Grande Prairie, AB
Population (2007 Census) 50,227
The city of Grande Prairie serves as the regional center for business, service and shopping for Northwestern Alberta and Northeastern British Columbia (a trading market of over 200,000 people). Modern and vibrant, the City exudes a confidence and vitality that has consistently encouraged strong and steady industrial, economic and residential growth over the past 3 decades. Excellent infrastructure, transportation and communication links, and the easy availability of a well-trained work force invite interested investors. Urban and sophisticated, Grande Prairie provides a full range of educational, cultural and recreational opportunities.
With the arrival of spring, the ‘watch’ begins for the return of the Trumpeter Swan, migrating back to its nesting area at Lake Saskatoon, 15 minutes West of Grande Prairie. The Trumpeter Swan is the symbol of Grande Prairie, explaining why Grande Prairie is often referred to as “The Swan City”. Daylight Saving Time makes for long summer days in the Peace Country, giving golf enthusiasts (there are several golf courses in the city and surrounding area) the ability to enjoy their game until close to midnight. Visitors to the area may be pleasantly surprised to spot various species of wildlife. City residents often report seeing moose and deer wandering around in the heart of the city. Herds of wild elk have been reported within a ½ hour of Grande Prairie, and the odd black bear makes its appearance in rural areas surrounding the city. Once autumn leaves have fallen, and on through the winter months, the Northern Lights are often visible in this region. This amazing sight with its multi-colored lights pulsing across the night sky is a “must see”.
Grande Prairie’s major industries are Agriculture, Oil & Natural Gas, Forestry and Tourism. The prairie landscape, with its fertile soil is home to crops such as wheat, barley, canola, oats, clover, fescue and peas. As well, cattle, bison, deer and elk ranches dot the countryside here and there. Since the ‘70’s, when ‘the oilfield’ got its start in the area, countless people have found employment in this industry, many traveling from Eastern Canada to try to land a lucrative job in the ‘patch’. The Forestry industry has also been providing employment for many years, originally at the P&G pulp mill, which later sold to Weyerhaeuser Canada who added a sawmill, Canada Forest Products sawmill and Ainsworth OSB plant.
The many lakes and rivers in this region are home to numerous campgrounds and picnic areas. Local campers and holidaying RV’ers alike, can find a weekend home away from home with fishing, hiking, golfing, water sports, bird watching, berry picking or just relaxing. Many events such as the “Stompede” (Grande Prairie’s annual rodeo), numerous Trade Shows, Expert Mobile Extreme Country Fever, Drag Wars, Summer Slam and the Hot Air Balloon Competitions (which have been held here numerous times), help to draw in visitors from surrounding areas. Being located just a little over an hour away from Dawson Creek, BC, which is ‘Mile 0” of the Alaska Highway, has enabled Grande Prairie to play host to countless travelers making their way north to Alaska over the years.
A future tourist attraction which is in the formative stages will be located on a 10 acre lot along Highway 43 just 22 km west of Grande Prairie, near Wembley. The Phillip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, scheduled to open in July of 2013, will be a world class museum showcasing dinosaur bones collected from a bone bed along Pipestone Creek, just south of Wembley. Rich in dinosaur fossils (including Pacyrhinosaurus), this site has captured the attention and imagination of many people. Visit www.curriemuseum.ca to find out more about this proposed facility, their educational programs and for information about the Pipestone Creek bone beds.
Located on the by-pass, just north of the College, the Visitor Information Centre, ‘Centre 2000’ (site of Canada’s Largest Sundial) provides year-round information for travelers. Visit www.centre2000.ca
GRANDE PRAIRIE… the greatest place to be
Photos displayed on the "Grande Prairie" page are the sole property of The City of Grande Prairie and the photographer. Displayed with Permission from The City of Grande Prairie.
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