65 Interesting Facts About Alberta You Must Know
Alberta is one of the 10 provinces in Canada. It is located in western Canada and is bordered by the provinces of British Columbia to the west and Saskatchewan to the east, the Northwest Territories to the north, and the US state of Montana to the south. We have been calling Alberta home for the past 7 years, and in this post, we have compiled some of the interesting facts about Alberta.
65 Interesting Facts About Alberta You Must Know
1. Alberta is the sixth largest Canadian province, by land area
Alberta takes up 6.6% of Canada’s total area, making it the sixth-largest province in the nation. It occupies an area of 661,848 square kms.
It is also the fourth populous province in the country.
2. Alberta is named after the Queen’s daughter
Alberta was named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta (1848-1939), the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria.
3. Alberta was a part of the Territories
Alberta was established as a district of the North West Territories in 1882. It was later expanded to its present boundaries and became a province in 1905.
4. Alberta’s Flag was adopted in 1968
The flag of Alberta was adopted on June 1, 1968. It bears the provincial shield of Alberta on a blue background. The flag is proportioned twice as long as it is high.
5. The youngest person to ever head a government in Canada was from Alberta
Joe Clark, who was born in High River, Alberta, became the youngest person to ever head a government when he was sworn in as Canada’s Prime Minister. He became leader of the now-defunct Progressive Conservative party at age 39.
6. Alberta is for its large oil industry
Alberta is a Canadian province known for its large oil industry. It has the third-largest reserves of crude oil in Canada, with most of it coming from the Athabasca Oil Sands.
7. Alberta’s agriculture
Alberta’s biggest advantage after its oil industry is its agriculture. Wheat, barley, canola, oats, and other grains are some of the main crops grown here. Alberta farms exported $ 10.1 billion worth of these goods in 2012, and there were close to 59,000 farms in Alberta producing mainly wheat and other grains.
Alberta has about 34 million cattle and calves; that’s more than any other province or territory!
8. Albert has one of the highest GDP per capita in Canada
Other than oil and agriculture, Alberta is considered a major transportation and distribution hub in the western part of the country. It also has a significant tourism industry. The GDP per capita of the province is C$78,154.
9. Alberta is one of the only two landlocked Canadian provinces
Alberta is one of the two landlocked provinces, along with Saskatchewan (and we lived in both). But we do have lakes and rivers flowing through our stunning province!
10. The first Albertans were Indigenous People
The first Albertans were nomadic Indigenous peoples who arrived thousands of years ago when an ice sheet blocked their way northward. They lived off buffalo hunting until they were forced westward by white settlers.
The first time non-indigenous people visited what is now Alberta was in 1754 when Anthony Henday, an explorer for the Hudson’s Bay Company, came west looking for opportunities in the fur trade.
11. Learn about First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures in Alberta
Alberta has many unique learning complexes to understand the past and present of the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit who’ve lived here thousands of years. The Indigenous people of Alberta are descendants of the first settlers of North American plains.
12. Northern Alberta and southern Alberta are extremely different
The main difference between northern and southern Alberta is that the north has very cold winters, while the south, on average, sees warmer temperatures during wintertime.
The northern half of the province is boreal forest, while the Rocky Mountains along the southwestern boundary are largely forested. The southern quarter of the province is mostly prairie.
13. Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta Canada
Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta and is home to 981, 280 people (2017).
14. Alberta’s legislature is called ‘the Leg’
The Alberta Legislature building was built between 1909 and 1913, and it remains one of Edmonton’s most impressive structures to date. It is located in downtown Edmonton, and is lovingly called “the Leg.”
15. The largest municipal park in Canada is in Edmonton
Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River Valley Park’s system is a 7,284-hectare “ribbon of green” running through the city. It is the largest expanse of urban parkland in Canada.
16. The largest mall in North America is in Edmonton
Edmonton is home to the largest mall in North America – West Edmonton Mall. It was founded by the Ghermezian brothers who emigrated from Iran. WEM is home to 800 stores and is larger than 600 soccer fields!
It also has an amusement park, a themed hotel, a waterpark, an aquarium, mini-golf courses, a movie theatre, and a full-size NHL skating rink inside.
