Welcome to Fort McMurray, Canada – home to one of Alberta’s and Canada’s major hubs of oil production. Fort McMurray is the largest settlement in the Athabasca Oil Sands which has doubled its population since the 1980s. The town is serenely nestled in the Boreal forest at the joining of the Clearwater and Athabasca River and is situated 1,210ft (370 metres) above sea level. Although quite remote, the surrounding natural beauty has a lot to offer.
Weather in Fort McMurray
Fort McMurray weather is known for its humidity. Expect to experience long, cold winters and short, warm summers. During the winter months the temperatures here average -18 degrees Celsius but can be as low as -35 degrees Celsius, while temperatures in July average 16.8 degrees Celsius.
Mountain Standard Time
Getting around Fort McMurray
A car of your own is highly recommended in this part of Canada. There is public transport system in operation in Fort McMurray with 16 regular bus routes operating every day . However, as this is a regional area the schedule may not suit all.
Fort McMurray Tourism Information Centre
Located just off Highway 63 Fort McMurray Information Centre can help get you orientated in the area. Call 780.791.4336, email them on firstname.lastname@example.org or check out their website www.fortmcmurraytourism.com for further information.
Fort McMurray Airport
Fort McMurray Airport (YYM) is located 7 miles southeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Fort McMurray Airport is a community-based organisation that has operated the Fort McMurray Airport since 2010. In 2013, the airport was granted official status as a Port of Entry into Canada with Customs so workers activate their work permits upon arrival.
Jobs in Fort McMurray
Working in Fort McMurray provides excellent earning opportunities in the natural resources or engineering sectors with a wide scope for career development. The major oil sands projects are located north of the town. Suncor and Syncrude are near Fort McMurray, while CNRL, Shell, and Esso are approximately one hour north of Fort McMurray in a small town called Fort Mackay. Most companies will provide transportation to and from the site. Shift work is common and often workers will work patterns such as 14 days on and 7 days off. As wages are high and work periods intense, many workers spend just some of the year working in Fort McMurray and then use their earnings to travel. Check out the Go4less Jobs board for Fort McMurray jobs!
Fort McMurray Housing
Prices for rental accommodation in Fort McMurray are quite a lot higher than you might expect for such a remote area. Housing prices are some of the highest in Alberta with a typical rent of approx. $3500 for a 3 bed house.
Many workers live on camps provided by the mining companies in the area. The camps are semi-permanent settlements which can house in excess of a thousand workers. Standards vary but many are very comfortable furnished rooms equipped with TV and internet, meals and gym facilities.
Fort McMurray Must See Attractions
The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)
When in Fort McMurray you can’t miss the incredible northern lights. It is a major coup for the area to have this world renowned natural attraction in this part of the country which brings busloads of tourists from other parts of Canada and Northern America to view the stunning natural light show.
Athabasca Oil Sands Discovery Centre
If you wish to find out all there is to know about oil and why Fort McMurray has prospered from it, visit the Athabasca Oil Sands Discovery Centre. A trip to the largest oil sand development in the world is paramount for every visitor to this part of Canada. Discover how this black gold is extracted, which sees Alberta second only to Saudi Arabia in terms of oil reserves.
Mac Donald Island Park
A trip to the Mac Donald Island Park is a must for a day of relaxation. Here you will find a water park, fitness centre, aquatic centre, curling rink, golf course, and an art gallery.
Gregoire Lake Provincial Park
This is a great place to visit during the Summer and Winter months. If you come here in the Summer you can take part in boating, hiking to lazing on the beach and enjoying the weather. Winter sees outdoor activities including cross country skiing, snowshoe and snowmobile. These activities take you through the snowy Boreal Forest which is located only 30km southeast of Fort McMurray.
Stroll through the lavish grounds, tour the historic buildings and discover the rich artefacts that are located here. If you wish to go back in time – why don’t you check out the river boats that are located at Marine Park. This is Alberta’s only remaining shipyard and definitely worth a visit.
Canadians love their ice hockey and Fort McMurray it is no different. Take in an ice-hockey game when you are here. Cheer on the local team – the Fort McMurray Oil Barons.
Nightlife in Fort McMurray
Fort McMurray has a number of night-time venues mainly in the downtown area.
Annual Fort McMurray Festivals
Interplay: This is one of Fort McMurray’s most beloved art festivals. Interplay has provided a platform for local and international entertainers to showcase their talents. Interplay is one of the most popular events in the area. Over 20,000 visitors make their way to Fort McMurray’s Downtown area each year for the Wood Buffalo Premier visual and performing arts festival.
Blueberry Festival: The Blueberry Festival includes the famous Fish Fry, numerous concerts in the park by local artists, the chilli cook off, the rubber duck race plus much more besides.
Big Spirit Festival: Come and enjoy this lively festival, which celebrates everything that Wood Buffalo has to offer. Enjoy a concert at the Country Music Jubilee and don’t forget to try some of Fort McMurray’s scrumptious local cuisine.
Nexen Canada Rocks: To celebrate Canada Day, this concert shouldn’t be missed. Here visitors both local and international will have the opportunity of listening to some of the biggest names in entertainment in Canada.