Talk:Fort McMurray

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Fort McMurray Community Profile[edit]

As an employee of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, I am not the most suitable editor for the Fort McMurray page (due to a perceived conflict of interest). However, I would like to bring a document to everyone’s attention. It is a current Community Profile Report which is packed with up-to-date, accurate and relevant information which would make a great contribution to the Fort McMurray Wikipedia page. Feel free to use any of this content in future updates.

Download the report via the following links:
PDF File:
Word File:

For your reference on where the report came from and what it is about:

The Community Profile was developed as part of a major community visioning process called Future Forward, initiated by Mayor Blake in 2005 and launched in 2006. It is a multi-staged approach to developing an understanding – as a community – of our vision for our region. In this profile, information is provided about Fort McMurray: its status as the hub of the oil sands region of Alberta; demographics; labor force; social services; and infrastructure. Information in this document is based on numerous studies that have been completed for the RMWB over the past five years, including the 2005 Wood Buffalo Business Case and socio-economic impact assessments completed for oil sands projects.

Communications.tallgirl 20:04, 15 March 2007 (UTC)


Are the pictures appropriate for this article? There just pictures of people in Fort Mac. They don't show any landmarks (a weak case could be made for the arial picture),and really don't have any thing to do with Fort Mac. I could understand a picture of the bridges, or the big red provincial building, but not these. would anyone object to me removing them? Bawolff 05:17, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I agree, keep pictures that show off Fort Mac in all its glory (heh), but remove pictures of people who could be located anywhere. --Yamla 07:26, 2005 Feb 27 (UTC)

I removed them. hopefully i'll be able to get a good picture(s) soon. Bawolff 01:58, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

added picture[edit]

I added a picture of the provincial buildings. Does it look okay? Bawolff 03:39, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

"in all its glory".......laughing my ass off

history section[edit]

Quite incomplete with no references to Fort Mac - just Fort Chipewyan. Any helpers? Svelyka 22:03, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

I've just expanded the History section greatly. Most of it is from The History of Fort McMurray website. (check out the timeline!) Hope that helps. NorthernFire 00:15, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

The history section seems to stop at 1986 or so, and makes no mention of the fact that with the significant increase in energy prices since 1999, there has been massive growth in Ft. McMurray and surrounding areas. If you only read the history section as it is now, you might conclude that the city is a decining area, which is certainly not the case! Some mention of the recent difficulties (housing prices, infstructure, etc.) as a result of the sudden growth would probably also be useful.--Wee Charlie 20:28, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Maybe it's just me, but I don't see how "recent difficulties" would fit in an historical section. --Kmsiever 20:53, 12 October 2007 (UTC)


The aging railway between Fort McMurray and the capital is also in need of improvement, which would allow for the movement of more heavy loads to take place away from the highway, and possibly allow for passenger service as well.

The railroad used to take passangers, but no one used it so it was shutdown. this sentence also seems a little speculative. Bawolff 02:58, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Recently the Railroad company linking Fort McMurray to Boyle (which then connects to the national carrier) went out of business. Athabasca Northern Railway (A.N.Y.) does not exist after failing to find support to pay for the $100M upgrade to the right of way. As such, Fort McMurray no longer has rail service. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:59, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

recent edit[edit]

Could also be changed to "one of the highest prices in Canada" although my provided reference does not mention that.

Change "hamlet" to "community"?[edit]

Just an unrelated question. Anyone up for changing the word "hamlet" to "community"? I propose this since a hamlet refers to a very small community (less than 1000 people usually). However, I did not want to change this as it has been here for a while. Yes? No? Lharvill 01:32, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

agree - Qyd(talk)02:15, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
agree - Zxz 21:58, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
disagree - Yamla 22:42, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Comment. I believe hamlet is a technical term. What's the technical term for communities of Fort Mac's size? If there is one, we should consider using that instead of the vague "community". — Saxifrage 22:31, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Hamlet is the technical term. See Hamlet (place) which mentions Fort McMurray by name. --Yamla 22:42, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Ah, so it's not just size, but a designation that's given by a higher branch of government. — Saxifrage 22:51, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Disagree: I believe you are referring to term 'village', which has a population between 300–1,000. According to Alberta Municipal Affairs, a community is not assigned hamlet status because of size. "The council of a municipal district or specialized municipality can designate an unincorporated community that is within its boundaries to be a hamlet. A community can be a hamlet if it consists of 5 or more dwellings, has a generally accepted boundary and name, and contains land that is used for non-residential purposes."[1] A hamlet is simply an unincorporated community, which Fort McMurray became when it merged with Wood Buffalo. --Kmsiever 00:20, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

