Tips for new Residents

Get the 411 on Life in Wood Buffalo!

Moving to a new community can be overwhelming, especially if you are moving far away from friends, family, and familiar surroundings. One of the most difficult things to do when you move to a new place is just finding ways to feel at home. In the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, many of our residents come from other provinces or countries. Here are some tips that will help you live life to the fullest in Wood Buffalo!

Get Involved and Participate

Wondering what there is to do for fun in Wood Buffalo? Anything you’d like! With the entire region brimming with activity all year round, there is always a reason to get out and enjoy yourself. From trade shows and concerts to sport teams and fitness classes, there is something for every interest and budget.

Check out MyMcMurray and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Community Calendar as well as our local newspapers for upcoming events and programs that interest you.

Get to know your neighbours

Not only will introducing yourself to your neighbours help you feel connected to your new community, but it will also help you feel safe and secure. Neighbours who know each other can help keep the neighbourhood safe by watching out for one another, especially while one is away from home. 

Experience the region's natural beauty

The region of Wood Buffalo is known as much for its picturesque forested hills as it is for its thriving industry. Here, you get the best of both worlds: the urban and modern communities you would expect in a growing region, and instant access to beautiful forests and endless rivers that really help you reconnect with Mother Nature. To discover how you and your family can experience the beauty of Wood Buffalo, click here

Know where to go and what to do in an emergency

Knowing what to do in an emergency situation can help you save time and allow you to access the proper resources quickly. Have a list of important local phone numbers and addresses such as bylaw, police, and local healthcare centres.

Know Municipal Bylaws

Bylaws can differ from place to place, and it will be important to know what you may or may not do on your property. It will also help to be able to spot others who are violating bylaws, such as noise, parking or development. To read the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo's bylaws, click here.

Find your dream job

They don’t call us the “land of opportunity” for nothing. Our region is growing rapidly, so there is always a need for good workers in industry, government, services and entertainment. Check out individual company web sites,WorkopolisMonster.caMyMcMurray and local newspapers for job openings.

Drive Safe

Whether there is snow, rain or sun in the forecast, it is extremely important to drive safely on the streets and highways of Wood Buffalo. Pay special attention to speed limits, traffic signs, and take special care at night and in busy areas. For the safety of all residents, speed cameras are placed at major intersections and strategic locations throughout the region. Help keep our streets safe by driving safe.

Change your driver's licence

New residents in Alberta must change over their drivers licence within 90 days of moving.  It is important to keep your driver’s licence up-to-date for identification purposes, and to avoid a ticket for not exchanging  in time. For more information about exchanging a Canadian or foreign licence, click here.

Improve your skills

Whether you are training for a new career or just wanting to learn a new skill, Keyano College in Fort McMurray can help you get there. Keyano offers diploma, certificate and university transfer courses in a wide variety of disciplines. If you are looking to study around your work schedule, Keyano also offers a host of online and nighttime courses. For more information about Keyano College, click here.

Know where the municipal offices are

Need to pay your municipal utilities? Want to make a change to your existing property? Municipal departments are held in buildings throughout Fort McMurray. Knowing where certain departments are located will be helpful for finding the information that you need. To find contact information for specific departments, click on the Municipal Government tab here.

Have your mail redirected by Canada Post

Even if you have changed your address with your regular correspondents, it is possible to still have mail sent to your old address from those who have yet been informed of your move. Avoid missing mail sent to your former address by having it redirected with Canada Post. For more information on mail redirection, click here.

Explore your new town

Fort McMurray is no one-stoplight town. For someone who has just arrived, making your way through the many communities in the region can be daunting. Take some time to walk through your neighbourhood and drive through the city. You will soon learn where important places are, and how long it takes to get to certain places you need to go, such as grocery stores, health care, and work.

Learn about the Oil Sands - It's what put Fort McMurray on the map!

It is undeniable that Wood Buffalo would not be what it is today without the oil sands. Visit the Oil Sands Discovery Centre on the southern end of Fort McMurray and learn how the oil sands grew from a fledgling experiment to a multi-billion dollar industry. Find out how oil is separated from sand, and how mining sites are eventually reclaimed.

The Oil Sands Discovery Centre and Fort McMurray Tourism runs bus tours to Suncor’s mining site, where you can see this industry in action and follow the process from the shovel to the pipeline. To learn more about Alberta's amazing natural resource, click here.