Talk:Alberta

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Tweak the Regional Boundaries & Names[edit]

Hello,

I'm wondering if the boundaries for Alberta should be tweaked. The biggest one for me is the current eastern boundary for the Peace River Valley, which extends to the Saskatchewan border and includes Wood Buffalo National Park and Fort Chipewyan. While technically both areas are in the Peace River valley/watershed, they are culturally and politically connected to the Athabasca River, M.D. of Wood Buffalo, and Fort McMurray more-so than Grande Prairie and Peace River. There are no all-weather road connections; however, there is a winter road and flights to Fort McMurray so I'm thinking they should be moved to Eastern Alberta. I noticed that there had been some debate as to where the eastern boundary should be for the Peace River Valley and Eastern Alberta - might I propose that 114° W be used as the boundary? It's the most easterly of the western boundary of Wood Buffalo National Park (i.e. looking on the map, the boundary where the Peace River crosses into the park), so the areas of Peace River Valley east of 114° W could be absorbed into Eastern Alberta. That is also the western boundary for Wood Buffalo M.D., the governing body for Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan. On the map, where Eastern Alberta extends west to include Lesser Slave Lake, this could remain the same.

I was also wondering if a few names could be modified. Here are a few ideas:

  • Peace River Valley could become Peace River Country. In Alberta, it's more-so known as either "Peace River Country" or "Peace Country", and past tourist promotions have refered to it as Mighty Peace Country or "Land of the Mighty Peace" (as per the 1980s Official Alberta Road Map). Peace River Valley isn't the best as most settlements in the area aren't actually in the valley, but in the plains located above the valley within the watershed instead. I also propose that Slave Lake be moved out of the region.
  • Eastern Alberta could become either Lakeland or Northeastern Alberta. Northeastern Alberta is a generic geographic name, but it might be a bit of stretch if places like Slave Lake and Athabasca were included. Lakeland is the name used to describe Bonnyville, Cold Lake, Lac La Biche and St. Paul, and it could be extended to include places further north and east (there is also a Lakeland College in Vermilion and Lloydminster). My personal vote would be "Lakeland".

Any thoughts? -- MuzikMachine (talk) 03:04, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

