Edmonton City Hall
Edmonton's City Hall is the home of the municipal government of Edmonton, Canada. Designed by Dub Architects, the building was completed in 1992, it was built to replace the former city hall after it had become expensive to operate. The Edmonton Transit System Customer Services centre relocated to City Hall in February 2013; the building features two steel and glass pyramids, one 43 metres high, on top of a three-storey concrete structure. One pyramid provides natural light for the other for the council chambers; the building features a 200-foot clock Friendship Tower topped with a set of 23-carillon bells. Located on the eastern edge of the financial district in Edmonton's downtown, the building is the main feature on Sir Winston Churchill Square. In the winter, the fountain is converted to a skating rink; the design for the city hall met with some controversy. The original design called for the building to be topped with four cones; the cones were meant to pay tribute to the tipis. The design met with negative feedback from the public as they felt it looked like dunce caps and nuclear reactors.
Dub Architects revised their design to replace the cones with the pyramids, with the pyramids designed to be evocative of the Rocky Mountains. The design was received much more warmly by the public, was dubbed "Pyramid Power" by the press. Edmonton City Hall
Monarchy of Canada
The monarchy of Canada is at the core of both Canada's federal structure and Westminster-style of parliamentary and constitutional democracy. The monarchy is the foundation of the executive and judicial branches within both federal and provincial jurisdictions; the sovereign is the personification of the Canadian state and is Queen of Canada as a matter of constitutional law. The current Canadian monarch and head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952. Elizabeth's eldest son, Prince Charles, is heir apparent. Although the person of the sovereign is shared with 15 other independent countries within the Commonwealth of Nations, each country's monarchy is separate and distinct; as a result, the current monarch is titled Queen of Canada and, in this capacity, her consort, other members of the Canadian Royal Family undertake public and private functions domestically and abroad as representatives of Canada. However, the Queen is the only member of the Royal Family with any constitutional role.
While some powers are exercisable only by the sovereign, most of the monarch's operational and ceremonial duties are exercised by his or her representative, the Governor General of Canada. In Canada's provinces, the monarch in right of each is represented by a lieutenant governor; as territories fall under the federal jurisdiction, they each have a commissioner, rather than a lieutenant governor, who represents the federal Crown-in-Council directly. As all executive authority is vested in the sovereign, their assent is required to allow for bills to become law and for letters patent and orders in council to have legal effect. While the power for these acts stems from the Canadian people through the constitutional conventions of democracy, executive authority remains vested in the Crown and is only entrusted by the sovereign to their government on behalf of the people, underlining the Crown's role in safeguarding the rights and democratic system of government of Canadians, reinforcing the fact that "governments are the servants of the people and not the reverse".
Thus, within a constitutional monarchy the sovereign's direct participation in any of these areas of governance is limited, with the sovereign exercising executive authority only on the advice of the executive committee of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, with the sovereign's legislative and judicial responsibilities carried out through parliamentarians as well as judges and justices of the peace. The Crown today functions as a guarantor of continuous and stable governance and a nonpartisan safeguard against abuse of power, the sovereign acting as a custodian of the Crown's democratic powers and a representation of the "power of the people above government and political parties". Canada is one of the oldest continuing monarchies in the world. Established in the 16th century, monarchy in Canada has evolved through a continuous succession of French and British sovereigns into the independent Canadian sovereigns of today, whose institution is sometimes colloquially referred to as the Maple Crown.
The person, the Canadian sovereign is shared with 15 other monarchies in the 52-member Commonwealth of Nations, with the monarch residing predominantly in the oldest and most populous realm, the United Kingdom, viceroys acting as the sovereign's representatives in Canada. The emergence of this arrangement paralleled the fruition of Canadian nationalism following the end of the First World War and culminated in the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931. Since the pan-national Crown has had both a shared and a separate character and the sovereign's role as monarch of Canada has been distinct to his or her position as monarch of any other realm, including the United Kingdom. Only Canadian federal ministers of the Crown may advise the sovereign on all matters of the Canadian state, of which the sovereign, when not in Canada, is kept abreast by weekly communications with the federal viceroy; the monarchy thus ceased to be an British institution and in Canada became a Canadian, or "domesticated", though it is still denoted as "British" in both legal and common language, for reasons historical, of convenience.
