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Edmonton City Guide

Updated: November 7th, 2022

Edmonton is the capital of Alberta, Canada, and has been lovingly dubbed the 'Festival City' because of its year-round festivals. Edmonton is the second-largest city in Alberta and the fifth-largest census metropolitan area in Canada. Located on the North Saskatchewan River, Edmonton's river valley is the longest stretch of connected urban parkland in North America and is home to many urban parks and camping grounds.

Edmonton's humid continental climate makes it the perfect place to visit, as it has moderate winters and cool summer seasons. In addition, it rarely rains in this area, which allows for plenty of time to explore the various parks along the river valley.

About Edmonton

Edmonton's current metro area population in 2022 is 1,519,000, a 1.88% increase from 2021. The most predominant ethnic group in Edmonton is European, and a large portion of its population belongs to different denominations of the Christian faith. The second largest religious group in Edmonton is Muslims, who built the first mosque in Canada.

Edmonton has four leading hospitals in the region: University of Alberta Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Misericordia Community Hospital, and Grey Nuns Community Hospital. In addition, there are other care centers in the area, such as The Northeast Community Health Centre, which offers a 24-hour emergency room with no in-patient ward services. Alberta's Hospital is known for providing dedicated psychiatric care facilities. The most prominent is the University of Alberta Hospital, which funds many health research initiatives and institutes while providing a platform for other research centers to contribute. Learn more about Alberta's healthcare system

The various communities in Edmonton are generally very friendly and welcoming to all newcomers. The town is notably large and many people aren't Canadian-born yet they have become integrated into Canadian culture and have settled here quickly.

Like many other large cities in Canada, Edmonton's transport network comprises air, rail, road, and a reliable public transit system. Edmonton's rail system primarily serves as a central transportation hub in this region, with many networks tied to it. Alternate methods of public transport include riding the bus or using the bicycle or pedestrian trails.

Where is Edmonton on the Map?

Edmonton city, capital of Alberta, Canada. It lies along the North Saskatchewan River in the province's center, 185 miles (300 km) north of Calgary.

Climate/Weather in Edmonton

Edmonton weather is often a point of anxiety for many newcomers, as Canada is famous for its cold weather. However, the Edmonton weather usually departs from the other parts of Canada due to being one of Canada's sunniest cities and having relatively mild summers.

Summer in Edmonton generally runs from around the 15th of May to the 16th of September, and Edmonton's winters run from around the 18th of November to the 3rd of March.

In the summer, temperatures in Edmonton fluctuate between 13°C and 23°C. It can be rainy during the summer, but Edmonton's summers at least see as much sun as rain. Summers in Edmonton are prime for Festivals, outdoor markets, hiking, and eating on patios.

Edmonton's winter temperatures move between -14°C and -1°C. Winters tend to be primarily dry with lots of snow. Winters in Edmonton are prime for Ice skating, hockey, skiing, and warming up at one of Edmonton's many winter festivals.

Work and Jobs in Edmonton

Depending on your profession, people generally work around 40 hours per week in Edmonton. It's also illegal in Alberta to work more than a 12-hour shift outside of specific cases. As a result, Canadians are rarely overworked and can experience an extraordinary life in Edmonton.

Edmonton's key industries are built primarily on the skilled technical workers that flock to the city and the fantastic farming opportunities that are ever-present in Alberta. Edmonton's key industries are as follows:

  • Clean technology
  • Manufacturing of metals and machinery.
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Environmental engineering
  • Agri-business
  • Petrochemicals
  • Industrial hemp
  • Tourism
  • Financial services
The more prominent industries in the province generally have the most job vacancies and opportunities for workers outside of Edmonton. 

Edmonton used to be known as the Oil City of Canada, and its name as Canada's premier petrochemical city, combined with its robust technology sector, keeps much of the city's population employed and ensures a stable economy and well-funded public amenities. As a result, those looking for a job in Edmonton will also have plenty of options and opportunities. In the video below, we've compiled a breakdown of Alberta's most in-demand workers.

Edmonton is one of Alberta's prime economic drivers. Because the province is centered on the country's energy sector, it is unsurprising that energy firms are one of the biggest and most lucrative industries to invest in. As such, billions of dollars are allocated to creating employment in maintenance, manufacturing, extraction, financial services, field support, and construction. That's not the only thriving industry in Canada; however, there are also tons of opportunities in research, engineering, construction, real estate, retail, and finance.

