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Recent History of Edmonton

In 1981, West Edmonton Mall, the world’s largest at the time, opened. Still the biggest in North America, the mall is one of Alberta’s most-visited tourist attractions, and contains an indoor amusement park, a large indoor waterpark, a skating rink, a full size replica of the Santa Maria, a New Orleans-themed bar district, and a luxury hotel, in addition to over 700 shops and services.
On July 31, 1987, a devastating tornado (ranked F4 on the Fujita scale) hit the city and killed 27 people. The storm hit the areas of Beaumont, Mill Woods, Bannerman, Fraser, and Evergreen. The day became known as “Black Friday.”[13] Then-mayor Laurence Decore cited the community’s response to the tornado as evidence that Edmonton was a “city of champions,” which later became the city’s official slogan.

The city entered a recent period of economic recovery and prosperity in the late 1990s, aided by a strong recovery in oil prices and further economic diversification. While oil production and refining remains the basis of many jobs in Edmonton, the city’s economy has managed to diversify significantly (e.g., an explosion in high-tech jobs). Downtown Edmonton and parts of the inner city, after years of extremely high office vacancy rates and neglect, have recovered to a great degree, with office vacancy rates in downtown Edmonton at 5.0%. The downtown area is still undergoing a renaissance of its own, with further new projects underway or about to become reality and more people choosing to live in or near the downtown core (although suburban sprawl is still growing significantly).
In recent years, downtown Edmonton has seen rapid development, with streets like Jasper Avenue and 104 Street featuring many clubs, shops, restaurants, and galleries. The new Art Gallery of Alberta opened in the downtown core in January 2010. The first new office tower in 22 years, the EPCOR Tower, began construction in 2008 and was completed in July 2010. The Icon Towers, completed in 2010, are the tallest residential buildings in the city, while many other high-rise condos are still under construction in the downtown core. Due to demand of density outside the core, three neighbourhoods (two just outside of downtown)—Century Park, Glenora, and Strathearn—have proposed new high-rise urban villages.

Also in the outskirts, new residential areas are under development, such as Big Lake, Ellerslie, The Grange, Heritage Valley, Lewis Farms, The Meadows, The Palisades, Pilot Sound, and Windermere among others, as well as new power centres such as those within The Meadows and Windermere.
This economic prosperity is bringing in large numbers of workers from all over Canada. It is forecast that 83,000 new residents will move to Edmonton between 2006 and 2010, twice the rate that city planners had expected. Many of the new workers moving to the city are young men.
In 2008, the Edmonton metropolitan area surpassed one million becoming the most northern city in North America with a metropolitan population over one million.


Edmonton Home Prices