This is not true. I am a journalist and I phoned the Wood Buffalo office to get Fort Macmurray's legal status. According to their amalgamation agreement, Fort MacMurray is NOT a hamlet. It is an "urban service area" and is treated as a city in terms of funding.

You can read how to cite your information at WP:CITE. --Yamla 22:09, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Fine I'll cite my story when it's published. But where is the citation that it IS a hamlet? The only link saying that is dead, so any references to it being a hamlet are actually uncited. I'm going to believe the regional administration and delete the hamlet references.

reference #2 (fort mcMurray today - hamlet)[edit]

Is a dead link. (Ft. McMurray today redesigned their site a while back. I think it has something to do with them being bought out. (I think). Anyways, I can't find an equivalent link to the story. Bawolff 07:12, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Yet another reason why it is better to use the cite template instead of just a link. --Kmsiever 15:48, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Alberta Municipal Affairs (2007). "Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo". Retrieved 2007-05-25.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help) says: "Hamlets/urban service areas within the municipal boundary". I supposse "urban service areas" referes to Fort Mac. --Qyd 23:31, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

When incorporated?[edit]

When was it incorporated? Kevlar67 03:36, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Depression in Fort McMurray[edit]

How come there is no mention of how horrible this town is? There are more people depressed in Fort McMurray than anywhere else in Canada and the ones who aren't and have lived there for several years are missing a part of their brain —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:01, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps because it is not true. Do you want to back that claim up? Bawolff (talk) 03:31, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

To inquire in a more constructive manner: Any opinion on the "difficulties" with living in such a remote area? I am considering a move to F M, Most people who enjoy the place may like it because they are involved in outdoor pursuits? Any thing more objective than the only negative entry above? I would like to know more than unsubstantiated retoric thanks in advance for any comments on the possible challanges of living up north Cheers J —Preceding unsigned comment added by Joneveman (talkcontribs) 09:58, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Provincial DAB[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was move.

The use of "Alberta" in the name is not needed since there is no other "Fort McMurray" on WP, and Fort McMurray was already redirecting to the page Fort McMurray, Alberta. Similar cases are found at Calgary, Edmonton, and Lethbridge. Also note that the category is Category:Fort McMurray, and the article and the category should conform where possible. Snocrates 22:52, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

per naming convention Wikipedia:Naming conventions (settlements)#Canada such moves are not to be completed before consensus is reached. --Qyd (talk) 16:35, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I support this move, as per WP:CSG. --Kmsiever (talk) 02:43, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Support as well. Fort McMurray already redirects here. Move consistent with intent of WP:CSG. Skeezix1000 (talk) 14:50, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

The issue was first raised three and a half months ago, and the move is unopposed. Skeezix1000 (talk) 20:25, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


I just got an email from the RMWB Web Content Coordinator saying the info was incorrect, but she couldn't fix it due to CoI. Anyways, I think its accurate now. Bawolff (talk) 03:58, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

oh, appears to be vandalism - [2]. Bawolff (talk) 04:07, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Bawolff - it's back up there now. Maybe their IP address should be blocked or something. (If you can do that.) Communications.tallgirl (talk) 10:15, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

It didn't come back. the link I gave above is a permanent link to the revision that changed the weather originally. Bawolff (talk) 06:44, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Depression in Fort McMurray[edit]

Any opinion on the "difficulties" with living in such a remote area? Most people who enjoy there time there must be involved in outdoor pursuits? Any thing more objective than the only negative entry so far "Depression" entry. I would like to know more than unsubstantiated retoric thanks in advance for any comments on the possible challanges of living up north Cheers Jay —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:47, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

New oil-based prosperity in Fort McMurray[edit]

I added a video showcasing the new prosperity in Fort McMurray thanks to the wealth generated from the oil sand processing. Now, could someone please care to add everything about how it's fast becoming a boomtown thanks to these oil deposits? --Let Us Update Special:Ancientpages. 23:33, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Housing Prices High?[edit]

"Housing prices and rents are far higher in Fort McMurray than one would expect in such a remote area."

