The Town of Edson is located in west-central Alberta, approximately 200 km (124 miles) west of Edmonton, on the Yellowhead Highway #16 and 163 km (100 miles) east of Jasper, and is accessible by plane, car or rail.
The Town of Edson was named after Edson J. Chamberlain, General Manager of the Grande Trunk Pacific Railroad in 1911. That same year, the community was incorporated as a village, then a town in 1912.
The railroad provided access to the rich Alberta Coal Branch (Coal Industry in Edson), and Edson acted as a supply depot as the railroad pushed west. It was also the jumping-off point for those who travelled the Grande Prairie Trail to homestead in the Grande Prairie Region.
During the 1930's, Edson saw carloads of bituminous coal from the Coal Branch roll through on their way to Canadian and world markets as the railways and mining industry became the main Depression-era employers.
Following World War II, the town improved its infrastructure and new businesses were launched. In the 1950's, upgrading of Highway 16 caused a dramatic increase in private, commercial and industrial traffic. Today, the Yellowhead Route carries some of the heaviest traffic flow in Alberta.
Petroleum headlined in the 1960's as petroleum-related industry brought prosperity to the Edson District. In the 1970's a revitalized coal industry saw the Cardinal River Coal and Luscar Sterco mines launched in the area.The 1980's saw the development of Pelican Spruce Mills (now Weyerhaeuser Canada) and Sundance Forest Industries - two of Edson's major employers.
In 1999, 124 new businesses opened their doors in the Edson area. In the future, the area's natural resources are expected to remain major contributors to the Edson economy.
The Edson Airport has a 1,825 m (6,000 ft) paved runway with lighting and 24-hour fuel service. A major service centre for the area, the Town of Edson serves the more than 17,000 people in its trading area. It not only has lots to offer to the tourist seeking a natural vacation, but also to a business seeking to expand into the area. There is much to do in the picturesque lands in and around Edson such as camping and hiking, fishing, skiing, golfing, cross-country skiing and hosts one of the largest annual Slo-Pitch tournaments in Western Canada, the Kinsmen Slo-Pitch Tournament.
Today, Edson has a population just over 7,500 people and it's land mass covers almost 30 square kilometers.