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Athabasca, Alberta facts for kids

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Athabasca Landing (1877–1912)
Town of Athabasca
Town of Athabasca, Alberta photograph.jpg
Gateway to the Great New North
Country Canada
Province Alberta
Region Northern Alberta
Census division 13
Municipal district Athabasca County
Founded 1877
 • Village May 18, 1905 (as Athabasca Landing)
 • Town September 19, 1911
 • Name change August 4, 1913
 • Land 17.65 km2 (6.81 sq mi)
533 m (1,750 ft)
 • Total 2,965
 • Density 168/km2 (440/sq mi)
Time zone UTC-7 (MST)
Postal code span
Area code(s) +1-780

Athabasca (2011 population 2,990), originally named Athabasca Landing, is a town in northern Alberta, Canada. It is located 145 km (90 mi) north of Edmonton at the intersection of Highway 2 and Highway 55, on the banks of the Athabasca River. It is the centre of Athabasca County. It was known as Athabasca Landing prior to August 4, 1913.


Unlike many other towns in Alberta, Athabasca predates the railway. It was the terminus of the Edmonton to Athabasca Landing trail. Athabasca lies on a southern protrusion of the Athabasca River. During the fur trade era, when rivers were the principal means of transportation, the Athabasca–Edmonton trail connected two different drainage basins. The Athabasca River flows north and is part of the Mackenzie River watershed, which leads to the Arctic Ocean. Edmonton lies across a height-of-land on the North Saskatchewan River in the Nelson River drainage basin, which empties into Hudson Bay. Edmonton was in Rupert's Land but not Athabasca. The trail allowed goods to be portaged back and forth between river systems. Once agricultural settlement occurred, the trail served a similar purpose. Eventually, road and rail links would trace the same path.

The Athabasca Heritage Society put up signs through the downtown as well as along the riverfront that explain and depict the history. It has also published a historical walking tour that is available from the town office, library and visitor information centre.


In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Athabasca recorded a population of 2,965 living in 1,194 of its 1,313 total private dwellings, a -0.8% change from its 2011 population of 2,990. With a land area of 17.65 km2 (6.81 sq mi), it had a population density of 168.0/km2 (435/sq mi) in 2016.

In the 2011 Census, the Town of Athabasca had a population of 2,990 living in 1,175 of its 1,283 total dwellings, a 15.9% change from its 2006 adjusted population of 2,580. With a land area of 17.48 km2 (6.75 sq mi), it had a population density of 171.1/km2 (443/sq mi) in 2011.

The population of the Town of Athabasca according to its 2008 municipal census is 2,734.


Athabasca experiences a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) that borders on a subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc). The highest temperature ever recorded in Athabasca was 38.3 °C (101 °F) on July 18, 1941. The coldest temperature ever recorded was −54.4 °C (−66 °F) on January 11, 1911.

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