LIFE IN ALBERTA

 

Welcome to Alberta


The Province of Alberta has the strongest economy in Canada. It has welcoming and inclusive communities. World class educational and health facilities, and all year round cultural and recreational activities, Alberta is a place of unlimited and untold opportunities.

Not only is it a great place to retire, work and live, it is a wonderful place to raise a family. Come, join us in Alberta.

Alberta

  • Alberta is one of the three, prairie provinces. Saskatchewan is east of Alberta, British Columbia is west, the Northwest Territories are north of Alberta and the state of Montana is to the south.
  • It is the fourth largest province in Canada
  • Alberta was named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, fourth daughter of Queen Victoria
  • Edmonton (capital city) and Calgary are the largest cities
  • Alberta's motto is "Strong and Free"
  • Alberta is known as Canada's "energy province"

Learn about the symbols of Alberta

The People

  • Alberta is home to over 3.7 million people. (July, 2010)
  • The largest cities are Edmonton (capital) and Calgary with two-thirds of Albertans live in these two cities
  • Ethnic origins : British (44 percent), German, Ukrainian, French, Aboriginal, Scandinavian, Dutch, Polish, Chinese and many other countries
  • About one-half of the Aboriginal population resides in urban areas with the rest living in over 100 First Nation communities and 8 Métis settlements

Calgary skyline at night with Bow River and Centre Street Bridge.

History

  • The first people settled in the area about 8000 years ago
  • Anthony Henday (European explorer and fur trader) came to Alberta in 1754
  • The First Nations traded furs and received guns, blankets and metal goods
  • In 1874 The North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) established their first post in Alberta at Fort Macleod
  • Alberta grew when the railroad was built in 1883
  • Early settlers were ranchers from England and the United States
  • Immigrants came from Ukraine, Germany, Romania and many parts of Europe to farm
  • Alberta became a province on September 1, 1905

Field of wild flowers picturing the Rocky Mountains in the background.

Land & Water

  • The main rivers are the Peace River, North and South Saskatchewan River, and Athabasca River which are partially fed by the ice fields in Banff and Jasper National Parks
  • There are five national parks (Banff, Jasper, Elk Island, Waterton Lakes, Wood Buffalo)
  • Banff National Park is the oldest national park in Canada
  • A large mountain range (Rocky Mountains) is along the western border. The badlands ( dry, sandy, rocky area) are in southeastern Alberta and Northern Alberta is covered with forests and muskeg
  • Forests cover more than half of the province
  • The highest point is Mt. Columbia (3747 meters)

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Climate

  • The foothills receive the most rainfall in Alberta
  • Warm, dry "chinook" winds are produced when air funnels through the Rockies
  • Chinook winds sweep down on southern Alberta and raise temperatures in the winter – temperatures can shift 50C degrees or more in a 24 hour period
  • Cold arctic air masses bring cool weather in the winter

Learn about Alberta’s climate.

Resources

  • Alberta has oil, natural gas, and coal and is the main producer of oil and natural gas in Canada
  • Oil was discovered at Leduc (near Edmonton) in 1947
  • Alberta has the world's second largest oil reserves and is the world’s third largest producer of natural gas
  • Forests cover more than half of Alberta
  • Alberta soil is ideal for growing crops like oats, canola and barley
  • Alberta is the second largest agricultural producer in Canada
  • The top five food exports (2008) were wheat, canola seed, beef, live cattle and pork. Alberta is the only province in Canada to produce sugar from sugar beets
  • There are many dairy farms and cattle ranches as well as poultry, hog and sheep farms
  • Alberta is the largest cattle producing province in Canada; beef cattle are raised on ranches in the southern foothills

A row of windmills at dusk in Pincher Creek, Alberta, Canada.

People & Places in Alberta

  • The mountain scenery of Banff and Jasper national parks attracts thousands of tourists each year
  • Alberta is home to many rodeos, including bull riding, calf roping, chuck wagon and chariot racing
  • Wood Buffalo is the world’s second largest national park – natural habitat and last natural nesting habitat for the Whooping Crane and home to the world’s largest free roaming herd of wood bison
  • Dinosaur Provincial Park is in the badlands near Drumheller
  • Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is the largest, oldest and best preserved buffalo jump in the world
  • Figure skater Kurt Browning, winner of four World Championships, was born in Caroline, Alberta
  • Famous Albertans include Jann Arden, k.d.lang, and Terri Clark

The Banff Sightseeing Gondola is located just 5 minutes from the Town of Banff, on the shoulder of Sulphur Mountain, in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.