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center alberta oil town

Edmonton (pop. 839,900), capital of the Canadian province of Alberta, situated on the North Saskatchewan River. Edmonton was founded in 1795 by the Hudson's Bay Company on the traditional boundary between Cree and Blackfoot territories. A railroad link with Calgary, completed in 1891, helped the town to develop as a supply center and starting point for the Klondike gold rush (1898) and as a market town for farmers settling the rich surrounding agricultural region. The city is the leading transportation and marketing center for northern Alberta and is served by transcontinental railroads, the Alaska Highway, and a major airport. It is a leading oil-refining center, using the by-products in chemicals and plastics, and also produces building materials and agricultural products. Edmonton is also a cultural center, with the University of Alberta (founded 1906), a symphony orchestra, and 2 museums. Elk Island National Park lies east of the city. Industrialization has been rapid since the local discovery of oil in 1947.

See also: Alberta.

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