Er... Is that very badly worded, or did its author really think that housing in a more remote area would be cheaper? Perhaps others who make that assumption could elaborate on why, because as someone who has lived in remote areas, it's a mystery to me. rakslice (talk) 01:25, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Natasha Henstridge...[edit] from Newfoundland & Labrador. The article is wrong. --Bentonia School (talk) 03:54, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Actually, she was born in Newfoundland. Her family moved to Alberta when she was four. The article is right. --Kmsiever (talk) 20:56, 10 November 2008 (UTC)


I was under the impression there were more waterways than just the Athabasca, and Clearwater - Isn't there also the house river and like 4 others? Bawolff (talk) 07:17, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Alberta which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. 117Avenue (talk) 00:43, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Mobile homes[edit]

One aspect of Fort McMurray not discussed in the article is the large percentage of the community's residential areas that are made up of mobile homes/trailer parks. If you look at the aerial views on Google Maps this becomes clear, especially in the south and northwest. It probably reflects the transient nature of much of the population, but perhaps some statistics as to how many residents live in mobile accommodation might be worth adding? (talk) 13:24, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

I've added a breakdown of all dwelling unit types to the "Municipal census" subsection. Population by dwelling unit type are statistics that are not readily available. Hwy43 (talk) 03:58, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

This article needs a new lede[edit]

I wrote a new one and it got reverted with the edit summary "revert to longstanding stable lead that summarizes article". I couldn't disagree more. The fact that one version is long-standing doesn't mean that it serves our readers well. And I fail to see how the minutiae of "Improvement District No. 143" and the change from a Municipality to a Regional Municipality summarize the main text. Fort Mac is, unfortunately, in the news, and new readers from around the world will be coming to this article. The lede should tell them in a few sentences what the place is like. The current ("longstanding stable" - but inadequate) version has not much but the administrative history of being a city, and then not a city. Here is my proposed version:

Fort McMurray is an oil town in Alberta, Canada. It is located in the north of the province, in the middle of the Athabasca oil sands and boreal forest. It is predominantly a single industry boomtown, and as such is prone to severe economic swings. It plays a significant role in the past and present of the development of the national petroleum industry.

I welcome efforts to improve this. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 14:59, 5 May 2016 (UTC)

