Edmonton, the capital city of Alberta, Canada, is a vibrant and thriving city situated in the heart of the province. Known for its rich cultural scene, natural beauty, and strong economy, Edmonton attracts thousands of people from across the country and around the world every year.

If you are considering a move, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons of living in Edmonton to make an informed decision. In this blog post, we will delve into the question, ‘Is Edmonton a good place to live?’ to help you decide whether this city is the right fit for you.

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Pros of living in Edmonton

Lets take a look at some of the pros of living in Edmonton, Alberta.

Great quality of life

Edmonton is known for its excellent quality of life. The city has a low crime rate compared to other Canadian cities, making it a safe place to live. The city has numerous parks, trails, and outdoor spaces, including the beautiful river valley, making it easy for residents to stay active and healthy.

Additionally, West Edmonton Mall, one of the largest malls in North America, provides a unique shopping and entertainment experience for residents and visitors.

Affordable cost of living

Compared to other major Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver, the cost of living in Edmonton is relatively low. Housing costs, utilities, and groceries are all affordable, making it easier for residents to save money. According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Edmonton is 17% lower than in Toronto and 25% lower than in Vancouver. Additionally, fuel prices are often lower in Edmonton than in other cities, making it a more affordable place to live.

Strong economy and employment opportunities

Edmonton has a strong job market driven by the oil and gas industry, agriculture, and manufacturing. The city has a low unemployment rate, and there are plenty of job opportunities in various sectors. Some of the major employers in Edmonton include the Government of Alberta, the University of Alberta, and Alberta Health Services. If you are looking for employment opportunities, Edmonton is a great place to start.

edmonton skyline

Diverse culture and entertainment scene

Edmonton is a city that embraces diversity and celebrates it through its festivals, events, and cultural activities. The city hosts several events throughout the year, such as the Edmonton International Fringe Festival, Heritage Festival, and the Folk Music Festival. These events provide an opportunity for residents and visitors to experience different cultures and traditions. In addition to the festivals, Edmonton has a vibrant entertainment scene with numerous bars, pubs, and nightclubs. If you enjoy live music, theatre, or comedy, Edmonton is the place for you.

Access to education

Edmonton is home to several top-ranked universities and colleges, including the University of Alberta, MacEwan University, and NorQuest College. These institutions offer a wide range of programs and courses, making it easy for students to find the right fit for their education needs. In addition, Edmonton has an excellent public school system, making it a great place to raise a family.

Access to nature and outdoor recreation

Edmonton is located near several national parks, including Banff and Jasper National Park. These parks offer a range of outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, skiing, and camping. In addition, Edmonton has numerous parks, trails, and outdoor spaces within the city, making it easy for residents to enjoy nature and outdoor recreation activities.

edmonton winter skyline
Image via Travel Alberta

Cons of living in Edmonton

Let’s take a look at some of the cons of living in Edmonton, Alberta.

Harsh winter weather

One of the biggest drawbacks of living in Edmonton is the harsh winter weather. The city experiences long and cold winters, with temperatures dropping to as low as -30ยฐC. The winter season can last up to six months, making it challenging to stay active and enjoy outdoor activities. If you are not a fan of cold weather, moving to Edmonton may not be the right choice for you.

Limited public transportation

Edmonton has a limited public transportation system compared to other major Canadian cities. The city has a bus and light rail transit system, but it may not be as extensive as other cities. This can make it challenging for residents who do not have access to a car to get around the city. However, the city is working on improving its public transportation system, and there are plans to expand the light rail transit system in the coming years. In the meantime, it may be more convenient for some residents to have access to a car to navigate the city.

High property taxes

While the cost of living in Edmonton is relatively low, property taxes can be high compared to other Canadian cities. This is due to the city’s high property values and the need to fund essential services like healthcare and education. Homeowners in Edmonton should expect to pay a higher property tax rate than in other cities.

edmonton traffic
Image via Travel Alberta

Traffic congestion

Like other major Canadian cities, Edmonton experiences traffic congestion during rush hour. This can make commuting challenging for residents who work downtown or in other busy areas of the city. The city is working on improving its transportation infrastructure to reduce traffic congestion, but this is an ongoing process.

Limited job diversity

While Edmonton has a strong job market, it is heavily reliant on the oil and gas industry. This means that job opportunities may be limited in other sectors, which can be a disadvantage for residents who are looking for a job outside of this industry. However, there are still plenty of job opportunities in other sectors, including healthcare, education, and government.


When evaluating the question, ‘Is Edmonton a good place to live?’, it’s essential to consider various aspects. Overall, living in Edmonton, Alberta can be a great choice with several advantages, including a diverse culture, affordable cost of living, strong job market, and great quality of life. However, like every city, there are also some drawbacks to living in Edmonton, such as harsh winter weather, limited public transportation, high property taxes, traffic congestion, limited job diversity, and limited cultural diversity.

By weighing both the pros and cons of living in Edmonton, you can make an informed decision and enjoy all that this city has to offer.

Nicola Wightman

Nicola Wightman is a regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) under the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC). Her professional immigration consultant number is R706497.

Learn more about Edmonton

You will find helpful information about setting up in this vibrant and lively city.

Edmonton city guides
calgary vs edmonton for new immigrants

City living: Calgary vs Edmonton For New Immigrants

Discover the unique charm and character of Calgary and Edmonton - two of Canada's most vibrant cities. Compare the cost of living, weather, amenities and more to help decide which city is the better option for you.

Are you ready to get started, or not sure which option is best for you?

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