East Central Alberta is a region of Central Alberta, to the east and southeast of Edmonton up to the Saskatchewan border.

Lloydminster border marker

CitiesEdit

 
Map of East Central Alberta
  • 1 Lloydminster — agricultural town that straddles the border with Saskatchewan
  • 2 Tofield — home to Beaverhill Lake, an important bird habitat
  • 3 Vegreville — an agricultural community with strong ties to the Ukrainian community, and hone to the world's biggest Ukrainian Easter egg
  • 4 Vermilion — a welcome relief from people travelling along the Yellowhead Highway
  • 5 Wainwright — home to an 845-m-long steel railway trestle bridge

Other destinationsEdit

  • 1 Kalyna Country – Alberta's Ukrainian ethnic enclave which includes many small farming villages

UnderstandEdit

In 1870 the Hudson's Bay Company sold its claim over the region to Canada, and Canada then negotiated treaties with the First Nations, confining them to small reserves in exchange for food and medicine (the bison were nearly extinct by this time due to overhunting). A promised railway connection to the rest of Canada did not reach anywhere near here until 1891, when settlers from the rest of Canada and Europe began to arrive in the region.

The main industry here for the early settlers was the bulk export of cereal grains, especially wheat, by means of rail. The legacy of this are the many heritage sites related to both agriculture and railways that can be seen here.

TalkEdit

Alberta's official language is English with some limited rights for the French-speaking minority. Nearly everyone here will speak English fluently. A variety of other languages are spoken by individual people. However, you should not count on your hotel or other businesses to be able to serve you in any other language. They may do so, but it is at their own discretion.

Offices of the federal government of Canada (post offices, passport offices, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the national parks) are required to be able to serve you both English and French, but this does not mean that every employee is fluent in French, especially in this region. If you need services in French, you will need to have patience with non-fluent speakers or wait for a French-speaking employee to become available.

Get inEdit

The nearest major airport is in Edmonton which has connections to the rest of Canada, the US, Europe, and Asia. A regional airports exists in Lloydminster with connections to Edmonton.

Via Rail, the national passenger railway, runs through the area but it is an infrequent, slow, and expensive service used mostly by sightseers, passing through on their way to the Rocky Mountains, who rarely stop here. For more information see across Canada by rail.

Rider Express provides intercity bus service to the region from Edmonton and Saskatoon.

The Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16), part of the Trans-Canada Highway, is the main route through the region, connecting Edmonton to Vegreville, Vermillion and Lloydminster.

Get aroundEdit

The majority of trips through this region are by private automobile, and many places are only accessible by road.

SeeEdit

 
Vegreville pysanka

Kalyna Country is a living museum of Austrian, Polish, Romanian, and especially Ukrainian settlement and immigration. The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village 50 km east of Edmonton on Highway 16 has over 30 historic buildings.

Check out the numerous small museums in this region.

 
Holy Trinity Russo Orthodox Church, Wostok, Lamont County

The Lloydminster Cultural & Science Centre is a public art gallery, and science centre focused on the oil industry.

The Vegreville Pysanka, constructed of thousands of aluminium pieces, is a 9-m-tall Ukrainian Easter egg.

Lamont County is home to 40 historic churches of a variety of denominations that can be visited on a self-guided driving tour.

DoEdit

For birdwatchers, 270 bird species have been reported at Beaverhill Lake, near Tofield, with 145 known to breed locally.

The Wainwright Stampede at the end of June has rodeos, chuckwagon races, parade, rides and an agricultural fair.

DrinkEdit

There are a few craft breweries and distilleries that have popped up here since the loosening of liquor laws in 2015.

Stay safeEdit

Crime, like in most of Canada, is not a major concern, but hazardous driving caused by extreme weather and collisions with wildlife can be.

Go nextEdit

This region travel guide to East Central Alberta is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.