17. The first-ever indoor water was built in Edmonton Alberta
The first-ever indoor water park “World Waterpark” was built in West Edmonton Mall in 1985. It’s still the world’s largest indoor water park today.
18. Ride the largest indoor roller coaster at WEM
The Mindbender is the world’s largest triple loop indoor roller coaster located inside of the West Edmonton Mall!
19. Edmonton’s population grew faster than any other city in Canada
Edmonton grew more rapidly between 1981 and 2001 than any other city. They had a population growth of 83.5 percent! That’s more than 3 times the national average for that time period.
20. Edmonton is nicknamed “Festival City”
Edmonton has a number of nicknames. It’s called the Festival City because it hosts a large number of festivals throughout the year, including folk music, dance, and culinary festivals.
Edmonton is also nicknamed “Gateway to the North”, “River City”, and “Oil Capital of Canada”.
21. Calgary is the largest city in Alberta
Calgary hosts more than 1,330,000 million people within its city limits (1.3 million – 2017). It is the fourth populous city in Canada.
22. Fort Brisebois was renamed Calgary
Calgary was founded as Fort Brisebois in 1875 but renamed Calgary four years later after Calgary Bay on the Isle of Mull, Scotland. Its Gaelic meaning is “clear running water.”
23. Calgary was named the most livable city in North America
Calgary was named the most livable city in North America by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) for six consecutive years. It dropped to second place after Vancouver took over that title, but it still scored higher than other large cities like New York and Los Angeles.
24. Calgary tops the sunniest places in Canada
Calgary gets an average of 3,392.6 hours of sunshine every year – the most in Canada. Edmonton is also a strong sunspot with 2299 hours and 321 days of sun a year.
25. Calgary’s Fish Creek Provincial Park is the second-largest urban park in Canada
Fish Creek Provincial Park is located just south of downtown Calgary. It spans 19 km. There are over 100 kilometres (62 mi) of hiking and biking trails, as well as picnic spots, swimming, and wildlife opportunities.
26. Calgary Stampede is one of the largest rodeos in the world
Calgary Stampede is considered the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. This iconic western festival is a must-see event when visiting the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
The 10-day celebration in July has something to offer for everyone including a large midway, live concerts, and an outdoor exhibition showcasing the best of Western life and culture.
27. Calgary Tower was originally known as the Husky Tower
Calgary Tower was built in 1966 and it remains an important communications hub for Western Canada.
It was originally named the Husky Tower and was constructed as a joint venture between Marathon Realty and Husky Oil to honor Canada’s centennial celebrations. Today it is a major tourist destination in Canada.
28. Calgary is home to 18 km (11.2 mi) of indoor walkways
In downtown Calgary, you can enjoy 18 km of an indoor walkway that connects over 100 buildings through 60 suspended bridges.
29. Tyra – the world’s largest dinosaur is in Alberta
The “world’s largest dinosaur” is located in Drumheller, about 1.50 hours from Calgary. Tyra is the name of the 26-meter-tall, fiberglass, and steel dinosaur statue.
Alberta is also home to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, and it holds Canada’s largest collection of dinosaur fossils!
30. Vulcan is the self-proclaimed Star Trek capital city of Canada
Vulcan is a small town located between Calgary and Lethbridge. It has an estimated population of 730 people and is the self-proclaimed Star Trek capital city of Canada!
In the Star Trek television and feature film series, Vulcan is the name of the homeworld of Spock and his fellow Vulcan’s.
31. Sylvan Lake is home to Inland Lighthouse
In the resort town of Sylvan Lake, you will find an inland lighthouse.
It was built to commemorate its 75th birthday in 1988. However it was later rebuilt in 2015, and today it is one of Alberta’s most unique attractions.
32. The city of Lloydminster is shared by Alberta and Saskatchewan
The city of Lloydminster is located on the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan, and it belongs to both provinces and is administered jointly.
33. Canada has hosted Winter Olympics twice (once in Alberta)
Canada has hosted two Olympic Winter Games so far – the first one was held in Calgary in 1988 and Vancouver in 2010.
34. Canada Olympic Park was used for the 1988 Winter Olympics
Canada Olympic Park was originally called Paskapoo Ski Hill. It started as a training facility for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. The park is now used by athletes worldwide for high-performance training and also hosts world-class sporting events throughout the year.
