revenue made it possible for the provincial government to start an aggressive
infrastructure program. By early 1956, road crews had completed 9,386 kilometres of
paved highways, multi-lane highways, paved shoulders and several bridges.
Housing boomed to accommodate the influx of people. Oil eventually changed
Albertans forever. Farmers turned into oilmen, Edmonton became the Oil Capital
of Canada virtually overnight, and Alberta turned into a wealthy, resource-rich
Oil and natural
gas has made Alberta one of Canada's most prosperous provinces. All economic
sectors of the province have benefited from the oil and gas boom of the 1960s
and 1970s. Not only have Calgary and Edmonton enjoyed the prosperity; new
cities were formed. Cities, such as Red Deer, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat
profited from this lucrative time.
The discovery of the Leduc oil field in 1947 fostered the revelation that oil
could be recovered from the Plains of Alberta. This discovery became the base
upon which Alberta and Canada built its oil industry, and the nation would become an
exporter of oil. By the time Imperial Oil finally shut down the Leduc oil field
in 1984, it had produced an excess of 240 million barrels. Alberta became
Canada's energy province, and fuelled the economic growth that created the
prosperity of present-day Alberta.