This division is illustrated in a number of ways: The sovereign, for example, holds a unique Canadian title and, when she and other members of the Royal Family are acting in public as representatives of Canada, they use, where possible, Canadian symbols, including the country's national flag, unique royal symbols, armed forces uniforms, the like, as well as Canadian Forces aircraft or other Canadian-owned vehicles for travel. Once in Canadian airspace, or arrived at a Canadian event taking place abroad, the Canadian Secretary to the Queen, officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, other Canadian officials will take over from whichever of their other realms' counterparts were escorting the Queen or other member of the Royal Family; the sovereign only draws from Canadian funds for support in the performance of her duties when in Canada or acting as Queen of Canada abroad. As in the other Commonwealth realms, the current heir apparent to the throne is Prince Charles, with the next four in the line of succession
A museum is an institution that cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, historical, or scientific importance. Many public museums make these items available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary; the largest museums are located in major cities throughout the world, while thousands of local museums exist in smaller cities and rural areas. Museums have varying aims, ranging from serving researchers and specialists to serving the general public; the goal of serving researchers is shifting to serving the general public. There are many types of museums, including art museums, natural history museums, science museums, war museums, children's museums. Amongst the world's largest and most visited museums are the Louvre in Paris, the National Museum of China in Beijing, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C. the British Museum and National Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and Vatican Museums in Vatican City.
According to The World Museum Community, there are more than 55,000 museums in 202 countries. The English "museum" comes from the Latin word, is pluralized as "museums", it is from the Ancient Greek Μουσεῖον, which denotes a place or temple dedicated to the Muses, hence a building set apart for study and the arts the Musaeum for philosophy and research at Alexandria by Ptolemy I Soter about 280 BC. The purpose of modern museums is to collect, preserve and display items of artistic, cultural, or scientific significance for the education of the public. From a visitor or community perspective, the purpose can depend on one's point of view. A trip to a local history museum or large city art museum can be an entertaining and enlightening way to spend the day. To city leaders, a healthy museum community can be seen as a gauge of the economic health of a city, a way to increase the sophistication of its inhabitants. To a museum professional, a museum might be seen as a way to educate the public about the museum's mission, such as civil rights or environmentalism.
Museums are, above all, storehouses of knowledge. In 1829, James Smithson's bequest, that would fund the Smithsonian Institution, stated he wanted to establish an institution "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge."Museums of natural history in the late 19th century exemplified the Victorian desire for consumption and for order. Gathering all examples of each classification of a field of knowledge for research and for display was the purpose; as American colleges grew in the 19th century, they developed their own natural history collections for the use of their students. By the last quarter of the 19th century, the scientific research in the universities was shifting toward biological research on a cellular level, cutting edge research moved from museums to university laboratories. While many large museums, such as the Smithsonian Institution, are still respected as research centers, research is no longer a main purpose of most museums. While there is an ongoing debate about the purposes of interpretation of a museum's collection, there has been a consistent mission to protect and preserve artifacts for future generations.
Much care and expense is invested in preservation efforts to retard decomposition in aging documents, artifacts and buildings. All museums display objects; as historian Steven Conn writes, "To see the thing itself, with one's own eyes and in a public place, surrounded by other people having some version of the same experience can be enchanting."Museum purposes vary from institution to institution. Some favor education over conservation, or vice versa. For example, in the 1970s, the Canada Science and Technology Museum favored education over preservation of their objects, they displayed objects as well as their functions. One exhibit featured a historic printing press that a staff member used for visitors to create museum memorabilia; some seek to reach a wide audience, such as a national or state museum, while some museums have specific audiences, like the LDS Church History Museum or local history organizations. Speaking, museums collect objects of significance that comply with their mission statement for conservation and display.
Although most museums do not allow physical contact with the associated artifacts, there are some that are interactive and encourage a more hands-on approach. In 2009, Hampton Court Palace, palace of Henry VIII, opened the council room to the general public to create an interactive environment for visitors. Rather than allowing visitors to handle 500-year-old objects, the museum created replicas, as well as replica costumes; the daily activities, historic clothing, temperature changes immerse the visitor in a slice of what Tudor life may have been. This section lists the 20 most visited museums in 2015 as compiled by AECOM and the Themed Entertainment Association's annual report on the world's most visited attractions. For 2016 figures see List of most visited museums; the cities of London and Washington, D. C. contain more of the 20 most visited museums in the world than any others, with six museums and four museums, respectively. Early museums began as the private collections of wealthy individuals, families or institutions of art and rare or curious natural objects and artifacts.