35. Alberta is home to six major natural regions
Alberta has six major natural regions, namely the Boreal Forest Region the Canadian Shield Region, the Parklands Region, the Foothills Region, the Grassland Region, and the Rocky Mountains.
36. Alberta is home to 5 of the 38 national parks in Canada
Alberta is home to five National Parks: Banff, Jasper, Waterton, Wood Buffalo, and Elk Island National Park.
37. The oldest national park of Canada is located in Alberta
Banff National Park is the oldest national park in Canada. It was established in the year 1885 as Canada’s first National Park. Originally this park was called Banff Hot Springs Reserve and later the Rocky Mountains of Canada.
38. The largest national park of Canada is also located in Alberta
At a size of 44,807 square kilometers, Wood Buffalo National Park is the largest national park in Canada (and second largest in the world). It is also called one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites and was established in 1922.
39. Jasper National Park is the largest one in the Canadian Rockies
Jasper National Park is one of the most visited national parks in Alberta and the largest in the Canadian Rockies. It was established in 1907 and has a surface area of 11, 228 square kilometers.
40. Mount Columbia is the highest point in Alberta
Mount Columbia is the highest point in Alberta and it’s also part of the Rocky Mountains. Located in Columbia Icefield, it has an elevation of 3,747 meters above sea level.
41. Lake Louise was originally called Emerald Lake
Located in Banff National Park is the stunning Lake Louise.
In 1882 a Canadian railway worker and guide named Tom Wilson called it the Emerald Lake. Two years later it was renamed Lake Louise after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta (1848-1939), the daughter of Queen Victoria.
42. Lake Louise holds a special event every year
Every winter, Lake Louise hosts the ‘Lake Louise World Ice Carving Competition’ where international ice carvings are judged and a winner is chosen. The event features a variety of activities including a children’s area, live music events, and more!
43. The province is home to 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Alberta is home to five UNESCO World Heritage Sites i.e. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, Waterton Glacier International Peace Park, and Wood Buffalo National Park.
44. Waterton Glacier International Peace Park is located in Alberta and the USA
Waterton Glacier International Peace Park is located on the border of Alberta and the USA. It is known for its outstanding scenery and peaceful beauty.
45. The Canadian Rocky Mountains in Alberta are home to the Columbia Icefield
Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks consist of Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta.
The Columbia Icefield is part of the Rocky Mountains and it’s one of North America’s largest accumulations of ice with an area of about 12 square kilometers. It is also home to Mount Athabasca which is situated in Jasper National Park.
Mount Athabasca has an elevation of 3,256 meters above sea level and it’s located in the Columbia Icefield. It also sits on top of a large deposit of oil bitumen.
46. Alberta for dinosaurs
Dinosaur Provincial Park is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site exclusively dedicated to dinosaurs. It was established in 1955 and its vast landscape consists of badlands representing 150 million years of the Cretaceous Period which is considered one of the best dinosaur fossil locations in North America.
47. One of the unique UNESCO Sites in Alberta is the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
Located near Fort Macleod, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump was established in 1981. It is one of the oldest buffalo jumps, where Indigenous peoples drove buffalo over a cliff to use them as food and other resources such as clothes, tipis, and more.
48. The darkest town in Canada is located in Alberta
Bon Accord, a small town in Alberta is the first Canadian community to receive IDA status. It is the eleventh Dark Sky Community in the world, and the very first location from the province of Alberta to be welcomed into the International Dark Sky Places Program.
49. Alberta is home to the most tornadoes in Canada
Alberta is also known for its strong tornado activity. Alberta experiences more tornadoes than any other Canadian province, with an average of 15 tornadoes per year. Most of these will be EF0 and EF1 or weaker storms, but sometimes we get some powerful ones too!
50. The deadliest Canadian landslide occurred in Alberta
In July of 1903, the Frank Slide killed more than 70 people when a landslide destroyed a portion of the town in Frank, Alberta. It was one of the deadliest landslides in Canadian history and it moved an estimated 90 million cubic meters. It was caused by an avalanche from Turtle Mountain.
51. The worst mining disaster happened in Alberta
On June 20, 1914, the worst mining disaster in Canadian history took place over at Frank. Named Frank Mine Explosion, it killed 65 miners and two mine superintendents inside what was then known as International Coal Company.
