Alberta is a beautiful place full of natural beauty, great amenities, small towns, and big cities with a close-knit community. It isn’t surprising that people would look out for the best places to live in Alberta.
Alberta is Canada’s sixth-largest province, known for its large oil industry and reliance on agriculture. It is the only other landlocked province aside from Saskatchewan. With some of the most livable cities in Canada, Alberta wins the hearts of all tourists and locals who get the opportunity to live here.
Be it the capital city, Edmonton, the largest city, Calgary, or the city with the most beautiful Banff National Park, there’s a long list of the best places to live in Alberta, and this article covers just 10 of them.
1. 10 Best Places to Live in Alberta
Alberta is a province in Canada bordered by British Columbia, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, and Montane, USA, from the west, east, north, and south, respectively. The eastern part of the province is filled with the Great Plains, and the western part is full of rolling hills and the Rocky Mountains.
Alberta is not just a beautiful place but also an affordable one. It has a lower cost of living as compared to other provinces, which makes it offer a good number of places to live and a wide range of things to do. Small towns with friendly people, big cities with skyscrapers, Alberta has it all, so here’s a list of the best places to live in Alberta.
Calgary is the largest Western Canadian province and metropolitan area of the three Prairie Provinces. The Calgary population comprises 1,306,784 in the city and 1,481,806 people in the metropolitan area. This makes Calgary Canada’s third-largest city and the fifth-largest metropolitan area.
Home to a multicultural community and many cultural attractions, it is an expensive city but offers a decent quality of life. It has a lot of beautiful museums, art galleries, and parks. Also termed the Stampede City because of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, Calgary Stampede is home to more than a million individuals, and due to the absence of sales tax, it is a very affordable place.
Calgary’s economy is based on film, television, logistics, technology, aerospace, health, retail, and manufacturing. Calgary’s metropolitan region is Canada’s second-highest corporate head office.
Edmonton is Alberta’s capital city. It sits on the Saskatchewan River. The current Edmonton population comprises 1,418,118 people in the metropolitan area and 1,010,899 people in the city area. This makes Edmonton the fifth largest city in Canada and the sixth largest among the metropolitan areas. It is also North America’s Northernmost largest city with over a million people.
People often think that Edmonton is very expensive, but it is an affordable city with an average household income of $95,840 annually.
The five urban municipalities of Strathcona, West Edmonton, Jasper Place, Beverly, and North Edmonton have contributed to Edmonton’s economic and cultural growth. It is the ‘Gateway to the North’ staging point for oil projects and diamond mining operations. It also houses North America’s second-largest mall, West Edmonton Mall, and Canada’s largest living museum of living history.
Edmonton has a lot of festivals, because of which it is termed as ‘Canada’s Festival City’.
Some of the most loved festivals hosted in Edmonton are as follows:
1.2.1 Edmonton Works Art and Design Festival
It takes place in June and showcases local and international art from award-winning and emerging artists.
1.2.2 Edmonton International Street Performer’s Festival
It takes place in July and is the biggest festival for street performers in North America.
1.2.3 Edmonton Folk Music Festival
A major music festival in Edmonton, this is a great time for music lovers to unite and celebrate the art.
Other summer festivals in Edmonton include the Edmonton Heritage Festival, Taste of Edmonton, Big Valley Jamboree, Edmonton Rockfest, and Edmonton Blues Festival. Edmonton also houses a lot of winter festivals, including the oldest one, the Silver Skate Festival.
1.3. Red Deer
Red Deer is in the central part of Alberta and has a strong economy. It has various cultural attractions, affordable living costs, job opportunities, and a friendly community. It is named ‘Red Deer’, because of its proximity to the neighbouring Red Deer River.
It is a lovely city between Calgary and Edmonton and is the third most populated Albertan city. Red Deer is a major hub for the oil and gas industry, because of which it has a low unemployment rate.
It is also known for one of the most affordable airports, the Red Deer Regional Airport. Red Deer Regional Airport houses more than 20 aviation-related businesses and ensures access 365 days a year. It has a staff of fewer than 10 individuals but provides exemplary services.
Red deer has many cultural groups, like the Central Alberta Theatre, Red Deer Players Society, the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra, and the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery. The Red Deer Arts Council is a multi-disciplinary arts service organization that serves locals and educates people about performing arts.
