What do I need to know before moving to Edmonton

What do I need to know before moving to Edmonton? 

Moving to Edmonton or any other city is a big leap of faith. It’s hard to know what to expect until you’re actually in the new location. 

If you’d like to get an idea of what to look forward to in our city, this article’s for you. Life in Edmonton is so much more than colorful festivals and natural attractions (although there are a lot of opportunities for those!). 

1. There are a lot of career and employment opportunities in Edmonton. 

There are a lot of career and employment opportunities in Edmonton

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If you’re searching for a new city to call your home, it’s best to check the city’s quality of life and economy.

Let’s start with what the average salary in Edmonton is. 

The average salary in Edmonton is around $55,380 per year. However, entry-level positions start at $37,923, and experienced workers can earn around $91,527 per year.

Edmonton is naturally rich in gas and oil, so the city’s petrochemical industry is booming. Currently, Edmonton is the service and supply center of the oil industry in Western Canada.

That’s why skilled laborers in the oil and gas industry are always in demand here.

Apart from that, the city’s geographical location and transportation links make it ideal for logistics, distribution, and freight services.

Since it’s Alberta’s capital, there are numerous opportunities for government jobs. Moreover, educators are regularly in demand here since the city’s a hub for schools and other higher educational institutions.

Other sectors that provide employment opportunities include banking, information, technology, and biotechnology.

Of course, there can still be struggles in finding a job here. However, in general, the city fairs quite well in its employment sector. 

2. Rent rates in Edmonton are fairly affordable for Alberta.

Rent rates in Edmonton are fairly affordable for Alberta

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Compared to other major cities in Alberta, the rent rate in Edmonton is considerably lower. Still, according to Zumper, Edmonton is ranked 20th in the most expensive cities to rent in Canada. 

So what are the rents like in Edmonton? 

The average rent in Edmonton for a 1-bedroom unit is $995, while rent for 2-bedroom units is around $1,290. Alternatively, a family that may need a 3-bedroom or 4-bedroom unit can spend around $1,528 to $1,900. 

3. Edmonton can have a lot of mosquitoes.

Edmonton can have a lot of mosquitoes

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Edmonton experiences heavy rains, which drives a lot of mosquito hatching throughout the city. 

Although the mosquito population has been relatively low in 2022, it’s still a problem, especially on roadside ditches and ground areas.

What’s shocking is that there are over 30 native species of mosquitoes present in the city. This is a big problem, especially during summer.

These pesky insects are drawn to the city lights at night and can fly up to 25 kilometers from where they emerged.

Fortunately, the city has been adamant about eradicating mosquitoes for years. Last year, they tried the aerial mosquito control program.

This program uses helicopters to drop pesticides into temporary and stagnant bodies of water in Edmonton. It aims to kill mosquito larvae before they hatch.

This 2022, they are more focused on implementing biological interventions to control the mosquito population. 

This program’s goal is to keep a balanced ecosystem by introducing natural enemies and predators in areas where mosquitoes are likely to develop.

4. Edmonton has strong academic institutions and programs.

Edmonton has strong academic institutions and programs.

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The province of Alberta invests in education, so its cities are known for their top-performing schools and universities.

But what people usually want to know is if Edmonton offers public education, so let’s talk about that first.

The answer is yes: the provincial government of Alberta publicly funds the education system in Edmonton. Public schools in Edmonton offer free education from primary school to high school.

However, parents may still be asked to pay fees, such as school supplies, extracurricular activities, and field trips.

On the other hand, if you’re in college, one of the best universities you can check out is the University of Alberta. Some of its top-notch faculties include medicine and engineering.

Besides that, courses and programs in sciences, forestry, and agriculture are also sought after by many students. Given that Edmonton is situated in the middle of the prairie region, it’s good to pursue these programs.

Here’s a list of other excellent colleges, technical institutes, and universities in Edmonton.

  • McEwan University
  • St. Joseph’s College 
  • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology 
  • Concordia University of Edmonton
  • The King’s University College 

5. Edmonton has lower taxes than most cities in Canada!

Edmonton has lower taxes than most cities in Canada!

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Why does Edmonton have lower taxes than most Canadian cities?

Edmonton has relatively low taxes for Canada because it’s part of the province of Alberta… and Alberta is the only province in the country that doesn’t impose consumption, retail, and sales taxes at the provincial or municipal level.

Alternatively, the income tax in the country follows the progressive tax system and is based on taxable incomes. This means that the tax rate depends on the person’s total gross income from all sources.

In simpler terms, the more income you have, the higher the tax rate you’ll get. This rule also applies to federal and provincial taxes.

For you to understand this better, we made a table below. It shows the tax brackets and tax rates for federal and provincial taxes in the province of Alberta this 2022. 

Tax Brackets for Taxable IncomesFederal Tax Rate
$50,197.01 - $100,39221%
$100,392.01 - $155,62526%
$155,625.01 - $221,70829%
Over $221,70833%
Tax Brackets for Taxable IncomesProvincial Tax Rate
$131,221 - $157,46412%
$157,465 - $209,95213%
$209,953 - $314,92814%
Over $314,92915%

6. Edmonton is part of Tornado Alley.

Edmonton is part of Tornado Alley.

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It’s not hard to see why Edmonton is part of Tornado Alley in Canada.

