Cochrane, Alberta Canada

Discover Cochrane, Alberta: A Blend of History, Culture, and Adventure

Cochrane, Alberta, is a vibrant town nestled in the Calgary Metropolitan Region of Canada. Located just 18 km west of Calgary city limits along Highway 1A, Cochrane is one of the fastest-growing communities in Canada. With a population of 32,199 in 2021, it stands as one of the largest towns in Alberta. Cochrane is part of Calgary's census metropolitan area and a member community of the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board (CMRB). The town is surrounded by the picturesque Rocky View County.

The Historical Roots of Cochrane, Alberta

Cochrane was established in 1881 as the Cochrane Ranche, named after Matthew Henry Cochrane, a local rancher. The town has grown significantly since its early days, becoming a village in 1903 and incorporating as a town in 1971. By 1909, Cochrane had its own newspaper and volunteer fire department, marking its growth and development.

The Geographical Charm of Cochrane, Alberta

Cochrane is situated at the base of Big Hill in the Bow River Valley, at an elevation of 1,186 m. The town is intersected by Highway 1A and Highway 22. Cochrane is renowned for its western culture, which is palpable as you wander its streets, particularly Main Street. The town is a popular destination for ice cream and coffee in its quaint western-oriented stores, as well as for windsports, golfing, hiking, and other adventure activities.

Cochrane is also a small industrial centre, with major industries including lumber, construction, retail, and agriculture (ranching). It is notable as being one of very few communities in Canada with no business tax. The hill is also a popular training ground for cyclists from the area, who take advantage of its 7% grade and 3.5 km distance.

The Neighbourhoods of Cochrane, Alberta

Cochrane is home to several unique neighbourhoods, each with its own charm and character.

The Demographics of Cochrane, Alberta

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Cochrane had a population of 32,199 living in 12,096 of its 12,578 total private dwellings. This marked a change of 24.5% from its 2016 population of 25,853. With a land area of 31.58 km2, it had a population density of 1,019.6/km2 in 2021. At its current population, Cochrane is one of the largest towns in the province and is eligible for city status.

The Arts and Culture Scene in Cochrane, Alberta

Cochrane Ranche provided the corral setting for the 1954 National Film Board of Canada documentary Corral, by Colin Low, whose father had worked as a foreman at the ranch. This film played theatrically across Canada and was named Best Documentary at the Venice Film Festival.

Cochrane houses attractions such as Cochrane Ranche Historic Site and Bert Sheppard Stockmen's Foundation Library And Archives, located in the Cochrane Ranchehouse. The town is also home to many annual events, including the Pumpkin Lantern Festival, Chamber of Commerce Trade Fair, Canada Day Community Celebration, Labour Day Rodeo & Parade, Terry Fox Run, and Christmas Light-up.

Transit in Cochrane, Alberta

On October 7, 2019, the town launched COLT (Cochrane On-Demand Local Transit), an app-based local transportation service described as an "Uber bus system". This innovative transit system, chosen for its significantly lower operating cost compared to traditional route-based transit, allows users to request a ride on demand from one of over 150 stops in the town. COLT has a partnership with On-It regional transit, providing an easy, inexpensive connection between Cochrane and Calgary.