Our History

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A few key points from Edmonton’s history and where we are going: 

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Home for Thousands of Years

Edmonton is located within Treaty 6 Territory and within the Metis homelands and Metis Nation of Alberta Region 4. We acknowledge this land as the traditional territories of many First Nations.

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  • 1795 | began as a trading post called Fort Edmonton 
  • 1904 | incorporated as a city
  • 1905 | became the capital of Alberta
  • 1908 | University of Alberta founded 
  • 1912 | Edmonton amalgamated with the city of Strathcona
  • 1920 | Edmonton Symphony Orchestra held its first performance
  • 1921 | Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues founded
  • 1929 | Edmonton City Centre Airport opened, becoming Canada's first licensed airfield
  • 1938 | Al-Rashid Mosque opened, the first in Canada
  • 1959 | Edmonton Valley Zoo opened 
  • 1969 | Edmonton becomes the first Canadian city to join the North American Emergency Telephone 911 plan
  • 1978 | hosted the Commonwealth Games 
  • 1981 | Edmonton’s Food Bank formed, the first in Canada 
  • 1981 | West Edmonton Mall opened as the world’s largest, and is still the largest in North America
  • 1982 | Edmonton Fringe Theatre Festival is held for the first time, the first in North America 
  • 1991 | Hotel Macdonald reopened after significant restoration
  • 2003 | hosted the first Heritage Classic, an NHL outdoor game
  • 2010 | Art Gallery of Alberta opened in the new building downtown
  • 2016 | new Rogers Place arena opened as part of downtown Ice District
  • 2018 | the 69-storey Stantec Tower opened as the tallest building west of Toronto

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Where we are going

Edmonton recognizes the future is urban and is actively planning for its next 1 million residents expected over the next 20 years. 


The City Plan is an invitation to join in building a version of our city that respects and preserves the things we value today while also creating a city to inspire all of our residents.