Hi MuzikMachine, what you say makes sense and, even though I was involved with shaping the current region structure, I've increasingly thought it could use some tweaking. My thoughts are:
  • I'm OK with the boundary you suggested between Peace River & Eastern Alberta, but I'm not sure where Slave Lake would go if it's not in the Peace Country. It's west of 114° W and the map showing Eastern Alberta extending past 114 W is an accident. I pretty much just drew a line halfway between Alberta's eastern and western border and then curved it up and around Fort McMurray. The original base map didn't have the lakes so I didn't realize Lesser Slave Lake was underneath the line -- otherwise I would have drawn the line east of the lake. My map tools and skills have increased since I did this map :-) (it was one of my first)
  • I'm good with calling it Peace Country or Peace River Country, but wonder if we should add "Alberta" to the front of it to distinguish it from BC's Peace Country? The part of the Peace River that's in BC is also called the Peace Country, and one day I'd like to carve it out from the current Northern British Columbia guide... although the region name there would be "Peace Country and Northern Rockies" so it's not exactly the same.
  • I like the "Lakeland" name, but wonder if it's too specific considering the region will include Fort McMurray and possibly Slave Lake. I was thinking "Lakeland and the Northeast" might be a good compromise.
While we're talking about Alberta's regions, I was wondering what your thoughts are on a couple of other things:
  • Hwy 40 and the area west and southwest of Sundre is currently part of the Alberta Rockies region. However, reading about it, it seems like it has more in common with Sundre than the national parks so I was wondering if that area should be moved to Central Alberta.
  • The Central Alberta/Eastern Alberta divide has always bugged me. Should Vermillion and Lloydminster (plus the area south of them to the Alberta Badlands region) be part of Central Alberta?
Cheers -Shaundd (talk) 08:56, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
Hi Shaundd, Slave Lake is a bit of an orphan in that it's not really part of the Peace Country, but not really Lakeland either. My concern is that "Lakeland and the Northeast" is a bit wordy, and Fort McMurray is included in some the official Lakeland references (there are a few small lakes up there); and since Slave Lake is on a lake, it might be generic enough to work :) Personally I'm fine with the current southern boundary between Peace River Valley and Eastern Alberta as it's very sparsely populated, but I'm thinking the Peace River Valley should not extend east of 114° W.
The Forestry Trunk Road (Hwy 40/734) is a good dividing line between Central Alberta and Alberta Rockies, as that's where the foothills start to become mountains. I'm thinking of doing an article for Nordegg/Big Horn Country/David Thompson Hwy (title TBD) and including some the Forestry Trunk Road, it would belong with the Rockies.
I agree with the Central Alberta/Eastern Alberta/Alberta Badlands transition. Being inspired by the British Columbia page which has regions and subregions dependent on their tourist regions, and looking at the Travel Alberta website, what if things were overhauled as follows:
Just my thoughts if we really want to revisit everything. Cheers! -- MuzikMachine (talk) 18:45, 12 July 2019 (UTC)
Whoa, lots to talk about now! Going back to your original proposal, I'm fine with the name Lakeland and moving Slave Lake out of Peace Country and over to Lakeland. It does seem a stretch but I think it's necessary sometimes (I can think of a few cases in BC where it happens). It's a wiki... so we can always change the name again if there are objections!
  • If we move Slave Lake, should Whitecourt and the whole Wild Alberta travel region also move to Lakeland? It's extending the stretch, but at the same time, there also seems to be a lot of lakes and rivers and so similarity with the proper "Lakeland" (and maybe more similarity than Central Alberta, where they currently are).
  • If Whitecourt moves, it will orphan Edson in Central Alberta. Would it be too much of a stretch to include Edson in Alberta Rockies?
I also like redefining the border of Alberta Badlands so it is between Hwy 9 & 12. Will it sit closer to Hwy 9 so Oyen would still be in the Badlands, but Three Hills and Big Valley (Alberta) would move to Central Alberta?
Even though I did it in BC, I'm not a big fan of layers of regions unless it's really big (like Ontario or Quebec). In the case of BC, the mountains play a big role because they chop the province up quite a bit and also help create distinct subregions. My other concern with adding another layer of regions to Alberta is many of the existing top-level regions don't have a lot of content so it makes me hesitant to create even more regions. I was thinking of going the other way and merging Southern Alberta and Alberta badlands into one Southern Alberta guide. The Badlands are different but I think that could be captured in the Understand section, and as a bottom-level region I think the 14 or so cities would be fine. -Shaundd (talk) 07:25, 13 July 2019 (UTC)
@Shaundd: Ok, ok - I'll stick to tweaking boundaries as opposed to totally redefining them :) Maybe some the cities in their region articles could be organized with sub-headings, similar to the Okanagan article, but not have separate region articles.
  • Edson and Whitecourt are admittedly isolated orphans in Central Alberta, but it might best to leave them as is. Edson the approximate eastern edge of the foothills along the Yellowhead, and it's the first time one can see the mountains on a clear day when travelling west - but it's still a long way before you're in the Rockies. On the same token Whitecourt might be a little too far west for a Lakeland/Northeastern Alberta region and it doesn't have good transportation links to other cities in that region; if it were to be moved it might fit better in the Peace Country, but it's a little too far south and east to be considered a part of that as well.
  • Good point regarding the Alberta badlands, as it is a smaller, less populated region and could be considered part of Southern Alberta. I'm on the fence on whether it should stay or go; my thoughts are:
@MuzikMachine: I have a slight preference for combining Alberta Badlands and Southern Alberta, but I'm not fussed either way. I don't quite get Travel Alberta's Canadian Badlands region... it seems to cover nearly all the same ground as their Southern Alberta region (it had accommodation going all the way to Cardston(!)).
For Central Alberta, I definitely think we should go the route of Okanagan and organize by sub-headings along the lines of your proposed subregions (although I'm not sure we need a Red Deer region). -Shaundd (talk) 00:40, 20 July 2019 (UTC)
@Shaundd: I'm fine the merging the Badlands. It seems Alberta has a mish-mash of travel regions, whether it's Travel Alberta or different associations like the Badlands or Go East of Edmonton, which basically covers Eastern Alberta between Cold Lake and Wainwright. Personally I associate the Badlands with Drumheller and Red Deer River valley (i.e. Dinosaur Provincial Park), but some of these other places are more just flat prairie (i.e. Brooks). If you merge Badlands & Southern Alberta, where were you thinking the boundary would be? Based on the map, I was thinking the line could be from the NE corner of the Calgary Region and head straight east, including the Hwy 9 corridor but not much more to the north. -- MuzikMachine (talk) 17:16, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

Conversation restart[edit]

Proposed Alberta regions based

@Shaundd: Hey Shaundd, I'm wondering if you wanted to revisit our discussion about adjusting the regions and boundaries in Alberta? I wondering if the less change, the better, so I propose:

Thoughts? --MuzikMachine (talk) 19:17, 27 September 2019 (UTC)

