Hardisty, Alberta Canada

Discover Hardisty, Alberta: A Historical and Touristic Overview

Hardisty, a town nestled in Flagstaff County in east-central Alberta, Canada, is a significant hub for the petroleum industry. Located approximately 111 kilometres from the Saskatchewan border, Hardisty is situated near the crossroads of Highway 13 and Highway 881, in the Battle River Valley. The town is renowned for the production and trading of petroleum products such as Western Canada Select blended crude oil and Hardisty heavy oil.

The Historical Journey of Hardisty, Alberta

Hardisty's early prominence is attributed to its role as a railway station on a crucial CPR rail-line. The town, named after Senator Richard Hardisty, began its journey in 1906 as a hamlet and railway centre, and officially became a town in 1911.

The first known inhabitants of the Battle River Valley were the native First Nations, attracted to the area by the wintering grounds for thousands of buffalo, moose, elk, and deer. The area was a point of contention between the Cree and Blackfoot, hence the name of the nearby Battle River.

The Canadian Pacific Railway played a significant role in Hardisty's existence. Around 1904, surveyors laid out the railroad line through the area, connecting Wetaskiwin, Camrose, Daysland, Strome, and Lougheed with the CPR line coming west from Saskatoon. Railway officials chose Hardisty as a divisional point due to the excellent water supply from the nearby Battle River.

Hardisty became a trading centre as early as 1904 and grew into a hamlet by 1906. The influx of workers building the CPR turned Hardisty into a boom town. By the fall of 1906, the rail line reached Hardisty from Daysland, and the task of building the bridge began, a task that took about three years.

During 1906 to 1907, Hardisty was often referred to as a tent town as people lived in tents until lumber could be hauled in. Businesses sprang up overnight, typically built along the railroad track running through the community.

Demographics of Hardisty, Alberta

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Hardisty had a population of 548 living in 247 of its 382 total private dwellings, a slight decrease of -1.1% from its 2016 population of 554. With a land area of 4.5 km2, it had a population density of 121.8/km2 in 2021.

In the 2016 Census of Population, Hardisty recorded a population of 554 living in 254 of its 401 total private dwellings, a -13.3% change from its 2011 population of 639. With a land area of 5.13 km2, it had a population density of 108.0/km2 in 2016.

Attractions in Hardisty, Alberta

Hardisty Lake Park, located within the town limits, offers a variety of recreational activities including camping, swimming, boating, trout fishing, golfing, baseball, rodeos, and sporting events. Hardisty also boasts a soccer field, a curling rink, a hockey rink, and cross-country skiing. The Hardisty area is also known for upland game, geese, duck, mule deer, and whitetail deer hunting.

Hardisty, Alberta on Television

Hardisty gained national attention when Paperny Films taped the reality television show "The Week The Women Went" in the town from June 2 to June 9, 2007. The show, which aired on CBC in Canada for eight consecutive weeks starting January 21, 2008, explored what happens when all the women in an ordinary Canadian town disappear for a week, leaving the men and children to cope on their own.