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Sylvan Lake, Alberta


Sylvan Lake, Alberta

Sylvan Lake
Town of Sylvan Lake
Flag of Sylvan Lake
Official logo of Sylvan Lake
Sylvan Lake is located in Alberta
Sylvan Lake
Location of Sylvan Lake in Alberta
Country  Canada
Province  Alberta
Region Central Alberta
Census division 8
Municipal district Red Deer County
Founded 1898
Incorporated 1913
 • Mayor Sean McIntyre
 • Governing body
 • CAO Betty Osmond
 • MP Earl Dreeshen
 • MLA Don MacIntyre
Area (2011)[2]
 • Total 15.62 km2 (6.03 sq mi)
Elevation[3] 945 m (3,100 ft)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 12,327
 • Density 789.4/km2 (2,045/sq mi)
 • Municipal census (2015) 14,310[4]
Time zone MST (UTC−7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC−6)
Postal code span T4S
Area code(s) +1-403
Waterways Sylvan Lake
Highways Highway 11
Highway 11A
Highway 20
Website Official website

Sylvan Lake is a town in central Alberta, Canada. It is located 25 kilometres (16 mi) west of the City of Red Deer along Highway 11 or Highway 11A. It is situated on the southeast edge of Sylvan Lake, a 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) long freshwater lake, in Red Deer County.

The lake is a popular destination for tourists from around Alberta, with over 1.5 million visitors each year. Popular tourist activities include sunbathing, swimming, water-skiing, and visiting the local Wild Rapids Waterslides. Camp Woods in Sylvan Lake played to the 12th Canadian Scout Jamboree in July 2013.[5]


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Climate 2.1
  • Demographics 3
  • Government 4
  • Education 5
  • Media 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Sylvan Lake was originally settled by French speaking immigrants from Quebec and the United States. Arriving in 1898 from Michigan, Alexandre Loiselle and his family homesteaded the quarter section that later became the west side of today's Main (50th) Street and the businesses and homes immediately to the west.

Sylvan Lake Lighthouse

In the early twentieth century, groups of Estonian[6] and then Finnish settlers moved to homesteads to the south and west of the fledgling settlement at Sylvan Lake. With their arrival came the early business community, a general store, a blacksmith, a hardware store, post office, barber, and restaurants. The completion of the Canadian Northern line to Rocky Mountain House and Nordegg in 1912 and the parallel Canadian Pacific in 1914 opened the west country to settlement and resulted in the incorporation of Sylvan Lake in 1913 under Mayor E. S. Grimson, a local hardware store owner. The anniversary of the founding of the town is celebrated every year in Sylvan Lake as "1913 Days".

Farming quickly became a mainstay in the area and in 1923 an Alberta Pacific grain elevator was built on the CPR line immediately north of what is now Cottonwood Estates. The elevator was torn down in the 1970s and the CPR line was abandoned in 1980 and removed. Since then, the right of way has survived as a natural area and walking path through Sylvan Lake.

Elevators were also constructed along the CN line and were used by local farmers in the mid-century decades. They were torn down in the late 1990s.

Even prior to the building of the railways, Sylvan Lake was becoming a summer resort for families in Sylvan Lake Provincial Park and Jarvis Bay Provincial Park began to fill up with summer visitors.

The influx of summer residents and visitors also brought businesses and services that catered to the ever increasing number of tourists. In 1913, the first motor launch took paying passengers on tours around the lake. A large boathouse was constructed in 1926, allowing visitors to rent a boat, canoe, swimsuit, or buy ice cream, pop and other items necessary to a summer day at the lake. Regattas were held on the lake for a number of years beginning in 1923.

In 1928, the Dominion Government, assisted by the Sylvan Lake Women's Institute (WI), built the long pier that jutted out into the lake from the bottom of Main Street. This pier was connected to the earlier WI Pier and formed a square area used for swimming and mooring boats. The first "waterslide" at Sylvan Lake was part of this facility. The piers were prone to ice damage over the winter and were replaced by the existing "landfill" that now hosts beach volleyball tournaments, dragon boat racing and the lake tour on the "Zoo Cruise".

In 1983, the original waterslide was replaced by the Wild Rapids Waterslide, which is the largest facility of its kind in western Canada.

Another byproduct of losing the piers and later the government boat launch was the construction of the Sylvan Lake Marina, home of many of the permanent boats on the lake, boating facilities, and the Sylvan Lake lighthouse.

