Picture Butte

Discover Picture Butte, Alberta: The Livestock Feeding Capital of Canada

Picture Butte, a charming town nestled in southern Alberta, Canada, is a mere 27 km (17 mi) north of the bustling city of Lethbridge. This quaint town proudly holds the title of "Livestock Feeding Capital of Canada."

The Origin of the Name: Picture Butte, Alberta

The name "Picture Butte" is not just a random choice. According to Ernest and Austin Mardon, the name is a descriptive translation of the Blackfoot phrase 'the beautiful hill.' This name was given in 2010, reflecting the town's picturesque landscape.

The Rich History of Picture Butte, Alberta

The town of Picture Butte derived its name from a prominence southeast of the town. However, by 1947, the prominence's soil had been reworked for street improvements, highway construction, and a dyke on the shore of the Picture Butte Lake Reservoir. The prominence no longer exists today.

Homesteading in Picture Butte began in the early 20th century. The construction of the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation System in 1923 and the CPR rail line in 1925 stimulated an influx of settlers. The town's first post office opened its doors in 1925. Picture Butte was officially recognized as a village in 1943 and later attained town status in 1961 with a population of 978.

The closure of the Canadian Sugar Factory in 1978 led to a loss of tax revenues and employment opportunities. Today, the town's industrial activity consists of small service, warehousing, and wholesaling industries.

In 1991, Picture Butte annexed approximately 165 acres (0.67 km2), significantly changing the town's boundary since the general municipal plan of 1980. Over time, several farms and properties in the Picture Butte area have adapted to changes. For instance, in 2016, the Natural Resources Conservation Board approved Scholten Farms' request to convert swine feeders to cattle feeders.

Picture Butte, Alberta: A Growing Community

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Picture Butte had a population of 1,930 living in 689 of its 729 total private dwellings. This was a 6.6% increase from its 2016 population of 1,810. With a land area of 3.02 km2 (1.17 sq mi), the town had a population density of 639.1/km2 (1,655.2/sq mi) in 2021.

Attractions in Picture Butte, Alberta

As of 2023, Picture Butte boasts an array of attractions for both residents and visitors. The town is home to an art gallery, three schools, three churches, a sports complex, a community league, a museum, and a historical village. These attractions add to the charm and appeal of Picture Butte, making it a must-visit destination in Alberta, Canada.