  • Hi MuzikMachine, I had forgotten about this when I got busy in the summer, thanks for reminding me! I'm good with the above. I think we also agreed to rename Eastern Alberta to Lakeland -- do you still want to do that? -Shaundd (talk) 20:42, 27 September 2019 (UTC)
Hi Shaundd, no worries, I got busy this summer as well. I had oppertunity to drive from Edmonton to Saskatoon this summer, and I noticed that along the route the East of Edmonton was pushed quite a bit, despite Travel Alberta splitting the area into Central & Northern Alberta. "East of Edmonton" and Eastern Alberta cover a lot of the same area, plus a rename would involve redrawing some of the Central Alberta boundaries, so I'm actually more inclined to leave it as is. I'm thinking that the Eastern Alberta communities could be subdivided into "Wood Buffalo" (areas inside Wood Buffalo MD such as Fort McMurrey, Fort Chip, etc.), "Lakeland" (Athabasca, Cold Lake, Lac La Biche), and "East-Central" (Yellowhead Hwy & south); they wouldn't be sub-regions with seperate pages, but just categories under the Cities listing. What do you think? -- MuzikMachine (talk) 05:29, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
@MuzikMachine: That sounds good. I was trying to map out the new boundaries and there were a couple of points I wasn't sure on:
  • For the boundary between Central Alberta and Eastern Alberta, would it be just east of Hwy 56 (so it keeps Camrose and Stettler in Central Alberta where they are currently located)?
  • Should Three Hills be in Central Alberta or Alberta Badlands/Southern Alberta?
That's funny about East of Edmonton, I guess BC isn't the only place where the local tourism push doesn't always align with the province's "official" tourist regions. There's one area of BC that's historically part of one region, BC's tourism agency places it in a different region and the local chamber of commerce aligns with a third travel region. I'm forever second guessing where I should place it in our travel hierarchy. -Shaundd (talk) 06:28, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
@Shaundd: Yes, I'm thinking the Central/Eastern boundary should be east of Hwy 56 so Camrose and Stettler can remain in Central Alberta. I'm thinking Three Hills can also be in Central Alberta. The Eastern/Southern boundary could be just north of Hwy 9/Hwy 27, so Drumheller, Hanna, and Oyen can be in (new) Southern Alberta. From the existing map, it looks like Calgary Region kicks in near Beiseker, so I'm thinking the northern Southern boundary could approximately align with that corner. --MuzikMachine (talk) 00:28, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
@MuzikMachine: OK, I'm working on a map so we can see how things look. I should have it up in a couple of days. -Shaundd (talk) 06:29, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
@MuzikMachine: I posted a map at the top of this section with what I think we've discussed. Let me know if it looks right and then I'll put it in the more usual Wikivoyage format (I've added extra detail for now to help understand where the boundaries are). -Shaundd (talk) 14:45, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
@Shaundd: Looks good! The only slight modification I would recommend is including the Lac Ste Anne area (Alberta Beach / Onoway) into the Edmonton Capital Region, similar to the old map. That area and Wabamun are close together and similar. Wabamun is a little outside Edmonton, but it is considered part of the Edmonton CMA. Also, should the northern-most of the Peace/Eastern boundary follow the western boundary of Wood Buffalo NP, or does it matter? Otherwise it looks good, thanks for doing this! Once the map is complete, I can start updating articles. Cheers! --MuzikMachine (talk) 16:37, 3 October 2019 (UTC)
Hi MuzikMachine, I revised the map so Lac Ste Anne is part of the Edmonton region. I didn't change the Peace/Eastern AB border -- I like the simplicity of using 114 W and don't think it matters because Wood Buffalo NP is mostly in Eastern Alberta so it should be pretty clear that's the subregion it belongs to. If you're OK with it, I'll work on finalizing the map. The software I use can also make mapmasks for the subregions so I'll create those too. -Shaundd (talk) 06:08, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
@Shaundd: Looks good, thanks! --MuzikMachine (talk) 14:25, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
@MuzikMachine: I've added a mapmask to Southern Alberta as a test. It looks alright, we may need to adjust the size of the map a bit or leave it zoomed out a bit. -Shaundd (talk) 19:08, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
@Shaundd: I resized the map and added the Badlands elements as an initial merge, but left the Alberta badlands intact for now. -- MuzikMachine (talk) 19:06, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
Hi MuzikMachine, I've gone ahead and added Fort Chip and Wood Buffalo to Eastern Alberta. Also added mapmasks showing new region boundaries for those two regions.
@Shaundd: Looks good, thanks! Do you have an UTD region map for the Alberta page?? Thanks again. -- MuzikMachine (talk) 16:49, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
@MuzikMachine: I'm working on the region map. Getting it into Wikivoyage-style takes some time and it's been busy. I'm hoping to have a first cut ready in a few days. -Shaundd (talk) 05:16, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
@MuzikMachine: Update: the new region map is up. I still need to clean it up a bit but wanted to get it up there. Let me know if you have any comments. Cheers -Shaundd (talk) 22:15, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
@Shaundd: Looks good, thanks for all your work! --MuzikMachine (talk) 00:25, 20 October 2019 (UTC)


Further changes[edit]

Hi, @Shaudd:, @MuzikMachine:. Thanks for all the hard work you guys did here. Now, I'm afraid I'm going to go and throw a grenade into it. Not because I want to be difficult. It's just things as they sit aren't working. The Edmonton Capital Region article is useless, since no one outside Alberta sits down and plans a visit to Beaumont. Either all of the towns in Greater Edmonton need their own article with the region article just as a container, OR all the content should be merged up to the region article.

Likewise, the Central Alberta "article" is really just a list of way too many communities, with no connecting theme (what do Whitecourt and Three Hills have in common anyway?). I propose sub-dividing Central Alberta into sub-regions (as new articles, replacing the individual community articles) that align more with the local tourism marketing organizations, such as:

etc. Also Eastern Alberta is almost as bad. The Wood Buffalo National Park is VERY different travel experience from the bald prairie in the SE of this region. And the article text and map reflect this problem. There is no discussion whatsoever of anything south of Wainwright. Again, I propose creating sub-regions here rather than having pages for each community. No one is going to plan an out-of-province trip to Vermillion, but they might want to know what there is to do along the Highway 16 corridor as they drive to Edmonton. Notice that East of Edmonton guide groups their communities by which highway there are closest to (https://www.goeastofedmonton.com/Go). We should do the same. Or at the VERY LEAST we should distinguish between Wood Buffalo, the Lakeland (https://travellakeland.ca/), Kalyna Country (http://www.kalynacountry.com/), and whatever the southern bit is called.

