What is it like living in Edmonton? Where is Edmonton? How does cost of living in Edmonton compare with other cities? We help you address some of the important questions about Edmonton before you research your adopted city further.
Where is Edmonton?
Located in the province of Alberta, Edmonton is situated along the North Saskatchewan River, just 220 kilometers northeast of the Rocky Mountains. The city is located on the boundary between the prairies and the boreal forest, resulting in a beautiful and diverse landscape. The North Saskatchewan river runs through the city, which creates numerous ravines and accounts for the wealth of urban parkland — the longest stretch of connected parkland in North America — known as the ‘Ribbon of Green’.
Edmonton is the most northerly city in North America, and has a metropolitan population of over one million. Though it is the provincial capital, it is the second largest city in Alberta after Calgary. Edmonton is very reliant on cars, so many shopping and entertainment hubs are based in a few key areas, such as South Edmonton Common, Whyte Avenue, West Edmonton Mall, and Jasper Avenue, to name a few. Though Edmonton’s economy, along with the province of Alberta, has met with some challenges in recent years, the diversity of the city’s jobs market means that opportunities are available across sectors for those who are willing to look.
Edmonton is located in Alberta, the only province without a provincial sales tax (PST). Edmonton is the major economic centre for northern and central Alberta, and a hub for the oil and gas industry. Economic activity in Calgary is mostly centered on the petroleum industry, agriculture and tourism. Alberta has the lion’s share of Canada’s oil industry. Its reserves – in the form of oil-sands – are estimated to be second only to Saudi Arabia’s.
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.
Despite the apparent focus on oil and gas, Edmonton’s economy is one of the most diverse in Canada. Major industrial sectors include a strong technology sector. Much of the growth in the technology sector is due to Edmonton’s reputation as one of Canada’s premier research and education centers.
Weather in Edmonton
Moving to Edmonton is a big decision and it is important to be aware of the weather you should expect. Edmonton has a relatively dry humid continental climate with extreme seasonal temperatures. Although the city experiences milder winters than either Regina or Winnipeg, Edmonton is located at a latitude farther north. It has warm summers and cold winters, with average daily temperatures ranging from −11.7 °C (10.9 °F) in January to 17.5 °C (63.5 °F) in July. However, temperatures can swing up past 30 °C (86 °F) and down below -20 °C (-4 °F) for a couple of days every year. Despite the temperature swings, Edmonton is one of Canada’s sunniest cities, receiving 17 hours and 16 minutes of daylight at the summer solstice due to its northerly position.
Summer typically 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. Thunderstorms occur regularly during the summer months, and although they occasionally do damage, they can be spectacular.