Fort McMurray is a small, northern Alberta town that is growing rapidly. The small town has now become a bustling metropolis with around 75,000 residents living within its borders. Residents are drawn by the prospect of good jobs and high pay for those working in Fort McMurray’s booming economy. This page will show you what life is like for those who call Fort McMurray home.
Just Listed Fort McMurray AB Homes For Sale
About Fort McMurray, AB
Fort McMurray is a tight-knit community that has evolved into an area on the edge of becoming one of Canada’s major cities. Fort McMurray was originally established as an outpost for the Hudson Bay Company but quickly grew to become so much more than just another trading post. This hub of oil and gas exploration has seen an incredible amount of growth in the past few decades due to its close proximity to the Athabasca Oil Sands. Fort McMurray’s economy today is still heavily dependent on the oil and gas industries.
If you’re looking to move the family to Fort McMurray, expect the charm of a smaller town with all the activities and attractions of a major Canadian city. Fort McMurray has many amenities for those who live there including numerous restaurants and shops along with more than 20 different annual festivals that reflect its diverse population including Canada Day celebrations, Folkfest (a summer folk festival), Christmas Festival for Lights, and New Year’s Eve celebrations with fireworks!
Aside from the many festivals, some well-loved attractions in and around Fort McMurray include the Athabasca Oil Sands, Wood Buffalo National Park, and easy access to Banff National Park. Downtown Fort McMurray offers residents plenty of dining, shopping, and entertainment opportunities. Some local favourites to check out are the Fort McMurray Public Library, the Art Gallery of Wood Buffalo and the Heritage Amphitheatre. Fort McMurray is located right in the heart of Canada’s boreal forest, providing residents and visitors alike with endless opportunities for outdoor activities all year round. For an exciting day outdoors, visit the Fort McMurray Wetland Centre, where you can explore the natural habitats of various local birds and wildlife. From urban city life to the rural outskirts, you’re sure to find something for every taste in Fort McMurray.
The Fort McMurray real estate market is a hot spot for those looking to buy and sell properties. With the average price of a home in Fort McMurray ranging from $400,000 to $500,000, it’s no wonder this community has become an attractive option for those looking to relocate. There are many different lifestyles that can be found within this city including urban living with all its amenities, rural life close to nature, or even small-town charm with more of a community feel. A majority of the homes on offer in Fort McMurray are single-family dwellings, but there are plenty of condominiums and townhomes on the market as well.
Fort McMurray Transportation
The Fort McMurray Airport is about an hour south of the city. It’s a smaller regional airport with flights from Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver Island to destinations in British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba. Transportation in Fort McMurray can be done by car or bus; both are readily available at the terminal located just outside of town on Highway 63. The free buses will take you downtown and back until 11:30pm each night, but for those who wish to stay out later there is also cab service offered as long as it has been called ahead of time so that they know when you’re going to need them. The city of Fort McMurray has been designed to be as walkable and bike-friendly as possible. There are many sidewalks throughout the downtown area with more being added every year. For those looking for some serious exercise, it’s highly recommended to rent bikes from one of the locations around town.
Distance to Nearby Cities
- 376km (234 miles) to Edmonton
- 653km (406 miles) to Calgary
- 1095km (680 miles) to Burnaby
- 1095km (680 miles) to Vancouver
Things To Do in Fort McMurray, AB
There are plenty of things to do in Fort McMurray for those who want some recreation on a weekend. Whether you only have a few hours or are looking to fill an entire day, this list offers some of Fort McMurray’s best spots!
- Oil Sands Discovery Centre
- The Oil Sands Discovery Centre is a great place to start your day. This museum offers an interactive tour of the oil sands and provides visitors with information on Fort McMurray’s history. Visitors can also learn about the different jobs available in Fort McMurray related to the extraction process or even try their hand at extracting their own oil from a replica of the plant.
