Andrew Bates

electric newspaperman

Watch Fort McMurray’s dizzying growth in 28 years of satellite pictures


Fort McMurray has undergone crazy amounts of growth in the last 20 years, ballooning from a population of 36,124 in the 1996 census to 65,565 in the 2011 census. That’s if you don’t count the 39,271 that the municipality says is working in camps in the oilsands. A stunning new Google graphic shows this effect over time. (Fort McMurray itself is at the river junction about two thirds down the picture, as I placed it.)

It’s kind of mindblowing. You can see the Thickwood and Timberlea areas fill in like crayon and the salt-and-pepper dotting of rural community south near Janvier and Anzac. But of course, the real growth is seeing the oilsands projects expand north of town.

(hat-tip van_laar_design/twitter)