Edmonton is the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta. Edmonton is on the North Saskatchewan River and is the centre of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, which is surrounded by Alberta's central region. The city anchors the north end of what Statistics Canada defines as the "Calgary–Edmonton Corridor".
Edmonton's historic growth has been facilitated through the absorption of five adjacent urban municipalities (Strathcona, North Edmonton, West Edmonton, Beverly and Jasper Place) in addition to land from Leduc County and the City of Beaumont. Known as the "Gateway to the North", the city is a staging point for large-scale oil sands projects occurring in northern Alberta and large-scale diamond mining operations in the Northwest Territories.
Edmonton is a cultural, governmental and educational centre. It hosts a year-round slate of festivals, reflected in the nickname "Canada's Festival City". It is home to North America's second largest mall, West Edmonton Mall, and Fort Edmonton Park, Canada's largest living history museum.
Edmonton is the major economic centre for northern and central Alberta and a major centre for the oil and gas industry. Recently the estimated value of major projects within the Edmonton Metropolitan Region was $57.8 billion, of which $34.4 billion are within the oil and gas, oil sands, and pipeline sectors.
Edmonton traditionally has been a hub for Albertan petrochemical industries, earning it the nickname "Oil Capital of Canada". Supply and service industries drive the energy extraction engine, while research develops new technologies and supports expanded value-added processing of Alberta's massive oil, gas, and oil sands reserves. These are reported to be the second-largest in the world.
Much of the growth in technology sectors is due to Edmonton's reputation as one of Canada's premier research and education centres. Research initiatives are anchored by educational institutions such as the University of Alberta (U of A) as well as government initiatives underway at Alberta Innovates and Edmonton Research Park. The U of A campus is home to the National Institute for Nanotechnology.
Edmonton is a major financial centre, with both regional offices of Canada's major banks and locally based institutions and Edmonton is now home to Canadian Western Bank, the only publicly traded Schedule I chartered bank headquarters west of Toronto. Other major financial institutions include ATB Financial, Servus Credit Union, TD Canada Trust and Manulife Financial.
Edmonton has been the birthplace of several companies that have grown to international stature. The local retail market has also seen the creation of many successful store concepts, such as The Brick, Katz Group, AutoCanada, Boston Pizza, Pizza 73, Liquor Stores GP (which includes Liquor Depot, Liquor Barn, OK Liquor, and Grapes & Grains), Planet Organic, Shaw Communications, Empire Design, Running Room, Booster Juice, Earl's, Fountain Tire and XS Cargo.
Edmonton's geographical location has made it an ideal spot for distribution and logistics. CN Rail's North American operational facility is located in the city, as well as a major intermodal facility that handles all incoming freight from the port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia. In early 2020, CN Rail announced that it was closing its Montreal control centre and would eventually close its Vancouver control centre as well, with a goal to consolidate all of its control operations into Edmonton.
Edmonton is home to several shopping malls including, West Edmonton Mall, which is also considered to be the 10th largest mall in the world. Other mentionable malls include Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre, Edmonton City Centre (Edmonton Centre and Eaton Centre malls), Southgate Centre, Kingsway Mall, Northgate Centre, Riverview Crossing, Londonderry Mall, and Mill Woods Town Centre.
Edmonton also has many big box shopping centres and power centres. Some of the major ones include South Edmonton Common, Mayfield Common, Westpoint, Skyview Power Centre, Terra Losa Centre, Oliver Square, Southpark Centre, The Meadows, Christy's Corner, Currents of Windermere, and Manning Village.
Edmonton has many urban retail locations. The largest of them all, Old Strathcona, includes many independent stores between 99 Street and 109 Street, on Whyte Avenue and in the surrounding area. Old Strathcona also houses the city's largest indoor farmer's market with over 130 vendors selling local and regional produce, meat, crafts, and clothing year-round. In and around Downtown Edmonton, there are a few shopping districts, including the Edmonton City Centre mall, Jasper Avenue, and 104 Street. Near Oliver, 124 Street is home to a significant number of retail stores. Edmonton is the Canadian testing ground for many American retailers, such as Bath & Body Works and Calvin Klein.
Edmonton is rated Gamma - by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Gamma level cities are cities that link smaller economic regions into the world economy.
Edmonton is ranked #151 by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. Edmonton was ranked #111 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Edmonton has a population of over 932,546 people. Edmonton also forms part of the wider Edmonton metropolitan area which has a population of over 1,800,000 people. Edmonton is the #316 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 2.472 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores per 100,000 city residents.