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Edmonton, Alberta

Edmonton, a Canadian city, is the capital of the province of Alberta.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Street system
3 Miscellaneous facts
4 Professional sports teams
5 External Links


Edmonton was founded in 1795 when a Hudson's Bay Company Trading Post was established with the construction of Fort Edmonton. John Rowand, a fur trader for the North West Company, arrived in Edmonton in 1804 and became respected and accepted as a leader by the Plains Indians, managing Edmonton's fur trade with the Cree and Blackfoot in Edmonton for about 30 years. Fort Edmonton became a local economic centre, the major stopping point before pioneers headed up north or farther west.

More people began settling in the vicinity of Fort Edmonton in the 1870s after the government offered the land to settlers at a good price. Edmonton officially became a town in 1892 with a population of 700. The city boomed during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897 as thousands of eager prospectors heading north via the "All Canadian Route," stopping in Edmonton for supplies. By 1904 Edmonton had 9,000 residents, and a year later it became incorporated as a city and declared the provincial capital.

In 1912 Edmonton, which was located on the north shore of the North Saskatchewan River, amalgamated with its sister city of Strathcona on the southern shore to attain a combined population of 53,000. The High Level Rail Bridge across the river was completed in 1913, cementing the link between the north and south sides of Edmonton. In the 1930s Edmonton continued to thrive as a northern business centre, and an aviation shipping point for food and medical supplies using the new bush planes. In 1942 the construction of the Alaska Highway made the city into a major ground transportation and supply centre to the far north. It was at about this time that Edmonton officially became known as "Gateway to the North."

Shortly after World War II oil was discovered near the nearby towns of Leduc, Redwater, and Pembina. The area around Edmonton became home to most of Alberta's oil production, and the subsequent oil boom gave Edmonton new status as the Oil Capital of Canada. The city began growing even more dramatically after the Arab Oil Boycott of 1973, and its population now sits at an estimated 913,000 2000, as of the 1996 census. Oil production and refining remains the basis of many Edmonton jobs, but other industries have also risen in prominence as the population grew and diversified.

Street system

In 1914 Edmonton adopted a new numbered street and avenue system, which with a few small modifications is still in use. The centre of the city, Jasper Avenue and 101 Street, was set as the starting point. Jasper Avenue was one of the few streets that was not given a number, but the other avenues were numbered as if Jasper Avenue had been 101 Avenue.

Avenues run east and west; streets run north and south. Avenue numbers increase to the north; street numbers increase to the west. When a street lies between two numbered streets, letters are used, for example, 107A Avenue lies between 107 Avenue and 108 Avenue.

Houses with odd numbers are on the east side of a street or the south side of an avenue. Dropping the last two digits of a house number tells you what two streets or avenues the house lies between, for example 8023 135A Avenue is between 80 Street and 81 Street, and 10004 104 Avenue is between 100 Street and 101 Street.

In the 1980s as the city grew, it began to run out of street numbers in the east and avenue numbers in the south. Therefore, a quadrant system was adopted. Quadrant Avenue (1 Avenue; not yet built) and Meridian Street (1 Street) divide the city into four quadrants: northeast, northwest, southwest, and southeast, although the vast majority of the city falls within the northwest quadrant.

All Edmonton streets now officially have their quadrant included at the end of their names, but it is usual to omit "northwest," especially when there is no possibility of confusion with a street in another quadrant.

Miscellaneous facts

Edmonton is on the site of Edmonton House, an important 19th century trading post, and is also the site of West Edmonton Mall, the world's largest mall. The University of Alberta and Concordia University College are in the city.

Edmonton is served by Edmonton International Airport.

Edmonton boasts the longest stretch of urban parkland in North America, the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Every year it hosts the largest alternative arts festival in North America, the Edmonton International Fringe Festival

At 670 sq km, Edmonton is one of the largest cities in North America, by area -- larger in area than Chicago, Philadelphia and Detroit. Consequently, Edmonton also has the one of the lowest population densities in North America -- about 67 times less than New York.

Professional sports teams

The Edmonton Eskimos hold the North American pro sports record for most consecutive playoff appearances (32 consecutive seasons, as of 2003)



St. Albert | Sturgeon Municipal District


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See also: Canada, Canadian provinces and territories, Canadian cities

External Links