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Strathcona County
Specialized municipality
Official seal of Strathcona County
Location within Alberta
Location within Alberta
Country Canada
Province Alberta
Region Edmonton Metropolitan Region
Census division No. 11
 - Municipal district 1943
 - Specialized municipality January 1, 1996
Named for Donald Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal
 • Land 1,170.65 km2 (451.99 sq mi)
 • Total 99,225
 • Density 84.8/km2 (220/sq mi)
 • Municipal census (2015)
 • Estimate (2020)
Time zone UTC-7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-6 (MDT)

Strathcona County is a specialized municipality in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region within Alberta, Canada between Edmonton and Elk Island National Park. It forms part of Census Division No. 11.

Strathcona County is both urban and rural in nature. Approximately 73% of its population lives in Sherwood Park, which is an urban service area east of Edmonton remains an unincorporated hamlet. The balance lives beyond Sherwood Park within a rural service area.


First officially recognized in 1893 by the territorial legislature (it was then part of the North West Territories) as Statute Labour District #2, Strathcona County has changed immensely since its inception. In 1913 Statute Labour District #2 was renamed to Local Improvement District #517 (Clover Bar), which then, in 1943, merged with Local Improvement District #518 (Strathcona) to become Municipal District #83 (Strathcona). By joining with local school divisions in 1962, Municipal District #83 officially became a county. County status was subsequently revoked in 1995 when the County Act was repealed by the provincial legislature, but was quickly returned in 1996 when the County of Strathcona #20 officially changed its name to Strathcona County and received Specialized Municipality status.

On March 29, 2007, Strathcona County announced plans to create an entirely new urban community from scratch to complement Sherwood Park. This development is supposed to be more dense and pedestrian friendly, and could hold up to 200,000 people. However, opponents have pointed out that the development will destroy land of high agricultural value.


Federal census
population history
Year Pop. ±%
1931 6,293 —    
1936 6,844 +8.8%
1941 6,725 −1.7%
1946 6,383 −5.1%
1951 7,591 +18.9%
1956 8,873 +16.9%
1961 12,075 +36.1%
1966 16,185 +34.0%
1971 25,634 +58.4%
1976 42,278 +64.9%
1981 51,579 +22.0%
1986 49,802 −3.4%
1991 56,573 +13.6%
1996 64,176 +13.4%
2001 71,986 +12.2%
2006 82,511 +14.6%
2011 92,490 +12.1%
2016 98,044 +6.0%
2021 99,225 +1.2%
Source: Statistics Canada

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Strathcona County had a population of 99,225 living in 37,128 of its 38,203 total private dwellings, a change of 1.2% from its 2016 population of 98,024. With a land area of 1,170.65 km2 (451.99 sq mi), it had a population density of 84.8/km2 (220/sq mi) in 2021.

Strathcona County municipal census population breakdown
Component 2018 population 2015 population
Sherwood Park urban service area &&&&&&&&&&071332.&&&&&071,332 &&&&&&&&&&068782.&&&&&068,782
Rural service area &&&&&&&&&&027049.&&&&&027,049 &&&&&&&&&&026815.&&&&&026,815
– Hamlet of Antler Lake &&&&&&&&&&&&0435.&&&&&0435
– Hamlet of Ardrossan &&&&&&&&&&&&0532.&&&&&0532
– Hamlet of Collingwood Cove &&&&&&&&&&&&0376.&&&&&0376
– Hamlet of Half Moon Lake &&&&&&&&&&&&0214.&&&&&0214
– Hamlet of Hastings Lake &&&&&&&&&&&&0104.&&&&&0104
– Hamlet of Josephburg &&&&&&&&&&&&0118.&&&&&0118
– Hamlet of North Cooking Lake &&&&&&&&&&&&&057.&&&&&057
– Hamlet of South Cooking Lake &&&&&&&&&&&&0270.&&&&&0270
Total Strathcona County &&&&&&&&&&098381.&&&&&098,381 &&&&&&&&&&095597.&&&&&095,597

The population of Strathcona County according to its 2018 municipal census is 98,381, a change of 2.9% from its 2015 municipal census population of 95,597. Its 2018 population includes 71,332 or 72.5% living in the Sherwood Park urban service area and 27,049 or 27.5% in the rural service area.

In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Strathcona County recorded a population of 98,044 living in 35,567 of its 36,354 total private dwellings, a change of 6% from its 2011 population of 92,490. With a land area of 1,182.78 km2 (456.67 sq mi), it had a population density of 82.9/km2 (215/sq mi) in 2016.


Communities and localities

The following localities are located within Strathcona County.




Strathcona County has over $12.0 billion worth of industrial projects completed, announced, or under construction. This is aided in part by the concentration of oil refineries on the west side of Sherwood Park. This district, known as Refinery Row, includes some of the largest industrial facilities in Western Canada, such as Imperial's Strathcona Refinery. Originally built in the 1940s, a new refinery was constructed in 1976 and is one of the largest refining facilities in Canada. As well, the Suncor's Edmonton Refinery produces 142,000 barrels per day (22,600 m3/d) of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and aviation gasoline. This refinery sits on 247 hectares of land and has been operating for over 65 years. A founding member of Alberta's Industrial Heartland, Strathcona County is home to Canada's largest hydrocarbon refining cluster.

The leading industries in Strathcona County as of 2020 are extraction, manufacturing, scientific, construction, trucking and engineering.


Strathcona County is home to more than 11,000 businesses, with 3,500 of those businesses comprising employees. A market area population of 1.4 million has resulted in household spending power of $5.6 billion. Strathcona County has over 15,800 highly-skilled graduates available with 94% of residents holding a diploma, certificate, or degree. Within the active business community, there are several resources available to local entrepreneurs to help support their businesses:

  • Small Business Week and Conference
  • Business Visitation Program
  • Business Startup Seminars and Support
  • Business Planning and Site Selection Resources



Strathcona County is home to two public airports. Cooking Lake Airport, which operates as a condo board, accommodates 87 per cent of Strathcona County's public aeronautical transportation needs. It is also the oldest operating public airport in Canada and approved for international flights under the Canada Border Services Agency CANPASS program.

The Warren Thomas Aerodrome, better known as the Josephburg Airport, serves the remaining 13 per cent of Strathcona County's public aeronautical transportation needs.


The following provincial highways service Strathcona County.

  • Hwy 14 (Poundmaker Highway)
  • Hwy 15
  • Hwy 16 (TCH) (Yellowhead Highway route of Trans-Canada Highway)
  • Hwy 21
  • Hwy 38
  • SPF (Sherwood Park Freeway)
  • Hwy 216 (Anthony Henday Drive)
  • Hwy 628
  • Hwy 629
  • Hwy 630 (Wye Road)
  • Hwy 824
  • Hwy 830
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