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"Wop" May and Max Ward used Blatchford Field as a major base for distributing mail, food, and medicine to Northern Canada; hence Edmonton's emergence as the "Gateway to the North".World War II saw Edmonton become a major base for the construction of the Alaska Highway and the Northwest Staging Route.The city anchors the north end of what Statistics Canada defines as the "Calgary–Edmonton Corridor".The earliest known inhabitants settled in the area that is now Edmonton around 3,000 BC and perhaps as early as 12,000 BC when an ice-free corridor opened as the last glacial period ended and timber, water, and wildlife became available in the region.
Winter lasts from November to March, and varies greatly in length and severity.In 1912, Edmonton amalgamated with the City of Strathcona, south of the North Saskatchewan River; as a result, the city extended south of the North Saskatchewan River for the first time.Originally named Blatchford Field in honour of former mayor Kenny Blatchford, pioneering aviators such as Wilfrid R.The winter of 2011–12 was particularly warm; from December 22, 2011, till March 20, 2012, on 53 occasions Edmonton saw temperatures at or above 0.0 °C (32.0 °F) at the City Centre Airport. On average, it receives 476.9 millimetres (18.78 in) of precipitation, of which 365.7 millimetres (14.40 in) is rain and 111.2 millimetres (4.38 in) is the melt from 123.5 centimetres (48.6 in) of snowfall per annum.Summer thunderstorms can be frequent and occasionally severe enough to produce large hail, damaging winds, funnel clouds, and occasionally tornadoes.
The new fort's name was suggested by John Peter Pruden after Edmonton, London, the hometown of both the HBC deputy governor Sir James Winter Lake, and Pruden.