The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Welcomes all Newcomers!
New to Wood Buffalo?
Wood Buffalo is a large, scenic region in northeast Alberta with an abundance of natural resources. The region’s population has grown rapidly over the last two decades and the 2015 Wood Buffalo Census placed the population of Wood Buffalo at 125,032. Wood Buffalo is also one of Canada’s youngest and most dynamic communities, as almost 56% of the population is 34 years old or younger!
For more information on Wood Buffalo’s most recent municipal census, please visit the RM of Wood Buffalo website.
Resources and Services for Newcomers
The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has an extensive collection of resources and services to assist newcomers. Whether you are new to Wood Buffalo or considering moving to this dynamic region, these resources can connect you to the services and programs you’ll need to get settled into your new community.
Welcome YMM is a great resource for newcomers to Fort McMurray and the surrounding Wood Buffalo region. This guide will help you get acquainted with the region and provides information on programs and services offered by the City, including immigration, housing, transportation, health care, educational institutions, recreational services, contacts to local resources, directories of restaurants and shops and everything you need to live, work and play in Wood Buffalo!
For more information, please visit the newcomers guide for Wood Buffalo.
City of Fort McMurray
Fort McMurray is the only urban centre in the Wood Buffalo region with about 78,382 people calling it home. Here you can find information on living, visiting, doing business, municipal government and services, events and employment in the Fort McMurray area.
Transit in Fort McMurray
There are many ways to get around Fort McMurray, including public transit or private vehicle:
Fort McMurray Neighbourhoods
Each neighbourhood in Fort McMurray contributes to the diversity that defines our city. Please refer to the community street maps and Fort McMurray interactive mapping tool for more information.
For parents looking for care for their young children, or for out-of-school care for their school-aged children, there are a number of daycare facilities and family day homes. In addition, there are after-school programs available in the community where you can either drop in or register your child for classes or activities.
Recreation & Leisure
The opportunities for sport, recreation and leisure pursuits in Wood Buffalo are virtually limitless. An outdoor playground awaits you, along with a variety of indoor facilities. For more adventurous types, Fort McMurray’s near-wilderness setting offers unbeatable opportunities for canoeing, fly-in fishing, wildlife viewing and enjoyment of nature trails.
Alberta has one of Canada’s biggest and best backyards, so take some time to enjoy the region’s parks and trails! There are 400 hectares of serene parks and an extensive, 130-kilometre trail system to explore – running, walking or biking.
Religious & Faith Based Services
Fort McMurray is home to many religious and faith based centres of worship. For more information please visit the interactive map and click on Residential Services – Worship Services for the most up to date information.
New to Alberta
Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP)
The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) covers all eligible Albertans for insured hospital and physician services in Alberta. Please visit the link below to enrol.
*Please note for newcomers to Canada, please refer to the New to Canada section.
If you are moving to Wood Buffalo from within Canada, you are eligible for health coverage on the 1st day of the 3rd month following the day you establish permanent residence. Here you will find more information on health services in the Wood Buffalo area, including how to find a doctor, available healthcare options, Alberta health insurance and prescription drug benefits, and more.
Alberta has 7 classes of driver’s licences, ranging from a Class 7 learner’s licence to a Class 1 professional licence.
New to Canada
Universal Health Insurance Plan
If you are coming to Wood Buffalo from outside of Canada, you will first need to apply for the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP).
Social Insurance Number
To get a Social Insurance Number (SIN), you have to fill out an application. You also need to collect several documents to submit with your application.
Alberta has 7 classes of driver’s licences, ranging from a Class 7 learner’s licence to a Class 1 professional licence. Please visit the following link for more information.
Filing your taxes
All residents living in Canada must file personal income taxes.
For more information on Alberta settlement services for newcomers to Canada & Alberta, please visit the government website.