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Population & demographics

Total population


Population age (%)

0-19 (28%)20-34 (23%)35-49 (28%)50-64 (17%)65+ (4%)


Average household income


Household composition (%)

Single person (24%)Multi person (7%)Single Family (68%)

Owners / Renters (%)

Owners (67%)Renters (33%)

Mother Tongue (%)

English (82%)Tagalog (Pilipino, Filipino) (5%)Others (4%)French (2%)Gujarati (1%)Arabic (1%)Urdu (1%)

Why live in Fort McMurray?

Situated smack dab in the centre of the Athabasca oil sands, Fort McMurray grew to the size it is today due to the oil and gas industry. There’s no denying that this industry has had a serious impact on the city and continues to have one today. Primarily, the proximity of the city to the tar sands has resulted in ample economic opportunities, including many high-paying jobs in the energy sector. As you might suspect, many of the biggest employers in Fort McMurray are oil companies, such as Syncrude, Suncor, Shell, and ExxonMobil. That said, as times have changed and the world begins to move away from the consumption of oil, Fort McMurray has adapted and diversified their economy. Now, there are also a number of jobs in the growing transportation, logistics, construction, environmental, and tourism industries. Regardless of your preferred industry, the job market is strong in Fort McMurray, which is just one of the reasons that people choose to move to this northern Alberta city. On top of this, the cost of living in Fort McMurray is significantly lower than in many other Canadian cities. Housing is below the national average and gas prices are far cheaper than you will find in other parts of the country. Attractions that make Fort McMurray an exciting place to live include the Fort McMurray Heritage Village, the Oil Sands Discovery Centre, Peter Pond Mall, the Fort McMurray Golf Club, and Vista Ridge All Seasons Park. Locals can also have fun at the city’s bowling alley, escape room centre, and wellness spa. Given the city’s more remote location, you can bet that getting outdoors is a popular pastime among locals. MacDonald Island Park, Borealis Park, Gipsy Lake Wildland Provincial Park, Hangingstone Provincial Recreation Area, Engstrom Lake Provincial Recreation Area, and Maqua Lake Provincial Recreation Area all provide ample opportunities to enjoy nature. Activities that you can partake in include swimming, boating, hiking, camping, snowmobile, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Finally, despite its small size, sports abound in Fort McMurray. The region is home to several teams, leagues, and clubs, like the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), the Fort McMurray Giants of the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL), and the Keyano Huskies of the Alberta Colleges Athletics Conference (ACAC).

Quality and diversity of education in Fort McMurray

The Fort McMurray Public School District (FMPSD) and Fort McMurray Catholic School Division jointly run the region’s public schools. Between the two school districts, residents can receive religious instruction, French-language instructions, and English-language instructions. Westwood Community High School (which has advanced placement classes), Ecole McTavish Public High School, Fort McMurray Composite High School, and École Boréal are a few of the main public schools in Fort McMurray. Meanwhile, private schools include North Fort Private School, Fort McMurray Christian School, and Fort McMurray Montessori Group of Schools. When it comes to post-secondary school, there is one college in Fort McMurray: Keyano College. Keyano College primarily specializes in training oil workers, many of whom end up working at the Athabasca Tar Sands. That said, the province of Alberta at large is home to many top-rated universities. For example, Edmonton, which is roughly four and a half hours south of Fort McMurray, is home to the University of Alberta, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, MacEwan University, the University of Lethbridge - Edmonton Campus, Concordia University of Edmonton, The King’s University, Athabasca University - Edmonton, and CDI College.

Most populous cities in Fort McMurray

The primary neighbourhoods that Fort McMurray consists of are Eagle Ridge, Dickinsfield, Waterways, Duncan, Grayling Terrace, Westview, Cartier Heights, Aspen Gardens, Bear Ridge, River View Heights, and Beacon Hill Centre.

Quality of infrastructure for Fort McMurray

Fort McMurray Transit is the public transportation system that operates in Fort McMurray. It offers a variety of bus routes that go all over the city, as well as to the neighbouring hamlets and towns of Anzac, Janvier, Conklin, and Fort McKay. Convenient connections from Fort McMurray to Edmonton are provided by coach bus services Ebus and Red Arrow. Speaking of Edmonton, while there is no passenger train that goes to Fort McMurray, Via Rail does operate a train line that stops in Edmonton. Trains can be taken to Jasper, BC, and even eastern Canada. Due to Fort McMurray’s far north location, many locals prefer to get around by car. The main highway that connects the region with the rest of Alberta is Highway AB-63. If you prefer to travel by plane or need to fly internationally, you are in luck because the city is home to Fort McMurray International Airport, the largest airport in northern Alberta. Air Canada, McMurray Aviation, Northwestern Air, and WestJet all operate flights out of this airport, with some of the most frequent destinations being Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, and Toronto. Once in a major city like Calgary, Toronto, or Montreal, travel is made easy to almost anywhere in the world. Moving on to healthcare, the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre is the largest hospital in Fort McMurray. There are a number of other clinics providing medical services, such as Signal Road Medical Clinic, Walk In Community Care Clinic, and Wood Buffalo Primary Care Network.

Safety and security for Fort McMurray

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have a Fort McMurray detachment that is responsible for patrolling and monitoring safety in the region. Emergency services are available all throughout the region by calling 9-1-1.

Fort McMurray property market

Fort McMurray has a surprisingly diverse property market for a city of its size. It also has a refreshingly affordable market, especially when compared to other cities in Alberta and Canada at large. In Fort McMurray, the types of properties you will find include townhomes, condos, apartments, and semi-detached homes, though the majority of the market is dominated by detached, single-family homes.

Standard of living in Fort McMurray

The quality of life in Fort McMurray is high. With excellent transportation, education, and healthcare infrastructure, as well as a booming economy and a wide range of cultural and recreational amenities, there are many reasons to consider settling down in Fort McMurray.

Something wonderful about Fort McMurray

Want to hear something interesting about Fort McMurray? Despite the name, the city was never a fort. Back in 1870, the Hudson’s Bay Company erected a trading post in the region, naming it after chief trader William McMurray. Fast forward over 75 years to 1947 when Fort McMurray integrated with the neighbouring community of Waterways to become the village of McMurray. It wasn’t until 1962 that the word “Fort” was added to the name. This was done to reflect the region’s history as a trade hub, even though it was never technically a fort, only a post.