From rolling foothills, magnificent mountains, stunning lakes, and prehistoric hoodoos, Alberta’s grandeur and beauty is obvious from first sight. Offering urban and rural spaces, alongside breathtaking provincial parks, Alberta provides lifestyles suitable to both the nature enthusiast and the urban dweller.
Alberta’s geographical area of 255,541 square miles (661,848 square kilometers), contains provincial parks and protected areas that provide access to some of the most spectacular natural landscapes in North America. In addition, the province boasts of the world’s only boreal forest songbird observatories, the Columbia ice fields, and the largest collection of aboriginal rock art on the North American Plains.
Towards the end of the last ice age, the Paleo-Indians became the first human inhabitants of Alberta. Years later the British claimed approximately half the province as part of Rupert’s land. In 1670, the land was granted to the Hudson’s Bay Company by Charles II of England. In 1779, the North West Company established themselves in the North to compete with the HBC. The two companies engaged in bloody battles and were forced by the British government to merge, before the newly formed Canadian government purchased Rupert’s Land in 1870. The area formed into the district of Alberta in 1882, and was considered part of the North-West Territories until 1905, when Alberta earned provincial status.
Today, populated by over 3,645,000, Alberta is the most populous of Canada’s three prairie provinces and offers a young, skilled, and productive workforce. With a strong commitment to innovation and knowledge-based progress, and as a highly entrepreneurial and competitive business community, Alberta is business-friendly province committed to responsible regulation. One of the strongest Canadian economies, the province is a major producer of gas products, natural gas, crude, and conventional crude oil. Agriculture and technology also play a role in developing the Albertan economy.
Alberta’s largest city and metropolitan area is Calgary, home to the globally recognized Calgary Stampede. The city of Calgary retains much of its traditional culture with hotel saloons, western bars, night clubs, football, and hockey. A clean, safe, and vibrant city, Calgary offers the best of both worlds: a cosmopolitan city of more than a million people, and breathtaking outdoor adventure in pristine wilderness. It is a city known for its warm hospitality, access to winter sports, and ecotourism. Calgary’s inner core has been the traditional location of the city’s most luxurious properties found in the communities of Mount Royal, Elbow Park, Rideau, Roxboro, and Bel-Aire. However, many outlying areas such as Bearspaw, Aspen, Discovery Valley, Elbow Valley, and the Springbank area, are seeing the construction of huge luxury homes and estates.
Another of Alberta’s internationally known cities is Edmonton, the provincial capital. Edmonton is most often recognized for the West Edmonton mall. As one of North America’s largest shopping and entertainment complexes it offers over 800 stores and services, and over 110 dining establishments making it the epitome of one-stop shopping.
Outside the successful Albertan cities, the majestic Rocky Mountains form an impressive spine down the western boundary of the province and are home to the world famous resort towns of Banff, Jasper, Canmore, Kananaskis, Lake Louise and Waterton. Meanwhile, the town of Drumheller attracts dinosaur hunters, as it is home to the acclaimed Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology. The desert topography yields countless fossils and prehistoric discoveries, including more dinosaur fossils than any other single spot on the planet. Finally, the vast farmlands of Alberta’s Heartland, Southern Alberta, and Northern Alberta show evidence of the province’s rural heritage.
A land of dinosaurs, oil, great mountains and unparalleled natural topography, Alberta is province of discovery, pure beauty, and great prosperity.