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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Alberta & British Columbia

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  #1  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2009, 11:13 PM
ue ue is offline
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Best Small Towns and Cities in Alberta?

What are your favourites?

I like Camrose, as it has a larger old area, some cute little main streets, although stuff like Walmart is killing that. Even though a tourist town, Banff is nice too, and has lots of stuff to do. I've heard Athabasca is nice.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2009, 6:45 AM
dmuzika dmuzika is offline
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I grew up in Camrose however I didn't fully appreciate the city until I started go to other cities and towns that are similar size and smaller. If it was closer to Edmonton I think you would see a lot more growth (however maybe that's a good thing that it hasn't mushroomed like Airdrie).

As for other small towns, I like Okotoks. I also lived in Rimbey for 6 months and it's a nice community.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2009, 7:02 AM
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I'll have to say my hometown of Cochrane:


JHennicke on flickr - One of the side streets in the downtown


mjb84 on Flickr

We've so far managed to avoid Walmart (and its sounding like we may have inadvertently blocked their latest attempt as well), though Safeway and Canadian Tire did do some damage to the business community when they opened by refocusing where the retail core of the town was. The downtown is pretty well kept and thanks to local bylaws everything has a "western heritage" look to it, in some cases overboard towards the touristy view of it, but in most cases it gives it a distinct look.

Otherwise I'll have to say Lacombe is also a favorite of mine, like Cochrane its grown quite a bit but the downtown especially still has the small town feel to it. Some of the smaller towns west of it are also quite interesting to visit, I've found them to also seem more 'alive' then some similar sized communities in the southern part of the province even just from passing through them.
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  #4  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2009, 10:18 AM
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S_B_Russell S_B_Russell is offline
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Athabasca is surprisingly cool.
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  #5  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2009, 5:24 PM
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My favorite Alberta small towns:

Bentley
Alliance
Waterton
Bragg Creek
Fort Macleod

Small Cities/Large Towns:

Drumheller
Brooks
Camrose
Lacombe
Cochrane
Peace River
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  #6  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2009, 4:42 PM
Wrecker Wrecker is offline
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Westlock has 2 neat museums
Tractor museum (200+ tractors) http://www.canadiantractormuseum.ca/
Pioneer museum has 3 large exhibits Gramaphones (150+), vintage guns (100+), and Aladdin (oil) lamps (140+) http://www.kalynacountry.com/1/busin...Pioneer-Museum

Athabasca is also a neat setting, as well Vilna has some cool little things http://www.historicvilna.ca/

Link to the your town series
http://tv.travelalberta.com/?I=yourt...TOKEN=92986240
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  #7  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 2:07 AM
unbjames unbjames is offline
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Jasper imo ... less crowded than Banff, outdoor rec opportunities abound, lots of fine dining and shopping (esp in the Beauvert Promenade at JPL) ... all in a town with 4500 permanent residents!

Disclosure: I live here now, moved from Edmonton 1 month ago!
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  #8  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 5:27 PM
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I hate small towns, My parents live up by Three Hills and I get depressed every time I go into that town.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 5:48 PM
Oliver Klozov Oliver Klozov is offline
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There should also be a qualifier for Banff, Jasper and Waterton.

ie. Parks Canada's Need-to-Reside clause. You can't just buy a house and move there; you have to be actively employed as well or living with someone who is.

My faves -

Major Cities: I like em both

2nd tier Cities: #1 - Red Deer, #2 - Medicine Hat

Small cities: #1 - Cold Lake, well at least the part that used to be the Town of Cold Lake that is. #2 - Camrose, #3 - Drumheller

Towns: Lots I like, hmmmmmmmmm.......
Crowsnest, Sundre, Raunchy Monkey House, Cochrane, Hardisty, Vermilion, Athabaska, Peace River

Hometown of Canmore is real nice but I know the local politics so it is a s***hole to live in and even worse to try and run a business in.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 5:52 PM
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I was actually really impressed with Fort MacLeod when going through there last summer. Liked the historic buildings. I also like Drumheller.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 6:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Klozov View Post
Hometown of Canmore is real nice but I know the local politics so it is a s***hole to live in and even worse to try and run a business in.
I completely agree. The stuff you read in the local newspapers is unreal. They give off a vibe that if you weren't born & raised in Canmore then you are a second-class citizen who should GTFO.

