5 facts about Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Here it is...your quick introduction to the great city of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada!  

4 out of the 5 UAlberta campuses are located in Edmonton:  North (main) Campus, Campus Saint-Jean, South Campus, and Enterprise Square.  Augustana Campus is located about an hour’s drive from Edmonton in Camrose, Alberta.

Check out these 5 quick facts about Edmonton: 

1. Edmonton is home to around one million people.

city of edmonton skyline
Photo credit: City of Edmonton

Edmonton and the surrounding areas are home to approximately one million people, making it the fifth largest city in Canada.  It’s also considered one of the fastest-growing cities in the country.

You'll see and meet lots of people as you travel through the city, but you can still enjoy a lot of personal space.  Unless you're in an area that is hosting special event like a festival, Edmonton is not generally as crowded as other major Canadian cities such as Toronto or Vancouver. 

2. Edmonton is the capital city of the province of Alberta and has a thriving business community.

alberta canada map

The country of Canada is made up of 10 provinces and 3 territories.  

Alberta is a province located in Western Canada and is known for its natural beauty (prairies, mountains, canyons, waterfalls) and its thriving industries (oil, gas, energy, agriculture).

Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta and the provincial government is based here.  This means that Edmonton has a lot of great things going on, including a successful business community with great job opportunities.  

3. Edmonton is a great place for people who want to invent new things and/or start their own business.

ualberta students startup edmonton
UAlberta students Ivan, Deborah, and Leticia working in the Startup Edmonton space 

Edmonton is a creative city where ideas and innovation come to life!   If you have ever dreamed of starting your own business or sharing your new invention with the world, then Edmonton is the place to be. In fact, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business rated Edmonton as the 2nd most entrepreneurial Canadian city in 2014.

There is a lot of support available for students who are looking to create new things and use their entrepreneurial spirit to make an impact. Here are just some of the great local resources for student entrepreneurs:

  • eHUB  at UAlberta – offers a physical space for student entrepreneurs to work on their latest projects, as well as networking opportunities to connect students with members of the business community.
  • UAlberta Entrepreneurship Club (eCLUB)  – a campus-wide club for students who are interested in entrepreneurship, leadership, and innovation.
  • Startup Edmonton – offers the “Students to Startups” program to help students who want to start their own company or introduce a new technology/idea to the world

If you are ready to make it a part of your studies, then the  School of Business  at UAlberta offers a major and minor in Entrepreneurship & Family Enterprise through the Bachelor of Commerce degree.

Boston PizzaBiowareIntuit Canada, and Poppy Barley are just a few examples of successful companies that were created here in Edmonton.

4. Edmonton has a beautiful river and river valley.

edmonton river valley
Edmonton Queen Riverboat sailing by downtown Edmonton     Photo credit: City of Edmonton   

The river valley area is the ultimate place to spend time when you want a break from Edmonton city life.  It's the largest urban park in North America and is 22 times larger than New York City’s Central Park!

If you're on campus, it's all just a 5-minute walk away. You can stroll along the river banks and be surrounded by the peace and quiet of nature.  It’s an amazing area to get in some physical activity (hiking, running, biking, and more), study, or just sit and relax. If you want to explore the river valley at a faster pace, you can rent a mountain bike or even take a Segway tour!

Many people like to go boating on the river and also go fishing in certain areas. You can even book a beautiful boat trip on the Edmonton Queen River Boat, which offers river cruises. 

5. Edmonton is known as the “Festival City.”

edmonton folk music festival edmonton new years
Edmonton Folk Music Festival (Summer)                                       New Year's Eve Downtown (Winter)  
Photo credit: City of Edmonton
                                                    Photo credit: Photograph Effects

Did you know that National Geographic rated Edmonton one of the world’s Best Summer Trips 2015?  Edmonton was listed along with world-famous destinations such as Machu Picchu.  One of the reasons for this honour is that Edmonton hosts so many great festivals.

In the summer, we enjoy world-famous festivals such as the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival, the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, the Fringe Festival, K Days, and more. 

The festivals don’t stop when summer ends!  We keep the celebrations going with Winter festivals such as the Silver Skate Festival, the Festival of Trees, New Year’s Eve Downtown, Winter Walk Day, and more.

BONUS FACT #6:  Edmonton’s current mayor is a UAlberta graduate!

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson
Mayor Don Iveson at a civic event       Photo credit: City of Edmonton

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson is a graduate of the UAlberta Political Science program!  He graduated from UAlberta in 2001 and became our city's mayor in 2015. 


Now you know a bit about Edmonton, Alberta, Canada...take the next step and learn about UAlberta programs and how to apply!


Article by Julia Jones-Bourque


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