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Fort Saskatchewan
City
City of Fort Saskatchewan
Fort Saskatchewan City Hall in December
Fort Saskatchewan City Hall in December
Flag of Fort Saskatchewan
Flag
Official logo of Fort Saskatchewan
Motto(s): 
Gotta Love It!
Country Canada
Province Alberta
Region Edmonton Capital Region
Census division 11
Incorporated  
 • Village March 1, 1899
 • Town July 1, 1907
 • City July 1, 1985
Area
 (2016)
 • Land 48.18 km2 (18.60 sq mi)
Elevation
610 m (2,000 ft)
Population
 (2016)
 • Total 24,149
 • Density 501.3/km2 (1,298/sq mi)
 • Municipal census (2016)
24,569
Time zone UTC−7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−6 (MDT)
Postal code span
T8L
Area code(s) +1-780
Highways Highway 15
Highway 21
Waterways North Saskatchewan River

Fort Saskatchewan is a city in Alberta, Canada, located 25 kilometres (16 mi) northeast of Edmonton, Alberta's capital city, along the North Saskatchewan River. Fort Saskatchewan is part of the Edmonton census metropolitan area and is one of 24 municipalities that comprise the Capital Region Board (CRB). Fort Saskatchewan's population in the 2016 federal census was 24,149 while it was 24,569 in the city's 2016 municipal census.

Fort Saskatchewan is bordered by Strathcona County to the south and east, Sturgeon County to the north and west, and the City of Edmonton to the southwest. Sturgeon County and Edmonton are both located across the North Saskatchewan River.

The city is most well known for its proximity to petrochemical facilities, including Dow Chemical, Sherritt International, Agrium and Shell Canada. It is also known for its flock of 50 sheep that roam its downtown park throughout the summer months eating the grass. The city mascot is a sheep named Auggie.

History

In 1875, under the command of Inspector W.D. Jarvis, the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) established Fort Saskatchewan as a fort on the North Saskatchewan River. The community was later incorporated as a village in 1899, a town in 1904, and a city in 1985.

CN-Train-Station-Fort-Saskatchewan-Alberta-Canada-01A
Historic Fort Saskatchewan railway station

The Canadian Northern Railway reached Fort Saskatchewan in 1905, placing the town on a transcontinental rail line. The first bridge across the river was also built at this time, with the rail company paying for it in exchange for free land for its station in Fort Saskatchewan. Prior to the bridge, the only method to cross the river at Fort Saskatchewan was via ferry. In the decade after the railway arrived, the town's population nearly doubled to 993.

A new $200,000 provincial jail opened in 1915 at the end of what is now 100th Avenue to replace the 34-cell guard house that had been used to hold prisoners since the NWMP fort was constructed in 1875. The jail would see various additions throughout the next 70 years, including the construction of more cell blocks as well as a stand-alone power plant. By 1973, the jail employed 220 residents and housed both male and female offenders. The jail was replaced in 1988 when a new provincial correctional centre was built south of Highway 15 on 101st Street. The original jail cell blocks were subsequently demolished in 1994. Only one building from the complex, as well as the Warden's House, still stands today.

In 1952, Sherritt Gordon Mines started construction on a $25-million nickel refinery in Fort Saskatchewan, which started production in 1954. Following Sherritt Gordon's locating in Fort Saskatchewan, more industries constructed plants in the town. Between 1951 and 1956, the town's population doubled from 1,076 to 2,582.

Dow Chemical acquired 700 acres in Fort Saskatchewan in 1959, opening its plant in 1961 and further expanding it in 1967. Within five years of beginning operation at Dow, the population again saw a significant increase to 4,152 in 1966, up from 2,972 in 1961.

Since Fort Saskatchewan was incorporated as a town in 1904, it has had 29 residents serve as its mayor.