If no one objects, I'll just get started where I already have a good handle on things. Thoughts? Kevlar67 (talk) 23:55, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

Hi Kevlar67, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think the regions and their articles are still very much a work-in-progress. I'm not sure grouping communities together will always create more useful guides though. Something like "Wild Alberta" might work since I don't think we cover it much and it seems to be a fairly contained area. Edson, Yellowhead County and Greenview County, on the other hand, is quite large and covers three existing guides if I understand the map right (Edson, Hinton and Grande Cache). We already have a guide on David Thompson Country, although it only covers the western part (Nordegg and area). Rocky Mountain House has its own guide and given the distance between the two areas (and the way attractions are clustered), I'm not sure what benefit it provides travellers to include it in the same guide as Nordegg.
For the Edmonton Capital Region, yeah, I've often wondered how useful it is. I don't like the idea of merging all of the outlying communities into one "Greater Edmonton" article that's a donut around Edmonton. Leduc isn't St. Albert and they're in opposite directions. I don't know if it would make more sense to pull them into the Edmonton article, combine some of them and treat them as districts? Or maybe group smaller communities by location (south, west, etc)? I have the same thoughts on the Calgary Region too.
I think grouping the communities on the region page is a good idea. The Wood Buffalo/Lakeland/Kalyna (or even something like "Along Hwy 16") groupings you mentioned above look good. For Central Alberta, I think MuzikMachine and I had discussed breaking the list of communities in the region into smaller chunks (e.g., Central Alberta would have Greater Red Deer, West of Hwy 2, East of Hwy 2). These wouldn't be separate articles, just sub-headings in the list of communities to help readers make sense of them.
All of this said, we just changed the regions. I'd prefer to see how things settle from those changes before making significant new changes. -Shaundd (talk) 07:17, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
I think I will just start with a Kalyna Country article and see how that works, since that's the region I know the most about. The only community in that region that already has an article is Vegreville, the rest are completed un-covered; so I don't need to change anything, just add. My inspirations are articles like Rural Montgomery County, Maryland and Prince Edward County, Ontario, and which are pretty good regional articles. Kevlar67 (talk) 16:37, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
I would be reluctant to make too many changes to the regions that reflect the lesser known, unofficial tourist regions. Some of these names have changed over the years, and most outsiders would know the areas more for the cities and towns vs. the regions. In looking at WV:WIAA, the preference is geographical hierarchy (e.g., countries, states, cities). I agree that Eastern Alberta isn't the best, but it also is one of the more underpopulated and less visited areas of the province. One thing to keep in mind with the Kalyna Country article is "Can you sleep there"? WV:SLEEPTHERE. Some of the listings could also be simply integrated into a "Nearby" section of city articles. -- MuzikMachine (talk) 20:05, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
@Shaudd:, @MuzikMachine:. I agree with that up to a point. But it's not obvious to me if Victoria Settlement is "nearby" to Fort Saskatchewan or Vegreville or Lac la Biche or all of them. And you can absolutely "sleep there" in countryside in Alberta. I counted 80 campsites and RV parks in the Kalyna Country website. Have a look at my first draught there and tell me what you think. Kevlar67 (talk) 20:58, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
Kalyna Country is now rated as "usable" if that matters. Kevlar67 (talk) 03:58, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

New proposal: get rid of Eastern Alberta (as a top-level region)[edit]

The fact that I was able to get Kalyna Country to "usable" within a week--but Central Alberta, Eastern Alberta and Peace Country are all still outlines--has given me a new idea. I think that Kalyna Country works because is it is a more manageable and coherent size, has a distinct "personality" that is possible to write about meaningfully, and has already-published sources we can draw from. Therefore I think we need to create more small-region articles like that. I propose that we

  1. merge the Wood Buffalo section of Eastern Alberta into the Peace Country as Northern Alberta. But that Slave Lake and points south move into Central Alberta
  2. abolish Eastern Alberta as a separate article and merge it in to Central Alberta, but with Central Alberta broken into sub-regions (Kalyna Country, Lakeland, David Thompson, etc.)

Please comment. Whatever the ultimate fate of the main regions, I am going to continue my work on sub-regions. The next one I would like to work on is the "Wild" region, but their chosen name is stupid and not really that descriptive (or even accurate), so it's giving me pause. I'm considering "North of Edmonton", "Pembina River Country", "Upper Athabasca Country", "Middle Alberta", "Mid-Central Alberta" (because the actual centre of the province is at Fort Assiniboine). The other interesting thing about this region for our purposes is that it straddles the boundary between "Central" and "Eastern" Alberta as we've had them so far (which as I've said, doesn't make sense since this is the actual centre of the province). Not naming it identically to the tourism organization also gives us freedom to modify the boundary slightly if we like. Ideas are welcome. Acutally after thinking about it, since the "lakeland" is a much more coherent idea, I might work on that instead. Kevlar67 (talk) 16:20, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

