Are you moving to the capital city of Alberta? Edmonton has a ton to offer newcomers!
Canada is a huge place! Every province and territory in Canada offers unique lifestyles and living experiences to its residents. For example, Edmonton is home to the West Edmonton Mall, which is one of the world’s largest shopping malls that contains theme parks, hotels, theatres, and more along with its 800+ stores.
If you wish to live in the capital city of Alberta, then this guide to settling in Edmonton will help you to create accurate expectations for your new home.
What is the Weather Like in Edmonton?
Like most of Canada, Edmonton has four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. Winters in Edmonton are snowy, windy, and freezing. It is also partly or mostly cloudy throughout the year. Summers in Edmonton are often comfortable and long. During the year, Edmonton’s temperature varies from -14 degrees Celsius to 24 degrees Celsius but its minimum temperature is either freezing or below freezing for half the year. On the bright side, it is rarely above 28 degrees Celsius or below -26 degrees Celsius.
What are the Living Costs in Edmonton?
Surprisingly, Alberta’s capital city is an inexpensive place to live in Canada. Over 800,000 people call Edmonton home and their average house prices are approximately $355,000. Additionally, property owners must pay property tax. This is based on the area’s tax rate and the property’s value. In Alberta, this property tax usually ranges between $1,200 to $3,500 a year.
If you are renting a property in Edmonton, the average rental for a two bedroom dwelling is approximately $800 to $2,000 a month. This price can vary based on the size, type, and location. For a three-bedroom place, renters can expect to pay anywhere between $1,200 to $2,800 a month.
Utilities cost money. As a newcomer living in Edmonton, you can expect a three bedroom modern townhouse to cost approximately $280 to $350 a month for electric and gas bills during the winter months and around $100 to $200 during the summer. Also, keep in mind that water costs money too, so allocate between $70 and $110 a month for this purpose. However, these numbers vary depending on how much electricity, gas, and water you and your family use.
Using an estimator, and not factoring in rent payments, a family of four can cost approximately $4,186 a month whereas a single person can cost approximately $1,187 a month. For a more detailed breakdown of costs in Edmonton, click here.
What is Public Transit Like in Edmonton?
When you are new to a city, one of the first things to figure out is how you are going to get around. Of course, you can invest in a car but there is insurance and registration costs, service maintenance, and other expenses to consider. So public transit may be easier for the first few weeks.
The main transit authority is the Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) that covers the city’s buses and Light Rail Train (LRT). Public transportation can help you cover Edmonton’s large and spaced out neighbourhoods for when you need to get to school, work, or anywhere else in the city.
How much does it cost?
A one-way adult fare is $3.50. However, there is an unlimited monthly transit pass available for $97 a month and can be used on any ETS transit service. Buses will accept exact change, a bus pass, or a transit ticket. You must clearly display your pass for the driver as seeing it is considered to be proof of payment. Fares can be purchased at vending machines in LRT stations or they can be bought throughout the city at any certified retailer. For example, convenience stores and grocery stores carry ETS products.
What is the Culture Like in Edmonton?
Edmonton offers a variety of entertainment, visual and media arts productions, festivals, and exhibits by local artists. You will find that culture and arts are front and centre here. Along with a vibrant theatre, music, and dance scene, Edmonton rolls out the red carpet when it comes to its artistic side.
For many years, Edmonton was considered to be Canada’s festival city as it held 30 annual extravaganzas such as the Servus Heritage Festival, the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, and the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival.
Additionally, Edmonton has a booming culinary scene. Between craft beer, indie bakeries, and hyper-local bistros, you will discover that Edmonton’s chefs are not afraid to experiment with delicious tastes. Even during the winter, you can enjoy all of this on heated outdoor patios.
Not to mention, the West Edmonton Mall spans the length of 48 city blocks and is part entertainment complex, part theme park, and part retail/dining. What an experience!
What are the Best Websites to Find Apartments in Edmonton?
Knowing which websites to use can be difficult when there are loads of rental options. Here are a few of the most popular websites to find apartments in Edmonton:
- View It
What are the Best Job Search Websites For People to Find Jobs in Edmonton?
When you are ready to find a paid position, there are a number of job search websites to explore. This is a list of the most popular job search websites for people to find jobs in Edmonton:
- Job Bank – Benefit from exploring market trends while you search.
- Alberta Job Centre – Browse jobs by city and keywords.
- Career Builder – Search for jobs in top locations and categories across Canada.
- Eluta – Filter your results with specific titles, locations, and top employers.
- Glass Door – Focus your search to locations and company-specific information including example interview questions, salaries, and reviews of employers.
- Indeed – Filter the information by company name, location, title, and keywords, then narrow your search further by inputting job type and salary range.
- Jobs.ca – Try the usual functions as well as their links to specialized work search engines.
- Monster – Create a Monster account to browse for jobs based on typical search functions. It is very user-friendly.
- Simply Hired – Search for jobs based on keywords, locations, and predetermined categories.
What are the Top Local Organizations that Help New Immigrants Get Settled in Edmonton?
Many local organizations can help immigrants get settled in Edmonton by providing access support services, interpretive services, employment programs, education programs, and more! Here is a list of local organizations to get started:
- Accès Emploi
- Alberta Association of Immigrant Settlement Agencies
- ASSIST Community Services Centre
- Bredin Centre for Learning
- BGS Enterprises Inc.
- Catholic Social Services
- Changing Together: A Centre for Immigrant Women
- Centre for Race and Culture
- Edmonton Community Adult Learning Association
- Edmonton Immigrant Services Association
- Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers
- Islamic Family and Social Services Association
- Multicultural Health Brokers Co-op Ltd
- Welcome Centre for Immigrants
- Windmill Microlending
In the end, there is a lot of information to review before choosing to move to a new city. Edmonton is a wonderful place to call home. We hope this guide to settling in Edmonton helps you through this transition, so you can enjoy yourself!
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.