Three Hills, Alberta Canada

Discover Three Hills, Alberta: A Blend of History and Modern Attractions

Three Hills is a charming town nestled in southern Alberta, Canada. The town is named after three distinctive, larger-than-normal hills located to its north. This article explores the rich history, demographics, and attractions that make Three Hills a unique destination.

The Historical Journey of Three Hills, Alberta

The history of Three Hills dates back to 1904 when the first post office was established. The town was incorporated as a village in 1912 and relocated to its current location on the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway line running between Tofield and Calgary. Initially, the town was home to ranchers and farmers and quickly became a hub for the surrounding wheat-growing area.

In 1922, the Prairie Bible Institute (now Prairie College) was established in Three Hills, with L. E. Maxwell as its first principal. This development significantly increased the town's population. By the mid-1980s, the 0.53 km2 (130-acre) college campus and the nearby hamlets of Grantville and Ruarkville were annexed to the town.

Despite its relatively small size, Three Hills hosted the Alberta Seniors Games in the summer of 1998, utilizing the large and well-equipped facilities at Prairie College. The opening and closing ceremonies took place in Prairie's 4,200-seat Maxwell Memorial Tabernacle, Canada’s largest religious auditorium at the time.

The Maxwell Tabernacle, which operated from 1953 until 2005, was the college chapel and hosted Christian concerts, Bible conferences, and served as the worship center for the local Prairie Tabernacle Congregation. It was also used as the convocation auditorium for Prairie College, Prairie Christian Academy, and the Three Hills High School. In 2020, a new 1,600-square-metre (17,000 sq ft) facility was opened adjacent to Prairie Christian Academy, about five blocks east of the college campus.

The development of nearby methane fields has led to significant growth in the food and lodging industries in Three Hills over the past few years.

Demographics of Three Hills, Alberta

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Three Hills had a population of 3,042 living in 1,168 of its 1,242 total private dwellings, a decrease of -5.3% from its 2016 population of 3,212. The town spans a land area of 6.74 km2 (2.60 sq mi), resulting in a population density of 451.3/km2 (1,169.0/sq mi) in 2021.

In the 2016 Census of Population, the town recorded a population of 3,212 living in 1,232 of its 1,306 total private dwellings, a slight 0.4% change from its 2011 population of 3,198. The 2012 municipal census counted a population of 3,230, a 2.8% decrease from its 2008 municipal census population of 3,322.

Attractions in Three Hills, Alberta

Three Hills offers a variety of attractions for its community and visitors. These include the Three Hills Municipal Library, Aquatic Centre, Centennial Place hockey arena, curling rink, campground, Three Hills Golf Club, and the Kneehill Historical Museum.

Since 1981, Three Hills has hosted an annual weekend in early June for auto enthusiasts called Cruise Night. The event typically attracts more than 8,000 visitors, along with their classic cars, trucks, motorcycles, and hot rods. This weekend is the largest of its kind in all of Western Canada.

Whether you're a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or just looking for a peaceful getaway, Three Hills, Alberta, offers a unique blend of historical charm and modern attractions.