These were displayed in so-called wonder rooms or cabinets of curiosities. One of the oldest museums known is Ennigaldi-Nanna's museum, built by Princess Ennigaldi at the end of the Neo-Babylonian Empire; the site dates from c. 530 BCE, contained artifacts from earlier M
Glenora is a residential neighbourhood in the city of Edmonton, Canada, overlooking the North Saskatchewan River valley. Glenora is bounded on the east by Groat Road, on the north by 107 Avenue, on the west by 142 Street, on the south by the river valley and the MacKinnon Ravine. Across Groat Road and to the east and north east is the neighbourhood of Westmount. To the north is the neighbourhood of North Glenora. To the north west is the neighbourhood of McQueen. To the west is the neighbourhood of Grovenor and to the south west is the neighbourhood of Crestwood; the community is represented by the Glenora Community League, established in 1949, which maintains a community hall, tennis courts, basketball courts and outdoor rink located at 136 Street and 104 Avenue. The area, now Glenora was part of a river lot farm homesteaded by Malcolm Groat, the namesake of Groat Road; the land changed hands several times before ending up in the possession of James Carruthers, a wealthy grain merchant from Montreal in 1905.
At this time, the city ended at the ravine. Carruthers wanted to develop the area as a residential neighbourhood but transportation for commuters was a problem. In 1909 he reached an agreement with the City of Edmonton to build a bridge across the ravine in exchange for the City guaranteeing to extend streetcar service to the area; the City wanted a 40-foot-wide bridge, but settled for a 20-foot bridge and a donation of land. The Carruthers bridge, finished in 1910 now carries 102 Avenue across the ravine, marked the beginning of the development of the area; the bridge made possible the construction of the new official mansion for the lieutenant--governors of Alberta, Government House which began, completed in 1913. The 1913 Edmonton real estate crash slowed development but the local elite wanted to live close to the governor's mansion, near the view of the river valley and with good connections to the streetcar system; as is typical all across the mid-latitudes of the northern hemisphere, in Alberta the winds are more west-to-east than vice versa, the "West End" had much better air quality than the east, which explains why Glenora is a "posh" neighbourhood while Boyle Street, a streetcar suburb of the same vintage to the east of Downtown Edmonton, is low income, much like the contrast between the West and East Ends of London, England.
An example of the upmarket houses in the area is The Graenon in St. George’s Crescent, a 3,152-square-foot mansion built in 1914 and commissioned by a former chief justice, George Bligh O’Connor, his wife Margaret – a journalist and one time theatre critic for the Edmonton Bulletin. In 1966 it was inherited by their daughter Peggy O'Connor Farnell, a former British intelligence service employee during the Second World War, her family who lived in it until 1999. In the meantime Farnell helped to write a history of the Glenora neighbourhood, published in 1984 and republished in 1999. Located right at the eastern end of the neighbourhood, overlooking Groat Road and the river valley, are the Royal Alberta Museum and Alberta Government House. Alberta Government House was the home to the first six lieutenant governors of Alberta. Today it is used for government conferences and dinners. An appreciation of the historical significance of Government House is fostered by the Government House Foundation, consisting of 12 volunteers appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
The Royal Alberta Museum was opened in 1967 as the Provincial Museum of Alberta. On May 24, 2005, the name of the museum was changed to the Royal Alberta Museum when "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II graciously consented to assign the designation'Royal' to the Museum" during her visit for the Alberta Centennial, it was closed in December 2015. Located in the river valley below Alberta Government House and the old Royal Alberta Museum location is the Government House Park. In the City of Edmonton's 2012 municipal census, Glenora had a population of 3,514 living in 1,546 dwellings, a 2.8% change from its 2009 population of 3,419. With a land area of 1.63 km2, it had a population density of 2,155.8 people/km2 in 2012. Glenora is an older neighbourhood, with nine out of ten homes being built by 1970. Four out of every five homes is owner occupied; the average number of people per household is 2.4, with two out of every three households having one or two people. Three out of four residences are single-family dwellings with one out of five homes being apartments located in a high-rise building.
