St. Albert, Alberta Canada

Discover St. Albert, Alberta: A Blend of History and Modernity

St. Albert, Alberta, is a city that beautifully blends history and modernity. Nestled on the Sturgeon River, northwest of Edmonton, it was initially a Métis community. Today, it stands as the second-largest city in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. St. Albert received its town status in 1904 and was connected by the Canadian Northern Railway in 1906. Once separated from Edmonton by miles of farmland, the city expansion in the 1980s brought St. Albert adjacent to the larger city on its south and east sides.

The Rich History of St. Albert, Alberta

St. Albert was founded in 1861 as a Métis settlement by Father Albert Lacombe, who built a small chapel, the Father Lacombe Chapel, in the Sturgeon River valley. This chapel still stands today on Mission Hill in St. Albert. The original settlement was named Saint Albert by Bishop Alexandre-Antonin Taché after Lacombe's name saint; Saint Albert of Louvain.

The location offered several advantages, including easy access to wood and water supplies, excellent soil, and proximity to Fort Edmonton. By December 1864, the population was roughly 300. However, in 1870, smallpox spread north to St. Albert, killing 320 of 900 residents.

St. Albert was previously the site of two residential schools as part of the Canadian Residential School System. A healing garden, Kâkesimokamik, was opened on September 15, 2017, as part of the truth and reconciliation process between the city of St. Albert and survivors of the residential school system.

Demographics of St. Albert, Alberta

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the City of St. Albert had a population of 68,232 living in 25,938 of its 27,019 total private dwellings, a change of 4% from its 2016 population of 65,589. With a land area of 47.84 km2, it had a population density of 1,426.3/km2 in 2021.

Ethnicity and Language in St. Albert, Alberta

In 2021, 83.4% of residents were white/European, 11.1% were visible minorities, and 5.5% were Indigenous. The largest visible minority groups were Filipino (3.1%), South Asian (1.7%), Black (1.5%), Chinese (1.3%), and Arab (1.0%).

As of 2021, 86.0% of residents spoke English as their mother tongue. The next most common first languages were French (2.6%), Tagalog (1.5%), German (0.8%), Spanish (0.7%) Ukrainian (0.6%), Chinese languages (0.6%), and Arabic (0.5%).

Arts and Culture in St. Albert, Alberta

St. Albert Place, located in the heart of downtown, is the focal point of many community events and activities. It houses the St. Albert Public Library, Musée Héritage Museum, Visual Arts Studio, and Arden Theatre, as well as City Hall and associated city government services.

St. Albert has a rich arts scene, home to a writers' guild and painters' guild. The Art Gallery of St. Albert is a focal point of St. Albert's downtown. The city is also notable for its Aboriginal heritage, with many of the street signs in the city's downtown core written in French and Cree in addition to English.

Festivals and Events in St. Albert, Alberta

St. Albert hosts several annual events, including the Kinsmen Rainmaker Rodeo, the Outdoor Farmers' Market, Rock'n August, the St. Albert Rotary Music Festival, and Mambos & Mocktails. The city also hosts an annual Harvest Festival at the St. Albert Grain Elevator Park and the Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Festival at the Arden Theatre.

Library Services in St. Albert, Alberta

The St. Albert Public Library (SAPL) is located in St. Albert Place in the heart of downtown. The Library provides a wide range of services for St. Albert residents and visitors.

Sports and Recreation in St. Albert, Alberta

St. Albert offers over 100 parks and playgrounds, and the Red Willow park trail system connects many parks, schools, and residential areas. The city also boasts a $42.77-million multi-purpose leisure centre, Servus Credit Union Place, and several sports facilities.

Transport in St. Albert, Alberta

The nearest airport providing passenger service is the Edmonton International Airport. Local air services are provided by the St. Albert Heliport and Villeneuve Airport. The city runs St. Albert Transit (StAT), a public transport agency, with 21 local routes and 7 commuter routes to Edmonton. The Metro Line in Edmonton could be extended to St. Albert with four stations within city limits.