The history of Fort McMurray’s economic development is one of extremes. The settlement sputtered to life during the height of the fur trade, and almost died at the turn of the century, when the fur trade began to wane. When the Alberta and Great Waterways Railroad chose to build their track to Waterways instead of Fort McMurray, it seemed that Fort McMurray would fade away; however, the discovery of technology that could exploit Fort McMurray’s vast reserves of tar sands led to the transformation of the dwindling settlement into a bustling town
The great boom of Fort McMurray during the 1960s breathed new life into its real estate industry, which has continued to prosper for half a decade. Fort McMurray is home to the Fort McMurray Real Estate Board, representing the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo in north eastern Alberta.