I can't believe the answers to this question! Edmonton is not far north. That would be Inuvik.
The city has a metropolitan population over 1 million. Edmonton is well known for it's river valley, which attracts many people for hiking, running, biking, canoeing and other adventures. We have a very hip, vibrant shopping area on Whyte Ave with many local businesses. As someone else mentioned, there are many farmer's markets in town, some year round. The downtown is fairly vibrant and clean, there is a brand new art gallery with amazing architecture, a wonderful square for meetings and festivals, etc etc. We are known as "festival city" as there are many festivals each year including the Fringe festival, Street Performers, Taste of Edmonton, Cariwest, etc. Shopping is popular, especially with West Edmonton Mall, one of the world's largest malls. It houses a full-sized amusement park, a waterpark, an ice arena, live sea lion shows, underwater caverns and submarine rides, multiple mini-golf and laser tag games, and tons of very high end shops.
For recreation, a lot of people make use of the amazing river valley trails. When you're down in the river valley you can forget you're in the city at all! Also, there is a zoo, many libraries, a royal museum, various other museums, many sporting events (including NHL and CFL), etc. For getting away, people can go to Jasper in the Rocky Mountains.
Business is varied like any modern city, but Alberta has a particular focus on oil and gas production. Many people come to the area for those jobs or jobs in hospitality and service (primarily immigrants). We have a very large, internationally respected University that also attracts people.
I am not sure why people complain about the cold. Here are all the things we DON'T have: earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes (rare), mudslides, avalanches, tsunamis, monsoons, floods. Yeah, you have to wear a toque and mitts for 4-5 months of the year while you enjoy sledding, skating, skiing and snowboarding, but you don't have to endure any natural disasters.
And now you know .... :-)
Answered By: Lissy. - 11/13/2011