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Edson, Alberta facts for kids

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Town of Edson
Edson town hall
Edson town hall
Heart of the Yellowhead
Location in Yellowhead County
Location in Yellowhead County
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Country Canada
Province Alberta
Planning region Upper Athabasca
Municipal district Yellowhead County
 • Village 9 January 1911
 • Town 21 September 1911
Founded by Grand Trunk Pacific Railway
Named for Edson Joseph Chamberlin
 • Land 29.43 km2 (11.36 sq mi)
920 m (3,020 ft)
 • Total 8,374
 • Density 284.5/km2 (737/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Edsonite
Time zone UTC−7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Forward sortation area
Area code(s) +1-780
Edson mainstreet
Downtown Edson (50th Street)

Edson is a town in west-central Alberta, Canada. It is located in Yellowhead County, 192 kilometres (119 mi) west of Edmonton along the Yellowhead Highway and 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) east of the intersection with Highway 47.


The town was originally named Heatherwood, but the name was changed around 1911 in honour of Edson Joseph Chamberlin, vice-president of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. When Edson was declared the local rail centre, smaller communities such as Rosevear (abandoned), Wolf Creek, Carrot Creek and Niton Junction fell into a decline that continues today. In the 1950s, upgrading of Highway 16 caused a dramatic increase in private, commercial and industrial traffic. Today, the Yellowhead Highway carries some of the heaviest traffic flow in Alberta and has been officially declared the second Trans-Canada Highway. In the 1970s, a revitalized coal industry saw the Cardinal River Coal and Luscar Sterco mines launched in the area. The 1980s saw the development of Pelican Spruce Mills (now Weyerhaeuser Canada) and Sundance Forest Industries (now Edson Forest Products a division of West Fraser Mills Ltd.) - two of Edson's major employers. The former hamlets of Glenwood and Grande Prairie Trail were annexed from Yellowhead County by the Town of Edson on 1 January 1984.


In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Edson recorded a population of &&&&&&&&&&&08374.&&&&&08,374 living in &&&&&&&&&&&03386.&&&&&03,386 of its &&&&&&&&&&&03768.&&&&&03,768 total private dwellings, a change of -0.5% from its 2016 population of &&&&&&&&&&&08414.&&&&&08,414. With a land area of 29.43 km2 (11.36 sq mi), it had a population density of 284.5/km2 (737/sq mi) in 2021.

In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Edson recorded a population of 8,414 living in 3,359 of its 3,762 total private dwellings, a -0.7% change from its 2011 population of 8,475. With a land area of 29.72 km2 (11.47 sq mi), it had a population density of 283.1/km2 (733/sq mi) in 2016.

The Town of Edson's 2012 municipal census counted a population of 8,646.

Population history
Year Pop. ±%
1996 7,399 —    
2001 7,585 +2.5%
2006 8,098 +6.8%
2011 8,475 +4.7%
2016 8,414 −0.7%
Source: Statistics Canada


Edson lies in the McLeod River valley, immediately east of the Canadian Rockies foothills. The surrounding landscape consists of primarily taiga forest with sand hills and muskeg. The town is located at an altitude of 925 metres (3,035 ft). Two provincial parks are located west of Edson: Sundance Provincial Park along Sundance Creek and Obed Lake Provincial Park surrounding the three Obed Lakes.


Due to Edson's high elevation, the community experiences a subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dfc). The highest temperature ever recorded in Edson was 37.2 °C (99 °F) on 2 July 1924. The coldest temperature ever recorded was −48.3 °C (−55 °F) on 22 January 1943, and 14 January 1950.


The main industries that drive the local economy are resource based – coal, oil, natural gas and forestry products.


Edson was home to Canada's largest slo-pitch tournament until 2017.


Grande Yellowhead Public School Division No. 77
  • Mary Bergeron Elementary School (K-5)
  • Parkland Composite High School (9-12 English, French)
  • École Pine Grove Middle School (6-8 English, French)
  • Westhaven Elementary School (K-5 English, French)
Living Waters Catholic Regional Division No. 42
  • Holy Redeemer Junior Senior Catholic High School (7-12)
  • Vanier Community Catholic School (K-6)
  • Yellowhead Koinonia Christian School (K-12)


Edson is connected to the Yellowhead Highway from east to west and to Coal Valley via Highway 47 to the south.

Via Rail's The Canadian calls at the Edson railway station three times per week in each direction as a flag stop.

Notable people

  • George VanderBurg, Canadian politician, Progressive Conservative MLA (2001-2013)
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