All the remaining homes are apartments in low-rise buildings. Glenora is a neighbourhood with an average per household income, higher than the per capita income for the city of Edmonton as a whole. One in three Glenora households have an income over $100,000 per year. There are four schools located in Glenora. Glenora Elementary School and Westminster Junior High School are both operated by the Edmonton Public School System. St. Vincent Catholic Elementary School is operated by the Edmonton Catholic School System. There is the Progressive Academy, a private school, located near the north east corner of the neighbourhood. There is a proposal to construct five highrise condominium towers of between 10 and 18 stories at the west end of the neighbourhood near the intersection of 102 Avenue, 142 Street, Stony Plain Road; the five highrises could have up to 330 apartment units among them with non-commercial uses limited to the first two floors. This proposal is opposed by some of the residents of Glenora and
History of the world
The history of the world, in common parlance, is the history of humanity, as determined from archaeology, genetics and other disciplines. Humanity's written history was preceded by its prehistory, beginning with the Palaeolithic Era, followed by the Neolithic Era; the Neolithic saw the Agricultural Revolution begin, between 8000 and 5000 BCE, in the Near East's Fertile Crescent. During this period, humans began the systematic husbandry of animals; as agriculture advanced, most humans transitioned from a nomadic to a settled lifestyle as farmers in permanent settlements. The relative security and increased productivity provided by farming allowed communities to expand into larger units, fostered by advances in transportation. Whether in prehistoric or historic times, people always needed to be near reliable sources of potable water. Settlements developed on river banks as early as 3000 BCE in Mesopotamia, on the banks of Egypt's Nile River, in the Indus River valley, along China's rivers; as farming developed, grain agriculture became more sophisticated and prompted a division of labour to store food between growing seasons.
Labour divisions led to the rise of a leisured upper class and the development of cities, which provided the foundation for civilization. The growing complexity of human societies necessitated systems of writing. With civilizations flourishing, ancient history saw the fall of empires. Post-classical history witnessed the rise of Christianity, the Islamic Golden Age, the early Italian Renaissance; the mid-15th-century invention of modern printing, employing movable type, revolutionized communication and facilitated wider dissemination of information, helping end the Middle Ages and ushering in the Scientific Revolution. The Early Modern Period, sometimes referred to as the "European Age", from about 1500 to 1800, included the Age of Enlightenment and the Age of Discovery. By the 18th century, the accumulation of knowledge and technology had reached a critical mass that brought about the Industrial Revolution and began the Late Modern Period, which started around 1800 and has continued through the present.
This scheme of historical periodization was developed for, applies best to, the history of the Old World Europe and the Mediterranean. Outside this region, including ancient China and ancient India, historical timelines unfolded differently. However, by the 18th century, due to extensive world trade and colonization, the histories of most civilizations had become intertwined. In the last quarter-millennium, the rates of growth of population, technology, commerce, weapons destructiveness, environmental degradation have accelerated, creating opportunities and perils that now confront the planet's human communities. Genetic measurements indicate that the ape lineage which would lead to Homo sapiens diverged from the lineage that would lead to chimpanzees and bonobos, the closest living relatives of modern humans, around 4.6 to 6.2 million years ago. Anatomically modern humans arose in Africa about 300,000 years ago, reached behavioural modernity about 50,000 years ago. Modern humans spread from Africa into the frost-free zones of Europe and Asia around 60,000 years ago.
The rapid expansion of humankind to North America and Oceania took place at the climax of the most recent ice age, when temperate regions of today were inhospitable. Yet, humans had colonized nearly all the ice-free parts of the globe by the end of the Ice Age, some 12,000 years ago. Other hominids such as Homo erectus had been using simple wood and stone tools for millennia, but as time progressed, tools became far more refined and complex; as early as 1.8 million years ago, but by 500,000 years ago, humans began using fire for heat and cooking. They developed language in the Paleolithic period and a conceptual repertoire that included systematic burial of the dead and adornment of the living. Early artistic expression can be found in the form of cave paintings and sculptures made from ivory and bone, showing a spirituality interpreted as animism, or shamanism. During this period, all humans lived as hunter-gatherers, were nomadic. Archaeological and genetic data suggest that the source populations of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers survived in sparsely wooded areas and dispersed through areas of high primary productivity while avoiding dense forest cover.
