Edson, Alberta Canada

Discover Edson, Alberta: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty

Edson, Alberta, is a charming town nestled in west-central Alberta, Canada. It's situated in Yellowhead County, 192 kilometres west of Edmonton along the Yellowhead Highway, and just 10 kilometres east of the intersection with Highway 47.

The Rich History of Edson, Alberta

Edson was originally founded as Heatherwood, but its name was changed around 1911 to honour Edson Joseph Chamberlin, the vice-president of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. The town's status as the local rail centre led to the decline of smaller communities such as Rosevear, Wolf Creek, Carrot Creek, and Niton Junction.

In the 1950s, the upgrading of Highway 16 led to a significant increase in private, commercial, and industrial traffic. Today, the Yellowhead Highway is one of the busiest in Alberta and is recognized as the second Trans-Canada Highway. The 1970s saw a revitalized coal industry with the launch of the Cardinal River Coal and Luscar Sterco mines in the area. In the 1980s, Pelican Spruce Mills and Sundance Forest Industries became two of Edson's major employers.

The former hamlets of Glenwood and Grande Prairie Trail were annexed from Yellowhead County by the Town of Edson on 1 January 1984. In 2023, Edson faced significant challenges with wildfires leading to evacuation, followed by a state of emergency due to floods.

Demographics of Edson, Alberta

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Edson had a population of 8,374 living in 3,386 of its 3,768 total private dwellings, a slight decrease from its 2016 population of 8,414. The town spans a land area of 29.43 km2, resulting in a population density of 284.5/km2 in 2021.

The Geography of Edson, Alberta

Edson is located in the McLeod River valley, immediately east of the Canadian Rockies foothills. The surrounding landscape is primarily taiga forest with sand hills and muskeg. The town sits at an altitude of 925 metres. Two provincial parks, Sundance Provincial Park and Obed Lake Provincial Park, are located west of Edson, offering stunning natural beauty.

Climate in Edson, Alberta

Edson's high elevation results in a subarctic climate. The highest temperature ever recorded was 38.9 °C in June 2021, while the coldest was −48.3 °C in January 1943 and 1950. Summers are generally mild to warm with chilly nights and moderate precipitation. Winters are long, severely cold, and characterized by high snowfall due to the town's high elevation.

Cultural Highlights in Edson, Alberta

The Galloway Station Museum, established in 1981, offers a deep dive into the history of Edson and the surrounding area. The museum is located in RCMP Centennial Park, a large park at the centre of town created in 1974 to honour the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Alberta. The park also contains an event pavilion, a Canadian National Railway caboose, a preserved RCAF Lockheed T-33 aircraft, and a giant squirrel statue that depicts the Edson town Mascot, "Eddie the Squirrel".

Infrastructure in Edson, Alberta

Edson is well-connected via the Yellowhead Highway from east to west and to Coal Valley via Highway 47 to the south. Via Rail's The Canadian calls at the Edson railway station three times per week in each direction as a flag stop.

The Coat of Arms of Edson, Alberta

On 15 October 2019, the town was granted a coat of arms by the Canadian Heraldic Authority. The announcement of the Letters Patent was made on 28 March 2020, in Volume 154, page 692 of the Canada Gazette.

Edson, Alberta, with its rich history, natural beauty, and vibrant culture, is a must-visit destination for those seeking a unique Canadian experience.