Edmonton City Information, listings and links
Here are some basic facts about Edmonton:
Edmonton is nestled in the northern prairie, about 400 km east of the Rocky Mountains. The city is at 53°30' north latitude, 113°30' west longitude. We are in Mountain standard time, two hours earlier than Toronto and New York, and 8 hours earlier than western Europe (by coincidence, these are almost the flying times).
Edmonton has over 730,000 people, and Greater Edmonton has about 1,034,000 (2006) and is the seventh largest metropolitan
area in Canada, and the largest between Vancouver and Toronto. Edmonton is the
operations centre for the large oil and gas fields to the north,
the east, and just to the south of the city.
The major industries in Edmonton reflect that of the whole province. Oil & gas is the top job-creating industry, followed by agriculture and tourism.
Daytime and nighttime temperatures can differ widely, because of Edmonton's
dry air (there is little atmospheric moisture to slow temperature swings) and its proximity to the mountains.
Alberta has significant variations in temperature between seasons and between locales. South-eastern Alberta has some very hot, dry summer days has the most hours of sunshine of any province. Because of the dry climate, temperatures rise quickly in the day, and fall quickly at night; temperatures can range as much as 20C (45F) on any given day. In central and northern Alberta (from Red Deer north), rainfall is slightly more frequent during spring and summer, and temperatures are more consistent over a day. Mountain areas are usually warm in mid-summer, spring and fall, yet cool at night. Winter temperatures are milder in southern Alberta than most people expect, often with the highest temperatures in Canada.
Some hotels include tips or gratuities with group programs to simplify bookkeeping. This will usually include gratuities for housekeeping, bell service and food service. In a hotel, bell service should be tipped about $1 per bag, and housekeeping $1 to $5 dollars a day (in proportion to your room rate). Visitors should know that the standard tip in restaurants is 10%-15% (on restaurant bills, an average tip will be 150% of the GST), with 20% (double the GST) for very outstanding service. This is especially important for visitors from countries where tipping on meals is not done: here the waitering staff depend on tips for a significant portion of their incomes. Tip taxis about 10%, and a dollar a bag they carry for you (not just unload), or at the very least round fares up to the nearest dollar.