Balzac, Alberta

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Balzac
Hamlet
Balzac, Alberta is located in Alberta
Balzac, Alberta
Location of Balzac in Alberta
Coordinates: 51°12′47″N 114°00′28″W / 51.21298°N 114.00783°W / 51.21298; -114.00783
Country  Canada
Province  Alberta
Census division No. 6
Municipal district Rocky View County
Government
 • Type Unincorporated
 • Reeve Margaret Bahcheli
 • Governing body
Elevation 1,080 m (3,540 ft)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)

Balzac is a hamlet in the southern portion of the Canadian province of Alberta, in Rocky View County.[1] It is located immediately west of Queen Elizabeth II Highway, at the intersection with Highway 566, 24 km (15 mi) north of Calgary city centre and 12 km (7.5 mi) south of Airdrie.

The hamlet is located in census division No. 6 and in the federal riding of Wild Rose. It is administered by Rocky View County.[2]

As of July 31, 2007, Balzac is now located immediately adjacent to Calgary's newly expanded northern city limits.[3] Balzac is also directly west of the Crossiron Mills shopping mall.

History[edit]

A Canadian Pacific Railway station began operating at Balzac in 1910. It was named by William Cornelius Van Horne, then president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, after one of his favourite authors, Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850) a noted French novelist. The post office here was opened on April 1, 1912 under the name “Beddington” and was changed on July 1, 1925. The first warehouse was built in 1916, mostly for coal.[4] Canadian Senator and senate reform advocate Bert Brown hails from Balzac.

Services[edit]

  • Balzac General Store (with restaurant and gas station)
  • Although not officially located within Balzac, the hamlet is immediately adjacent to the CrossIron Mills shopping centre, which is the largest single-level mall in Alberta. The business park surrounding the mall, which opened in 2009, is earmarked for a horse-racing facility (under construction as of 2011), an equestrian college campus and other businesses. The mall and surrounding businesses are officially within the County of Rocky View, but the mall is often referred to as being in Balzac because of its proximity to the hamlet.
  • In early 2009, Wal-mart announced plans to spend C$115 million ($104.4 US million) to build a 400,000-square-foot (37,000 m2) distribution center. The facility is expected to open in late 2010 and act as a distribution hub for fresh food in Western Canada.

Media[edit]

Due to its close proximity to both Calgary and Airdrie, Balzac receives most media (television, radio, newspapers) from those two cities.

Balzac Billy, a Groundhog Day prognosticator, resides in the town, and is considered one of Canada's most prominent forecasting groundhogs (Shubenacadie Sam and Wiarton Willie being among the others).[5]

Demographics[edit]

Statistics Canada has not recently published a population for Balzac.

However, Industry Canada shows that Balzac's greater rural area had a total population of 450 living in 149 dwellings in 2001. With a land area of 73.1 km2 (28.2 sq mi), its greater rural area has a population density of 6.0 /km2 (16 /sq mi).[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°12′47″N 114°00′28″W / 51.21298°N 114.00783°W / 51.21298; -114.00783 (Balzac)