High River, Alberta Canada

Discover High River, Alberta: A Blend of History and Modernity

High River, Alberta, is a charming town nestled within the Calgary Metropolitan Region of Alberta, Canada. Located approximately 68 kilometres south of Calgary, at the junction of Alberta Highways 2 and 23, High River is home to a population of 14,324 as of 2021.

The Rich History of High River, Alberta

High River, Alberta, derives its name from the Highwood River that flows through the town. The area was initially inhabited by the Blackfoot First Nation, who referred to the site as Ispitzee, meaning "place of high trees along running water". The arrival of the North-West Mounted Police in 1870 and the signing of Treaty Number 7 in 1877 marked the beginning of settlers moving into the region.

High River's development was centered around "The Crossing", a convenient location for people, horses, and cattle to cross the Highwood River. The town's growth was further bolstered by the completion of the Calgary and Edmonton Railway in 1892. High River was incorporated as a village on December 5, 1901, and later as a town on February 12, 1906, with Daniel Edward Riley, a future Senator and area rancher, serving as the first mayor.

Despite the slowdown during the First World War, High River continued to grow, with the construction of brick structures and various industries. The town also saw the establishment of one of Canada's first air force stations in 1921, which further boosted the economy during the Second World War. High River continued to grow throughout the 1950s and 1960s, with major redevelopment in the downtown area in the 1970s.

High River, Alberta: A Town Shaped by Floods

The Highwood River, which flows through High River, Alberta, is known for its frequent flooding. Exceptional flood events occurred in 1894, 1899, 1902, 1908, 1912, 1923, 1929, 1932, 1942, 1995, 2005, and 2013. The 2013 Alberta floods were particularly devastating, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people and resulting in three deaths.

The Climate of High River, Alberta

High River, Alberta, experiences a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb). The town enjoys mild to warm summer days with cool nights, while winters are cold and snowy, with an annual snowfall averaging 69 inches (175 cm).

Demographics of High River, Alberta

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, High River, Alberta, had a population of 14,324 living in 5,787 of its 5,950 total private dwellings. This marked a 5.4% increase from its 2016 population of 13,594. With a land area of 22.19 km2, the town had a population density of 645.5/km2 in 2021.

Arts and Culture in High River, Alberta

High River, Alberta, is rich in arts and culture. As part of the town's tourism and heritage endeavours, several murals illustrating High River's history have been painted around the town, with the first ones dating back to the 1990s and the most recent one completed in 2016.

Attractions in High River, Alberta

One of the key attractions in High River, Alberta, is the Museum of the Highwood. Despite sustaining damage from a fire in 2010, the museum, built around 1911-12, is listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.

High River, Alberta in Film and Television

High River, Alberta, has served as a filming location for several films and television series, including Superman III (1983), Caitlin's Way (2000–2002), Heartland (2007–present), Fargo (2014–present), Tin Star (2017–2020), Black Summer (2019–2021), and The Last of Us (2023–present).