Originally Posted by USMC
We really need some Canadians to chime in here, but I remember Alberta being pretty sparse.
Allow me to give some info.
The first map is Canada just after its independence in 1867, and the second map is Canada in 1870 after the purchase of Ruperts Land. Among the territories purchased the only thing the Europeans would call a city, was the red river settlement (Manitoba). So the rest was underdeveloped Native land.