- Fort McMurray Public Library
- Explore Fort McMurray’s history through the Fort McMurray Public Library. Built in 1929, this library is a landmark for the community with its beautiful architecture and elaborate interior design that creates an atmosphere of peace and tranquility on each visit. Visitors can also take advantage of their wide selection of books available to borrow from or enjoy reading at leisurely pace within the library’s beautiful walls.
- MacDonald Island Park
- MacDonald Island Park is a wonderful place to spend the day outdoors with friends and family. The park is home to two beaches, three fishing jetties, and boat docks for residents living in Fort McMurray who own boats or would like to rent one from the city’s marina next door.
- Fort McMurray Heritage Society
- The Fort McMurray Heritage Society was founded in the late 1960s and has been dedicated to preserving local history for over 50 years. They are committed to educating today’s youth about how our future can be impacted by decisions made today, as well as encouraging them to appreciate what we have now through studying the past.
- Aboriginal Interpretive Trail
- The Aboriginal Interpretive Trail is a one mile loop that winds through the bush and across several bridges. The route provides information on how previous inhabitants survived in this region, as well as the native flora in Fort McMurray’s forest.
- Wood Buffalo Viewing Point and Bison Sanctuary
- Wood Buffalo Viewing Point and Bison Sanctuary is a conservation area that offers visitors the chance to see some of Canada’s wildest animals up-close. The 600 acre park also features nature trails, picnic tables, historic buildings, and an interpretive centre about Wood Buffalo National Park.
- Wood Buffalo Museum and Archives
- Wood Buffalo Museum and Archives tells the fascinating story of one of Canada’s largest national parks. The museum features a large collection of Wood Buffalo National Park memorabilia, as well as exhibits about Fort McMurray’s aboriginal heritage, forestry history, local wildlife and natural sciences.
- Points North Gallery
- Points North Gallery is a Fort McMurray cultural landmark that features the work of more than 20 local and regional artists. The gallery hosts rotating exhibitions, workshops for both kids and adults, an education program, as well as guided tours on Saturday mornings.
- Giants of Mining Exhibit
- This exhibition pays homage to Fort McMurray’s rich mining and forestry heritage. Visitors can learn about the early days of Fort McMurray when it was an outpost for fur traders, or walk through a recreated forest with logging machinery representative of those used in local sawmills over the past century.
- Boomtown Casino
- This casino is the only one in Alberta with a full-service restaurant and live entertainment. On Friday nights, guests can enjoy dinner with their favourite band before dancing on to the dance floor for late night fun.
Fort McMurray Day Trips
The best day trips from Fort McMurray are the ones that take you to see Alberta’s diverse landscapes. Whether it is exploring one of our many lakes, taking a boat ride and seeing some of Canada’s largest waterfalls, or walking with bison, there are plenty of escapes for everyone!
- Athabasca River
- The Athabasca River is the world’s northernmost glacier-fed river. It flows from its headwaters near Lake Athabasca in northeastern Alberta into Fort McMurray, and it continues to flow until it reaches Saskatchewan at Fort Chipewyan on Lake Athabasca. As a tiny town in the midst of rolling hills, Athabasca is a relaxing trip for all ages.
- Elk Island National Park
- Elk Island National Park offers a variety of wildlife, birds, and plants. The park is home to many large mammals including elks (of course), deer, coyotes, wolves, waterfowls like geese and cranes, and even more common animals like squirrels. Just about 4 hours of Fort McMurray, this is a great location for those who want to escape the urban city (though it’s still close enough that you can take in some nightlife if you’re looking).
- Gregoire Lake Provincial Park
- Gregoire Lake Provincial Park is a little closer to Fort McMurray, about 30 minutes south. It’s considered a hidden gem with appealing features like Gregoire Lake and its surrounding wetlands. The park also has an interpretive centre which offers guided canoe tours on weekends with knowledgeable staff as well as educational programs for all ages.
- Vista Ridge All Seasons Park
- Vista Ridge All Seasons Park is a beautiful area to visit with your family and friends. The park is about 30 minutes outside of Fort McMurray, and it’s worth the drive if you want to take in nature at its finest. It also has some very scenic lookout points that offer great views for those who enjoy photography or hiking.