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Chestermere
Chestermere Lake (1977–1993)
City
City of Chestermere
Aerial view of Chestermere
Aerial view of Chestermere
Country  Canada
Province  Alberta
Region Calgary Region
Census division 6
Municipal district Rocky View County
Founded 1884
Incorporated  
 • Summer village April 1, 1977
 • Town March 1, 1993
 • City January 1, 2015
Area (2016)
 • Land 32.94 km2 (12.72 sq mi)
Elevation 1,030 m (3,380 ft)
Population (2016)
 • Total 19,887
 • Density 603.8/km2 (1,564/sq mi)
 • Municipal census (2016) 19,715
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
Area code(s) 403, 587, 825
Highways Trans-Canada Highway
Highway 1A

Chestermere, originally named Chestermere Lake, is a city in the Canadian province of Alberta, within Rocky View County. It is largely a bedroom community of Calgary and is a member municipality of the Calgary Regional Partnership. The city, which surrounds Chestermere Lake, was known as Chestermere Lake from 1977 to 1993.

History

Early settlement

Prior to the 20th century, the area around what is now Chestermere Lake was settled by only a few farmers. When the Canadian Pacific Railway was established in the 1880s, more and more people came to settle in the west. To make farming more productive, settlers began to determine ways to irrigate their land. As a natural wetland, Chestermere Lake was considered to be perfect for use as a balancing pool for the Western Irrigation Block. By 1907, a dam and canal system had been built, the wetland developed into a lake, and farmers began using the water for irrigation.

Summer village

Following the irrigation development, the lake began to be used for recreation. People would lease land from the Western Irrigation District (WID) (which took control of the land from CPR in 1944), build cabins and stay on the lake during the summer months. In 1959, the Chestermere Cabin Owners Association (CCOA) was incorporated with approximately 50 members. The CCOA held events, bought a fire truck for the community, worked to reduce pollution in the lake, planted trees, and arranged for electricity and natural gas for the cabins.

As more people began to live around Chestermere Lake, residents wanted to secure long-term leases. In 1975, the CCOA bought the land from the WID and then transferred it to the residents. By 1977, the lake boasted 120 permanent homes and gained official status as the Summer Village of Chestermere Lake on April 1, 1977. As a summer village, the residents of Chestermere gained more political influence and were able to begin adding services and amenities or encouraging infrastructure and developments such as fire and protection services, improved roads, a community hall, street lights, a recreation centre, local businesses and a golf course.

Town

By 1992, Chestermere’s population had increased to 1,043 permanent residents. On March 1, 1993, the Summer Village of Chestermere Lake officially changed its status and name to the Town of Chestermere. Becoming a town gave the residents more local and political authority. The town continued developing amenities and services for residents and its population has grown to 17,203 residents as recorded by its 2014 municipal census. In late 2014, town council voted in favour of pursuing city status, which became effective January 1, 2015.

City

Chestermere's town council voted to apply for city status on September 29, 2014 when it was the fastest growing Town in Alberta. It became Alberta's 18th city on January 1, 2015.

Geography

Neighbourhoods

The city is organized into fifteen neighbourhoods.

Demographics

In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the City of Chestermere recorded a population of 19,887 living in 6,112 of its 6,250 total private dwellings, a change of 34.2% from its 2011 population of 14,824. With a land area of 32.94 km2 (12.72 sq mi), it had a population density of 603.7/km2 (1,564/sq mi) in 2016.

The population of Chestermere according to its 2016 municipal census is 19,715, a change of 6.6% from its 2015 municipal census population of 18,496.

In the 2011 Census, the City of Chestermere had a population of 14,824 living in 4,635 of its 4,858 total dwellings, a change of 49.4% from its 2006 adjusted population of 9,923. With a land area of 32.64 km2 (12.60 sq mi), it had a population density of 454.2/km2 (1,176/sq mi) in 2011. The 2011 census also indicated that Chestermere was ranked as the municipality with the fifth-highest population growth between 2006 and 2011.

Transportation

Chestermere is accessible on land through Trans-Canada Highway and Alberta Highway 1A. By air, the city is accessible through Chestermere (Kirkby Field) Airport.

Attractions

  • Chestermere Lake – Chestermere is well known for its lake. In the summer, it is used for waterskiing, wakeboarding, fishing and a variety of other water sports. It also provides day use parks for launching boats and family areas for the enjoyment of the outdoors. Chestermere Lake is also home to the Calgary Yacht Club.
  • Chestermere Water Festival – The Chestermere Water Festival is an annual celebration of summer at the lake.
  • Biking and skateboarding – Chestermere is connected to the Calgary bicycle pathway system at the south end of West Chestermere
  • Winter Festival – The Chestermere Winter Festival is an annual celebration of winter in a small city.
  • Chestermere Drive (by the canal) and has bike trails surrounding the lake, a BMX park and a skate park.
  • Lakeside Greens Golf Course in Chestermere is a semi-private 18 hole golf course.
  • Camp Chestermere is a Christian camp located on the southeast end of Chestermere Lake.

Contemporary issues

Although Chestermere is considered a separate municipality in its own right, its proximity to Calgary has led to occasional questions regarding possible future absorption by Calgary as it grows.

On August 1, 2007, the City of Calgary annexed an extensive tract of land from Rocky View County, which placed Calgary's eastern city limits one section (1.6 km or 1 mi) from the Chestermere's western city limits.

Meanwhile, Chestermere's March 2007 Growth Study proposed annexation of, among other areas, the intervening land between Chestermere and the newly expanded Calgary boundaries. On March 13, 2009, Chestermere's annexation was approved resulting in a shared municipal boundary with Calgary.

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