Stirling, Alberta, incorporated in 1901, population 978 (2016 census), 1,090 (2011 census), area 2.71 km2. The Village of Stirling is located in the County of Warner, approximately 30 km southeast of Lethbridge on Highway 4 and 70 km north of the United States border. Stirling is significant as a national historic site and is Canada’s best-preserved example of a Mormon agricultural village.
Fort McMurray, Alberta, unincorporated population centre, population 61,374 (2011 c), 47,705 (2006 c). Fort McMurray is the largest community in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB). It is technically known as the municipality’s “Urban Service Area” and colloquially known as “Fort Mac.” The community is located near the confluence of the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers in northeastern Alberta, near the centre of the vast Athabasca oil sands deposit. Originally incorporated as a city in 1980, in 1995 Fort McMurray merged with much of the surrounding area — collectively known as Improvement District No. 143 — to create the RMWB. At 63,783 km2, the municipality is the largest in North America in terms of size, accounting for nearly 10 per cent of the province’s total area. In May 2016, Fort McMurray experienced one of the worst forest fires in Canadian history. More than 80,000 residents were evacuated and approximately 2,400 structures — about 10 per cent of the city — were destroyed.
Calgary, Alberta, incorporated as a city in 1894, population 1,239,220 (2016 c) 1,096,833 (2011 c). The city of Calgary is situated on the Bow River in southern Alberta, about 220 km north of the American border at the meeting point of the Western prairies and mountain foothills. It is the financial centre of western Canada, based on its key role in the development of the region’s oil and gas industry. With its panoramic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains and its historic association with cattle ranching and oil exploration, Calgary is one of Canada’s most identifiable cities.
Edmonton, Alberta, incorporated as a city in 1904, population 932,546 (2016 c) 812,201 (2011 c). Edmonton is the capital of Alberta, and is located on the North Saskatchewan River, near the geographical centre of the province. Commonly known as the "Gateway to the North," it is strategically situated on an economic divide between the highly-productive farmlands of central Alberta and a vast, resource-rich northern hinterland.
Wetaskiwin, Alta, incorporated as a city in 1906, population 12 525 (2011c), 11 689 (2006c). The City of Wetaskiwin is one of Alberta’s oldest cities. It began (1891) as Siding 16 on the Calgary-Edmonton Railway and was a point of departure for early, predominantly Scandinavian homesteaders.