Geography

Climate

Climate data for Fort Saskatchewan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 10.0
(50)
15.0
(59)
18.9
(66)
31.1
(88)
33.5
(92.3)
33.4
(92.1)
36.5
(97.7)
36.0
(96.8)
33.3
(91.9)
29.5
(85.1)
19.0
(66.2)
12.5
(54.5)
36.5
(97.7)
Average high °C (°F) −6.5
(20.3)
−3.6
(25.5)
1.7
(35.1)
11.3
(52.3)
17.9
(64.2)
21.2
(70.2)
23.3
(73.9)
22.4
(72.3)
17.2
(63)
10.3
(50.5)
−0.4
(31.3)
−5.1
(22.8)
9.1
(48.4)
Daily mean °C (°F) −11.9
(10.6)
−9.3
(15.3)
−3.7
(25.3)
4.9
(40.8)
11.1
(52)
15.0
(59)
17.1
(62.8)
15.9
(60.6)
10.9
(51.6)
4.4
(39.9)
−5.3
(22.5)
−10.4
(13.3)
3.2
(37.8)
Average low °C (°F) −17.3
(0.9)
-15.0
(5)
-9.0
(15.8)
−1.5
(29.3)
4.3
(39.7)
8.8
(47.8)
10.8
(51.4)
9.4
(48.9)
4.5
(40.1)
−1.6
(29.1)
−10.2
(13.6)
−15.7
(3.7)
−2.7
(27.1)
Record low °C (°F) -45.0
(-49)
−41.5
(-42.7)
−45.6
(-50.1)
-28.0
(-18.4)
−9.5
(14.9)
−3.3
(26.1)
0.5
(32.9)
-1.0
(30.2)
-10.0
(14)
−24.5
(-12.1)
−38.5
(-37.3)
−43.9
(-47)
−45.6
(-50.1)
Precipitation mm (inches) 24.0
(0.945)
12.4
(0.488)
18.7
(0.736)
24.3
(0.957)
43.1
(1.697)
80.0
(3.15)
92.0
(3.622)
55.4
(2.181)
40.8
(1.606)
20.6
(0.811)
23.3
(0.917)
20.2
(0.795)
454.6
(17.898)
Rainfall mm (inches) 0.6
(0.024)
0.8
(0.031)
0.5
(0.02)
16.2
(0.638)
41.1
(1.618)
80.0
(3.15)
92.0
(3.622)
55.4
(2.181)
40.8
(1.606)
14.3
(0.563)
2.8
(0.11)
0.7
(0.028)
345.2
(13.591)
Snowfall cm (inches) 23.4
(9.21)
11.6
(4.57)
18.1
(7.13)
8.1
(3.19)
2.0
(0.79)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
6.3
(2.48)
20.5
(8.07)
19.8
(7.8)
109.7
(43.19)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 6.6 5 4.3 6.3 10.2 13.3 14.2 13.5 10.2 6.8 6.4 5.9 102.6
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 0.14 0.21 0.66 5.1 10.1 13.3 14.2 13.5 10.2 6 1.5 0.18 75
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 6.5 4.8 3.7 1.5 0.35 0 0 0 0.07 1 4.9 5.8 28.6
Source #1: Environment Canada
Source #2: Precipitation Days Only

Demographics

Federal census
population history
Year Pop. ±%
1901 306 —    
1906 585 +91.2%
1911 782 +33.7%
1916 993 +27.0%
1921 982 −1.1%
1926 943 −4.0%
1931 1,001 +6.2%
1936 899 −10.2%
1941 903 +0.4%
1946 921 +2.0%
1951 1,076 +16.8%
1956 2,582 +140.0%
1961 2,972 +15.1%
1966 4,152 +39.7%
1971 5,726 +37.9%
1976 8,304 +45.0%
1981 12,169 +46.5%
1986 11,983 −1.5%
1991 12,078 +0.8%
1996 12,408 +2.7%
2001 13,121 +5.7%
2006 14,957 +14.0%
2011 19,051 +27.4%
2016 24,149 +26.8%
Sources: Statistics Canada and
City of Fort Saskatchewan


In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the City of Fort Saskatchewan recorded a population of 24,149 living in 9,261 of its 9,939 total private dwellings, a change of 26.8% from its 2011 population of 19,051. With a land area of 48.18 km2 (18.60 sq mi), it had a population density of 501.2/km2 (1,298/sq mi) in 2016.

The population of the City of Fort Saskatchewan according to its 2016 municipal census is 24,569, a change of 2.2% from its 2015 municipal census population of 24,040.

In the 2011 Census, the City of Fort Saskatchewan had a population of 19,051 living in 7,333 of its 8,109 total dwellings, a change of 27.4% from its 2006 population of 14,957. With a land area of 48.12 km2 (18.58 sq mi), it had a population density of 395.9/km2 (1,025/sq mi) in 2011.

Residents work mostly in trades (2,130), retail (1,840) or business/finance (1,575).

According to the 2006 census, the largest visible minorities in the community were Chinese with 95 residents followed by Filipino with 55 residents.

English is the first language of 91.7% of the population. French (2.2%) is the second most common first language.

Attractions

The centrepiece of Fort Saskatchewan's recreation and culture is the Dow Centennial Centre (DCC), a multi-use facility that includes an ice arena, gymnasium, fieldhouse, indoor track and fitness centre. The facility, which opened in September 2004, also features a 550-seat performing arts theatre, a permanent art gallery with monthly shows, a banquet hall and the local Pottery Guild.

The city also has two other indoor ice arenas   the Jubilee Recreation Centre and the Sportsplex   that are used during the winter months by hockey, ringette and figure skating associations. In the summer months, the lacrosse association uses them. Fort Saskatchewan also has the Harbour Pool, which is an indoor swimming pool that includes a hot tub, sauna and slide.

Over 30 km (19 mi) of paved trails meander through the city's dozen parks, including Legacy Park, which is the city's main gathering place and hosts festivals in the summer.

There is one nine-hole golf course located within the city's boundaries with three others nearby.

The Fort Saskatchewan Museum (c. 1909) is on the Canadian Register of Historic Places. The museum, which sits adjacent to Legacy Park along 101 Street, features a red brick courthouse, a historic school, church and house that were relocated to the site from their respective locations around the region.

Fort Saskatewan Public Library and City Hall - 31-Dec-2016
Fort Saskatewan Public Library and City Hall in December 2016.

Fort Saskatchewan is served by the Fort Saskatchewan Public Library located on 102 Street next to City Hall.

The city's west end features a boat launch into the North Saskatchewan River, called Red Coat Landing, and a provincially preserved natural area, called the Fort Saskatchewan Prairie.

The Elk Island National Park, which is famous for its bison, is located southeast of the city.

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