52. Earthquake in Red Deer associated with the creation of the Rocky Mountains
In 2019, a 4.6 magnitude earthquake shook the town of Red Deer, Alberta. It was reportedly felt from as far away as Banff and Calgary. The quake has been attributed to the creation of the Rocky Mountains.
53. Experience all four seasons in one day
The weather in Alberta is unpredictable, especially in the southern part.
Chinook winds are a type of warm, dry wind that sometimes brings astonishing temperature changes up to 20 degrees C – are pretty common in the south. And once the warm wind sets in it can melt ice at a rate of up to one inch per hour and turn inches of snow into puddles of water, fast.
In 1962, Pincher Creek saw a record-breaking temperature rise of 41 degrees C from – 19 to 22 degrees C in an hour.
54. Alberta is a Prairie Province, and it is known for its beautiful sunrises and sunsets
Alberta is one of the three Prairie provinces in Canada. The Prairies get a lot of sunlight so it’s no wonder why many people rave about its stunning sunrises and sunsets! This is one reason to visit Alberta during the summer.
55. The highest point of the longest Trans-Canada Highway is in Alberta (BC border)
Trans-Canada Highway is the longest highway in Canada that passes through the provinces, including a large portion of Alberta. The highest spot on the Trans-Canada is Kicking Horse Pass (on the Alberta-BC border).
56. Alberta is home to one of the scenic drives aka Icefield Parkway
Icefield Parkway is a scenic road that links Jasper, Alberta to Banff National Park. This highway has been named as one of the most beautiful drives in the world and it is also a World Heritage Site!
57. Edmonton Oilers have won multiple NHLs
The Edmonton Oilers are a professional ice hockey team based in Edmonton, Alberta founded in 1972. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Hockey League. They have won 5 Stanley Cups, most recently from 1984-1990.
58. Alberta has produced 16 Olympic medallists
15 of them won their medals during the winter games while only 1 medal was won during the summer games.
59. The first airplane to fly over the North Pole came from Alberta
In May 1926 Captain George Hubert Wilkins and his mechanic, Albert F. Hegenberger, became the first to fly over the North Pole on a journey that began in Alaska. This historic event ended in Alberta with a safe landing at Edmonton’s Blatchford Field airport (now Edmonton City Centre Airport).
60. Alberta’s first immigrant community was Chinese
In 1892, over 3,000 people of Chinese descent came to Canada forming a small community in Calgary. They worked in the railroads and mining, many of them leaving in 1906 after an anti-Chinese riot.
61. Calgary White Hat (cowboy hat) was created by an immigrant
Often associated with the Stampede, the Calgary White Hat was created by Morris Shumiatcher, a Russian-Jewish immigrant who came to Alberta with his father in 1909.
62. Trick or Treat! this phrase can be traced back to Alberta
The phrase “trick or treat” is said to have originated in the 1930s when it was used by kids who went door-to-door at Halloween collecting food and money with threats of mischief if they were not given anything.
Trick or Treating has become a significant part of Halloween celebrations all across Canada, but this tradition can also be traced back to when the first immigrants from Europe settled in Alberta’s cities.
63. Calgary invented the Caeser!
The caesar is a popular mixed drink that contains vodka, clamato juice, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. It was invented in 1969 by Walter Chell to celebrate the opening of a new Italian restaurant in Calgary. Today, it’s Canada’s national cocktail!
64. Alberta Beef is known worldwide
Beef is one of Alberta’s most important agricultural products, and our beef has a great reputation worldwide! Most of the beef produced in the province is graded AA or higher and is ethically raised and antibiotic-free.
65. Alberta is a rat-free province in Canada
Alberta is currently free of rats and is one of the rat-free provinces in Canada.
There are so many interesting Alberta facts, and we tried to fit in as much as possible in this one article. We hope this post has helped you learn a little bit more about Alberta.
Thousands visit this beautiful province every year to explore the unique landscape and experience our vibrant cities. If you’re planning on visiting or moving to Alberta anytime soon, do let us know in the comments below!
- Interesting facts about Canada
- Interesting facts about Saskatchewan
- Interesting facts about British Columbia
- Interesting facts about Ontario