Athabasca, Alberta

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Athabasca

Athabasca Landing (1877–1912)
Town
Town of Athabasca
Town of Athabasca, Alberta photograph.jpg
Motto(s): 
Gateway to the Great New North
Town boundaries
Town boundaries
Athabasca is located in Athabasca County
Athabasca
Athabasca
Location in Athabasca County
Athabasca is located in Alberta
Athabasca
Athabasca
Location in Alberta
Coordinates: 54°43′11″N 113°17′08″W / 54.71972°N 113.28556°W / 54.71972; -113.28556Coordinates: 54°43′11″N 113°17′08″W / 54.71972°N 113.28556°W / 54.71972; -113.28556
CountryCanada
ProvinceAlberta
RegionNorthern Alberta
Planning regionUpper Athabasca
Municipal districtAthabasca County
Founded[1]1877
Incorporated[2] 
 • VillageMay 18, 1905 (as Athabasca Landing)
 • TownSeptember 19, 1911
 • Name changeAugust 4, 1913
Government
 • MayorColleen Powell
 • Governing bodyAthabasca Town Council
 • Interim CAORachel Ramey
 • MPShannon Stubbs (Conservative - Lakeland)
 • MLAGlenn van Dijken (UCP - Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock)
Area
 (2016)[4]
 • Land17.65 km2 (6.81 sq mi)
Elevation
533 m (1,750 ft)
Population
 (2016)[4]
 • Total2,965
 • Density168/km2 (440/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-7 (MST)
Forward sortation area
Area code(s)+1-780
WebsiteOfficial website

Athabasca /ˌæθəˈbæskə/ (2016 population 2,965), originally named Athabasca Landing, is a town in northern Alberta, Canada. It is located 145 km (90 mi) north of Edmonton at the intersection of Highway 2 and Highway 55, on the banks of the Athabasca River. It is the centre of Athabasca County. It was known as Athabasca Landing prior to August 4, 1913.[5]

History[edit]

Northern Alberta During the Territorial Period.

Of Cree origin. Early spellings: Araubaska (Peter Pond) and Athapescow (Arrowsmith). Various interpretations of the meaning: "where there are reeds" (Douglas); "meeting place of many waters" (Voorhis). Town was first called Athabasca Landing about 1889; name changed to Athabaska in 1904 and changed back to Athabasca in 1948. The provisional district of Athabasca was established in 1882, embracing the northern parts of modern Alberta and Saskatchewan.[6]

Unlike many other towns in Alberta, Athabasca predates the railway. It was the terminus of the Edmonton to Athabasca Landing trail.[7] Athabasca lies on a southern protrusion of the Athabasca River. During the fur trade era, when rivers were the principal means of transportation, the Athabasca–Edmonton trail connected two different drainage basins. The Athabasca River flows north and is part of the Mackenzie River watershed, which leads to the Arctic Ocean. Edmonton lies across a height-of-land on the North Saskatchewan River in the Nelson River drainage basin, which empties into Hudson Bay. Edmonton was in Rupert's Land but not Athabasca. The trail allowed goods to be portaged back and forth between river systems. Once agricultural settlement occurred, the trail served a similar purpose. Eventually, road and rail links would trace the same path.

The North-West Mounted Police stationed officers at Athabasca Landing for the summer of 1892, due to increased traffic on the trail.[8] Inspector D.M. Howard, and eight constables, built a permanent post in 1893.

A massive forest fire in August 1913 destroyed a good portion of the town, including 30 businesses. There was no loss of life. Rebuilding of the town began immediately.[9]

The Athabasca Heritage Society put up signs through the downtown as well as along the riverfront that explain and depict the history. It has also published a historical walking tour that is available from the town office, library and visitor information centre.

Demographics[edit]

In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Athabasca recorded a population of 2,965 living in 1,194 of its 1,313 total private dwellings, a -0.8% change from its 2011 population of 2,990. With a land area of 17.65 km2 (6.81 sq mi), it had a population density of 168.0/km2 (435.1/sq mi) in 2016.[4]

In the 2011 Census, the Town of Athabasca had a population of 2,990 living in 1,175 of its 1,283 total dwellings, a 15.9% change from its 2006 adjusted population of 2,580. With a land area of 17.48 km2 (6.75 sq mi), it had a population density of 171.1/km2 (443.0/sq mi) in 2011.[10]

The population of the Town of Athabasca according to its 2008 municipal census is 2,734.[11]

Education[edit]

The town is home to Athabasca University, a major centre for distance education and the town's largest employer.[12]

The town has three public schools under the jurisdiction of Aspen View Public School Division No. 78:

  • Whispering Hills Primary School (WHPS) – Kindergarten to Grade 3
  • Landing Trail Intermediate School (LTIS) – Grades 4 to 6
  • Edwin Parr Composite School (EPC) – Grades 7 to 12

Media[edit]

Local news is provided by the Athabasca Advocate, an award-winning weekly newspaper.[13] Athabasca's local radio station is 94.1 CKBA-FM, Boom.

