Edmonton Capital Region refers to the metropolitan area of Edmonton, Alberta. The population of this area is 1.3 million (2016), making it sixth largest metro area in Canada. Edmonton's suburbs are small cities that usually rely on Edmonton for jobs, health care, higher education, and more "upscale" entertainment. However, the region is also where city-dwellers head on the weekends and holidays for outdoor life.
For complete information on Edmonton, see its article.
- 1 Edmonton - population: 930,000. Home to world-class shopping (even outside of the famous West Edmonton Mall), an established theatre scene, excellent nightlife, beautiful parks, high end & extraordinary festivals, and a beautiful array of food selection.
- 2 Sherwood Park - population: 70,000, and the wider Strathcona County. Mostly a bedroom community of Edmonton, but the popular Millennium Place arena and Festival Place theatre are here as well as lakes with cabins for rent.
- 3 St. Albert - population: 66,000. An affluent city of commuters to Edmonton with scenic trails and parks and. It is home to the oldest building in Alberta, the Father Lacombe Chapel (a Catholic mission from the late 19th century), the Musée Héritage Museum and the Arden Theatre.
- 4 Leduc - population: 30,000, and the nearby area of Nisku are home of the Edmonton International Airport and numerous oil and gas businesses. This is essentially the transportation hub of the region.
- 5 Spruce Grove - population: 34,000 Mostly new housing developments with a small business district. Home to the Spruce Grove Grain Elevator Museum and famous Jack's Drive In burger joint.
- 6 Beaumont - population: 17,300. A still partly-French-speaking enclave (for now) that is suddenly booming in population as transportation links to Edmonton are built.
- 7 Stony Plain - population: 17,000. A small agricultural centre that is transforming into a commuter town. Home to the Multicultural Heritage Centre (a museum).
- 8 Fort Saskatchewan - population: 24,000 Industrial town centred around Dow Chemical and other petrochemical plants. Located right on the North Saskatchewan River, with opportunities for canoeing and hiking. Home to the Fort Heritage Precinct, an outdoor museum centred on a reconstruction of the North West Mounted Police ("Mountie") post from the 1870s.
- 9 Morinville - population: 10,000 The French-Canadian and German heritage of this small town is exemplified by it's large Catholic church in the town centre.
- 10 Devon - population: 6,600 Scenically perched on the edge of a gorge above the North Saskatchewan River. Near the site of the major oil discovery in 1947 that changed the face of Alberta forever.
- 1 Elk Island National Park. Home to the Canada's most famous herds of bison (buffalo). Nearby is the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, an open-air museum detailing the traditional lives of the influential Ukrainian immigrants to Alberta.
- 2 Lac Ste. Anne - Popular lake for weekenders, especially at Alberta Beach; site of annual religious pilgrimage.
- 3 Strathcona Science Provincial Park - Urban walking trails between Edmonton and Sherwood Park.
- 4 Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park - Wetlands and walking between Edmonton and St. Albert/
- 5 Miquelon Lake Provincial Park - part of the Beaverhills Biosphere Reserve (together with Elk Island National Park). Lake with campground and walking trails.
- 6 Wabamun - A village on Lake Wabamun, a popular lake for weekenders, located within Wabamun Lake Provincial Park.
Edmonton has been allowed to expand and annex most of the farmland and small towns around it throughout it's history, so the majority of the population of the region lives within the boundaries of the City of Edmonton. However, Edmonton has expanded rapidly since the 1940s, and now abuts towns that used to be several kilometers away. All of remaining the towns began to grow quickly during 2000s as land prices in Edmonton rose. They have added many new facilities, and most towns now have a museum, multi-rink arena, indoor public swimming pool, and one or more performing arts venues. They are all former railway towns that were established as grain-collection points for nearby farms, and are built primarily on a grid pattern, so are easy to navigate, and all feature a small shopping district in the centre (usually called "downtown") and many large big-box stores along the main highways.
- Fly into Edmonton International Airport
- Drive via Yellowhead Highway (east-west) or via the Queen Elizabeth II Highway ("QE2", north-south)
As of 2020 Edmonton is in the process of merging its public transit network with 15 other municipalities (but not Strathcona County). Once this is completed, it should be possible to use a single ticket to take a bus across the region.