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High Level
Town of High Level
High level AB grain elevator complex.jpg
Flag of High Level
Location in Mackenzie County
Location in Mackenzie County
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Country Canada
Province Alberta
Region Northern Alberta
Planning region Lower Peace
Specialized municipality Mackenzie County
 • New town June 1, 1965
 • Land 28.7 km2 (11.1 sq mi)
 • Total 3,922
 • Density 136.7/km2 (354/sq mi)
Time zone UTC−07:00 (MST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−06:00 (MDT)
Forward sortation area
T0H 1Z0 & T0H 4J0
Area code(s) 780, 587, 825
Highways Highway 35
Highway 58

High Level is a town in northern Alberta, Canada. It is located at the intersection of the Mackenzie Highway (Highway 35) and Highway 58, approximately 733 kilometres (455 mi) north of Edmonton and 725 km (450 mi) south of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. High Level is located within Mackenzie County and was founded in 1947. The town serves a trading area of approximately 20,000 people.


The name High Level originated from the height of the land that separates the Peace and the Hay Rivers. The original location was approximately 3.5 miles north of the present spot and along the old Fort Vermilion/Meander River freighting trail, serving as a stopping place, not a town. The original High Level Sports Grounds were at this location and the old trail was still visible there in the mid 1960s. The High Level Golf & Country Club currently occupies this approximate location. For many years, High Level was known as Tloc Moi (Hay Meadow). The first fur traders arrived in this area in 1786, but it was not until 1947 that High Level was settled, with development of road access to Fort Vermilion being the primary factor in determining the town's present location. High Level's first power plant was established in 1957, and a year later the first post office was built. The oil fields were discovered in the 1960s, and a railway was run to the area in 1963.


High Level marks the northern extent of the Peace River Country, and has one of the northernmost lands suited for agriculture in Canada. It is surrounded to the north and west by muskeg tundra.


High Level has a subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dfc), with precipitation falling chiefly during the spring and summer, and wide temperature variations, rendering warm summers for the classification. The hottest recorded temperature, of 35.2 °C (95.4 °F) was on August 9, 1985, with the coldest recorded temperature -50.6 °C (-59.1 °F) on January 13, 1972. The name notwithstanding, this town lies at a low elevation for an Alberta community and the regional topography contributes to the extremes of temperature. In winter, very cold air often pools over the area. In summer, air masses originating from higher elevations warm by compression as they descend to High Level. Summer temperatures render High Level well within the vegetation zone, and winter average temperatures are less severe than further east in Canada even on lower latitudes.


High Level has a variety of wildlife, including wolves, coyotes, ravens, and many types of insects. Hunters can find moose, deer, bear and geese. There are over 150 species of birds known to nest in the area.


Federal census
population history
Year Pop. ±%
1966 708 —    
1971 1,614 +128.0%
1976 1,562 −3.2%
1981 2,194 +40.5%
1986 3,004 +36.9%
1991 2,849 −5.2%
1996 3,093 +8.6%
2001 3,444 +11.3%
2006 3,887 +12.9%
2011 3,641 −6.3%
2016 3,159 −13.2%
2021 3,922 +24.2%
Source: Statistics Canada

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of High Level recorded a population of &&&&&&&&&&&03922.&&&&&03,922 living in &&&&&&&&&&&01313.&&&&&01,313 of its &&&&&&&&&&&01467.&&&&&01,467 total private dwellings, a change of 24.2% from its 2016 population of &&&&&&&&&&&03159.&&&&&03,159. With a land area of 28.7 km2 (11.1 sq mi), it had a population density of 136.7/km2 (354/sq mi) in 2021.

The population of the Town High Level of according to its 2017 municipal census is 3,992, a change of 4.4% from its 2015 municipal census population of 3,823.

In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of High Level recorded a population of 3,159 living in 1,096 of its 1,339 total private dwellings, a -13.2% change from its 2011 population of 3,641. With a land area of 29.2 km2 (11.3 sq mi), it had a population density of 108.2/km2 (280/sq mi) in 2016.


The area surrounding High Level is known for its oil reserves and forests. Two large oil and gas fields, Rainbow Lake which is located west of the town and Zama City which is located North West of the town provides services to the oil patch. One OSB mill (which closed in 2007, and reopened in 2015 after the merger of Ainsworth and Norbord) is located south of High Level and a dimensional lumber mill is located in the town's industrial area.

High Level has the most northerly grain elevator in Canada and is a grain terminal for the large agricultural area. There are approximately 350,000 cultivated acres of farm land in the region and farmers transport their grains from up to 120 km (75 mi) away.


High Level has three public schools and one private school.

  • High Level Public School was the first school built in High Level and had all grades, K-12, until Florence MacDougall Community School opened. It now goes from grade 7-12.
  • Spirit of the North Community School is the newest school in High Level and opened in 2000; it houses grades 4-6.
  • Florence MacDougall Community School goes from kindergarten through third grade.
  • High Level Christian Academy goes from kindergarten through grade 9, after which students transfer to High Level Public School.
  • According to the Fraser Institute, in 2016-17 High Level Public School was ranked 226 out of 262 schools.


Both airplane and helicopter services are available in High Level. Due to the 'remote' or northern location, medevac and chartered services, provided by Nor-Alta Aviation, Highland Helicopters and Delta Helicopters, are offered to serve the surrounding communities.

Scheduled airline service is offered by both Central Mountain Air and Northwestern Air; direct flights to Edmonton, Calgary, Lloydminster, Rainbow Lake, Hay River and Fort Smith are offered daily except Saturdays.

Telephone service is provided by the incumbent carrier Telus as well as Northwestel.

Regional businesses are represented by the High Level and District Chamber of Commerce.

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