Edmonton is in the prairie region of Canada, which is known as the country’s center of tornado activity (hence the term “Tornado Alley”). Around 60 to 80 tornadoes touch down here every year, and Alberta and Saskatchewan alone receive around 14 to 18 of them. 

Besides that, the city experiences a dry and unstable climate. This can worsen the impact of tornadoes.

Note that the peak season for tornadoes in Edmonton is typically in the summer months (May to September). However, tornadoes can still occur in spring or fall.

7. There are tipping norms in Edmonton similar to those in the USA.

There are tipping norms in Edmonton similar to those in the USA.

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Many locals say that the tipping norms in Canada are almost the same as in the USA. Well, tipping is like an entrenched cultural practice in the country.

In Edmonton, people are expected to give tips in addition to the stated costs, especially when receiving services from the hairdressers, wait staff, hotel employees, and others.

So, what are the tipping norms in Edmonton?

Although it’s not mandatory, the norm in Edmonton is for people to tip because most basic service providers have low base pay. You see, the minimum wage here is C$15 per hour.

The acceptable rate for tips is 10% to 20%. However, the unspoken tipping etiquette in Edmonton is that you give tips based on how good the service is.

This means that people won’t bat an eye if you give a lower tip or no tip at all for bad service!

8. Edmonton is a sunny city.

Edmonton is a sunny city.

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Just how sunny is Edmonton, you ask?

Edmonton is of the three cities in Canada that receive the most sunshine. Just behind Calgary, it has a total of over 2,350 hours of sunshine per year.

Most of that is during the summer season, which usually lasts from late June to early September. The sunniest month is July, when the city gets an average of 307 hours of sunshine.

On the other hand, the month with the lowest amount of sunshine is December. In this month, the sun only shows up for about 84 hours.

And how hot does Edmonton get in summer?

Well, it doesn’t really get that hot in Edmonton, fortunately. On most days, the temperature ranges from 20 ̊C to 30 ̊C.

However, at its peak, the temperature can be as high as 35 ̊C.

9. Edmonton is a haven for natural attractions and outdoor recreation lovers.

Edmonton is a haven for natural attractions and outdoor recreation lovers.

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Edmonton may be a prairie town, but it doesn’t mean that it’s boring to live here. The expansive green space is an excellent feature of the prairie region.

This city is a hotbed of natural attractions and outdoor recreation because it stretches along the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. Largely due to that, there are a lot of natural attractions here.

How many natural attractions are in Edmonton?

There are over 400 officially named parks and 22 major parks in Edmonton. Moreover, you can explore more than 150 kilometers of trails. 

Here are some of the sought-after attractions in Edmonton (including man-made ones):

For outdoor recreation, you’ll also have an array of options, no matter the season. In summer, you can try kayaking, canoeing, fishing, camping, biking, stargazing, and hiking.

Alternatively, in winter, you can visit cross-country skiing, skating, and ice-fishing sites.

Apart from that, Edmonton is known as the Festival City of Canada, so you can attend a bunch of events and festivals throughout the year.

10: Edmonton has a lot of bad roads and potholes.

Edmonton has a lot of bad roads and potholes.

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Edmonton is a fast-developing city, but road maintenance is one of its biggest problems.

There are many potholes and cracks on the roads in and out of the city center. Bad roads are a hurdle for everyone, especially those with older vehicles.

The issue is generally caused by weathering and the increased use of heavy trucks in the city. Besides that, the constant freeze-thaw cycles during the winter season.

The Infrastructure, Maintenance, Parks, and Road Services have continuously received complaints about this. In fact, in 2022, they received over 1,779 pothole complaints.

Fortunately, crews work year-round to fix the road issues found on bus routes and arterial roads throughout the city.

11. Crime rates are high in some parts of Edmonton.

Crime rates are high in some parts of Edmonton.

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How high is the crime rate in Edmonton?

The average crime rate in Edmonton escalated in 2022. As of 2022, it was 51% higher than the national average, with the total number of crime incidents recorded at 91,097.

That being said, there is only a 6.25% chance of becoming a victim of crime in this city, according to Numbeo. Moreover, it’s still 40% safer than other cities in Canada.

For reference, you can also check out our list of the safest neighborhoods in Edmonton.

And what about the neighborhoods you should avoid in Edmonton due to high crime rates?

According to Area Vibes, these are the Edmonton neighborhoods you should avoid because these are where crimes tend to be concentrated.

  • Blackmud Creek Ravine
  • Yellowhead Corridor – East
  • Maple Ridge
  •  McCauley
  • Boyle Street
  • Central McDougall
  • Westview Village
  • Winterburn Industrial Area West
  • Eastwood
  • Abbottsfield

12. Edmonton is a diverse and welcoming city.

Edmonton is a diverse and welcoming city.

Image Source: Freepik

In 2016, 36.4% of Edmonton’s general population was identified as visible minorities. The highest proportion of visible racial and ethnic minorities includes South Asian, Chinese, Filipino, and Black.

Moreover, 24% of the population are immigrants from various source countries such as the Philippines, India, and China. 

For this reason, this city is a good place to start a new life if you appreciate different cultures and backgrounds.

The residents here are known for being very welcoming and accommodating to newcomers and tourists. Unlike other metropolitan areas, Edmonton gives off a slower-paced and laid-back vibe.

With over 50 festivals throughout the year, you can witness and experience a variety of traditions, arts, music, and cuisines.