Living and Visiting Here

International Arrival in Edmonton city skyline

Edmonton. Explore museums, art galleries, live music, live theatre and festivals. There's so much to see and do in Alberta's capital city.

With MacEwan University ideally located in the heart of downtown Edmonton, you only have to travel a few blocks through our vibrant, multicultural city to take in all kinds of attractions and events or to make your way to the beautiful North Saskatchewan River Valley.

About Edmonton and Alberta 

map of canada 

  • Alberta’s population: Over 4 million people

  • We are known as a “prairie province,” but we also have beautiful mountain ranges, glacial lakes, massive boreal forests and desert badlands. Banff and Jasper are internationally recognized mountainous destinations close to Edmonton and are estimated 4-5 hour drives.

  • English is the predominant language in Alberta.

  • Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta.

  • Our province’s main industries include agriculture, energy (oil and gas), education, tourism, finance, and forestry.

  • Hockey is a major sport in Canada, and Edmonton’s National Hockey League (NHL) team is called the Edmonton Oilers.

  • Popular Canadian foods to try:

    • Butter tarts: sweet tarts made of butter, sugar, and eggs

    • Poutine: french fries, cheese curds, and light gravy

    • Nanaimo bars: a dessert consisting of chocolate and custard layers

    • Montreal smoked meat: Smoked and spiced brisket originating in Montreal, it is most often served in a sandwich

  • Summer temperatures: 20 to 25°C with highs in the upper 30s.

  • Winter temperatures: -5 to -15°C with lows in the -30 to -40°C range for short periods of time.

  • January and February are the coldest months of the year, while July and August are the hottest.

  • Hours of daylight vary depending on the season; winter has the shortest days and summer has the longest.

Getting around Edmonton

Buses and Light Rail Transit (LRT) travel around the entire city and get you to your destination quickly and conveniently.

Taxis or Ubers are available for short one way trips. Uber is a ride-sharing service that is an alternative to public transit.

If you prefer to drive yourself and you have a valid license to drive in Canada, try Pogo. Pogo is a car sharing transportation option where you borrow a car for short trips.

Of course, there are always healthy options such as walking and biking. There is a bike grid in the downtown Edmonton area.

Bus
Bus

Train
Train

Canadian culture

Canadians are a friendly and welcoming people. We celebrate diversity and multiculturalism.

Moving to a new country can be difficult and getting homesick is natural. It gets easier with time, but here are a few tips to help you adjust to living in Edmonton:

  • Become familiar with your surroundings. Go on campus tours, walk around the neighbourhood, ride public transit, and plan outings with fellow students.

  • Get involved and volunteer with school clubs or events to meet new people and participate in activities.

  • Learn about Canada by reading books or local news.

  • Get a sense of the norms by observing others: Waiting in line, tipping servers at restaurants (15% is standard), greeting people, obeying street signs and lights. Learn more about Canadian customs and etiquette here.

  • Need to talk? Visit our Peer Support centre at City Centre Campus, Room 6-108A.

  • Edmonton is considered a safe city; however, you should take the same precautions as you would traveling to any large city.

Dress for the winter 

If you are in Edmonton between November and May, you will need warm clothes. Consider buying these clothes while you are here, rather than packing them .Winter clothing takes up a lot of room in luggage. You will need:

  • A winter jacket that is warm, windproof and water-resistant 

  • Boots with a deep tread and insulation to keep your feet protected from the cold and to stop you from slipping on the ice.

  • Gloves or mittens to keep your hands warm. 

  • Hats and scarves to protect your face, neck and head from the cold 

  • Layers: Dressing with multiple layers (t-shirt, sweater, and jacket) is a good idea

Always protect your fingers, toes and ears to avoid getting frostbite. Frostbite occurs when your skin and body parts freeze due to severe low temperatures. Always keep moving in low temperatures to keep blood flowing!

People wearing winter clothing

Winter activities

  • Skiing or snowboarding at one of our local ski resorts such as the Edmonton Ski Club.

  • Ice skating at one of Edmonton’s public skating rinks.

  • Visit the Ice Castles at Hawrelak Park for a beautiful snowy ice castle that you can walk around and explore.

  • Visit Explore Edmonton to learn about the fun activities Edmonton offers all year long.


living_here_gallery

 

Time to explore

There are so many fun things to see and do in Edmonton, across Alberta and in other provinces. 

Edmonton Tourism

City of Edmonton

Travel Alberta

Government of Alberta

Canadian Tourism Commission

Government of Canada


Canadian manners and etiquette

Starting a new part of your education in a new culture and education system can be both exciting and challenging. Learn about Canada and Canadian etiquette to help you navigate our systems and approaches.

Canadian Etiquette