Italians probably came to Edmonton before the turn of the century, but their numbers were not significant. It was the arrival of Italian men to work in the coal mines of the Rockies and in the gangs building the railways that, ultimately, meant that those who craved other ways to earn a living would be attracted to the Province's new capital city.
As a railway centre and staging point for development to the West in the Coal Branch and to the North, Edmonton became a destination early in the century. It attracted people not only from southern Italy but also from the North as the Venice agricultural colony made clear. These hard-working men and women left their mark and introduced the region to Italian culture and traditions, as well as contributing to its economic development.