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How does YMM stack up against… Red Deer

Every issue we’ll compare Fort McMurray to another town or city in Canada. The facts will be quirky, off the wall, and quite interesting, just like YMM-ers!

  • Red Deer, with a population of 92,000, thinks it is the third biggest city in Alberta. Fort McMurray, with an actual 110,000 including the oil sands workers, is the real owner of that title.
  • According to Wikipedia, Red Deer claims to be a major centre for petrochemical production. In other news, Americans claim they know how to play hockey.
  • Red Deer was so called by early Europeans after they misunderstood the local name, Waskasoo Seepee, or Wapiti River. That’s a bit like confusing a hippopotamus for a rhinoceros. Fort McMurray became McMurray in 1947 then went back to Fort McMurray before becoming the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, a name that just rolls off the tongue.
  • According to Macleans, Fort McMurray had the sixth highest homicide rate in 2011, at 4.5 per 100,000 people. However if they had used the correct population stats we wouldn’t have even made the top ten. Who was number one? Well I guess that was Red Deer at 6.4. Dangerous place to live, eh?
  • The Main Street in Red Deer was named after Leonard Gaetz, a minister and land speculator. Ours was named after the famous explorer Sir John Franklin who travelled through these parts in the early 19th Century before he eventually disappeared. On which expedition did he get lost and die? His last one.
  • The day this article was written, advertised five transexual hookers available in Red Deer. There was only one in Fort McMurray and he/she was really ugly.
  • Red Deer claims to have an empty haunted house. There are no empty houses in Fort McMurray.
  • There is a curfew in Red Deer. All children under 16 have to be home by midnight and can only leave the house at 6 a.m. This is not the worst idea in the world and Fort McMurray might want to think about it. Except, how do you get a teenager up at 6 a.m.?
  • The only famous person from Red Deer is the actor Jacob Blair. Ever heard of him? Me neither. Fort McMurray has Natasha Henstridge. We win.
  • Red Deer has a Business Revitalization Zone Bylaw (3196/98, in case you care). It’s mostly about making sure taxes get paid. Fort McMurray has a Business Revitalization Plan. It’s mostly about making sure the RMWB becomes the best place in the world to live.
  • Red Deer’s centennial as a city was March 25, 2013. When they became a city they had a population of 2,800 people, which is exactly the same number who went to Paddy McSwiggins on Saint Patrick’s day this year.
  • In Red Deer, a development permit is required to construct a new building, renovate an existing building, or change the use (or intensity of use) of a property. In Fort McMurray, it’s needed to put on a show for children at Halloween. (Chateau Boo to you too: Red Deer wins.)
  • The hottest recorded temperature in Red Deer was 36C on August 24, 1992. The coldest recorded temperature was −43.3C on December 9, 1977. In Fort McMurray the highest recorded temp was 37.0C on August 10, 1991. The coldest was −50.6 C on February 1, 1947. So that makes us tougher because we have colder temperatures. We’re hotter as well, which is not just a temperature thing. It’s because Fort McMurray Rocks.

Kevin has been writing for YMM since the first issue. Many of his articles have been pseudonymous, hidden behind the tags Keyano writer or YMM staff. Kevin has been a columnist for many years, working for some of the leading newspapers of the world, including the New York Times and the Devon Dispatch.