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What you need to know about Edmonton

Edmonton, capital of Canada’s Alberta province, sits on the North Saskatchewan River. Its past is recreated at Fort Edmonton Park, a living history museum with an 1846 fort and streets from 1885, 1905 and 1920. The city’s contemporary landmarks include the Royal Alberta Museum, with aboriginal-culture and natural-history galleries, and the futuristic-looking Art Gallery of Alberta, known for its First Nations art.

Known for its natural beauty, culture, history and attractions, Edmonton is a city for everyone. It is home to Canada’s largest living history museum, Canada’s largest historical park and North America’s largest mall. If that is not enough, it is also has a vibrant theatre scene, numerous professional sports teams and some stunning architecture.

There is something to please everyone in Edmonton, from outdoor recreational activities to indoor fun. Shopping, dining, hiking, skating and even skiing are all offered in the city, making it one of Canada’s top tourist destinations.

Area: 684 km²
Population: 932,546 (2016)

Currency

  • The Canadian dollar (symbol: $; code: CAD; French: dollar canadien) is the currency of Canada. It is abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or sometimes Can$ or C$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is divided into 100 cents (¢).Owing to the image of a loon on the one-dollar coin, the currency is sometimes referred to as the loonie by foreign exchange traders and analysts, as it is by Canadians in general, or huard in French.
    It is recommended that visitors exchange their currency at a bank, a foreign exchange outlet or use a banking machine.

Climate

Edmonton has a humid continental climate, the city is among the Canadian cities with the coldest winters, though milder than Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.
Typically, summer lasts from late June until early September, and the humidity is seldom uncomfortably high. Winter lasts from November to March, and varies greatly in length and severity.
Annually, temperatures can exceed 30 °C (86 °F) for an average of four to five days anytime from late April to mid-September and fall below −20 °C (−4 °F) for an average of 24.6 days. The highest temperature recorded within the City of Edmonton was 37.2 °C (99.0 °F), on June 29, 1937.

Language

The 2006 census found that English, with 2,576,670 native speakers, was the most common mother tongue of Albertans, representing 79.99%of the population. The next most common mother tongues were Chinese with 97,275 native speakers (3.02), followed by German with 84,505 native speakers (2.62) and French with 61,225 (1.90).

Health and security

  • Alberta provides free hospital and medical services to residents. Take some time to explore how the health care system works and how to use it. There are also resources to help you look after yourself and your family’s health.
    Alberta provides free basic health insurance through the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP). This plan covers permanent and temporary residents. It does not cover visitors or tourists. You must register within three months of arriving in Alberta.
  • Basic health care insurance under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan does not cover eyeglasses, prescription drugs, dental care, the use of ambulances or some other health expenses.Private health insurance is recommended for services not covered. Many employers offer insurance plans that help pay for these services. Any fees should be included as part of your job’s compensation package. If your employer does not offer a health plan, or if you are self-employed, you can buy personal health insurance from a private insurance company.
  • It is a mid size city that is still growing and in transition to being a large, crime is pretty low and most people feel very safe in Edmonton in general.
    It is a fact that Canada in general has a low crime rate when compared to the vast majority of the rest of the world.

DON’T

  • While you’re out, avoid uninhabited streets, derelict areas, and isolated trails.
  • Before you set out on a winter journey, plan for the conditions and prepare yourself and your vehicle accordingly.

DO

  • Edmonton is a young city that loves any excuse to go out on the town, even in a snowstorm. And there’s prime shopping, too. West Edmonton Mall is literally the size of a city and the Old Strathcona farmers market is famous for a reason. ● Culture bug: Edmonton is home to North America’s oldest and largest Fringe Festival every summer. The Edmonton Folk Music Festival is recognized as one of the best in the world. ● Winter wonders: Edmonton embraces winter. There are iced pathways to skate around and castles made of icicles. Join some locals in skijoring. That’s when people train their pet dogs to pull them around on skis. It’s the next best thing to dog-sledding.
  • Like the mall, Edmonton’s River Valley Parks is nothing short of gigantic. The park is actually made up of 20 different parks, that combined are 22 times larger than Central Park in New York City.The River Valley Parks makes for a great escape from the city centre. It features 22 ravines, 11 lakes, golf courses and nature centres.
    In the warm weather it is a popular place to cycle, hike and go camping. In the winter, the hiking trails become cross-country ski trails, while four hills are turned into downhill ski slopes. The best part is that the park system is accessible along trails right from the city.