Some of this borders on commentary, but the geographic info and the statement about its industry notability are appropriate summaries of the article. I'm going to be bold and incorporate them into the lede. -Jason A. Quest (talk) 19:02, 5 May 2016 (UTC)
Some of this may be fine, but the existing lead summarized portions of the article, as it should, but admittedly only summarizes a portion of the article. It is not acceptable to cut and paste the summary information into a new section within the article that is inconsistent with WP:CCSG and making information repeated twice in two different locations within the article outside the lead. Furthermore, this lead follows a similar convention to most if not all other urban communities in Alberta. Therefore, the opportunity I see here is to expand the lead, not to remove things from the lead or copyedit it so that it no longer follows the convention established for Alberta urban community articles. Hwy43 (talk) 19:08, 5 May 2016 (UTC)
JasonAQuest, outstanding boldness. I replied above before actually looking at what you did and it suited exactly what I stated above to a tee. Well done. Cheers, Hwy43 (talk) 19:15, 5 May 2016 (UTC)
Related: Can someone tell me why my {{Current related}} was removed. It certainly does no harm, and it's appropriate. StevenJ81 (talk) 19:28, 5 May 2016 (UTC)
The editor that removed it did not provide a proper explanation, but it has since been returned. Hwy43 (talk) 04:01, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
I saw. Thanks. StevenJ81 (talk) 13:05, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for including most of the important overview in the first paragraph. I still think the very first sentence is clunky, but the first paragraph is definitely an improvement, and anyone reading the lede on their little phone screen will have a better sense of what the place is like.
I suggest a further improvement. The very first sentence:
Fort McMurray is an urban service area in the Regional Municipality (RM) of Wood Buffalo in Alberta, Canada.
is unintuitive, in that the introduction is based on click-away technical terms, unhelpful to most readers. I suggest:
Fort McMurray is a city in Alberta, Canada.
with a footnote on the word "city", linking to an explanation that it's generally known as such, but technically isn't, and there is no agreed definition of a city anyway. Then USAs and RMs can go in the next paragraph - which they do anyway, in a repetitive fashion, and without any links, which makes the lede unbalanced. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 13:03, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
The term "city" is not correct. It is an incorrect colloquial term. It is not Wikipedia's place to perpetuate incorrect facts. We need to be WP:FORMAL. As the colloquialism is in widespread usage however, it is satisfactorily addressed later in the lead. Hwy43 (talk) 14:43, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
It is a "community" however. Perhaps we could use this term to start out with. Air.light (talk) 15:02, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
"Community" is more intelligible than "urban service area", that's for sure. I've just re-read Wikipedia:Readers first. It's an essay, not a policy, with good solid guidelines: "Remember the audience is wide and the audience is international – merely thinking about this will help. Try to avoid jargon – but where it is particularly relevant or where it is necessary, explain all jargon clearly on the article page – a link to another article is not enough. Use common words, phrases and styles rather than less common words, phrase and styles." Carbon Caryatid (talk) 15:23, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
Where it is not immediately understood what an unusual community status type means, such as urban service areas, we have used language along the lines of "Fort McMurray is a community that is designated an urban service area in ...". I would be accepting of that, or the slightly more detailed "unincorporated community" or "hamlet" (see List of hamlets in Alberta; an urban service area is a type of hamlet in the Alberta context). Hwy43 (talk) 20:57, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
By all means have USA, with an in-sentence gloss, in the second paragraph. It does not, in my opinion, make the article welcoming or easy to understand to have that term in the very first words. Fort Mac may be "a type of hamlet in the Alberta context" (though I suspect that may be true for relatively few Albertans who aren't lawyers, town planners, or city councillors). A place of circa 88 000 people is not a hamlet in the Wikipedia context, i.e. in the understanding of the vast majority of readers who come to us for information. Distinguishing the correct use of terminology is important, granted, but I maintain that it doesn't belong in the first sentence (or indeed paragraph). I still favour my suggestion, "Fort McMurray is a city in Alberta" with an explanatory footnote at "city", a brief correct description in the lede, and the history of the designations in the body. However, if the consensus of editors here is to write this article for Alberta readers, I will leave you to it. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 09:23, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
Would "municipality" be inappropriate? Curly Turkey 🍁 ¡gobble! 09:35, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
Fort McMurray has not been a municipality for the past 21 years and counting. Hwy43 (talk) 18:38, 7 May 2016 (UTC)

Current related[edit]

@StevenJ81: WP:CET states that the templates may be used to warn about the "fast-changing state of the article" and are not "to mark an article that merely has recent news articles about the topic". This article does not need to be constantly updated because of the ongoing wildfire. This article is, and has always been, about the community, and is not fastly changing. I think that this article does not need a disclaimer, it is a good article. 117Avenue (talk) 23:25, 7 May 2016 (UTC)

Health care in Fort McMurray[edit]

I would expect the Fort McMurray#Infrastructure section to have a subsection "Health care" and a mention of the city's hospital, Northern Lights Regional Health Centre ([3]). (talk) 11:39, 13 May 2016 (UTC)

Depictions in Popular Media[edit]

Been thinking of starting a section like this of Fort Mac in the movies, books, poetry etc. For instance Alistair Maclean's novel "Athabasca" is partially set in Fort McMurray. ISBN 0-449-24429-6 — Preceding unsigned comment added by R.M.McKernan (talkcontribs) 01:15, 29 June 2016 (UTC)

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