Capital of Alberta, Canada, on the North Saskatchewan River at an altitude of 665 m/2,182 ft; population (2001 est) 666,100. It is the centre of an oil and mining area to the north and is also an agricultural and dairying region. Manufactured goods include processed foods, petrochemicals, plastic and metal products, lumber, and clothing. Edmonton is known as the ‘gateway to the north’: it is situated on the Alaska Highway, and petroleum pipelines link the city with Superior in Wisconsin, and Vancouver in British Columbia. The city was incorporated in 1892.
Fort Edmonton, a Hudson's Bay Company fur-trading post, was first built in 1795. It initially became the local economic centre of the region due to its accessibility and local coal deposits. It flourished as a supply centre for prospectors seeking gold in the Klondike region of the Yukon in the late 1890s, and was made a city in 1904 soon after the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway (1891). After the discovery of nearby oil in the late 1940s, Edmonton grew rapidly as a centre for the Alberta oil industry.
The University of Alberta (1906), Athabasca University (1970), and the Provincial Museum of Alberta are located here. The city is the home of the annual Klondike Days festival, Jazz City International Music Festival, and Edmonton Heritage Days Festival. Cultural attractions include the Edmonton Symphony, Edmonton Opera, Citadel Theatre, and Francis Winespear Centre (1997). The John Walter Museum and Alberta Provincial Museum of Art are also located in the city. Fort Edmonton Park is Canada's largest historic park and the Commonwealth Stadium (1978), site of the 2001 World Athletics Championships, is the country's largest stadium.