Not long ago few wanted to venture up in the wilds of the north far reaches of the Canadian province or Alberta . Few even remember when the whole sector was a backwater part of the North West Territories . It took American money from Standard Oil to change that . This is now the Texas of the nation. On top of that its no longer Calgary which is the center-point of this base industry but rather that once forbidding remote area. Fort McMurray Alberta is the main district in the Municipality of Wood Buffalo in Canada. A city till 1995, Fort McMurray Alberta was merged with smaller Hamlets like Fort Chipewyan, Fort Mackay to form municipality of Wood Buffalo, Improvement District No. 18.
Famous for the reaches of the Athabsasca Tar Sandsas well as large pipeline sectors of natural gas, Fort McMurray also boasts of forestry, tourism, and retail business. At one time a Ford auto dealer from Gimli chanced upon the place after reading about it on the plane This was early on its early oil industry discovery. There was just something about a boom town in the air he noted years later. At that point in time the area was virtually just a dot on the map of what wast to come . The population of Fort Mc Murray Alberta is less than 65, 000 and is a multicultural community. Half of its population is made up by native Albertans while about 20% are settlers from Newfoundland and Labrador. The city is one of the major hubs in oil production and houses two of the largest oil sand mining organizations Suncor Energy and Syncrude.
What makes Fort McMurray so interesting are two points. One in spite of its small apparent size and population ( only 65,000 out of a provincial total population of 3.600,000). Second is its people. Half are locals born and raised in the area , or at least in the Canadian province of Alberta. The other half are from “somewhere else”. The friction between the “locals” and the others is whether the newcomers have come to stay , contribute and grow within the new prosperity or are they self serving individuals only in Fort Mc Murray “for the money”. The apparent conflict continues on and serves as bone of contention within the local communities. Its not a small nor imagined conflict. Up here in this little speck of nothingness is black gold and opportunity itself to be had. Yet it is said that if the Keystone Pipeline to the south ever gets laid out – that there is additional product to be had in the adjoining province of Saskatchewan. The climatologist Tim Ball from the University of Winnipeg fame was incredulous that American bankers did not even know of this energy option to replace Saudi oil dependency. When told that to solve America’s post 911 security debacle that all that needed to be done was to call in the Saudi Royals and inform them 5 years – clean up your house or we move on to our option. That option was to develop the “Tar Sands” with Alberta and later on Northern Saskatchewan heavy tar crude petroleum resources. The “Keystone Pipeline” would be part of the interconnected North American energy supply network.
The economy of Fort McMurray Alberta is largely based on the Athabasca Oil Sands and is considered a major oil production area. The Abasands Oil Company was the first to extract oil in 1930s from the oils sands of Fort McMurray Alberta using a process called “hot water extraction”. However the commercial production began only by 1967 with the opening of Great Canadian Oil Sands and since then the district’s economy has skyrocketed.
Fort McMurray Alberta offers a variety of fun and entertainment like 3-18 holes golf courses, billiard halls, bowling alleys, theatres, casinos, nightclubs and restaurants that cater to lower, medium and upper level incomes groups. Snowmobile tours, cross country skiing and ice fishing provide for excellent outdoor activities. Summer is the right time for hunting and fishing activities. Other events held at Fort McMurray Alberta include Blueberry festival, Famous Fish Fry, rubber duck race and many more.
Its not as if you were a Laura living in Grande Cache Northern Ab with just one restaurant – a single solitary Subway restaurant – for your enjoyment & entertainment- developed areas of the town site cover Abasand Heights, Beacon Hill, Gregoire, Lower Townsite, Thickwood Heights, Timberlea and Waterways.