@Kevlar67: Even if Fort Assiniboine is the geographic centre of Alberta, Red Deer is the population centre of Alberta and the term "Central Alberta" is largely used to describe the area between Edmonton and Calgary; see Ontario and compare where Central Ontario is relative the geographic centre. Here's my idea:
I can be on-board with getting rid of Eastern Alberta as long as there is a good plan to replace it. It would make Central Alberta and the proposed Northern Alberta quite large, so subregions would be helpful. Just keep in mind that if we decide to create subregions for, say Central Alberta, all of Central Alberta needs to subdivided with no gaps and no overlap between subregions. It's easy for Lakeland and Kalyna Country but where do places like Wainwright (Alberta) and Stettler fall? Shaundd (talk) 17:21, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
@Shaundd:, @MuzikMachine: I propose that we basically copy the boundaries of Central Alberta used on Wikipedia, or just to make it even more simple use 55 degrees north as the line between Central and Northern Alberta.
Central Alberta as used on Wikipedia
The dividing line between the "Alberta" and "Athabasca" districts of the old NWT was at 55 North from 1882 to 1905, which might make for a nice clean boundary for us.
As for what to call the subregions, everything south or east of Kalyna Country is "East-Central Alberta" as far as I'm concerned. In fact why don't we just make the rump Eastern Alberta (shorn of Wood Buffalo, Lakeland, Kalyna) a subregion of Central Alberta? Then split the current content of "Central Alberta" as many ways as you like but for me the simplest would be North-Central (Everything west of Lakeland and Kalyna to as far as Fox Creek, including Whitecourt, Westlock, Barrhead, Athabasca, and Swan Hills), Foothills (Edson, Drayton, Rocky, Sundre), Central Corridor (either side of Highway 2 from Wetaskiwin to Carstairs, as far was as Pigeon Lake or Slyvan Lake but not as far as highway 20, and as far east as Highway 21 or at most 56 if you want to keep Camrose, Settler and Three Hills, not not as far as Highway 36), and (rump) Eastern Alberta. Lots of other ways to do it, of course, but these are simple and have definite features and themes like natural features (foothills) or proximity to major cities and infrastructure (Highway 2). Kevlar67 (talk) 00:26, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
@Shaundd:, @MuzikMachine: I went ahead and created North Central Alberta and Central Corridor. Please comment. Kevlar67 (talk) 23:21, 6 March 2020 (UTC)
@Shaundd:, @MuzikMachine: And now also, Foothills. 15:37, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
@Kevlar67: The bones of it look good. For the Central Corridor, I would recommend moving Three Hills, Innisfail, and Didsbury-Carstairs from Other destinations to Cities. The general practice of Wikivoyage is the headings have less to do with municipal status (i.e. cities, towns, villages) and more about differentiating human settlements from other attractions such as parks (Alix and Big Valley could probably remain). With references to David Thompson Country, do you plan to move it from Alberta Rockies? --MuzikMachine (talk) 05:04, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
@MuzikMachine: Yeah, I just don't want to violate the "keep lists to 7 (+/-2)" rule for the list of towns. Especially when Innisfail isn't really an attraction itself but more of a base for going to Markerville, etc. to see rural attractions, and when Didsbury and Carstairs got mushed together for some reason, so that's not a "town" either, somehow. I'm open to ideas on David Thompson Country. Perhaps it's better staying in the Rockies (though I've also started a discussion on that page's "talk"!), with Foothills just mentioning it as a "go next"? Kevlar67 (talk) 17:52, 17 March 2020 (UTC)

@MuzikMachine, Shaundd, Kevlar67: Hi all! I'm trying to make sure all the city articles are listed and breadcrumbed to the right place, but I'm not sure what region structure to follow. I take it there's consensus for this restructuring. Would someone be able to make a map of the new regions? —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:36, 11 April 2020 (UTC)