Petrochemical Industries

As stated before, the oil and gas industries are perhaps one of the largest sectors in Edmonton and the second largest in the world. With more than 30 billion dollars in profit, Edmonton deserves the title "Oil capital of Canada." As a result, there are many jobs in supply and service as well as operational and extraction vacancies. Meanwhile, a vast amount is spent researching new technologies to process the materials.

Construction and Engineering

Because Edmonton is a large city with tons of newcomers settling there annually, there is a significant demand for construction workers and engineers as new industries are continuously being established in the city center and the suburbs.

Real Estate

Going hand in hand with construction, the real estate industry in Edmonton is booming. Since the area is so large and has tons of newcomers moving into the old towns, there's a significant demand for jobs relating to real estate.


Retail is one of the largest industries in this region. Edmonton is home to many shopping centers – most notably the West Edmonton Mall, the 10th largest mall in the world. Moreover, Edmonton is also home to many suburban centers, which comprise shopping districts with streets lined with boutiques, restaurants, and stores. It is, therefore, not hard to gain employment in retail, and often it does not require a tertiary education to qualify.


Edmonton is home to the regional offices of one of Canada's major banks, the Canadian Western Bank. This bank is also the eighth best company to work for in Canada and provides "personal development and career progression by internal training, career planning and education assistance of up to 100 percent of tuition," according to Maclean's Magazine.

Cost of Living in Edmonton

The average cost of living in Edmonton is $1,692, which is in the top 24% of the most expensive cities in the world, ranked 2219th out of 9294 in our global list, 102nd out of 153 in Canada, and 7th out of 10 in Alberta.

The median after-tax salary is $3,568, enough to cover living expenses for 2.1 months. Ranked 71st (TOP 0.8%) in the list of best places to live in the world and 7th best city to live in Canada and 2nd most liveable city in Alberta. With an estimated population of 933K, Edmonton is the 5th largest city in Canada. In Edmonton, the median family income for 2019 was $97,800. Edmonton median family income increased 2.05% year-over-year and 5.24% in the last five years.

Neighborhoods in Edmonton

Before starting your job in Edmonton, you must have a stable housing situation. Edmonton has relatively affordable housing for a major Canadian city. The average monthly rent for a single-bedroom apartment in Edmonton's inner city is $1,211. The average rent for a three-bedroom apartment in the inner city is around $2,074.48 monthly.

Edmonton has numerous fantastic neighborhoods to set up your new life in. If you prefer the buzzing energy of the inner city with proximity to the vibrant nightlife and commercial center of Alberta, Downtown Edmonton is the place for you. On the other hand, if you're looking for the perfect place to build your new life as a young family, the almost-suburb of Ritchie can give you the vibrancy of the city but allow you some quiet and safety of the suburbs.

However, if you want to be closer to Alberta's world-renowned natural beauty and allow an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, Aspen Gardens is the place for you. Of course, each of these is priced slightly differently, so it's always best to investigate which neighborhood works best with your budget first.

Edmonton is a large area, with many neighborhoods to choose from. However, it is vital to pick the right one – That's why we have selected our top picks to narrow down your choices.


This aged area is always humming with people who visit the local farmers' market and the various stores to shop and frequent. In addition, Strathcona houses 600 businesses on average and has a range of restaurants and bars for people to socialize and get a taste of the area. Strathcona is thus a tourist favorite because it offers a prime recreational area while meeting the community's needs.


If you are a nature lover, this neighborhood is perfect for you! Showcasing an expansive view of the North Saskatchewan river valley, you can indulge in the best nature offers in Edmonton. The area has a small are with an old feel and houses a few convenient outlets, as well as the Societé francophone des arts visuels data, an organization dedicated to demonstrating the importance of arts in the community.


Like Strathcona, Garneau is one of Edmonton's oldest neighborhoods. Home to the University of Alberta, this neighborhood is especially sought after for its affordable housing options and student activity. The Garneau area is easy to navigate and accessible to downtown, where you'll find commercial activity. Garneau has an old appeal steeped in a rich history highly cherished by its residents.


This neighborhood is known to be home to some of Edonton's more upmarket residents. When Glenora was first established in 1906, entrepreneur James Carruthers began developing the neighborhood and built homes worth over $3,500 in this area. In the present day, the area still thrives as a prime spot for upmarket society and is home to the Royal Alberta Museum and Alexander Circle, where sprawling homes surround a fountain.


