Population 13,000,000 (UA)
Edmonton is the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta. It is Alberta's second-largest city and Canada's fifth-largest municipality. The metropolitan area has a population of 1,159,869, Canada's sixth-largest. Edmonton is the northernmost North American city with a metropolitan population over one million. A resident of Edmonton is known as an Edmontonian.
Edmonton is a cultural, governmental and educational centre. It hosts a year-round slate of festivals, reflected in the nickname "The Festival City." It is home to North America's largest mall, West Edmonton Mall (the world's largest mall 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 and in 2013, Edmonton was declared a Fair Trade Town by Fairtrade Canada.
Edmonton, like many places in North America had been inhabited for hundreds of years by indigenous groups prior to the arrival of Europeans, when, in 1795, Fort Edmonton was officially founded near present day Fort Saskatchewan.
In the early 19th century, the fort was moved to near the current (Alberta) legislature site. The fort was big in the North American fur trade. In 1894, settlement began outside the fort and the Town of Edmonton was established.
In the 1900-1910 period, the Hudson's Bay Company was granted a reserve on much of the Fort's land but it was eventually sold off. Edmonton became a city in 1904 and shortly after it became Alberta's capital. During the early 1910s, Edmonton grew very rapidly, causing rising speculation in real estate prices. In 1912 the city extended south of the North Saskatchewan River.
Just prior to World War I, the real estate boom ended suddenly, causing the city's population to decline shaply. 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 Airport), commenced operation in 1929 and Edmonton's role as the "Gateway to the North" was strengthened. World War II saw Edmonton become a major base for the construction of the Alaska Highway and the Northwest Staging Route.
The first major oil discovery in Alberta was made in 1947 south of Edmonton.Beca use most of Alberta's oil reserves were concentrated in central and northern Alberta, Edmonton became home to most of Alberta's oil industry.
The subsequent oil boom gave Edmonton new status as the "Oil Capital of Canada." After a relatively calm but still prosperous period in the 1960s, the city's growth took on renewed vigour concomitant with high world oil prices, triggered by the 1973 oil crisis and the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The oil boom of the 1970s and 1980s ended abruptly with the sharp decline in oil prices on the international market and the introduction of the National Energy Program in 1981. Although the National Energy Program was later scrapped by the federal government in the mid-1980s, the collapse of world oil prices in 1986 and massive government cutbacks kept the city from making a full economic recovery until the late 1990s.