@Mx. Granger: Just a recall, what is the final structure of the regions (i.e. region / subregion)? Thanks! --MuzikMachine (talk) 16:49, 17 April 2020 (UTC)
@MuzikMachine: Reading over the discussion, it sounds like the new regions are Northern Alberta, Central Alberta, Kalyna Country, Edmonton, Alberta Rockies, Calgary, and Southern Alberta. The Central Alberta article is to be further divided into North Central Alberta, Foothills, Eastern Alberta, and Central Corridor. That's what I gather from this discussion, but please correct me if I've misunderstood anything. —Granger (talk · contribs) 20:57, 17 April 2020 (UTC)
I don't think Kalyna Country is a top-level region. I believe it's a rural destination article about the stuff in-between towns along and near the Yellowhead highway. I'm not sure if it's part of Central Alberta or Northern Alberta under this scheme though. Reading through the discussion I see a couple of options for defining the boundary between Northern and Central Alberta but I don't think one option was picked (yet). -Shaundd (talk) 23:21, 17 April 2020 (UTC)
@MuzikMachine, Shaundd, Mx. Granger: My current proposal is: Northern Alberta is everything above 55 North, Central Alberta (which contains: North Central Alberta, Foothills, Eastern Alberta, Central Corridor, AS WELL AS Lakeland (Alberta) and Kalyna Country [this follows the "7 +/-2 rule"]), Southern Alberta, and Alberta Rockies. Kevlar67 (talk) 03:40, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
@Kevlar67, Shaundd, Mx. Granger: Personally, I think Lakeland should be in Northern Alberta, here's my proposal
Central Alberta
Eastern Alberta
Kalyna Country
Foothills
Central Corridor
North Central Alberta
Northern Alberta
Peace Country - everything west of Lesser Slave Lake
Lakeland (Alberta) - as proposed, add Athabasca and Slave Lake
Wood Buffalo - Fort McMurray, Fort Chipewyan, Fort McKay, Wood Buffalo National Park
The dividing line between Central Alberta/Eastern Alberta and Northern Alberta/Lakeland (Alberta) could be the North Saskatchewan River. There is some of Kalyna Country that is in the north side of the river, but most of the towns listed are to the south.
Since regions are being discussed, I also was wondering about making Banff National Park and Jasper National Park as regions, with Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise and the Columbia Icefield listed under the appropriate park (even if its just bread-crumbed). It violates the rule of 3, but the parks are the same size as regions and the towns are fully within the respective parks. Thoughts? --MuzikMachine (talk) 15:20, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
Official tourism regions as of 2013. Travel Alberta doesn't use this scheme anymore, but it corresponds pretty closely to what I have proposed. I don't think we should copy it slavishly, and give ourselves freedom to deviate, however, as we don't need to use the counties as the building blocks. We can put half a county in one reigon and half in another if that woud be more beneficial for the traveler, whereas this map was clearly draw by a gov't committee to benefit their stakeholders.
I don't hate your counter-proposal, but I have a few minor qualms. Firstly, the Lakeland is part of the regular road network, easily accessible from Edmonton, and blends fairly gradually into the the farms of Kalyna Country and Eastern Alberta, which is why I think it's part of Central Alberta (it's also just easier to say that the southern boundary of the Municipality of Wood Buffalo is the dividing line between North and Central. But, on the other hand apparently, the old official tourism regions put Lakeland County in the North (see map to the left). The N. Sask River is also a good choice for a dividing line, honestly, although it kinda messes up Kalyna Country (sadly), so it's not my first choice. Having Kalyna Country as a rural destination under Eastern Alberta would also work just fine as well, though in that case I would say merge Vegreville into it. About Using Jasper and Banff as "regions", I would actually support this if one isue was cleared up: we also need to capture the nearby areas outside the parks as part of the hierarchy as well, so either including Hinton as part of "Jasper Park region" even though it technically isn't in the park proper, and Canmore with Banff or K-Country, etc. OR create a new "region" or, more likely, regions, that contain the leftovers. For example Grande Cache and area, Municipal District of Bighorn No. 8 and Willmore Wilderness Park Kevlar67 (talk) 19:47, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
@Kevlar67: In looking at the discussion history, the consensus was to keep Kalyna Country and Vegreville separate; IMO Kalyna Country is bordering into Extraregion territory but it can remain as a rural article. Lakeland might have more a "northern" association, and I want to guard against Central Alberta becoming too big where you have Three Hills and Red Deer in the same region as Cold Lake. Based on the towns listed in Kalyna Country article, maybe have the Central Alberta/Eastern Alberta and Northern Alberta/Lakeland (Alberta) boundary follow the St. Paul County southern boundary (between Hwys 28 & 45) and western boundary (around Hwy 36), and then the larger Central Alberta/Northern Alberta boundary would be between Hwys 28 & 55. The article could even include St. Paul as being in Lakeland.
As for the Alberta Rockies, I want to have the change really simple and not create too many extra regions; for example, the end game is have the Banff town site article to have "North America > Canada > Prairies > Alberta > Alberta Rockies > Banff National Park" as it's filing, preferably without having to do anything with the "leftover" articles outside National Parks. In reality, Municipal District of Bighorn No. 8 around Canmore and Willmore Wilderness Park near Grande Cache have nothing in common other than both being in the mountains. Call Banff & Jasper National Parks "Big Cities"?? :) --MuzikMachine (talk) 23:30, 29 April 2020 (UTC)
I'd prefer to see to Lakeland (Alberta) in Northern Alberta so Northern Alberta makes sense as a travel region. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if we use the southern boundary of Wood Buffalo as the border for Northern/Central Alberta, doesn't it mean there are no road connections between the two sub-regions of Northern Alberta (Wood Buffalo and Peace River) and so people are unlikely to move between them? Obviously you can fly, but isn't the main direction of travel from Fort Mac down through Lakeland, and for Peace River, travellers would typically head to North Central Alberta (Hwy 43) or Lakeland (e.g., Hwy 2 and Slave Lake)?
For Alberta Rockies, perhaps we should pioneer a "huge park" article? :-) More seriously, the status quo is Wikivoyage's guidelines. I'm not opposed to breadcrumbing Banff and Jasper to their National Parks (it's where they are administratively and I don't think it would confuse readers), but it's not consistent with WV rules about breadcrumbs. If there's agreement it's the exception that proves the rule, we can do it that way, but we should probably have that discussion in it's own thread so it's easily referenced in case someone asks "why is it different" in the future. -Shaundd (talk) 03:50, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
We already have at least one park as a region with cities breadcrumbed to it: Adirondacks. So please go ahead and make a couple of national parks region articles if you like. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:16, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
I'm prepared to concede Lakeland to Northern Alberta. I don't even mind Kalyna becoming an "extra-hierarchical region" so that it can include relevant information from Vegreville and St. Paul County as well, if there was a consensus to do that. And I say go ahead and breadcrum Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper to their national parks, I think it makes sense. Most parks in the wider world don't have towns inside them that draw more visitors per year than the population of the whole province they are in, but Banff does, so it might be the exception worth making. Kevlar67 (talk) 04:42, 30 April 2020 (UTC)
@Kevlar67, Ikan Kekek, Shaundd: I agree with that, Kalyna Country can probably be a rural article in Eastern Alberta so there's some kind of breadcrumb. Re the mountain parks, is there a better place to archive the discussion? Maybe Talk:Alberta Rockies? It looks like there's been a parallel discussion there. -- MuzikMachine (talk) 16:52, 1 May 2020 (UTC)

New Regions (2020)[edit]

I'm starting a new thread as the discussion is getting long. I think there's some consensus but I figured I'd outline everything:

