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Explore the Oil Sands

Oil Sands Discovery Centre

We are currently not offering Oil Sands Tours at this time.  

The Oil Sands Discovery Centre in Fort McMurray is located in the heart of the world's biggest single oil deposit - the Athabasca Oil Sands. The Centre is an educational facility committed to increasing public awareness and knowledge about the oil sands. Come to the Oil Sands Discovery Centre and experience the history, science, and technology of the oil sands. It’s the closest you can get without boots and a hard hat! 

About the Oil Sands

The Alberta oil sands cover 142,000 square kilometers, 4,800 km2 of which are mineable. The deposit contains an estimated 174 trillion barrels of bitumen. More than 300 billion barrels are potentially recoverable based on today’s technology. 

For more information on Alberta's Oil Sands Development.

Want to learn more about the Athabasca Oil Sands? Take a guided aerial tour over the oil sands with McMurray Aviation or Phoenix Heli-Flight.  Visit the Oil Sands Discovery Centre for an interactive look into the Athabasca Oil Sands and experience Fort McMurray’s unique and vibrant past.



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Northern Lights - viewing tips

  • Check the forecast at
  • The best times to view the aurora are around midnight, but they can often be seen anytime from 9pm to 3am.
  • Aurora viewing is affected by a variety of factors, such as cloud cover, moonlight, and urban light pollution.
  • Aurora is often seen within the urban area of Fort McMurray but the light pollution can make it difficult to see the aurora, so head a few minutes out of town for better viewing.
  • Be patient, wear warm clothes and bring something warm to drink.
  • Look in the direction of north and northeast