The first thing you’ll see as you approach the booming city of Edmonton are its tall high-rises, a stark contrast to the surrounding prairies.
As a major oil and gas centre, Edmonton is experiencing exceptional economic prosperity, with one of Canada’s best job markets, which is one of the main reasons people come to live in Edmonton.
The city attracts people from all over Canada and internationally for study or work, and many end up staying. This makes Edmonton quite ethnically diverse, for the Prairies.
Summers are hot and filled with festivals that celebrate the many cultures of the city’s residents, while winter plays host to one of Edmonton's longest running winter festivals, the Silver Skate Festival. And remember, you’re only 3-4 hours away from the Rockies!
After all, where else would they say, “the real fun starts after temperatures drop below zero!”?
Cost of life for renters in Edmonton
With Edmonton as a top economic performer in Canada, many people come to live and rent in Edmonton to get a good job and set themselves up financially.
It’s a smart move, considering residents of Edmonton enjoy the highest average household income in Canada, an affordable cost of living, and lower taxes (no provincial sales tax!).
If you have your own car, your wallet will also notice the difference, as Edmonton has the lowest gas prices in the country.
Based on 2012 figures, you can expect an average monthly rate of $965 to rent your apartment in Edmonton, a few hundred more for a two-bedroom apartment. Prices differ according to areas, of course, and whether it is furnished or whether utilities are included. You’ll also have to budget for rentalinsurance.
Starting off your professional life? Why not think about sharing your home with a roommate to share the bills?
Transportation: getting to your rented apartment!
If you’re renting a home in Edmonton, this far out in the Prairies, you’ll see why many use the car as the primary mode of transportation. Edmonton is a fairly large and concentrated city, with a metropolitan area that’s greater than 9,400 km2.
Downtown Edmonton also has some designated bike lanes, and the famous 13-km climate-controlled Pedway that links the Edmonton City Mall with a network of connecting commercial buildings and centres.
The Edmonton Transit System (ETS), which offers light rail and bus transportation, stops frequently in major central areas and downtown. Neighbouring communities outside Edmonton's city limits have their own public transit agencies.
Renting in Edmonton: family friendly and welcoming
Many point to the high quality of life and wide choice of educational institutions in Edmonton as a great place to raise a family. The Governments of Canada and Alberta also offer tax-free monthly payments for families, to encourage them to move here.
Newcomers are welcomed by the city and information is readily supplied in the Newcomer’s Guide, as well as in the Alberta government’s Human Resources and Employment guide, Welcome to Alberta.