1. Alberta is located in the western part of Canada and is the most western among the Prairie Provinces. To its west is British Columbia while to its east is Saskatchewan. Its south borders on the U.S. state of Montana while its north borders on the Northwest Territories. Alberta is a most popular place for people to go to on their vacations because of its beautiful scenery. The Canadian Rockies running through it have earned for it the proud name of "Fifty Switzerland in One."
2. With an area of approximately 255,212 square miles, equivalent to 661,000 square kilometers, it is the fourth largest province in Canada. Although it has a population of only 3.26 million, about one fifth of the population of Shanghai, it ranks also 4th in population among Canadian provinces. The province was named after Princess Louis Caroline Alberta, a daughter of Queen Victoria of England. It became a province of Canada in 1905.
3. The people of Alberta originally came from many different countries. More than half of the Albertans came from Britain. Others came from Austria, Russia and the Scandinavian countries. As only a small number were French Canadians, who migrated to Alberta from the eastern part of Canada, the major language spoken in the province is English, with the exception of a few bilingual towns north of Edmonton. Although there are only a limited number of Indians living on reservations now, two hundred years ago they were the only inhabitants in what is now called Alberta.
4. The first settlers of Alberta were cattle ranchers. Even now, raising cattle is still one of the leading branches of economy. But at present many more Albertans are farmers, who raise millions of tons of wheat, oats and barley, the also plant sugar beets and potatoes in the southern part of the province. In the northern part, like the Indians who lived there before them, the hunters trap such fur-bearing animals as squirrels, beavers and foxes. Alberta is also rich in forest resources, coal and oil. It is one of the main timber producing provinces in Canada. Owing to its rich deposit in oil, petroleum industry has become one of the most important industries of the province, with many oil fields and refineries. Alberta also produces more coal than any other province.
5. The provincial capital Edmonton, with a population of about 1,016,000, is the second largest city in the province. The largest city is Calgary. In 1967, it had a population of about 330,000. But after a lapse of 40 years, it now has more than 1,060,000 inhabitants. The third largest city is Lethbridge, having a population of about 67,000 persons. People in those cities work in meat-packing plants, flour mills, dairies and refineries. Some work in canneries and beet-sugar factories.
6. The climate in Alberta is pleasant, particularly in summer, when the average temperature is about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. In winter, it is much colder and in the north, the temperature can drop to 20 degrees below zero. Although the best season for traveling is the summer months of June, July and August, many tourists are attracted to the first rate skiing ground at the resorts of Banff and Jasper.
7. Alberta is located in the Mountain Standard Time Zone. 12 o'clock at Noon in Edmonton is 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.