Edmonton Facts

Home to the largest mall in North America


Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta and the fifth largest city in Canada. Edmonton is a fantastic place to live, with over 127 parks covering over 1,800 acres, over 350 cultural programs each year, and an economic climate that is one of the best in Canada.

18:01 mins video of Edmonton

1. Edmonton became the capital city of Alberta in 1905, when it was still a village with under 2500 people.

2. Edmonton is located on the North Saskatchewan River and covers 519 km2 in total area. The city itself occupies only 478km2 of land area, but the metropolitan region includes three neighbouring municipalities: St. Albert, Leduc County, and Strathcona County for a total land area of 1,715 km2 (1,075 square miles).

3. Edmonton is larger than Phoenix - Arizona and smaller than Milwaukee - Wisconsin in size.

4. The Edmonton skyline is also interesting as it has 2 buildings taller than 100m (328 feet).

5. The city name, Edmonton, is actually out of a play called Henry IV, Part 1, and refers to a fictional character from the play.

6. The first Edmontonians were an indigenous tribe that has been gone for centuries. The closest aboriginal community to the city is the Woodland Cree First Nation who live around 60km away.

7. Early settlers adopted a native word as their surname: "Ed-e-bang", or "The Great Trail". This word refers to their belief that they had found an ancient trade route used by tribes migrating from Asia to the Pacific coast (Edmonton is on a major overland road connecting the Rocky mountains to the Canadian coast line).

8. The Edmonton Metropolitan Region is home to over 1.1 million people.

9. The Edmonton area was occupied by many indigenous tribes before French fur traders arrived in 1754, including the Blackfoot, Stoney, Iroquois, Plains Cree and Sioux people.

10. European settlement of the region began in 1795 when Peter Fidler built a major trading post near what is now the downtown area. At first the area was governed by the Hudson's Bay Company but control later passed to Canada after 1821.

11. The West Edmonton Mall is the largest mall in Canada, and the largest shopping mall in North America to be located outside of the United States. The Mall had its grand opening on September 15, 1981.

12:47 mins video of the Mall

12. Edmonton is nicknamed "Gateway to the North" because it is a major transportation hub for northern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia. Nearly all goods manufactured or extracted in northern Alberta are shipped through Edmonton.

13. The most famous of Edmonton's professional sports teams is the Oilers, a National Hockey League team that has been active since 1972 (although they've been known by as many as 6 different names). The Oilers have won 5 Stanley Cups (1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1990).

14. Edmonton's official colours are Blue and Gold, although green and white are commonly seen as the colours of the city. This is due to the Edmonton Grads' basketball team, who donned these colours for many years.

15. The City of Edmonton has a recycling rate of 55% (2008), which means they produce more waste than they recycle, which is not uncommon in North America in general (the average in Canada was 59% in 2008). However, this is still better than most other cities in Canada.

16. The weather in Edmonton is influenced by the distance from the Rocky Mountains. The city experiences a dry continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with long hot summers, and cold winters. During a typical year, at least 226.6mm (8.9 inches) of precipitation falls in Edmonton – still less than London, England!

17. The average daytime temperature for July is 21°C (69F) and the average low is 13°C (55F). Winter temperatures are equally extreme: the average daytime temperature for January is -10°C (14F), and the average low is -22°C (-8F).