Why Red Deer, Alberta Is A Prime Location For Business

Red Deer, located in Central Alberta, Canada, is a thriving city with a diverse economy and rich cultural heritage. It is situated almost halfway between Edmonton and Calgary and is a significant oil distribution center and a historically and culturally important location. The city has over 100,000 people, making it the third largest in Alberta.


Red Deer has numerous heritage buildings and art downtown. Historical and cultural attractions include Cronquist House, Sunnybrook Farm & Museum, and Historic Fort Normandeau. The city was even designated as Canada’s Cultural Capital in 2003 by the Department of Canadian Heritage.


Red Deer offers various outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, and biking. The city has over 20 parks with impressive walking trails, making it easy to connect with nature. 


Sylvan Lake and Pigeon Lake, nearby, offer unique shopping and dining experiences. For those who prefer more adventurous excursions, Banff and Jasper National Parks are just two hours away, providing opportunities for backcountry treks, summit ascents, and multi-day camping trips.


Red Deer has a comprehensive education system, with public and private schools focusing on supporting students academically and through extracurricular activities. The city also has a thriving arts community, with several music ensembles, theatre groups, and galleries. 


The city's infrastructure is well-developed, offering reliable public transportation, emergency medical care, and high-quality drinking water and sanitation.


Red Deer, Alberta, uniquely balances city amenities and rural living. Its diverse economy, rich cultural heritage, and plentiful outdoor activities make it an attractive place to live and work. 


The city's well-developed infrastructure, excellent education system, and affordable housing options make it an ideal location for those seeking a mid-sized city experience with all the essentials.


History of Red Deer, Alberta

Red Deer, Alberta, has a rich history of over 100 years. The area was originally inhabited by the First Nations, including the Blackfoot, Plains Cree, and Stoney tribes. The city was named after the Red Deer River, which flows through it. 


Here is a brief overview of the key events and milestones in Red Deer's history:


Early Settlement and Incorporation

  • 1882: A trading post and stopping house were built at the Red Deer Crossing, which became Fort Normandeau during the 1885 North-West Rebellion.
  • 1891: The first trains arrived in Red Deer, and the community began to grow around the railway station.
  • 1894: Red Deer was incorporated as a village.
  • 1901: It was incorporated as a town.
  • 1913: Red Deer was officially incorporated as a city.
  • 1900-1929: Following World War I, Red Deer emerged as a small, quiet, prosperous prairie city.
  • 1930-1945: During the Great Depression, the city was virtually debt-free and profited from its ownership of local public utilities.


Post-War Development

  • 1948: North Red Deer was amalgamated into the city.
  • 1950s-1960s: Red Deer expanded rapidly following the discovery of major oil reserves in Alberta. The city became a center for oil and gas industries, including the Joffre Cogeneration Plant.
  • 1964: Red Deer College was founded, which later became Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP).


Modern Era

  • 2003: Red Deer was designated as Canada's Cultural Capital.
  • 2016: The city hosted the Memorial Cup.
  • 2018: Red Deer replaced Edmonton as the host of the Canadian Finals Rodeo.
  • 2019: The city hosted the Canada Winter Games, leaving the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre and the Downtown Servus Arena as legacy facilities.


Current Status

Today, Red Deer is Alberta's third-largest city, with a population of over 100,000 people. The city has a diverse economy, with key industries including health care, retail trade, construction, oil and gas, hospitality, manufacturing, and education. It is known for its cultural attractions, outdoor activities, and strong infrastructure.