1.4 St. Albert
St. Albert is one of the best places to live in Alberta because of its high quality of life, massive job opportunities, and beautiful scenery. It is located in a surrounding full of hills and forests. St. Albert is also one of the healthiest cities in Alberta and is the best spot for people who like being active.
St. Albert is currently the second-largest city in Edmonton’s Metropolitan area. Major employers in St. Albert are from the Health Services. It is a great and affordable place.
Here are a few highlights of St. Albert:
1.4.1 St Albert Place
1.4.2 The Musée Héritage Museum
This museum has permanent and temporary exhibits of over 1,100 objects, 70 texts, 3,000 photographs, and 6,500 artifacts. It also has a Children’s discovery room and a small gift shop.
1.4.3 The St. Albert Public Art Gallery
The gallery has monthly exhibits, an annual auction, and a variety of programs open to the public.
1.5 Grande Prairie
Grande Prairie is in the northwestern part of Alberta and is one of the best places to live in Alberta because of its affordable housing, job opportunities, major oil companies, and recreational activities. Grande Prairie is home to more than 65,000 people and is the best spot for people looking for ski resorts in cold months.
Grande Prairie is in Northwest Alberta and is located within the Peace River Country. Due to the proximity to the migration route for the trumpeter swan, Grande Prairie is called the ‘Swan City.’ Additionally, because of the paleontology discoveries in the area, it uses the dinosaur is an unofficial symbol.
It is an affordable city full of culture. Live music at restaurants, summer-long music festivals, charities, and local festivals make Grande Prairie a lovely city in Alberta.
Venues and entertainment facilities like the Revolution Place, the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, 214 Place (Grande Prairie’s tallest building), and the Second Street Theatre broadcast the vibrant community in Grande Prairie. Live music can be found in bars. The Reel Shorts Film Festival is a famous attraction in this place, and it is held in May. Finally, the Philip J Currie Museum is among the most admired place to explore more about dinosaurs.
Leduc is 27 kilometres away from Edmonton and has 28,000 residents. Like other major cities in Alberta, it is known for providing the vibes of being in a small town and having access to all amenities. It has many restaurants, entertainment options, massive parks, and a large shopping district. The low crime rate, good job opportunities, and strong community spirit make Leduc one of the best places to live in Alberta.
Here are a few spots in Leduc that make it one of the best cities in Alberta:
1.6.1 Maclab Centre for Performing Arts
This is a 460-seat theatre facility for performing arts.
1.6.2 Leduc Recreation Centre
This is a 309,000 sq. ft. stadium with 3 NHL-sized arenas, a curling rink, an aquatic multi-use field house, a fitness centre, a running track, child care facilities, conference rooms, and restaurants.
1.6.3 William F. Lede Park
This 200-acre park has seven baseball courts, a soccer ground, volleyball courts, rugby fields, a clubhouse, community gardens, a dog park, and trails.
Alberta, Lethbridge, is another populous city on the list of best places to live in Alberta. Lethbridge lies in southeast Alberta and is full of 100,000 residents. Because of its proximity to the Canadian Rockies, Lethbridge has mild winters and warm summers.
Southern Alberta holds Lethbridge as the centre of its industry because of the vast amount of business opportunities it offers. Here, you’ll find a variety of cultures and lifestyles and a common love for photography and art.
Lethbridge is referred to as Southern Alberta’s commercial centre. Half of the workforce in Lethbridge works in retail and education. Additionally, Lethbridge also holds the only university found in Southern Alberta.
Lethbridge holds every right to be termed Southern Alberta’s cultural centre. It has a lot of cultural attractions, including the Nikka Yuko Garden, the Galt Archives, the Lethbridge Military Museum, and the Helen Schuler Nature Centre.
Camrose is also known as Rose City because of its abundance of wild roses. It is situated in central Alberta and has beautiful surroundings for comfort. It has a population of 19000 and is an affordable place to live.
If you enjoy roses, the Bill Fowler Centre is the best spot for you. It is a great place to learn various things about Alberta, British Columbia, Labrador, and Newfoundland.
Camrose is a charming small town with a lot of spots for recreation.