In 2014, Sylvan Lake won the Kraft Hockeyville contest, which included a large cash prize and the rights to host an NHL pre-season game between the Calgary Flames and the Arizona Coyotes.[7]



Climate data for Sylvan Lake, Alberta
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.3
Average high °C (°F) −9.5
Daily mean °C (°F) −14.6
Average low °C (°F) −19.8
Record low °C (°F) −42.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 25.8
Source #1: 1961-1990 Environment Canada[8]
Source #2: 1971-2000 Environment Canada Precipitation Only[9]

Seasonal mean temperatures:[8]

  • Winter −14.6 °C (5.72 °F)
  • Spring 9.5 °C (49.10 °F)
  • Summer 15.7 °C (60.26 °F)
  • Fall −6.4 °C (20.48 °F)

Annual precipitation:[9]

  • Rain: 398.3 millimetres (15.68 in)
  • Snow: 158.2 centimetres (62.28 in)
  • Total: 556.4 millimetres (21.91 in)

Average hours of sunshine: 2,125 hours


The population of the Town of Sylvan Lake according to its 2015 municipal census is 14,310,[29] a 10% change from its 2013 municipal census population of 13,015.[30] At its current population, Sylvan Lake is one of the largest towns in the province and is eligible for city status. According to Alberta's Municipal Government Act, a town is eligible for city status when it reaches 10,000 residents.[31]

In the 2011 Census, the Town of Sylvan Lake had a population of 12,327 living in 4,602 of its 5,595 total dwellings, a 20.3% change from its 2006 adjusted population of 10,250. With a land area of 15.62 km2 (6.03 sq mi), it had a population density of 789.2/km2 (2,044.0/sq mi) in 2011.[2]

In 2006, Sylvan Lake had a population of 10,208 living in 4,277 dwellings, a 36.1% increase from 2001. The town has a land area of 10.83 km2 (4.18 sq mi) and a population density of 942.3/km2 (2,441/sq mi).[32] The 2006 census also indicated that Sylvan Lake was ranked as the municipality with the sixth-highest population growth among municipalities in Canada with a population of 5,000 and over between 2001 and 2006.[33]

According to the Canada 2001 Census, the town's population was 7,493, of whom 50.96% were male and 49.03% were female. In the five years between 1996 and 2001, the population of Sylvan Lake grew by 44.5%, compared with the average provincial increase of 10.3% for Alberta.[34]

The town had a very young population when compared to Alberta in 2001. The town’s population of those 19 and under was 33.2% compared with the provincial average at 28.3%. Meanwhile, 6.7% of the population were of retirement age (65 and over for males and females) compared with national average of 13.2%. The average age of the town's residents in 2001 was 31.6 years of age compared to the national average of 37.6 years.[34]



Sylvan Lake is within the Red Deer federal electoral district. It is represented by Earl Dreeshen of the Conservative Party.


Sylvan Lake is within the Innisfail-Sylvan Lake provincial electoral district. It is represented by Don MacIntyre of the Wildrose Party of Alberta.


Sylvan Lake Town Council consists of one Mayor and six Councillors that are elected every four years. The current mayor is Sean McIntyre, who was first elected as a Councillor in 2010 and as mayor in the 2013 municipal election. Councillors elected in the 2013 municipal election were Megan Chernoff, Jas Payne, Dale Plante, Chris Lust, Graham Parsons, and Matt Prete. Plante and Parsons were the only re-elected incumbent councillors.


The town has four public schools in the Chinook's Edge School District.

  • Steffie Woima Elementary School
  • C. P. Blakely Elementary School
  • Fox Run Middle School
  • H. J. Cody High School

Two Catholic Schools in the Red Deer Catholic School Division.

  • École Mother Theresa Catholic School
  • Our Lady of the Rosary

The Fox Run Middle School's building is shared with the Mother Teresa Catholic School.

Also, Lighthouse Christian Academy and Sylvan Meadows Adventist School are two private schools that operate in Sylvan Lake.


Sylvan Lake is served by one local newspaper, The Sylvan Lake News.[35] It also receives newspapers from Red Deer. They include:

  • Red Deer Advocate
  • Red Deer Express
  • Red Deer Life

Sylvan Lake has no broadcast television stations in the vicinity of the town. It does however have access to three main stations by antenna:

  • Channel 4: CityTV Edmonton
  • Channel 8: CTV Edmonton (CTV)
  • Channel 10: Global Edmonton (Global)

The cable and satellite television providers in Sylvan Lake are Shaw Cable, Bell ExpressVu, Shaw Direct and Telus Communications.

