Time Periods

Learn about Edmonton's fascinating history!

Inhabited by Indigenous Peoples for thousands of years, the city we recognize today did not begin to develop until the 1800s. Since that time people, events, and local, national and international forces have shaped our city to the one we know and love today. To make it easier to digest, we have provided five short sections detailing Edmonton's past based on broad historical periods.

If you would like more information on Edmonton's history please see our FAQ.

Pre-Contact and Fur Trade: 11,000 BCE to 1870

Indigenous Peoples have called this area home for millennia. Europeans, lured by the promise of fur, only arrived in the late 1700s. 

Urban Settlement: 1870-1904

Edmonton as we know it today began to develop in the early 1870s. Initially a very small community, it grew steadily until 1904, at which time it had a population of over 8,000.

Urban Growth: 1905-1913

Between 1905 and 1913 Edmonton experienced incredible growth. The population exploded from less that 10,000 to almost 70,000 in only a few years.

The War Years: 1914-1945

Between 1914 and 1945 Edmonton underwent phenomenal change as the Great War, the Depression and the Second World War left their mark.

The Post War Years: 1946-1970

The discovery of oil in Alberta changed Edmonton forever. Rapid growth, new technologies and changing lifestyles and world views dramatically altered Edmonton’s built landscape.

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