Edmonton Fire Rescue spokeswoman Jill McKenzie says the pilot experienced engine trouble with the small, two-seater plane while flying over the city Saturday afternoon.
McKenzie says the plane was equipped with a parachute, which the pilot deployed, and the aircraft landed on the grounds at City Centre Airport.
The airport, located northwest of the city's downtown, was closed at the end of 2013 to make way for a housing development.
McKenzie says the pilot was the only person on board and wasn't injured.
But she says the plane was heavily damaged after the landing when the wind caught the parachute and dragged it along the ground.
The Transportation Safety Board says it's sending an investigator to look at the incident.
McKenzie says she doesn't know where the plane took off from or was headed.