No radio stations are based in Sylvan Lake. However, it gets many radio stations from Red Deer including Kraze 101.3 (CKIK), KG Country (CKGY), Zed 99, Big 105, The River 100.7 and The Drive.[36]

See also


  1. ^ "Municipal Officials Search".  
  2. ^ a b c d "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2011 and 2006 censuses (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  3. ^ "Alberta Private Sewage Systems 2009 Standard of Practice Handbook: Appendix A.3 Alberta Design Data (A.3.A. Alberta Climate Design Data by Town)" (PDF) (PDF). Safety Codes Council. January 2012. pp. 212–215 (PDF pages 226–229). Retrieved October 9, 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Canadian Scout Jamboree 2013". Scouts Canada. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  6. ^ Estonian history
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ a b Environment Canada—1961–1990. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  9. ^ a b Environment Canada—1971–2000. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Table I: Population of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta by Districts, Townships, Cities, Towns, and Incorporated Villages in 1916, 1911, 1906, and 1901". Census of Prairie Provinces, 1916. Population and Agriculture. Ottawa:  
  11. ^ "Table 8: Population by districts and sub-districts according to the Redistribution Act of 1914 and the amending act of 1915, compared for the census years 1921, 1911 and 1901". Census of Canada, 1921. Ottawa:  
  12. ^ "Table 7: Population of cities, towns and villages for the province of Alberta in census years 1901-26, as classed in 1926". Census of Prairie Provinces, 1926. Census of Alberta, 1926. Ottawa:  
  13. ^ "Table 12: Population of Canada by provinces, counties or census divisions and subdivisions, 1871-1931". Census of Canada, 1931. Ottawa:  
  14. ^ "Table 4: Population in incorporated cities, towns and villages, 1901-1936". Census of the Prairie Provinces, 1936. Volume I: Population and Agriculture. Ottawa:  
  15. ^ "Table 10: Population by census subdivisions, 1871–1941". Eighth Census of Canada, 1941. Volume II: Population by Local Subdivisions. Ottawa:  
  16. ^ "Table 6: Population by census subdivisions, 1926-1946". Census of the Prairie Provinces, 1946. Volume I: Population. Ottawa:  
  17. ^ "Table 6: Population by census subdivisions, 1871–1951". Ninth Census of Canada, 1951. Volume I: Population, General Characteristics. Ottawa:  
  18. ^ "Table 6: Population by sex, for census subdivisions, 1956 and 1951". Census of Canada, 1956. Population, Counties and Subdivisions. Ottawa:  
  19. ^ "Table 6: Population by census subdivisions, 1901–1961". 1961 Census of Canada. Series 1.1: Historical, 1901–1961. Volume I: Population. Ottawa:  
  20. ^ "Population by specified age groups and sex, for census subdivisions, 1966". Census of Canada, 1966. Population, Specified Age Groups and Sex for Counties and Census Subdivisions, 1966. Ottawa:  
  21. ^ "Table 2: Population of Census Subdivisions, 1921–1971". 1971 Census of Canada. Volume I: Population, Census Subdivisions (Historical). Ottawa:  
  22. ^ "Table 3: Population for census divisions and subdivisions, 1971 and 1976". 1976 Census of Canada. Census Divisions and Subdivisions, Western Provinces and the Territories. Volume I: Population, Geographic Distributions. Ottawa:  
  23. ^ "Table 4: Population and Total Occupied Dwellings, for Census Divisions and Subdivisions, 1976 and 1981". 1981 Census of Canada. Volume II: Provincial series, Population, Geographic distributions (Alberta). Ottawa:  
  24. ^ "Table 2: Census Divisions and Subdivisions – Population and Occupied Private Dwellings, 1981 and 1986". Census Canada 1986. Population and Dwelling Counts – Provinces and Territories (Alberta). Ottawa:  
  25. ^ "Table 2: Population and Dwelling Counts, for Census Divisions and Census Subdivisions, 1986 and 1991 – 100% Data". 91 Census. Population and Dwelling Counts – Census Divisions and Census Subdivisions. Ottawa:  
  26. ^ "Table 10: Population and Dwelling Counts, for Census Divisions, Census Subdivisions (Municipalities) and Designated Places, 1991 and 1996 Censuses – 100% Data". 96 Census. A National Overview – Population and Dwelling Counts. Ottawa:  
  27. ^ "Population and Dwelling Counts, for Canada, Provinces and Territories, and Census Divisions, 2001 and 1996 Censuses - 100% Data (Alberta)".  
  28. ^ "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2006 and 2001 censuses - 100% data (Alberta)".  
  29. ^ "Regular Council Meeting Agenda" (PDF). Town of Sylvan Lake. July 13, 2015. p. 123. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Sylvan Lake Regular Council Agenda: 2013 Municipal Census & Population Affidavit". Town of Sylvan Lake. pp. 85–86. Retrieved July 20, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Municipal Government Act". Alberta Queen's Printer. Retrieved September 5, 2012. 
  32. ^  
  33. ^ "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada and census subdivisions (municipalities) with 5,000-plus population, 2006 and 2001 censuses - 100% data". Statistics Canada. 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  34. ^ a b c d "2001 Community Profiles – Community Highlights for Sylvan Lake". Statistics Canada. 2007-02-01. Retrieved 2011-04-11. 
  35. ^ Sylvan Lake News
  36. ^ Radio stations in Sylvan Lake: KRAZE 101.3 (CKIK) CKGY (KG Country) Zed 98.9 Big 105.5 The Drive

External links

  • Official website
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