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Alberta "Where's the Beef?"
Alberta became a province on September 1st, 1905, which means that we'll be there for the centennial celebration in 2005. (It was all part of our 'master plan' ... ha ha).
The province is named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta (1848-1939), who was the fourth daughter of England's Queen Victoria. (She's also the namesake for Banff's famous "Lake Louise"). On the right is a snappy photo of the Princess. She traveled to the North-West Territories in 1881, one year BEFORE the territories were ceded to Canada by the Hudson's Bay Company and divided into 4 districts: Assiniboia (an Inuit name meaning 'Ass in the Bush'!), Athabasca, Saskatchewan & Alberta.
Alberta is the fourth largest province of Canada (661,190 square kilometers) and is 50% larger than California (with about 1/10th the population). About 10% of Canada's 30 million people live in the province.
Alberta is home to five National Parks (Banff, Elk Island, Jasper, Waterton Lakes and Wood Buffalo). Together, these Parks encompass some 63,045 square kilometers, the largest of any Canadian Province.
Alberta is also the sunniest province in Canada, averaging 2,264 hours of sunlight per year. (This will warm the cockles of your heart: Even on the coldest winter days, there is often bright sunshine.) During the summer solstice, there is up to 17 hours of daylight.
Alberta's claim to fame ...
Canada's largest National Park (Wood Buffalo)
Canada's largest mountain National Park (Jasper)
Canada's first National Park (Banff)
World's largest Shopping Mall (West Edmonton Mall)
Canada's largest ski area (Lake Louise)
World's largest Tyrannosaurus Rex (Drumheller)
World's largest herd of free-roaming buffalo (Wood Buffalo)
World's largest buffalo 'jump-site' ("Head-Smashed-In" Buffalo Jump)
World's largest oil sand development (Fort McMurry)
Canada's only city contained within two provinces (Lloydminster)
World's tallest teepee (Medicine Hat)
World's first (and only) UFO landing pad (St. Paul)