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Edmonton is the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta, making it the seat of the provincial Crown. The city is located on the North Saskatchewan River in the central region of the province, an area with some of the most fertile farmland on the prairies. It is the second largest city in Alberta after Calgary, with a population of 730,372 (2006), and is the hub of Canada's sixth largest census metropolitan area, with a metropolitan population of 1,034,945 (2006), making it the northernmost North American city with a metropolitan population over one million. Edmonton is Canada's second most populous provincial capital after Toronto and is a cultural, government and educational centre. It plays host to a year round slate of world-class festivals, earning it the title of "The Festival City". It is home to North America's largest mall and Canada's largest historic park. In 2004, Edmonton celebrated the centennial of its incorporation as a city. In 1981, West Edmonton Mall, which was at the time the world's largest mall, opened.

Still the biggest in North America, the mall is one of Alberta's most-visited tourist attractions, and contains an indoor amusement park, a large indoor waterpark, a skating rink, a New Orleans-themed bar district and a luxury hotel in addition to over eight hundred shops and services. Edmonton is the most northerly major city in North America with a metro population of over one million. It is at the same latitude as Hamburg, Germany and Liverpool, England. At the summer solstice, Edmonton receives seventeen hours and six minutes of daylight, with twilight extending well beyond that. Edmonton receives 2,289 hours of sunshine per year, and is one of Canada's sunniest cities. Edmonton is the major economic centre for northern and central Alberta and a major centre for the oil and gas industry.

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