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Fort McMurray

Trip Planner Canada  /  Alberta  /  Fort McMurray
(3/5 based on 360+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: museums, fun & games, nightlife
Fort McMurray, once named McMurray, is an urban service area in the Regional Municipality (R.M.) of Wood Buffalo in Alberta, Canada. Formerly a city, it became an urban service area when it amalgamated with Improvement District No. 143 on April 1, 1995, to create the Municipality of Wood Buffalo (renamed the R.M. of Wood Buffalo on August 14, 1996). Despite its current official designation of urban service area, many locals, politicians and the media still refer to Fort McMurray as a city. Fort McMurray was known as McMurray between 1947 and 1962.The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is Canada's most affluent city, with an average household income of $191,507.HistoryBefore the arrival of Europeans in the late 18th Century, the Cree were the dominant First Nations people in the Fort McMurray area. The Athabasca Oil Sands were known to the locals and the surface deposits were used to waterproof their canoes. In 1778, the first European explorer, Peter Pond, came to the region in search of furs, as the European demand for this commodity at the time was strong. Pond explored the region farther south along the Athabasca River and the Clearwater River, but chose to set up a trading post much farther north by the Athabasca River near Lake Athabasca. However, his post closed in 1788 in favour of Fort Chipewyan, now the oldest continuous settlement in Alberta.
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