Geography of Red Deer, Alberta

Red Deer, Alberta, is located in the heart of the Canadian province of Alberta, approximately midway between Calgary and Edmonton. The city is situated on the Red Deer River, which flows through the city and provides a scenic backdrop for its parks and trails. Here are some key geographical features of Red Deer:

  1. Location: Red Deer is in the aspen parkland region, characterized by rolling hills and a mix of oil, grain, and cattle production.
  2. Elevation: The city has an elevation of 855 meters (2,805 feet) above sea level.
  3. Land Area: Red Deer covers 104.34 square kilometres (40.29 square miles), with 65.93 square kilometres (25.46 square miles) dedicated to urban development.
  4. Waterways: The city is bordered by the Red Deer River, Waskasoo Creek, and Piper Creek, which provide recreational opportunities and scenic views.
  5. Climate: Red Deer has a humid continental climate with a semi-arid influence, featuring cold winters and warm summers. The highest recorded temperature was 37.2°C (99°F) in 1906, while the lowest recorded temperature was -50.6°C (-59°F) in 1924.
  6. Neighbourhoods: Red Deer is divided into several neighbourhoods, each with unique character and amenities.


These geographical features contribute to the city's natural beauty, recreational opportunities, and economic development, making Red Deer a desirable place to live and visit.


Demographics of Red Deer, Alberta

According to the 2021 Census, Red Deer's population is 100,844, a slight increase of 0.4% from 2016. The city has a land area of 104.34 square kilometres and a population density of 966.5 people per square kilometre.


The population is fairly evenly split between males (49.4%) and females (50.6%), with an average age of 39.4 years. The largest age group is under 14 years old (18.2%), followed by 35-44 years (15.3%) and over 65 years (15.0%).


Regarding marital status, 44.6% of residents are married, 30.2% are single, and 9.8% are in common-law relationships. The unemployment rate is 12.3%.


English is the predominant language, spoken by 98% of the population. The median household income is $85,000, while the median after-tax household income is $75,000.


Red Deer has 40,510 households, with an average size of 2.4 people. 64.8% of households are owner-occupied, while 35.2% are rented. The largest share of households (34.7%) has two people, followed by one-person households (28.8%).


The majority of Red Deer's housing stock (25.7%) was built between 2001 and 2010, with another 18.1% built in the 1970s.


Economy of Red Deer, Alberta

Red Deer, Alberta's economy is diverse and driven by several key industries. Here are some key points about the economy of Red Deer:

  1. GDP Forecast: Alberta's real gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to accelerate to 3.3% next year before moderating to an average of 2.7% in 2026 and 2027.
  2. Major Industries: Red Deer's key industries include health care, retail trade, construction, oil and gas, hospitality, manufacturing, and education.
  3. Oil and Gas: Red Deer expanded rapidly following the discovery of major oil reserves in Alberta in the late 1940s. The city became a center for oil and gas and related industries, such as the Joffre Cogeneration Plant.
  4. Employment and Unemployment: Red Deer's unemployment rate has historically remained below the provincial average until recent years. In 2023, the city's jobless rate was 7.9%, higher than Calgary (5.2%), Camrose-Drumheller (3.1%), Edmonton (6.3%), and Lethbridge-Medicine Hat (5.5%).
  5. Median Household Income: The median family income after tax in Red Deer in 2020 was $91,000, which is lower than in Calgary ($102,000) and Edmonton ($97,000) but higher than in Lethbridge ($090,000).
  6. Education: Red Deer Polytechnic, formerly Red Deer College, offers a range of programs and credentials, including apprenticeships, certificates, degrees, and micro-credentials.


These factors contribute to the city's economic profile, which is influenced by its diverse industries and the broader economic trends in Alberta.


Education in Red Deer, Alberta

Red Deer, Alberta, offers a variety of educational institutions and programs. Here are some key points about education in Red Deer:

  1. Red Deer Polytechnic:
    • Offers diverse programs in various subject areas, including degrees, certificates, diplomas, and skilled trades.
    • Provides practical education through expert instructors and exceptional facilities.
    • It has locations in Red Deer and offers programs such as the Bachelor of Education, Early Childhood Education Leadership Development Certificate, and Educational Assistant Certificate.
  2. University Transfer Programs:
    • Red Deer Polytechnic offers university transfer programs, including the Bachelor of Education in Secondary, a two-year degree completion program in collaboration with the University of Alberta.
  3. Academy of Learning Career College:
    • A career college with a unique learning method, focusing on practical experience and job placement assistance.
    • Offers programs such as Healthcare Aide, Medical Office Assistant, Community Service and Addictions Worker, Business Administration, Accounting and Payroll, Insurance Advisor, and more.
  4. Red Deer Public Schools:
    • Provides public education to students in Red Deer and surrounding areas.