Here is a list of its highlighted favourite spots that make it one of the best cities to live in Alberta:
1.8.1 The Camrose Recreation Centre
A multi-purpose sporting complex with the 2,500 Encana Arena, 300-seater Border Paving Arena, Max McLean Arena, and the Camrose Aquatic Centre.
1.8.2 Stoney Creek Valley Trail
An urban trail system around 10km in length.
1.8.3 Camrose Ski Club
Canada’s oldest cross-country ski club.
1.8.4 Mirror Lake
Mirror Lake is located in the centre of Camrose and is home to two species of swans. It is also the focal point for the urban parks system and home to the Bill Fowler Centre. The Bill Fowler Centre also provides access to the Tourist Information Centre and the Chamber of Commerce.
Okotoks is a flourishing big city located on the banks of Sheep River, Alberta. With a population of 23,251, Okotoks is known for its affordability, job availability, scenery, basic amenities, urban facilities, and family-friendly environment.
Okotoks has gotten its name from ‘ohkotok.’ It is a Blackfoot First Nation word for ‘rock.’ It also is synonymous with ‘the Big Rock’. It is the Foothills Train’s largest erratic made from glacial contributions. According to MoneySense, Okotoks is Alberta’s top liveable town.
Okotoks, while being one of the best places to live in Alberta, has experienced some natural disasters. Major flooding events occurred in 1995, 2005, and 2013. The 2005 event was very drastic. It affected a major chunk of southern Alberta and all lands near the Sheep River. The 2013 Alberta floods also caused a lot of damage. However, numerous old buildings have been restored to their historic glory despite this.
Airdrie is a small town located in the North of Calgary. If you want to know about Calgary without having to live there, Airdrie is the best option. It is just thirty minutes from downtown Calgary and has all the required amenities. Airdrie has a growing job market, is an affordable city, and is full of parks and gardens.
Airdrie is in Alberta and is within the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor. It has a population of 74,100 people, making it a very populated Albertan city.
Airdrie is very famous for its interest in several sports. It is home to the Airdrie Irish, the Airdrie Thunder, and the Knights of Airdrie, which play in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League. With Airdrie being such a flourishing city, it is home to eight adult soccer teams that play in the Calgary Soccer Associations competition.
Airdrie has a lot of attractions. The Nose Creek Park, for example, has the first monument dedicated to Philippine National Hero José Rizal. The Nose Creek Valley Museum is another place to gain information about history and artifacts related to Airdrie. The Airdrie Festival of Lights is amongst the best outdoor activities with miniature trains for the whole family. Airdrie Family Fall fair is a great space for local vendors to demonstrate their food and products and for four children to indulge in a bouncy castle and face painting.
11. Medicine Hat
Lastly, Medicine Hat is a small city and among the best places to live in Alberta, on the South Saskatchewan River. With a population of 60,000 and a large economy, the city is full of people looking for jobs in industries related to oil, fertilizer, and chemicals.
It is also the brightest city in Canada, with around 2,544 hours of sun annually.
It started as a railway town but today includes communities like the Town of Redcliff and the hamlets of Seven Persons and Dunmore. Medicine hat has always been popular due to its large natural gas fields and is called the Gas City. It made history by becoming the first contributor to achieve three months of reducing homelessness in Canada.
Here are a few reasons Medicine Hat is one of the best places to live in Alberta:
1. 11.1 The Medicine Hat Clay Industries District
A working museum based on Medalta Potteries and Hycroft China Factory complexes, this museum offers exhibitions, guided tours, collections, and cultural insight.
1. 11.2 The Esplanade
This large cultural centre has a 700+ seat performing arts theatre. It also has a place to buy souvenirs and a small café.
1.11.3 The Medicine Hat Family Leisure Centre
Currently termed Big Marble Go Centre, this is Medicine Hat’s largest indoor activity hall. Featuring an Olympic size ice rink, a kiddies pool, a café, and a fitness centre.
1.11.4 Saamis Tepee
This is the world’s tallest tepee. It is painted in white, red, and blue and has ten circles with ideas of the Plain tribes.
Alberta, Canada, will never run out of places to live and things to do. This list of the top 10 best places to live in Alberta is just the tip of the iceberg, with plenty to offer. So, the next time you’re visiting Alberta and are confused about where to live, let this list be your guide!