If you are looking for the best of both worlds, consider Westmount. This neighborhood is bordered by the river valley, is rich in greenery, and has homes that have been around for decades with charming little footpaths to explore the old streets. Down on 124th street, however, there has been an increase in activity because of the unique restaurants, cafes, and shops along the tree-lined street.


Now, you have a job in Edmonton and a home, but how will you get between the two? Getting around Edmonton is relatively easy as the city has a robust and well-maintained infrastructure. Driving in Edmonton is hugely popular. However, the downside is that it's tremendously popular. Due to the size of the city and the rush of the locals moving from place to place, Edmonton does have relatively dense traffic. As a result, planning your routes carefully when heading to work in Edmonton is essential. Alternatively, Edmonton also has a comprehensive public transport system. Extensive bus and light rail systems (LTR) stop around the city. Fifteen stops are served quickly and conveniently by the LRT around the city. You may purchase a day pass or pay per journey.

The Capital Line and the Metro Line are the 24.3-kilometer-long lines the LRT travels. The system travels northwest from downtown to NAIT and northeast from Clareview Station in northeast Edmonton to Century Park in the south across the North Saskatchewan River. Six of the network's 18 stations are underground and go through the central business district and the main campus of the University of Alberta; the other fourteen are on the surface.

The Edmonton Transit System (ETS) is the primary public transportation agency, covering most of the city. With 180 regular routes, the ETS runs a fleet of over 960 buses around the city. Until May 2009, Edmonton was one of only two Canadian cities with a trolley bus system (the other was Vancouver). Additionally, the ETS runs the DATS, a unique system for persons with disabilities (Disabled Adult Transit System).

Things to do in Edmonton

After you've settled comfortably in Edmonton, you should take some time out to do some sightseeing. There are plenty of things to do in Edmonton, and it's always good to make the best of the unique attractions the area has to exhibit.

West Edmonton Mall

West Edmonton Mall is nationally acclaimed as the continent's most extensive indoor shopping facility. The mall has many attractions to entertain people – with thousands of shopping outlets, dining facilities, and an adventure park complex for the kids.

The Northern Lights

Revel in the natural beauty of the Canadian sky as you gaze upon the Alberta Northern Lights, which can be seen in Edmonton. So grab a friend, stay up late, dress warm, and pack a hot mug of coffee to witness the breathtaking phenomenon in the Edmonton skies in winter.

Galaxyland Amusement Park

Located in the West Edmonton Mall, Galaxyland Amusement Park is the world's biggest indoor amusement park, with space-themed rides and other fun activities to suit all ages. So if it's a thrill you seek, or even if you'd like to spoil the kids, the amusement park is the perfect venue to find it. The venue's most prominent attraction is the 'Mindbender,' a triple-loop roller coaster. However, there are other exciting rides, including the Space Shot. The theme park also has a laser sharpshooter experience called the Galaxy Quest 7D, allowing you to interact in a live simulation.

Muttart Conservatory

If you are interested in fascinating architecture and horticulture, the Muttart Conservatory is a definite must-see. The three pyramid domes each hold an exotic-themed garden that houses different biomes and species of the world. Each pyramid transports you to a different place in the world and showcases a different theme – tropical, arid, or temperate. The biggest attraction at the conservatory is the giant Amorphophallus titanium, nature's tallest flowering plant, also known as the corpse flower.


Edmonton has plenty of fascinating museums to explore – from art to culture and heritage – the museums cater to a wide range of palates. The Royal Alberta Museum is a family favorite and allows you to gaze into history with hieroglyphs to prehistoric dinosaurs and from 500 generations of First Peoples. Invite your family to discover a piece of history and look at the ancient artifacts and fossils at this famous Edmonton museum. The Neon Sign Museum is also a prominent attraction in this area. Representing the 20th century, this museum remembers past businesses and commemorates a dying art industry.

Education in Edmonton

If you are searching for quality education, Canada is the place to find it. As one of the prominent cities in Canada, Edmonton is no exception to the rule – Offering more than one good tertiary education facility and a well-balanced public-schooling system. As a result, from the elementary level to the tertiary, Edmonton's residents receive the best kind of education. The best part is that there are ample choices of institutions to choose from.

Canadians are well-educated people, and Edmonton is a prime example of why. The standard of education in Edmonton public schools and private schools is some of the highest in Canada and, by extension, the world. According to CTV News, students from Alberta generally have some of the highest levels of reading and science, according to the Programme for International Student Assessment.