The Neolithic Revolution, beginning around 10,000 BCE, saw the development of agriculture, which fundamentally changed the human lifestyle. Farming developed around 10,000 BCE in the Middle East, around 7000 BCE in what is now China, about 6000 BCE in the Indus Valley and Europe, about 4000 BCE in the Americas. Cultivation of cereal crops and the domestication of animals occurred around 8500 BCE in the Middle East, where wheat and barley were the first crops and sheep and goats were domesticated. In the Indus Valley, crops were cultivated by 6000 BCE, along with domesticated cattle; the Yellow River valley in China cultivated millet and other cereal crops by about 7000 BCE, but the Yangtze River valley domesticated rice earlier, by at least 8000 BCE. In the Americas, sunflowers were cultivated by about 4000 BCE, corn and beans were domesticated in Central America by 3500 BCE. Potatoes were first cultivated in
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, surrounded by Alberta's central region; the city anchors the north end of what Statistics Canada defines as the "Calgary–Edmonton Corridor". The city had a population of 932,546 in 2016, making it Alberta's second-largest city and Canada's fifth-largest municipality. In 2016, Edmonton had a metropolitan population of 1,321,426, making it the sixth-largest census metropolitan area in Canada. Edmonton is North America's northernmost metropolitan area with a population over one million. A resident of Edmonton is known as an Edmontonian. Edmonton's historic growth has been facilitated through the absorption of five adjacent urban municipalities in addition to a series of annexations through 1982, the annexation of 8,260 ha of land from Leduc County and the city of Beaumont on January 1, 2019. 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 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 largest mall, West Edmonton Mall, Fort Edmonton Park, Canada's largest living history museum. The earliest known inhabitants arrived in the area, now Edmonton around 3,000 BC and as early as 12,000 BC when an ice-free corridor opened as the last glacial period ended and timber and wildlife became available in the region. In 1754, Anthony Henday, an explorer for the Hudson's Bay Company, may have been the first European to enter the Edmonton area, his expeditions across the Canadian Prairies were to seek contact with the aboriginal population for establishing the fur trade, as the competition was fierce between the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company. By 1795, Fort Edmonton was established on the river's north bank as a major trading post for the Hudson's Bay Company; the new fort's name was suggested by John Peter Pruden after Edmonton, the hometown of both the HBC deputy governor Sir James Winter Lake, Pruden.
In 1876, Treaty 6, which includes what is now Edmonton, was signed between the Aboriginal peoples in Canada and Queen Victoria as Queen of Canada, as part of the Numbered Treaties of Canada. The agreement includes the Plains and Woods Cree and other band governments of First Nations at Fort Carlton, Fort Pitt, Battle River; the area covered by the treaty represents most of the central area of the current provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta. The coming of the Canadian Pacific Railway to southern Alberta in 1885 helped the Edmonton economy, the 1891 building of the Calgary and Edmonton Railway resulted in the emergence of a railway townsite on the river's south side, across from Edmonton; the arrival of the CPR and the C&E Railway helped bring settlers and entrepreneurs from eastern Canada, Europe, U. S. and other parts of the world. The Edmonton area's fertile soil and cheap land attracted settlers, further establishing Edmonton as a major regional commercial and agricultural centre; some people participating in the Klondike Gold Rush passed through South Edmonton/Strathcona in 1897.
Strathcona was North America's northernmost railway point, but travel to the Klondike was still difficult for the "Klondikers," and a majority of them took a steamship north to the Yukon from Vancouver, British Columbia. Incorporated as a town in 1892 with a population of 700 and as a city in 1904 with a population of 8,350, Edmonton became the capital of Alberta when the province was formed a year on September 1, 1905. In November 1905, the Canadian Northern Railway arrived in Edmonton. During the early 1900s, Edmonton's rapid growth led to speculation in real estate. In 1912, Edmonton amalgamated with the City of Strathcona, south of the North Saskatchewan River. Just before World War I, the boom ended, the city's population declined from more than 72,000 in 1914 to less than 54,000 only two years later. Many impoverished families moved to subsistence farms outside the city, while others fled to greener pastures in other provinces. Recruitment to the army during the war contributed to the drop in population.