These educational institutions cater to different needs and goals, from practical career training to university-level education.


Transport System in Red Deer, Alberta

Red Deer, Alberta, has a comprehensive public transit system operated by Red Deer Transit. Here are the key points about the transport system in Red Deer:

  • 1966: The city took over the public transit system from private operators.
  • 2009: Transit service was extended to Springbrook and Gasoline Alley.
  • 2014: Service was extended to Blackfalds and Lacombe via BOLT transit.
  • 2019: Service was expanded to Penhold and Innisfail.


Routes and Services

  • Regular Routes: Twelve regular bus routes operate daily, from 6:15 a.m. to 11:15 p.m. on weekdays and 8:45 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Sundays and holidays.
  • BOLT Transit: BOLT transit provided service to Lacombe and Blackfalds but was suspended in 2020 and replaced by a shuttle service linking Blackfalds and Red Deer.
  • South 2A Transit: This service connects Red Deer to Innisfail and Penhold, with routes 102 and 103.


Transit Hubs

  • Sorensen Station: A transit terminal and parkade located at 4914-48 Avenue, opened in 2010.
  • Bower Hub: Located at the Bower Place Shopping Centre, it is the southernmost terminus of the network.
  • Kingston Dr. Hub: Located at the intersection of Gaetz Avenue and Kingston Drive in the Kentwood neighbourhood.


Future Developments

  • Passenger Rail Master Plan: Alberta's government is developing a plan to advance passenger rail infrastructure, with Red Deer potentially becoming a transit hub.


These developments highlight Red Deer's commitment to enhancing its public transit system and improving connectivity within the city and with surrounding areas.


Living in Red Deer, Alberta

Red Deer, Alberta, has a diverse economy, rich cultural heritage, and many outdoor activities. Here are some key points about living in Red Deer:



  • Diverse Industries: Red Deer has a diverse economy, with over 4,000 businesses providing 62,224 jobs. Key industries include Health Care and Social Assistance, Retail Trade, Construction, Mining, Quarrying, Oil and Gas Extraction, Accommodation and Food Services, Manufacturing, and Educational Services.


Cost of Living

  • Affordability: Red Deer's cost of living is relatively low compared to larger Canadian cities. The overall cost of living index is 83.3, which means it is 16.7% cheaper than a major Canadian city's average cost of living.
  • Housing: The median house price for homes in and around Red Deer is approximately CAD 350,000, which is very reasonable compared to larger Canadian cities.



  • Red Deer Polytechnic: Offers a range of programs and credentials, including degrees, diplomas, and skilled trades programs.
  • CDI College offers specialization in art and design, business, and health care, among other areas of interest.



  • Warm Summers: Red Deer experiences warm, long summers, with July being the city's warmest month, averaging 15°C.
  • Cold Winters: The city experiences long and cold winters, with temperatures below -5 °C from November to March.


Outdoor Activities

  • Natural Beauty: Red Deer is renowned for its varied and plentiful outdoor activities. The city has abundant lush green spaces for camping, fishing, golfing, kayaking, and biking.
  • Hunting and Fishing: The Red Deer area boasts a thriving population of elk and white-tailed deer, with some of the best hunting grounds in North America.



  • Low Crime Rate: Red Deer has a low incidence of crime and a strong commitment to public safety.


Red Deer is a great place to live. It offers a balance of urban amenities and rural living, plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, and a relatively low cost of living.