--MuzikMachine (talk) 17:26, 1 May 2020 (UTC)

Hi MuzikMachine, I think that looks reasonable. A few questions:
  • I don't see Edmonton Capital Region -- it's still a top-level region, right?
  • What is the southern boundary of Eastern Alberta -- is it below Wainwright or would it extend all the way down to Southern Alberta? (e.g., where would Castor or Coronation fall -- Central Corridor or Eastern Alberta?)
  • Would "East Central Alberta" be a better name for what's left of "Eastern Alberta"?
  • The town of Slave Lake will move to Lakeland, but what about the lake itself? I see the lake is covered by two municipalities -- Lesser Slave Lake and Big Lakes -- would it make sense to use the Lesser Slave Lake/Big Lakes boundary as the boundary between Lakeland & Peace River?
Cheers -Shaundd (talk) 21:46, 1 May 2020 (UTC)
Hi Shaundd,
  • My mistake, I fixed the list and added Edmonton Capital Region.
  • I would recommend having Eastern Alberta extend south to Southern Alberta to include places like Castor and Coronation, basically all the Hwy 12 & 13 communities east of Stettler and Camrose respectively.
  • I liked the idea of "East Central Alberta", it's a name that is used to describe the area.
  • The Big Lakes MD section of Lesser Slave Lake could probably be in the Peace Country. High Prairie is definitely in the Peace Country and the article includes some of the western shore.
Cheers! --MuzikMachine (talk) 14:31, 4 May 2020 (UTC)
Cool. I think things are clear enough that I can draw the new Alberta map. It might take a week or two since I don't have much free time these days. Once it's done, I'll work on region maps for Central Alberta and Northern Alberta. -Shaundd (talk) 04:21, 5 May 2020 (UTC)
@MuzikMachine, Kevlar67: Are you guys ready to pull the switch on the top level regions on Alberta? I've got a map with the new Northern Alberta and Central Alberta region boundaries ready to go... so I'll upload it once I hear we're ready to add Northern Alberta to the main Alberta page. -Shaundd (talk) 07:21, 9 May 2020 (UTC)
Yeah. Now if it we're up to me I wouldn't have Athabasca and Slave Lake in Lakeland. But if that's the consensus, so be it. Kevlar67 (talk) 09:27, 9 May 2020 (UTC)
@Shaundd, Kevlar67: Should North Central Alberta actually be in Northern Alberta? Then Athabasca and Slave Lake could be moved over. --MuzikMachine (talk) 20:22, 9 May 2020 (UTC)
I really like that idea. We might need a new name for the region though. :-) -Shaundd (talk) 21:14, 9 May 2020 (UTC)
@Shaundd: Might not have to, the emphases goes from the northern part of Central Alberta to the central part of Northern Alberta :-) A lot of the area is in the Wild Alberta (unofficial) tourist region, but I am not a big fan of that name. Wikipedia uses "North Central" to describe the location of a number of the communities, so it might still work. The more I think about it, I like the idea of Northern Alberta north of Edmonton, similar to how Southern Alberta begins (mostly) south of Calgary. -- MuzikMachine (talk) 04:28, 10 May 2020 (UTC)
@MuzikMachine: I think Tourism Alberta also roughly follows north of Edmonton is Northern Alberta and south of Calgary is Southern Alberta, so we'd have company. I'm good with keeping the article "North Central Alberta".
Did we agree to rename "Eastern Alberta" as "East Central Alberta", too? -Shaundd (talk) 06:23, 10 May 2020 (UTC)
@Shaundd: I like the idea of "East Central Alberta" and haven't seen any objections so let's do it. I've updated the list to reflect the changes.--MuzikMachine (talk) 14:24, 11 May 2020 (UTC)
@MuzikMachine, Kevlar67: New map is up and I adjusted the region list. I still need to update the map to show North Central Alberta in Northern Alberta, I'll try to get to it tonight. -Shaundd (talk) 19:57, 11 May 2020 (UTC)
Map updated - North Central Alberta now in Northern Alberta
Even though it ended up being slightly different than what I envisioned, I think I am happy with the scheme overall, and I do like the new map. Kevlar67 (talk) 17:58, 13 May 2020 (UTC)

Improving the region articles[edit]

I've started working on Alberta region articles to bring them up to a usable level. Some of them are not that far off already, and need just a little bit extra, while others are in rough shape. I don't live in Alberta, and haven't visited for over a decade, so I'm really hoping to get some assistance from people who know the province better. I'm doing this in part as research for a driving trip in the autumn (if things re-open). Ground Zero (talk) 12:53, 21 June 2020 (UTC)

Whoa! There are too many images![edit]

And they're left, right and center! This site's guidelines on images are at Wikivoyage:Image policy, and in this case WV:Image policy#Minimal use of images is the key set of guidelines:

  • For longer articles, 1 image per screen (1,000 - 2,000 bytes) is generally adequate.
  • Images should be distributed throughout an article, not bunched up in any section.
  • Try to avoid having more than 2 or at most 3 successive images without space between them.

The other very relevant section is WV:Image policy#Image alignment:

By default images in Wikivoyage articles should be right-aligned.

  • Don't use left-alignment just to squeeze more images into an article. A likely indicator that you're doing so is that vertical overlap seems necessary.

And I'd add, don't center-align photos to squeeze more images into an article.

