet of buses and trolley buses. Scheduled LRT service began on April 23, 1978, with five extensions of the single line completed since. The original Edmonton line is considered to be the first "modern" light rail line in North America (i.e., built from scratch, rather than being an upgrade of an old system). It introduced the use of German-designed rolling stock that subsequently became the standard light rail vehicle of the United States. The Edmonton "proof-of-payment" fare collection system adopted in 1980â€”modelled after European ticket systemsâ€”became the North American transit industry's preferred approach for subsequent light rail projects. Currently, the City of Edmonton is working on the South LRT Extension, which will see trains travelling to Century Park (located at 23 Avenue and 111 Street) by April 2010, while making an additional stop at Southgate Centre. To facilitate this change, ETS is constructing a new transit centre on 111 Street, across from Southgate. And another LRT station is being bulit at Heritage Transit Centre. There is an extensive multiuse trail system for bicycles and pedestrians throughout the city; however, most of this is within the river valley parkland system.
The Edmonton Composting Facility, the largest of its type in the world, is also the largest stainless steel building in North America. In the next few years, the city anticipates that it will divert more than 80% of the city's household waste from the landfills. Among the innovative uses for the city's waste includes a Christmas tree recycling program. The trees are collected each January and put through a woodchipper; this material is used as an addition to the composting process. In addition, the wood chips absorb much of the odour produced by the compost by providing a biofilter element to trap odour causing gaseous results of the process. 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, the Alberta Research Council, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, and Olds College.