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Edmonton is the capital of the Province of Alberta. The city of Edmonton is located on the North Saskatchewan River in the central region of the province, an area with some of the most fertile farmland on the prairies. Edmonton is the second largest city in Alberta, with a population of 752,412 (2008),[ and is the hub of Canada's sixth-largest census metropolitan, with a metro population of 1,076,103 (2006), making it the northernmost North American city with a metropolitan population over one million. Calgary is 20th on the list of North American cities just behind Dallas and San Diego.
In 1981, the West Edmonton Mall, the world's largest at the time, opened in Edmonton. Still the biggest in North America, the mall is one of Alberta's most-visited tourist attractions, and contains an indoor amusement park, a large indoor water park, a skating rink, a New Orleans-theme bar district, and a luxury hotel, in addition to over 800 shops and services.
The city of Edmonton entered its current period of economic recovery and prosperity by the late 1990s, aided by a strong recovery in oil prices and further economic diversification. While oil production and refining remains the basis of many jobs in Edmonton, the city's economy has managed to diversify significantly (e.g., an explosion in high-tech jobs). Downtown Edmonton and parts of the inner city, after years of extremely high office vacancy rates and neglect, have recovered to a great degree, with office vacancy rates in downtown Edmonton at 5.0%. The downtown Edmonton area is still undergoing a renaissance of its own, with further new projects underway or about to become reality and more people choosing to live in or near the downtown core (although suburban sprawl is still growing significantly).
Edmonton is the major economic centre for northern and central Alberta and a major centre for the oil and gas industry. In its autumn 2007 Metropolitan Outlook, the Conference Board of Canada forecast that Edmonton's GDP for 2007 will be $44.1-billion (2007 dollars), a 3.6% increase over 2006. The Edmonton Economic Development Corporation estimated that as of January 2005, the total value of major projects under construction in northern Alberta was $81.5-billion, with $18.2-billion occurring within Greater Edmonton.
Edmonton traditionally has been a hub for Albertan petrochemical industries, earning it the nickname "Oil Capital of Canada" in the 1940s. 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, after Saudi Arabia.
Despite the apparent focus on oil and gas, Edmonton's economy is now the second-most diverse in Canada. Major industrial sectors include a strong technology sector anchored by major employers such as IBM, Telus, Intuit Canada, Canadian Western Bank, BioWare, Matrikon, General Electric and Stantec Inc. The associated biotech sector, with companies such as CV Technologies, has recently seen employment growth of 37%.
The address of City Hall:
1 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Canada T5J 2R7