Peace River, Alberta Canada

Discover Peace River, Alberta: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty

Peace River, originally known as Peace River Crossing and Rivière-la-Paix in French, is a charming town nestled in northwest Alberta, Canada. It lies along the banks of the Peace River, where it meets the Smoky River, the Heart River, and Pat's Creek. The town is approximately 486 kilometres northwest of Edmonton and 198 kilometres northeast of Grande Prairie on Highway 2.

The Unique Geography of Peace River, Alberta

The Peace River townsite is nearly 1,000 feet below the relatively flat terrain surrounding it. Pat's Creek, which used to be an open channel through the town, is now channelled through a culvert under the town streets, re-emerging at the mouth on the Peace River at the Riverfront Park.

The town is home to a population of 6,729 as of 2011, marking a 6.6% increase from its 2006 population. The area is surrounded by significant nodal settlements and subdivisions along Highway 2 to the west, Highways 684 (Shaftesbury Trail) and 743, as well as the southwest portion of Northern Sunrise County.

A Glimpse into the History of Peace River, Alberta

The history of Peace River dates back to the last glacial ice sheets melting from the northern parts of the Canadian prairies. An ice-free corridor allowed people from Asia to make their way deep into the Americas. When the Ice Age ended, many of these groups moved back north, following the large herds of grazing animals which were, in turn, following the grasses northward in the warming climate.

In 1670, the arrival of the Hudson's Bay Company in Eastern Canada marked a significant shift in the region. Guns began making their way westward as trade goods, and the Algonquian speaking Cree began pushing the Athapaskan speakers Dunne-za or Beaver further west.

Key Historical Events in Peace River, Alberta

The timeline of Peace River's history is filled with significant events. In 1792, Alexander MacKenzie established Fort Fork on the eastern bank of Peace River. In 1818, the Hudson's Bay Company opened the first Fort St. Mary's at the forks of the Peace and the Smoky.

The townsite of Peace River was first surveyed in 1909. It was incorporated as the Village of Peace River Crossing on June 2, 1914, and renamed the Village of Peace River on May 22, 1916. The village was later incorporated as the Town of Peace River on December 1, 1919.

Historical Sites and Architecture in Peace River, Alberta

Peace River is home to several historical sites and architectural landmarks. The Northern Alberta Railway (NAR) station, built in 1916, served as a major hub of activity for passengers from 1916 to 1956. The station was restored in 1991 and currently houses the Tourist Information Centre in Peace River.

The Catholic St. Augustine Mission, established in 1888, is another significant site. Alongside the mission is an old cemetery. This site is located within the Peace River Provincial Correctional Centre, which was built in 1968.

The Climate of