Discover Taber, Alberta: The Corn Capital of Canada

Taber, Alberta is a charming town nestled in southern Alberta, Canada. Surrounded by the Municipal District of Taber, it is situated approximately 51 km (32 mi) east of the City of Lethbridge at the intersection of Highway 3 and Highway 36. Known as the Corn Capital of Canada, Taber is renowned for its corn, thanks to the abundant sunshine the area receives. Every year, in the last week of August, the town celebrates its agricultural heritage with an annual "Cornfest".

The History of Taber, Alberta

Taber's history dates back to its days as "Tank No. 77," a railway water stop. In 1903, the first Mormon settlers from the U.S. established a hamlet at the Tank. The town's post office was built in 1907, and the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) named the town "Tabor," likely after Mount Tabor in the Holy Land. However, due to various misprints, the town was eventually renamed "Taber" to match the records.

An alternate theory suggests that the town's name originated from the first part of the word tabernacle, used by Mormon settlers in the area. The next Canadian Pacific Railway station was named Elcan (nacle spelled backwards).

Taber evolved into a successful coal mining town, with the industry experiencing a resurgence in the 1930s due to extensive irrigation in the area. During the Second World War, Japanese Canadians were relocated to Alberta, with many compelled into forced labor, primarily in sugar beet cultivation.

Irrigation not only supported the coal miners but also facilitated the production of sugar beets. In 1950, a sugar beet processing plant (Roger's Sugar) was built, becoming a vital part of the town's economy.

Archaeological discoveries in the vicinity of Taber include extinct buffalo and the "Taber child," discovered in 1961 by Dr. Archie Stalker of the Geological Survey of Canada team in the glacial deposits along the east bank of the Oldman River.

The Geography and Climate of Taber, Alberta

Taber experiences a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk). The highest temperature ever recorded in Taber was 40.6 °C (105 °F) on 17 July 1936. The coldest temperature ever recorded was −43.3 °C (−46 °F) on 23 January 1969.

Demographics of Taber, Alberta

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Taber had a population of 8,862 living in 3,347 of its 3,481 total private dwellings, a change of 5.1% from its 2016 population of 8,428. With a land area of 19.32 km2 (7.46 sq mi), it had a population density of 458.7/km2 (1,188.0/sq mi) in 2021.

Arts and Culture in Taber, Alberta

Taber is home to one of the Canada 150 Mosaic murals. It depicts Tank 77 within a field of corn, and the tiles were painted by members of the community. The mural was unveiled in December 2016, and is housed within the Taber Health Clinic.

Cornfest in Taber, Alberta

Cornfest is an annual summer festival held on the last full weekend in August. Organized by the Taber and District Chamber of Commerce, it includes a midway (rides, booths, and tests of skill) and a stage with performers. It is the largest free family festival in Western Canada, featuring a number of corn-based activities, such as corn tasting and stuffing. During Cornfest, local corn producers compete for the 'Best Corn of the Year' award.

Sister Cities of Taber, Alberta

Taber and Higashiomi, Japan are sister towns. In 1981, the Town of Taber and Notogawa, Japan signed the original Twinned Municipalities Agreement. When Notogawa was merged into the City of Higashiomi in 2006, the two municipalities re-signed the Twinning Agreement.