About our Area: The Greater Edmonton Region
Edmonton, like many places in North America, has been inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous groups. Archaeologists have found evidence that, for more than 500 generations, this bend in the river has been a
favoured gathering and camping place for the Cree and for other diverse Indigenous peoples. Their histories, languages, and cultures continue to influence our community as we share this land. As an act of reconciliation, we acknowledge that Edmonton is located on First Nations Treaty 6 territory that has not been lawfully ceded. This area is also recognized as Métis Region 4. The first permanent settlement by Europeans was started on a bend of the North Saskatchewan River, around 1795 .
Edmonton is the capital of the Province of Alberta, and is situated on the North Saskatchewan River, in the geographic centre of the province, approximately 500 km [320 miles] north of the USA border. The city is situated in the province of Alberta on the Yellowhead Highway #16 (east/west) and Highway #2, the Queen Elizabeth II Highway that runs north/south.
Approximate Driving Time to:
Calgary - 3 hours south
Banff/Lake Louise- 5 hours southwest
Jasper/Rocky Mountains - 3-1/2 hours west
USA Border with Montana - 8 hours south
Vancouver - 14 hours southwest
Edmonton is a prairie city of approximately 850,000 people surrounded by a number of smaller cities and towns within less than a thirty minute driving distance (metro population 1,159 869). The area includes a multitude of lakes and diverse natural areas, large farms, market gardens and vast oil and gas reserves. The Edmonton Area has a perfect blend of metropolitan amenities and entrepreneurial spirit, with cultural diversity and a tight-knit community feel. Edmonton has the largest expanse of urban parkland in North America - 22 times larger than New York's Central Park. The city boasts more green space per capita than any other North American city. This includes the spectacular North Saskatchewan River Valley -- an escape to nature that contains more than 100 kilometres [60 miles] of multi-use trails and parkland. There are over 80 golf courses within an hour's drive of the city centre. Edmonton has professional hockey, football, baseball, and lacrosse teams.
Just a few hours' drive west of Edmonton are Canada's majestic Rocky Mountains and the towns of Jasper and Banff, the Columbia Icefields, Lake Louise and other wonders. Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks is deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city is known as "Canada's Festival City" because of the 30 plus festivals held here annually each year. They include Freewill City Shakespeare Festival, Edmonton International Jazz Festival, The Works Art and Design Festival, Canada Day [July 1], Edmonton International Street Performers Festival, A Taste of Edmonton, Heritage Festival, Folk Music Festival, International Fringe Theatre [one of the world's largest], Blues Festival, and Symphony Under the Sky as well as Klondike Days exposition. Edmonton also has one of the sunniest climates in Canada.