Pretty poor mentality for a town that has no real industry and is totally reliant on second-home owners and tourists.

Overall Canmore has the most douche factor of any place I have ever visited or lived in.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 6:45 PM
Oliver Klozov Oliver Klozov is offline
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Originally Posted by b31den View Post
...They give off a vibe that if you weren't born & raised in Canmore then you are a second-class citizen who should GTFO. ...
That's getting to be fairly minor now. Lots of them cashed in and moved to Cochrane. I hope they feel as unwelcome there as they made others feel here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by b31den View Post
Pretty poor mentality for a town that has no real industry and is totally reliant on second-home owners and tourists.
Ain't that the truth

Quote:
Originally Posted by b31den View Post
Overall Canmore has the most douche factor of any place I have ever visited or lived in.
Love it

When it comes to nimby's, hypocrites, eco-fascists and enviro-weenies, Canmore's got that market cornered.

Worst are the hypocrites. eg. People profess to be all-caring about the environment and then go for a walk with their dog down a trail not bothering to pick up the feces as they go and then get to a wildlife corridor and let their dog off-leash (forbidden) to chase deer and elk. Rules are great .........for other people. "My dog is different".

As for the politics, I swear Tooker Gomberg must have 50 relatives in this town.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2009, 11:35 PM
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Natural setting: Gwynne, Lacombe

Urban setting: Yet to be decided.

Affection/Familiarity: Castor, Stettler
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  #14  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2009, 7:53 PM
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Does anything smaller than Calgary and Edmonton count as a small city?
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  #15  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2009, 10:02 PM
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Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray/Wood buffalo, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Sherwood Park (Edmonton), and Saint Albert are all small cities. We have no ones in between. Technically places like Camrose, Leduc, Cochrane, and MacLeod are all cities, but really they're what 30K and under?
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  #16  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2009, 2:17 AM
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Actually Macleod and Cochrane are not cities. Neither is Sherwood Park. The smallest official "city" in Alberta (by population) was Drumheller, but they've reverted back to "town" status I believe. There are numerous towns and municipal districts (including Cochrane, Okotoks, Canmore, Wood Buffalo) that are much larger than some places in Alberta with "city" status.

Cities in Alberta:

Calgary
Edmonton
Red Deer
Lethbridge
St. Albert
Medicine Hat
Grande Prairie
Airdrie
Spruce Grove
Leduc
Lloydminster
Fort Saskatchewan
Camrose
Brooks
Cold Lake
Wetaskiwin

Largest non-cities are Fort Mac and Sherwood Park.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2009, 2:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xelebes View Post
Natural setting: Gwynne, Lacombe

Urban setting: Yet to be decided.

Affection/Familiarity: Castor, Stettler
Funny, Gwynne was an unfamiliar name to me, but when I looked it up on a map, I realized that I've driven through it many times.

I like Lacombe but more for its historical buildings. For setting, drive 20kms west and visit Bentley... much more beautiful surrounding IMO.
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  #18  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2009, 2:58 AM
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Yes well in every aspect SP and FtMac are cities. The status means very little IMO (unless your a city of 1 million with a status of a town), it has to do with the feel, culture, and actual population/demographic of the area.
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  #19  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2009, 2:47 PM
Oliver Klozov Oliver Klozov is offline
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Originally Posted by edmontonenthusiast View Post
..... The status means very little IMO ......
Maybe to you which is okay but to others it means a lot. The anal-ists in Canmore don't want to be a "city" because of the stigma supposedly attached to it.

Canmore's population is about 13,000. City status in Alberta requires a population of 10,000 but it is not automatic.

Besides City, Town, Municipal District and County, there was another corporation class created - the Municipality. The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass was created in 1979 by combining the towns and villages of Coleman, Blairmore, Frank, Bellevue, Hillcrest and everything in between. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is of course Fort McMurray and everything north of it.

Sherwood Park is just a name; it actually does not exist as a corporate entity and never has. It is the County of Strathcona and is essentially, population-wise, all of it.
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  #20  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2009, 8:28 AM
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Canmore is cool, and it is probably the most liberal town in Alberta.
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