Discover Carstairs, Alberta: A Blend of History and Modern Amenities
Carstairs, Alberta, is a charming town nestled in the heart of central Alberta, Canada. Located on Highway 2A, it is 241 kilometres south of Edmonton, the provincial capital, and just 48 kilometres north of Calgary, the nearest major city. The town is entirely within the rural Mountain View County, with the closest neighbouring communities being Didsbury and Crossfield.
The Historical Roots of Carstairs, Alberta
The town of Carstairs owes its name to Carstairs, Scotland, and began its journey as a loading platform on the railway connecting Calgary to Edmonton. The first post office opened its doors in 1900, and the first school district was established a year later.
The origins of Carstairs date back centuries to a network of trails known as the Ancient Trail, which passed through the Carstairs area. As the fur trade developed and settlement grew, newcomers adopted these trails. In 1883, Sam Scarlett set up a Stopping House at a prominent rock formation along the Rosebud River, which became a popular stop along the Calgary Edmonton Trail.
When the Calgary & Edmonton Railway arrived in 1890, the surveyors allotted a siding, station house, and townsite to be built near Scarlett's Stopping House. Named 'Carstairs', the town's development started off slowly, but by the turn of the 20th century, it began a steady growth pattern that led to its official recognition as Carstairs, NWT on May 15, 1903. The name changed to Carstairs, Alta in 1905 when Alberta received official Provincial status.
Demographics of Carstairs, Alberta
According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Carstairs had a population of 4,898 living in 1,837 of its 1,883 total private dwellings, a change of 20.1% from its 2016 population of 4,077. With a land area of 11.77 km2, it had a population density of 416.1/km2 in 2021.
Transportation in Carstairs, Alberta
First Student Canada provides commuter bus service to Calgary from Didsbury and Carstairs. Commuters can catch the bus at the Carstairs Curling Club, making transportation convenient for residents.
Amenities in Carstairs, Alberta
Carstairs boasts a variety of amenities, including an 18-hole golf course, a Memorial Complex, abundant parks and playgrounds, and a Tourist Information Center. Historically an agricultural community, Carstairs once had seven grain elevators and celebrates each year with the CARA Rodeo in July, Beef & Barley Days, the High School Rodeo in September, 4-H Calf Show and Sale, Bull-A-Rama, Horticultural Show, and Pumpkin Festival.
The town is also home to seven churches, including the Carstairs Church of God, St. Agnes Catholic Church, and the Carstairs Bancroft United Church. One of these churches serves as a museum that often hosts religious services.
Whether you're a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful place to call home, Carstairs, Alberta, offers a unique blend of historical charm and modern amenities.