A History of Businesses in Edmonton

In 1892, Edmonton was a town with a meager population of 700. But the history of business and trade in Edmonton goes farther back. In 1754, a European explorer named Anthony Henday, employed by the Hudson's Bay Company, stepped into the town for establishing trade. As a result, the Edmonton Fort was set up in 1795. The fort served as a major trading post for the Hudson's Bay Company. Explorers who wanted to go to the Klondike region, popular for gold fields, also used the town as a stopping point.

The economy of Edmonton didn't flourish until the introduction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885. Later in 1891, Calgary and Edmonton Railway was set up, which boosted the economy a great deal.

By the year 1904, the town of Edmonton grew into a booming city and was formally incorporated as one.

In 1929, Edmonton got the Edmonton City Center Airport. After the opening of this airport, it became easier to distribute mail, food and medicine to the population of Northern Canada. In fact, it converted the city of Edmonton into the “Gateway to the North”.

Once the Edmonton rail link was established, the town of Edmonton started to attract businesses and settlers from all over the world. People from eastern Canada, US and the Europe came pouring in to the town to establish different types of businesses. Owing to the high soil fertility, Edmonton soon turned into a hub of agriculture and commerce.

Real Estate Boom

During the early 1900s, the city of Edmonton witnessed a real estate boom, when new land from the Hudson Bay Co reserve was acquired. This further led to a sudden growth in population.

But a little before the World War I, the boom in real estate came to an end. In a matter of two years, the population of the city was reduced from 72,000 to 54,000. Poverty-stricken families began to greener places outside the city and in other areas close by. When people from the town were recruited in the army during the world war, the population went down even further. But the population and the economy of Edmonton shot up once again between 1920s and 1930s.

Industrial Development

Edmonton’s oil and gas wealth is claimed to be the world’s second-largest, after Saudi Arabia. Much of the credit for the economic growth of the city is attributed to its oil and gas reserves. In the 1940s, the city also earned the sobriquet of “Oil Capital of Canada”.

Over the years, Edmonton has also seen a huge growth in the technology sector, which is primarily due to the fact that the city is a hub of research and education centers. Between 1970s and 1980s, the city became quite well-known as a key financial center.

After a brief slow down in its economy, Edmonton rose again as its economy was solidified.

Edmonton’s ideal geographical location has also quite much contributed to its growth in various sectors. There are many local businesses which set up their bases in the city and then went on to become globally famous brands, specially in the retail business sector. Some of these names include The Brick, Katz Group, Pizza 73, Earl’s, AutoCanada etc.