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Fitzgerald

Fort Fitzgerald
Smith's Landing
Country Canada
Province Alberta
Region Northern Alberta
Census division 16
Specialized municipality RM of Wood Buffalo
Elevation
200 m (700 ft)
Population
 (2015)
 • Total 9
Time zone UTC−7
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Postal code
T0V 1A0
Area code(s) +1-867

Fitzgerald, also known as Fort Fitzgerald and originally Smith's Landing, is an unincorporated community in northern Alberta within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, located 15.4 kilometres (9.6 mi) south of the Northwest Territories border, and 23 kilometres (14 mi) southeast of Fort Smith.

History

Radium Queen at the Fort Fitzgerald docks, July 1, 1937
The Radium Queen, and other tugboats, pushed barges to and from the portage at Fort Fitzgerald to the railhead at Waterways, Alberta.

Prior to the extension of railway service to Hay River, Northwest Territories, on Great Slave Lake, all cargo being shipped to or from the north had to be portaged from Fitzgerald to Fort Smith, to avoid four impassable rapids. The community was known as Smith's Landing until 1915 when it was renamed Fort Fitzgerald after the late Francis Joseph Fitzgerald.

Services

Most of the community's services are provided from Fort Smith, including fire, law enforcement, health care, social services, and telecommunications. Law enforcement is part of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police 'G division' in the Northwest Territories. Since telecommunication services, including cellular and internet, are from Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, the area code is 867, although Fitzgerald is located in what would be area code 780 in Alberta.

An all-weather road, named Hay Camp Road, links Fort Smith and Hay Camp through Fitzgerald.

Demographics

Fitzgerald had a population of 9 people in the 2015 Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo census. The population of the Thebathi 196 Indian Reserve in the federal 2011 census was 30, a 100% increase from the 2006 census which had a population of 15.

Climate

Fitzgerald has a subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dfc). Summers are short and warm, and winters long and cold.

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