Edmonton public schools, both at the primary and secondary level, are hugely subsidized by the Canadian government. This means there are no tuition fees, and the quality of education is among the highest in the world. Edmonton is one of Canada's cities with two types of government-funded schools - Edmonton government schools and Catholic (separate) Schools.

Edmonton's tertiary education maintains the city's high standard. Edmonton has eight universities, including the University of Alberta, Concordia University of Edmonton, and MacEwan University, and offers over 135 tertiary educational programs.

Public School

Edmonton has three school boards that serve the more significant public areas and provide kindergarten up to grade 12. The first two boards, Edmonton Public Schools and the Edmonton Catholic School District serve English-speaking students; the last is dedicated to Edmonton's growing Francophone community. All of the above are government-funded.

Private Schools

Though uncommon, some schools do not belong to any of the boards mentioned above and offer private programs. Therefore, the private school system in Edmonton offers various alternative programs and specialized education in addition to the standardized curriculum.


The most prominent university in this region is the University of Alberta (U of A), a board-governed institution that turns over one billion dollars annually. With almost 40,000 new students applying there each year, U of A is one of the most sought-after institutions in Canada. However, the university is primarily known for its research library system, which is the second largest in the country.

Another well-known institution is MacEwan University which welcomes a total student population of over 43,000 students annually. Other institutions include the Concordia University College of Alberta, The King's University College, NorQuest College, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), Taylor University College and Seminary, and Yellowhead Tribal College, which happens to be a First Nations college.

NAIT is one of the self-governing learning institutions in the Northern regions of Alberta and provides technical training combined with applied education to better equip their graduates for employment after tertiary education. This institute also happens to be the most prominent apprenticeship trainer in Canada.

Unique Immigration Visas for Edmonton

The number of immigrants who chose Alberta as their new home was around 86,000 in 2012. For those from outside who desire to immigrate to Edmonton, this creates the ideal circumstance. In addition, unlike other major Canadian cities, Edmonton is one of the few places where employment opportunities are plentiful. This feature alone draws many immigrants from outside who enter the nation through the skilled worker application procedure.

A quick route to living in Edmonton is through the Alberta PNP Program. Many international employees looking for steady, long-term employment find Alberta job prospects to be an appealing alternative. The program is suitable for people who match the requirements for the application and want to live permanently in Alberta.

An economic immigration scheme called the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP), formerly the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program, recommends candidates for Alberta permanent residency. Candidates must have the necessary abilities to fill open positions in Alberta or have plans to acquire or launch a business there. Additionally, they must be able to support their families. The Canadian and Albertan governments oversee the initiative.

You, your spouse or common-law partner, and any dependant children may apply for permanent residence status if you are nominated under the program.

Applications for permanent residency are handled by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada. The federal government likewise renders final judgments on these applications.

Pros and Cons of Living in Edmonton

Living in Edmonton has several benefits, including an outstanding employment market, a diversified population, and lively nightlife. However, living in Edmonton does have its disadvantages, such as the city's chilly winters and higher-than-average crime rates.


Edmonton is the sunniest city in Canada. The benefits of moving to Edmonton include the following:

  • Easy access to world-class education,
  • Affordability,
  • A wealth of green space,
  • A sports fan's paradise,
  • Diversity and inclusivity,
  • Plenty of festivals;
  • and the friendliness of the locals.


  • Severe weather conditions The severe seasonal temperatures in this northern city's weather.
  • The crime rates. The crime rate is more than 20% and 40% greater than in Vancouver and Calgary, respectively.
  • Bad roads; with more potholes than average


What's the fastest way to move to Edmonton?

If you want to become a permanent resident in Edmonton, your best option is to apply via Canada's Express Entry system. You can find a full breakdown of it here. However, if you want to ensure your chances of getting Express Entry, you might want to consider applying for one of Alberta's PNP programs.

What is the primary spoken language in Edmonton?

English is the most spoken language and the means of instruction in Edmonton. Therefore, to immigrate to Canada, you'll need to ensure your English-speaking ability. Look at this article for a full breakdown of Canada's language requirements.

Is it easy to move to Edmonton?

This depends on your background and how you plan on moving to Edmonton. With over 100 visa and immigration programs, you have plenty of options. Chatting with an RCIC will help you determine which is easiest for you.

Your Future in Canada Awaits

Now that you have a little taste of Edmonton, it's time to get ready for life in Edmonton. If you are unsure which visa to start your journey or how to go through the application process, click the button below to talk to an RCIC. If you're unsure how an RCIC can help you, look at this breakdown of what they do and how they can help you.

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