Since there are so many images in the article now and they're all over the place in terms of alignment, it will take a lot of work to bring this article back into harmony with Wikivoyage:Manual of style. The additional content is great! But the style has to be attended to.

It would help greatly if we could make decisions about which 11 or so photos (11 being the number of screens I count on my laptop that don't already have maps in them) are the most important and should be kept in the article, after which the rest should be removed. I would particularly invite Kevlar67, Ground Zero, Shaundd, MuzikMachine, Ymblanter and Ibaman, who've edited this article in the last year, to comment on this and help fix the issue. And also K7L, if he has any inclination to come back to Wikivoyage. Thanks a lot, everyone!

Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:59, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

It wasn't so much about "squeezing in" more images, as it was about breaking up the long pieces of text and trying to throw in a couple of left and centre aligned images in for variety and visual interest. But if that's too far from standard, go ahead and remove a couple, of course. I have no strong opinions except that not all of our imagines should be from the Rockies and that as many as possible should show people in them, preferably doing something, and not just landscapes, although a few of those are fine of course.Kevlar67 (talk) 22:21, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
More than a couple need to be removed. This is a big job. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:38, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
I just removed 7 or 8. That must be sufficient. At some point I'd like to put some back if there's more text to go with them, or I'll stick them in the sub- regions. Kevlar67 (talk) 04:17, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
You're talking about images? I think there are still too many, particularly where they're left and center as well as right. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:29, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
When I'm reading the article now, whether on a desktop or a phone, I see long stretches of just text with no images, so I'm satisfied. I'll move the on left-side image to right. Beyond that, I have no interest in playing with the images again. Someone else can feel free. Kevlar67 (talk) 15:39, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

9 "Cities"[edit]

Per Wikivoyage:Avoid long lists, 9 cities in the "Cities" section of articles is a hard limit except for bottom-level region articles (meaning articles for regions that aren't themselves divided into smaller subregions on Wikivoyage). In view of that, I removed Grande Prairie from Alberta#Cities, since it was the latest city added. However, if anyone would like to post an argument for why that city should replace any of the 9 cities currently in the list, please make the argument and see if we can get a consensus behind it. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:05, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Whether or not Grande Prairie goes back in, I would propose removing Banff, Jasper, and Drumheller. These are not "cities" but rather resort towns, and are better covered under "other destinations". Kevlar67 (talk) 22:26, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Keep in mind that "Other destinations" are also limited to 9. Does that change things at all? Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:38, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Not to me, since Banff and Jasper are nearly synonymous with Banff National Park and Jasper National Park, which are included. But I am curious what others think. Kevlar67 (talk) 04:02, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Drumheller is a city with a museum and a number of things around it (such as the Horseshow Canyon), and should stay in the list. I agree though that there is not much need to keep Banff and Jasper in the list of cities, as soon as we have the NPs in the other lists.--Ymblanter (talk) 13:49, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
So it looks like the plan is to restore Grande Prairie and keep Drumheller, if we have agreement on that, while removing Banff and Jasper. At that point, we would have 8 "Cities". Is there another one we should add? And does this plan change the lineup in "Other destinations" at all? Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:23, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
In other destinations, Lake Louise is in Banff NP, which means it is a duplication which we can remove, but I do not have good candidates to replace. For citied, we can remove Banff (now we have three entries in the 18-item list for Banff NP) and keep Jasper, if there are no better ideas.--Ymblanter (talk) 08:31, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree with most of what Ymblanter said except that Drumheller is if fact a town of only 8,000 residents and not a city as most readers would understand the term. Yes, it is more highly visited than some larger places because of the famous museum, but by no stretch of the word can it be called a city. We don't need to fill the list up, but if we did want to add any place, the next logical addition would be Lloydminster (population 31,000). But I do agree that Lake Louise can be safely removed as it is part of Banff National Park. Kevlar67 (talk) 15:39, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
I'm not in favour of removing Banff and Jasper from the Cities section, at all. I get they're both part of a park that's listed in Other Destinations, but the townsite articles are very distinct (with different attractions and the bulk of accommodation) from the National Park articles. Given their popularity -- Banff pulls in 4 million visitors a year and Jasper nearly 2.5 million -- I don't think making readers do extra clicks to find popular destinations is helpful.
Drumheller isn't in the same league as Banff and Jasper, but a Google search says it gets 500,000 visitors a year. Medicine Hat (one of the other nine cities), by comparison, was around 21,000 visitors. I couldn't find data for Lethbridge, Red Deer and Grande Prairie. To me, Drumheller doesn't seem like a good candidate to remove from the list either.
Regarding "cities", we use the term loosely. Per Wikivoyage:Geographical_hierarchy#Cities, it can include cities, metro areas and towns and villages. The region template allows us to rename the section, but its guidance is "if there are lots of different kinds and sizes of settlements, just leave it as "Cities"". I think it's probably also fair to say that standard practice on Wikivoyage is we try to list the "cities" that are considered to have the most interest to travellers and not just the nine biggest cities. Otherwise it's more like an encyclopedia than a travel guide. -Shaundd (talk) 07:21, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, Shaundd. I'd welcome responses to this from others, but it makes sense to me, for what it's worth as someone who has yet to visit provinces other than Quebec and Ontario. So if we keep the "Cities" list the way it is now, should we change "Other destinations" in any way? Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:52, 26 January 2020 (UTC)