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Cochrane, Alberta facts for kids

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Town of Cochrane
Overview of Cochrane
Overview of Cochrane
Official logo of Cochrane
How the West is Now
Country  Canada
Province  Alberta
Region Calgary Region
Census division 6
Municipal district Rocky View County
 • Village June 17, 1903
 • Town February 15, 1971
 • Land 29.83 km2 (11.52 sq mi)
1,159 m (3,802 ft)
 • Total 25,853
 • Density 866.7/km2 (2,245/sq mi)
 • Municipal census (2016)
Demonym(s) Cochranite
Time zone UTC−7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Postal code span
Area code(s) +1-403, +1-587
Railways Canadian Pacific Railway

Cochrane is a town in the Canadian province of Alberta. The town is located 18 km west of the Calgary city limits along Highway 1A. With a population of 17,580, Cochrane is the second largest town in Alberta and one of the fastest growing communities in Canada. It is part of Calgary's census metropolitan area and a member community of the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP). The town is surrounded by Rocky View County.


Cochrane was established in 1881 as the Cochrane Ranche, after Matthew Henry Cochrane, a local rancher. It became a village in 1903 and it had a newspaper and volunteer fire department by 1909. Cochrane incorporated as a town in 1971.


Cochrane is situated at the base of Big Hill in the Bow River Valley. It sits at an elevation of 1,186 metres (3,891 ft). The town is intersected by Highway 1A and Highway 22. Cochrane has a reputation for its western culture, which can easily be felt when one wanders the streets (particularly Main Street). The town is a popular destination for ice cream and coffee in its quaint western-oriented stores as well as for windsports, golfing, hiking and other adventure activities.

Cochrane is also a small industrial centre. Major industries include lumber, construction, retail, and agriculture (ranching). It is notable as being one of a very few communities in Canada with no business tax.

Cochrane is known for outdoor pursuits. It is a centre for paragliding instruction, with the renowned Nick Mueller family operating a school at the top of the Big Hill.

The hill is also a popular training ground for cyclists from the area, who take advantage of its 7% grade and 3.5 km distance.


The following neighbourhoods are located within Cochrane.

  • Bow Meadows
  • Bow Ridge
  • Cochrane Heights
  • Downtown
  • East End
  • Fireside
  • Glenbow
  • GlenEagles
  • Heartland
  • Heritage Hills
  • Jumping Pound Ridge
  • Riversong
  • Riverview
  • Sunset Ridge
  • The Willows
  • West Pointe
  • West Terrace
  • West Valley


In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Cochrane recorded a population of 25,853 living in 9,757 of its 10,225 total private dwellings, a 47.1% change from its 2011 population of 17,580. With a land area of 29.83 km2 (11.52 sq mi), it had a population density of 866.7/km2 (2,245/sq mi) in 2016.

The population of the Town of Cochrane according to its 2016 municipal census is 25,122, an 8.8% change from its 2015 municipal census population of 23,084. At its current population, Cochrane is one of the largest towns in the province and is eligible for city status. According to Alberta's Municipal Government Act, a town is eligible for city status when it reaches 10,000 residents.

In the 2011 Census, the Town of Cochrane had a population of 17,580 living in 6,523 of its 6,824 total dwellings, a 27.8% change from its 2006 population of 13,760. With a land area of 30.03 km2 (11.59 sq mi), it had a population density of 585.4/km2 (1,516/sq mi) in 2011.

Arts and culture

Cochrane Ranche provided the corral setting for the 1954 National Film Board of Canada documentary Corral, by Colin Low, whose father had worked as a foreman at the ranch. This film played theatrically across Canada and was named Best Documentary at the Venice Film Festival.

Cochrane houses attractions such as Cochrane Ranche Historic Site and Bert Sheppard Stockmen's Foundation Library And Archives, located in the Cochrane Ranchehouse.

Cochrane is home to many annual events each year:

  • Chamber of Commerce Trade Fair: Early May
  • Canada Day (July 1)
  • Town of Cochrane presents the Canada Day Family Concert : Canada Day (July 1)
  • Labour Day Rodeo & Parade: Labour Day weekend
  • Terry Fox Run: September
  • Christmas Lightup: Late November
See also: Festivals in Alberta
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