It is believed that the first inhabitants of the area where the city of Edmonton sits settled there at around 3,000 BC and possibly as early as 10,000 BC. Much like most places in North America, the area around Edmonton had already been inhabited by indigenous people for thousands of years before permanent European settlements were established.
The Beginnings of Edmonton
The great city started out as a simple trading post known as Fort Edmonton built in 1795 and was named after Edmonton, a town just North of London in England. However, towards the end of the 19th century, the small settlement started spreading outside the fort. Because of its rapid growth, the settlement was incorporated as a town in 1892 and as a city in 1904. Despite being a small town, Edmonton was elected to be the capital city of Alberta in 1905. The following year, the University of Alberta was established.
Edmonton in the 20th Century
The city continued to see rapid growth during the early years of the 20th century. In 1906, Edmonton was just a small, simple town with a population of about 14,000 people; however, by 1939, the town’s population had grown by almost tenfold and was home to about 90,000 people. In 1947, large amounts of oil were discovered near the city, and as a result, Edmonton started experiencing a boom. Towards the end of the 20th century, the city continued experiencing exponential growth at an incredible rate. By the year 1970, the city was home to about 430,000 people and continues to grow with each passing year.
The Modern city of Edmonton is a major economic and tourist centre. There are currently many fine establishments and centres that make it an outstanding city. The city’s zoo, the Edmonton Valley Zoo was opened in 1959 while the Citadel Theatre was opened in 1965 but was later relocated to a new building in 1976. The Royal Alberta Museum of Edmonton, formerly known as Provincial Museum of Alberta, was opened in 1967. The first airport in the city was opened in 1927 and the new Edmonton International Airport, located in Leduc, opened doors in 1957. The Edmonton LRTS or Light Rail Transit System was opened in 1978.
To date, oil refining is still one of the most important industries in the city; however, in recent years, the services and hi-tech industries have expanded greatly. The city has grown to be a major trade and shopping centre while its skyline has rapidly grown to host a couple of world-class sky scrapers. Still the capital of Alberta, Edmonton is a flourishing Canadian city that is home to about 877,000 people.