|Census division||No. 17|
|Specialized municipality||Mackenzie County|
|• Reeve||Bill Neufeld|
|• Governing body|
|• Total||8.54 km2 (3.30 sq mi)|
|Elevation||315 m (1,033 ft)|
|• Density||280/km2 (730/sq mi)|
|Time zone||MST (UTC−7)|
|• Summer (DST)||MDT (UTC−6)|
La Crete //, also spelled La Crête, is a hamlet in northern Alberta, Canada within Mackenzie County. It is located on Highway 697, approximately 135 kilometres (84 mi) southeast of High Level and 701 kilometres (436 mi) north of Edmonton, Alberta.
Temperatures can range from 30 °C (86 °F) to −50 °C (−58 °F).
The name "La Crête" means "the ridge" in French, which is how the earliest settlers described the area they settled.
La Crete was first settled in 1914 as La Crête Landing. When the first Mennonites arrived in the 1930s, they settled a short distance southwest of the original settlement on the current site of La Crete. When the first highways were built into the area in the 1960s, the population began to increase as new settlers arrived, and in 1979, La Crete was created into a hamlet.
During the summer months the La Crete Ferry, also known as the Tompkins Landing Ferry, one of only seven ferries still operating in Alberta, shuttles vehicles across the Peace River on Highway 697 about 70 kilometres southwest of the hamlet. In the winter, an ice bridge is maintained at the same spot. This access connects La Crete to the Mackenzie Highway near Paddle Prairie, offering a considerable time saving when travelling to or from La Crete. During the spring and fall, when the river is unfit for the ferry and the ice too thin to support vehicle traffic, or at other times when the ferry is not operational, travellers must continue north to High Level, then east on Highway 58 before coming back south to reach La Crete. In the summer of 2006 a sandbar formed in the centre of the river, where the ferry normally crossed, forcing it to travel around it. The sandbar has grown to such a size that the ferry does not always run if the water level is too low.
In the 2011 Census, by combining its adjacent population centre and designated place geographies, La Crete had a population of 2,408 living in 811 of its 844 total dwellings, an 11.2% change from its 2006 population of 2,166. With a land area of 8.54 km2 (3.30 sq mi), it had a population density of 281.97/km2 (730.3/sq mi) in 2011.
These figures were derived from summing La Crete's urban area Statistics Canada data with its designated place Statistics Canada data. More specifically:
- the La Crete urban area had a total population of 1,455 living in 489 dwellings within a land area of 3.13 km2 (1.21 sq mi), resulting in a population density of 464.9/km2 (1,204/sq mi); and
- the La Crete designated place had a total population of 711 living in 218 dwellings within a land area of 5.41 km2 (2.09 sq mi), resulting in a population density of 131.3/km2 (340/sq mi).
La Crete's 2006 urban area and designated place boundaries are contiguous with no overlaps.
La Crete had a population of 2,039 according to Mackenzie County's 2003 municipal census, which was more than double its 1995 population of 995.
As a predominantly Mennonite community, the residents of La Crete typically speak both English and Low German. Most businesses serve customers in both languages, often switching between the two over the course of business.
Sports and recreation
La Crete holds a hockey tournament every year known as the Challenge Cup, where teams from all over northern Alberta come to challenge each other in hopes of winning the trophy.
The La Crete Public High School's men's and women's basketball teams host an annual basketball tournament, The Northern Exposure Hoop Classic. It has been held every year since 2004, and has grown in stature to include teams from across Alberta. There is a waiting list to get into the Hoop Classic, even though the number of teams invited has increased.
La Crete has walking trails that were paid using donations from the residents of the town.
- High Valley, country music band
- "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and population centres, 2011 and 2006 censuses (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and designated places, 2011 and 2006 censuses (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- Alberta Municipal Affairs (2010-04-01). "Specialized and Rural Municipalities and Their Communities" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-06-29.
- "La Crete Ferry closes for the season". Government of Alberta. 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2012-02-29.
- Statistics Canada (2007). "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and urban areas, 2006 and 2001 censuses". Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- Statistics Canada (2007). "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and designated places, 2006 and 2001 censuses". Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- Statistics Canada. "GeoSearch2006 (2006 Census)". Retrieved 2010-02-07.