Roughly 28 percent of French-Canadians in Canada outside of Quebec live in urban centers or cities. While the francophone (French-speaking) population is mostly rural and located in smaller townships outside of main urban areas, two Alberta cities have been home to large communities of French-speaking peoples since the early days of settlement. The first residents of Alberta’s urban centers were primarily French-speaking Métis and French Canadians from Quebec.
Most were lured by new business opportunities and industrial work in Calgary and Edmonton. Today, Beaumont remains the only French-Canadian community south of Edmonton, due in part to strong ties maintained by the local Roman Catholic clergy and a once solid French-Canadian population.