The capital of Alberta, Edmonton is located three hours north of Calgary and marks the gateway to Alberta's vast north. Known as Canada's Festival City Edmonton hosts a series of annual festivals featuring vibrant and fun-filled showcases of theatre, visual arts, music, history, cuisine, and comedy. In fact, Edmonton boasts one of the richest and most dynamic arts communities of any city in the country. The stunning North Saskatchewan River valley is home to Edmonton's lush park system that winds through the centre of the city, providing the longest expanse of continuous urban parkland in North America, as well as year-round recreational opportunities. Edmonton's historical roots date back to 1795, when the Hudson's Bay Company trading post, known as "Edmonton House," was established. Trading began with the Cree and Blackfoot Indians for animal pelts and, by 1826, Fort Edmonton was developing into a mercantile centre and main stopping point to Canada's north and the Pacific. Discover the sophistication of a modern city combined with the warmth of western hospitality when you visit Edmonton. The city takes pride in its uniqueness from world-famous West Edmonton Mall, the distinctive Old Strathcona district to its lush parks stretching throughout the beautiful North Saskatchewan River valley.