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Edmonton’s Growth Potential 2013 - 2016

Edmonton’s economic future continues to look bright even after stellar growth of 6.3% growth in 2011.  Future growth builds upon Edmonton’s core fundamentals as Alberta’s major manufacturing centre and the urban supply and service centre for the north  – the pivotal point between northern resources and U.S. and Asian customers. 

Manufacturing, Construction and Supply and Servicing Highlights

The strength of Edmonton’s manufacturing, construction and supply and servicing sectors offer the best locational opportunity to capitalize on future growth driven by Alberta’s buoyant resource sector. 

Edmonton’s real GDP growth between 2013 and 2016 is forecasted at 3.5% and ranks Edmonton in the top two nationally of 13 metropolitan areas. 

The Edmonton CMA’s manufacturing sector – Alberta’s largest manufacturing centre – is projected to grow an average of 4.2% per year through 2016.   

Sustained energy sector activity and population growth will support the following average annual compound GDP growth rates over the 2013 – 2016 forecast period:

  • wholesale and retail trade sector by 4.5%
  • industrial sector by 3.9%
  • transportation and warehousing sector by 3.3%

Looking out to 2016, growth in private sector employment is projected in the 1–5% range depending on the specific sector. (Conference Board of Canada: Metropolitan Outlook 2012)

Continued Growth Projected for Agriculture

Alberta is home to one of the world's most productive agricultural economies and contributes over 20% to Canada’s total farm cash receipts.
(Government of Alberta: Highlights of the Alberta Economy)


  • leads Canada in cattle market receipts and is third highest in total crop receipts
  • contributed $10.4 billion in farm cash receipts for 2011, reflecting a record 15.2% gain over 2010 and another $8 billion or 15% gain in the first three quarter results of 2012
  • contributed a record $11.3 billion in 2011 from its food processing section.
    (Government of Alberta: Agri-Foods Statistics Update)

There are emerging enterprises that are looking at processing of either by-products or agricultural waste into biofuel or ‘green’ building products. Creating an expanded product base through innovation and technology is another way Alberta is supporting value-added processing of its resources.

Supporting this innovation are research facilities such as the Alberta Biomaterials Development Centre and Alberta Agriculture's Food Processing Development Centre, located in the greater Edmonton area. These facilities are staffed with food scientists, engineers and technologists who work with industry to strengthen and expand their capacity to bring new products to market.

Edmonton continues to service the domestic and export agricultural market through:

  • strength as the centre for research and development
  • machinery and equipment manufacturing, supply and service sectors
  • targeted agri-food and fertilizer production
  • access to global markets through its integrated road, rail and international air services

Infrastructure Investment Continues

To support a growing economy, major new transportation infrastructure has been or will soon be completed.


  • The Edmonton International Airport’s expanded facility supports significant growth and improved efficiency in trans-border passenger service.  
  • Edmonton’s major ring road, Anthony Henday Drive, is moving closer to completion, improving connectivity between the northern rail yards and Highway 2 south to the U.S. Completion of the last leg of the ring road by 2016 will streamline access between northern resource markets and Edmonton’s industrial areas.
  • Major upgrades are underway to the CN British Columbia North line, improving the Edmonton - Prince Rupert corridor, and to the northern Alberta CN rail lines that service Alberta's oil-rich regions.
  • Canadian Pacific projects a 2014 completion of its new south side intermodal yard.
  • Three major pipeline projects designed to significantly increase export capacity are moving through the regulatory process:
  • Additional Alberta power transmission infrastructure is under development, including new North-South power lines and the Heartland Transmission project, providing additional transmission capacity for the greater Edmonton area’s major industrial areas located in or near Alberta’s Industrial Heartland.

For More Information

Ken Mamczasz, P.Eng.

Economic Investment and Development
Regional and Economic Development
9th Floor, Edmonton Tower
10111-104 Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 0J4

Title Director, Economic Investment & Development



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