Healthcare in Red Deer, Alberta

Red Deer, Alberta, has a comprehensive healthcare system with several facilities providing various services. Here are the key points about healthcare in Red Deer:


Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre

  • Emergency Department: 24/7 emergency services available.
  • Specialized Services: Cardiac rehab, diabetes clinic, diagnostic imaging, general surgery, intensive care, mental health, obstetrics, medical oncology, orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology, palliative care, pediatrics, plastic surgery, radiation oncology, respiratory therapy, and urology.
  • Central Alberta Cancer Centre: Located within the hospital.
  • Trauma Center: Level 3 trauma center with transfer protocols for severe trauma patients.


Other Health Facilities

  • Alberta Health Services Michener Bend (Administration)
  • Red Deer 49th Street Community Health Centre
  • Red Deer 49 Street Community Health Centre - Mental Health Services
  • Red Deer Bremner Ave Community Health Centre
  • Red Deer Johnstone Crossing Community Health Centre


These facilities provide a comprehensive range of healthcare services to the residents of Red Deer and surrounding areas.


Tourist places of Red Deer, Alberta

Red Deer, Alberta, offers a variety of tourist attractions and activities. Here are some of the most popular places to visit:

  1. Kerry Wood Nature Centre: Trails, bird sanctuary, interactive exhibits, and music garden.
  2. Bower Ponds: Canoeing, kayaking, fishing, water balls, picnic spots, and an outdoor amphitheatre.
  3. Fort Normandeau: Historical structure, museum, boat launch, and scenic views.
  4. Heritage Ranch: Hayrides, horse-drawn carriages, interactive ranch tracker game, pumpkin patches, and a restaurant.
  5. Sunnybrook Farm Museum: Historical farm, resident animals, self-guided tours, and period clothing interpreters.
  6. McKenzie Trails Park: Trails, canoe launch, spruce and pine trees, and a nesting area for Canadian geese.
  7. Gaetz Lakes Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Bird sanctuary, trails, and viewing decks.
  8. Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery (MAG): Historical collection, local artisans, and educational programs.
  9. Farmers’ Markets: They are open year-round at 4200 Queen Elizabeth II Hwy #101, Red Deer, AB T4N 1E3, Canada.
  10. Downtown Red Deer: Walkable area, cafes, eateries, and scenic views of the Red Deer River.


These attractions combine outdoor activities, cultural experiences, and historical significance, making Red Deer a great tourist destination.


Local Food of Red Deer, Alberta

Red Deer, Alberta, offers a diverse and vibrant food scene with various local eateries and markets. Here are some of the best local food options in Red Deer:



  • Westlake Grill: At Heritage Ranch, Westlake Grill offers gourmet-casual lunch and dinner options focusing on local ingredients and international flavours.
  • Queen’s Diner: A retro-style diner serving hearty North American fare, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.
  • Las Palmeras: Known for its unique Latin cuisine, including yuca fries, pupusas, flautas, tacos, enchiladas, and more. They also have a great selection of salsas and housemade hot sauce.
  • Cilantro & Chive: This restaurant supports local suppliers and carries Alberta craft brews. They offer unique twists on favourite foods and a Burger of the Month program highlighting local celebrities and raising money for charities.
  • It’s All Greek to Me Offers Greek cuisine, including souvlaki, gyro, and moussaka.



  • Gasoline Alley Farmers’ Market: A year-round, indoor multi-day market with over 50 local vendors and a Market Kitchen offering in-house dining options.



  • Sweet Capones: Famous for its cannolis and other sweet treats, including cakes and cupcakes. They also offer a variety of coffee and breakfast options.



  • Troubled Monk Brewery: One of the many craft breweries in Alberta, offering a range of beers and a cozy atmosphere.


Other Recommendations

  • Chubby Jerk and Barbecue: A Caribbean joint with affordable and delicious options like jerk chicken and daily lunch specials.
  • One Eleven Grill: A fine dining steakhouse with a sophisticated ambiance and a focus on local ingredients.


These local food options showcase the diversity and richness of Red Deer’s culinary scene, offering something for every taste and preference.


You can also check the information regarding Abbotsford, British Columbia

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