Afterwards, the city recovered in population and economy during the 1920s and 1930s and took off again during and after World War II. The Edmonton City Centre Airport opened in 1929. Named Blatchford Field in honour of former mayor Kenny Blatchford, pioneering aviators such as Wilfrid R. "Wop" May and Max Ward used Blatchford Field as a major base for distributing mail and medicine to Northern Canada. World War II saw Edmonton become a major base for the construction of the Alaska Highway and the Northwest Staging Route; the airport was closed in November 2013. In 1892 Edmonton was incorporated as a town; the first mayor was Matthew McCauley, who established the first school board in Edmonton and Board of Trade and a municipal police service. Due to mayor McCauley's good relationship with the federal Liberals this helped Edmonton to maintain political prominence over Strathcona, a rival settlement on the south bank of the North Saskatche
Alberta is a western province of Canada. With an estimated population of 4,067,175 as of 2016 census, it is Canada's fourth most populous province and the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces, its area is about 660,000 square kilometres. Alberta and its neighbour Saskatchewan were districts of the Northwest Territories until they were established as provinces on September 1, 1905; the premier has been Rachel Notley since May 2015. Alberta is bounded by the provinces of British Columbia to the west and Saskatchewan to the east, the Northwest Territories to the north, the U. S. state of Montana to the south. Alberta is one of three Canadian provinces and territories to border only a single U. S. state and one of only two landlocked provinces. It has a predominantly humid continental climate, with stark contrasts over a year. Alberta's capital, Edmonton, is near the geographic centre of the province and is the primary supply and service hub for Canada's crude oil, the Athabasca oil sands and other northern resource industries.
About 290 km south of the capital is the largest city in Alberta. Calgary and Edmonton centre Alberta's two census metropolitan areas, both of which have populations exceeding one million, while the province has 16 census agglomerations. Tourist destinations in the province include Banff, Drumheller, Sylvan Lake and Lake Louise. Alberta is named after the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. Princess Louise was the wife of Marquess of Lorne, Governor General of Canada. Lake Louise and Mount Alberta were named in her honour. Alberta, with an area of 661,848 km2, is the fourth-largest province after Quebec and British Columbia. To the south, the province borders on the 49th parallel north, separating it from the U. S. state of Montana, while to the north the 60th parallel north divides it from the Northwest Territories. To the east, the 110th meridian west separates it from the province of Saskatchewan, while on the west its boundary with British Columbia follows the 120th meridian west south from the Northwest Territories at 60°N until it reaches the Continental Divide at the Rocky Mountains, from that point follows the line of peaks marking the Continental Divide in a southeasterly direction until it reaches the Montana border at 49°N.
The province extends 660 km east to west at its maximum width. Its highest point is 3,747 m at the summit of Mount Columbia in the Rocky Mountains along the southwest border while its lowest point is 152 m on the Slave River in Wood Buffalo National Park in the northeast. With the exception of the semi-arid steppe of the south-eastern section, the province has adequate water resources. There are numerous lakes used for swimming, fishing and a range of water sports. There are three large lakes, Lake Claire in Wood Buffalo National Park, Lesser Slave Lake, Lake Athabasca which lies in both Alberta and Saskatchewan; the longest river in the province is the Athabasca River which travels 1,538 km from the Columbia Icefield in the Rocky Mountains to Lake Athabasca. The largest river is the Peace River with an average flow of 2161 m3/s; the Peace River originates in the Rocky Mountains of northern British Columbia and flows through northern Alberta and into the Slave River, a tributary of the Mackenzie River.
Alberta's capital city, Edmonton, is located at about the geographic centre of the province. It is the most northerly major city in Canada, serves as a gateway and hub for resource development in northern Canada; the region, with its proximity to Canada's largest oil fields, has most of western Canada's oil refinery capacity. Calgary is about 280 km south of Edmonton and 240 km north of Montana, surrounded by extensive ranching country. 75% of the province's population lives in the Calgary–Edmonton Corridor. The land grant policy to the railroads served as a means to populate the province in its early years. Most of the northern half of the province is boreal forest, while the Rocky Mountains along the southwestern boundary are forested; the southern quarter of the province is prairie, ranging from shortgrass prairie in the southeastern corner to mixed grass prairie in an arc to the west and north of it. The central aspen parkland region extending in a broad arc between the prairies and the forests, from Calgary, north to Edmonton, east to Lloydminster, contains the most fertile soil in the province and most of the population.
Much of the unforested part of Alberta is given over either to grain or to dairy farming, with mixed farming more common in the north and centre, while ranching and irrigated agriculture predominate in the south. The Alberta badlands are located in southeastern Alberta, where the Red Deer River crosses the flat prairie and farmland, features deep canyons and striking landforms. Dinosaur Provincial Park, near Brooks, showcases the badlands terrain, desert flora, remnants from Alberta's past when dinosaurs roamed the lush landscape. Alberta has a humid continental climate with cold winters; the province is open to cold arctic weather systems from the north, which produce cold conditions in winter. As the fronts between the air masses shift north and south across Alberta, the temperature can change rapidly. Arctic