Fort Macleod is a place where you don’t have to read about the history, you can touch it, you can see it, it’s all around you. But it’s so much more than that, it’s a place that’s so unique it draws you to it and stays with you. Where the eastern prairies usher in brilliant orange dawns and the proud Rocky Mountains provide the backdrop for the most incredible sunsets you’ve ever seen. The long hours of summer sunshine and the warm chinook winds of winter provide a climate second to none in diversity.
Housing is affordable and opportunities are unlimited. In a recent poll done by Venture Magazine of all Alberta communities, Fort Macleod was voted as having one of the highest qualities of life and as one of the most affordable communities in which to do business. It’s a place where you can walk in the footsteps of the original settlers and still have all of the most modern conveniences at your fingertips. Where you’re within minutes of the breathtaking Rockies, Calgary or the U.S. border and where the Oldman River valley provides a dramatic break from the prairie landscape. Yet with all that, it’s truly the people who call it home who make Fort Macleod so special. It’s a place where children can play carefree and where farmers, ranchers and townspeople consider themselves as one.
We have long prided ourselves on our town’s amenities, such as great schools, fabulous recreational facilities, modern community hall, new seniors’ centre, expanded library, state of the art sewer treatment and more park space per capita than any town in the province, including my favourite, the 200-acre River Valley Wilderness Park. A 2009 street improvement project, which included bump–outs and trees, has further beautified our downtown and made our commercial sector more pleasing and pedestrian friendly.
The town is also home to one of western Canada’s greatest arrays of historical tourist attractions. Among those are The Fort — Museum of the North West Mounted Police; Main Street, Alberta’s first provincial historic area; Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a UNESCO world heritage site; the original island fort site; the Empress Theatre; and the 1884 North West Mounted Police Barracks provincial historic site. The Legacy Trail and its 40 interpretive sites also provide the visitors and residents alike a glimpse into Fort Macleod’s colourful past while strolling along our beautiful river valley.
We are anxiously waiting construction to begin on the Alberta Police and Peace Officer Training Centre. The $250-million project is expected to facilitate 1,400 students per year. Design plans for the new highway alignment are completed and we are planning for the exciting addition of a new highway commercial corridor adjacent to the Canamex freeway. It takes you only a few minutes to pass from one end of Fort Macleod to the other, but it takes a lifetime to enjoy and understand all that it has to offer. So whether you’re visiting, making it your home or looking for a great investment opportunity, you’ll find Fort Macleod is truly a treasure and a great place to raise a family, start a business or spend your golden years. Have a look, you won’t be disappointed!
Mayor R. Shawn Patience