Addicted to novelty since 2001

My Mobile Home Costs How Much?

Here’s a trivia question for you: What city has the third highest residential house prices in Canada?

Montreal? Nope. Calgary? Uh-uh. Give up? Fort McMurray.

Yes, I said Fort McMurray. For my non-Canadian readers (and the geographically-challenged Canucks), here’s a map that shows Fort McMurray’s location (with apologies to anyone from north of the 55th parallel):

The price of the average home in Fort McMurray, a burg of 50,000 cold, cold Canadians, is CAN $333,000. I learned this from a TV news piece, in which a couple bought a mobile home for about CAN $250,000. A mobile home! Rent is pretty steep too, running at near-Vancouver prices.

Why the sudden interest in a town where the average January temperature is -20 degrees? Oil and gas. It’s the gateway to Canada’s vast fossil fuel resources. Where there’s oil, there’s work. The city’s population is booming, and has increased by 20% in the past two years.

10 Responses to “My Mobile Home Costs How Much?”

  1. Chris

    There’s a HUGE newfie contingent in Fort McMurray – there’s even a song by Newfoundland musicians Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellar’s titled “Going up to McMurray.” My uncle owns a house in McMurray, he’s been there for over 20 years, and he makes a HUGE amount of money working the oil fields.

  2. Jon J

    I was also going to comment on the huge portion of Newfoundlanders that occupy Fort McMurray. I’ve known quite a few that have gone there for periods of, oh, I don’t know, 1 month to FOREVER.

  3. Chris

    My uncle is ~60, and he may have moved there when he was 20-ish (from Bishop’s Falls, Newfoundland).

  4. 'nee

    I was on course with a bunch of guys from the Shell plant up there. Apparently the town is absolutely booming and yet frightfully isolated. Shell even busses their employees 45 minutes each way to the plant; it’s entirely a one-purpose town.

  5. Andrea

    I’d be interested in finding out the average salary in Fort McMurray. I’d also like to know how much housing prices spiked during the last oil boom. I seem to recall someone telling me that their modest house jumped to $300k in the 80s, but came crashing down when the oil boom ended.

  6. Jen

    It’s a great thing for property owners and industry workers in McMurray. It’s another thing entirely for the service workers brought in for the convenience of industry workers.

    My old roommate’s boyfriend got a radio practicum in McMurray after graduating from BCIT. He could only afford to share a two bedroom apartment with 2 other guys (one slept in the “living room”) because their earnings couldn’t compete with the drillers and miners who would otherwise rent the place. I’ve heard it’s none too pleasant for a service worker up there.

  7. Myles

    13 years ago my wife and I were in Edmonton and decided to take a little jaunt up to Fort Mac to see her aunt and uncle. It was January and we left Edmonton in the middle of the afternoon. When driving to this “place” (and I use the term figuratively), you arrive at a junction where you start driving straight NORTH.

    It was winter and at night. We drove for 3 hours in the dark to get there and passed 1 lighted area beside the highway. One in 3 hours. It felt like we were driving off the edge of the earth…

  8. Tom

    I think I’d rather take my chances with dragons and polar bears than live here, in Fort Mac. I wish I could buy a trailer for $250,000. I think they’ve gone up. I rent bedroom in someone’s house for $800/month. Woe is me:I

Comments are closed.