Alberta Fast Facts

Canada's sunniest province!

 

Air Access

Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta’s 2 major cities, have modern international airports. For more information on air travel to Alberta, contact a travel agent or:

Edmonton – 1.800.268.7134 or visit www.flyeia.com

Calgary – 1.877.254.7427 or visit www.calgaryairport.com

 

Alcohol and Tobacco Products

Visitors 18 years or older who are going to be in Canada for more than 48 hours may import only one of the following amounts without paying duty:

Alcohol (one of the following)

  • 1.5 litres (53 ounces) of wine
  • 1.4 litres (40 ounces) or liquor
  • A total of 1.4 litres (40 ounces) or wine and liquor
  • Or 24 x 355 milliliter (12 ounces) cans or bottles (maximum of 8.5 litres) of beer or ale.

Tobacco

  • 200 cigarettes
  • 50 cigars or cigarillos
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) of manufactured tobacco
  • and 200 tobacco sticks

 

Area

661,848 sq km (255,541 sq mi)

Capital City

Edmonton

Firearm Laws

All firearms and weapons must be declared to the Canada Border Services Agency as they may require special import permits or they may be prohibited. For declarations forms and additional information contact:

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Canada Firearms Centre, Ottawa ON, K1A OR2
Phone: 1.800.731.4000 (North America)
Fax: 1.613.825.0297
Website: www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca

 

Fishing and Hunting

Fishing licenses outside the National Parks can be purchased from select sporting goods stores, convenience stores and/or gas stations. Call 1.888.944.5494 for the location nearest to you. Hunting and special licensing requirements vary depending on the type of hunting. Hunting is absolutely prohibited in the National Parks. For more information contact:

Sustainable Resource Development Information Centre
Main Floor, 9920 – 108 Street
Edmonton AB, T5K 2M4
Website: www.srd.gov.ab.ca

 

Helmets

Are required for all riders of motorcycles.

Highest Point

Mount Columbia at the Columbian Icefield (3,747 m or 12,293 ft).

Highway Access

Alberta is accessible from the east and west by two officially designated Trans-Canadian Routes; Highway 1 in the South and Trans-Canada Yellowhead Highway 16 in Central Alberta. The Northern Woods and Water Route in Northern Alberta and the Historic Crowsnest Corridor (Highway 3) in Southern Alberta provide other travel opportunities.

Holidays
 
  • New Year’s Day, January 1
  • Alberta Family Day, February 15
  • Good Friday, March 25
  • Easter Monday, March 28
  • Victoria Day, May 23
  • Canada Day, July 1
  • Heritage Day, August 1
  • Labour Day, September 5
  • Thanksgiving Day, October 10
  • Remembrance Day, November 11
  • Christmas Day, December 25
  • Boxing Day, December 26
Hostelling

Hostels vary from basic (bed and kitchen facilities) to superior standard (family rooms, showers, laundry, licensed café and sauna). Alberta offers hostels in locations such as Banff, Jasper, Waterton, Kananaskis Country, David Thompson Country, Calgary and Edmonton. For more information contact:

Hi - Pacific Mountain Region
Phone: 1.800.661.0020
Website: www.hihostels.ca

 

Lowest Point

Salt River at the northeast border with the Northwest Territories (183 m or 600 ft).

Metric Conversion

Canada uses the metric system. Temperature, rainfall, measures, distance, weights and velocity are expressed in metric units. Distance and speed are measured in kilometres, gas is sold by the litre and temperature is measure in Celsius. The following conversions may be useful:

Liquid:
1 Imperial gallon = 4.5 Litres
1 American gallon = 3.8 Litres

Speed:
100 kilometres per hour = 62 miles per hour
 
Temperature:
-10 °C = 14 °F
0 °C = 32 °F
20 °C = 68 °F
30 °C = 86 °F
Distance:
Miles x 1.6 = Kilometres
Kilometres x 0.6 = Miles
Weight:
1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds
500 grams = 1.1 pounds

 

Pets

Pets must be accompanied by their owner when entering Canada. Owners of dogs and cats must bring a certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian clearly identifying the pet and certifying that it has been vaccinated against rabies within the preceding 36 months. There are exceptions made for service dogs and puppies or kittens that are younger than 3 months old. For more information about bringing pets into Canada, please visit www.inspection.gc.ca.

 

Plants and Animals

As part of our front line defense against pests and diseases, certain items are restricted or prohibited because they can harbor foreign animals and plant pests and diseases that could pose a risk to humans, plant or animal health and cause irreparable harm to Canada’s crops, livestock, pets and environment. Because of this threat, traveler are required to declare any meats, fruits, vegetables, plants, animals, and plant or animal products they bring into the country.

 

Population

3,687,662 (Statistics Canada – July 2009).

     
Prescription Drugs

If you are importing prescription drugs, please ensure they are clearly identified. The drugs should be in their original packaging, with a label that specifies what they are and that they are being used under prescription. If this is not possible carry a copy of the prescription or a letter from your doctor.

Radar Detectors

Permitted

Seat Belt & Child Restraint Laws

Seat belts are required for drivers and all passengers over the age of 5. Child restraints are required for those under age 6 and weighing less than 18 kilograms (40 lbs).

Taxes

Alberta is the only province in Canada with no Provincial Sales Tax (PST). However, the 5% Goods & Services Tax (GST) on most purchases and 4% Provincial Tourism Levy on hotels rooms are applicable.

Telephones

Alberta has 3 area codes – 403, 780 and 587. 10-digit dialing is required for all local calls. Travelers wishing to place a call within Alberta, Canada or North American can use any one of the following procedures:

Collect or Calling Card: Dial 0 + area code + local number. If you are using a calling card, complete the above procedures wait for a tone and enter your calling card number. If you wish to make a collect call, wait for the tone and follow the instructions given. If you have questions, simply dial 0 to speak to an operator.                  Direct Dialing: Dial 1 + area code + the number you are trying to reach. If you are calling from a pay phone you will receive instructions on how much currency to insert to connect the call (most pay phones also accept major credit cards). If you are calling from a hotel be aware that your call will be charged to your room.

 

Time Zone

Mountain Standard Time

Train Access

Alberta has scheduled transcontinental rail service by VIA Rail. Stops are scheduled in Edmonton and Jasper. In the United States, VIA Rail can be booked in conjunction with AMTRAK. For more information visit www.viarail.ca.

UNESCO

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. There are 851 natural and man-made wonders on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, places whose loss would impoverish humankind. These sites are so significant that responsibility for their protection belongs not just to their host locations, but also the world.

There are 15 UNESCO sites in Canada – Alberta is fortunate to host 5 of them. They include:

  • Dinosaur Provincial Park
  • Canada Rocky Mountain Parks
  • Waterton Lakes National Park
  • Wood Buffalo National Park
  • Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo Jump