Climate[edit]

Athabasca experiences a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) that borders on a subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc). The highest temperature ever recorded in Athabasca was 38.3 °C (101 °F) on July 18, 1941.[14] The coldest temperature ever recorded was −54.4 °C (−66 °F) on January 11, 1911.[15]

Climate data for Athabasca, 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1900–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.3
(55.9)
16.1
(61.0)
20.0
(68.0)
31.7
(89.1)
34.4
(93.9)
34.5
(94.1)
38.3
(100.9)
34.5
(94.1)
32.2
(90.0)
28.9
(84.0)
21.1
(70.0)
15.0
(59.0)
38.3
(100.9)
Average high °C (°F) −8.5
(16.7)
−4.8
(23.4)
1.2
(34.2)
10.2
(50.4)
16.8
(62.2)
20.4
(68.7)
22.7
(72.9)
21.6
(70.9)
15.9
(60.6)
8.7
(47.7)
−2.3
(27.9)
−7.2
(19.0)
7.9
(46.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) −13.4
(7.9)
−10.4
(13.3)
−4.3
(24.3)
3.9
(39.0)
10.3
(50.5)
14.3
(57.7)
16.6
(61.9)
15.4
(59.7)
9.9
(49.8)
3.5
(38.3)
−6.3
(20.7)
−11.9
(10.6)
2.3
(36.1)
Average low °C (°F) −18.1
(−0.6)
−15.7
(3.7)
−9.7
(14.5)
−2.3
(27.9)
3.8
(38.8)
8.2
(46.8)
10.5
(50.9)
9.2
(48.6)
3.9
(39.0)
−1.7
(28.9)
−10.4
(13.3)
−16.5
(2.3)
−3.2
(26.2)
Record low °C (°F) −54.4
(−65.9)
−53.9
(−65.0)
−43.9
(−47.0)
−31.7
(−25.1)
−12.2
(10.0)
−7.2
(19.0)
−5.0
(23.0)
−6.7
(19.9)
−15.0
(5.0)
−26.7
(−16.1)
−45.6
(−50.1)
−48.9
(−56.0)
−54.4
(−65.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 22.5
(0.89)
14.9
(0.59)
17.2
(0.68)
25.7
(1.01)
49.0
(1.93)
87.4
(3.44)
103.7
(4.08)
58.1
(2.29)
37.5
(1.48)
22.1
(0.87)
20.6
(0.81)
20.0
(0.79)
478.7
(18.85)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 0.6
(0.02)
0.6
(0.02)
1.4
(0.06)
15.5
(0.61)
46.5
(1.83)
87.4
(3.44)
103.7
(4.08)
58.1
(2.29)
37.1
(1.46)
14.1
(0.56)
1.9
(0.07)
0.4
(0.02)
367.3
(14.46)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 21.9
(8.6)
14.3
(5.6)
15.9
(6.3)
10.2
(4.0)
2.5
(1.0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.4
(0.2)
8.0
(3.1)
18.7
(7.4)
19.6
(7.7)
111.4
(43.9)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 8.3 6.5 6.6 6.4 9.7 14.0 15.2 12.4 10.4 7.4 7.0 8.9 112.8
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 0.3 0.5 0.9 4.1 9.3 14.0 15.2 12.4 10.0 5.9 1.0 0.5 74.0
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 8.1 6.1 5.8 2.4 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.4 1.8 6.2 8.4 39.9
Source: Environment Canada[16][14][15][17][18][19]

Infrastructure[edit]

Health care[edit]

Health care is provided at the Athabasca Healthcare Centre.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Brief History". Town of Athabasca. Archived from the original on March 20, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  2. ^ "Location and History Profile: Town of Athabasca" (PDF). Alberta Municipal Affairs. October 7, 2016. p. 1. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  3. ^ "Municipal Officials Search". Alberta Municipal Affairs. September 22, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2016 and 2011 censuses – 100% data (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. February 8, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  5. ^ "Location and History Profile: Town of Athabasca". Alberta Municipal Affairs. June 14, 2013. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  6. ^ Hamilton, William (1978). The Macmillan Book of Canadian Place Names. Toronto: Macmillan. p. 20. ISBN 0-7715-9754-1.
  7. ^ "Hudson's Bay Post: 1877-1914". Athabasca Landing Historical Society. Retrieved August 23, 2020. In hopes of finding an alternate route to send its goods north, in the spring of 1874 the Hudson's Bay Company sent a scout to survey the terrain from Fort Edmonton to the south loop of the Athabasca River and the idea of Athabasca Landing was born.
  8. ^ J .M. Parker; K.W. Tingley. "History of the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, 1890 to 1960's". Boreal Institute for Northern Studies. Retrieved August 23, 2020. In 1892 the first summer detachment of the NWMP began operating at Athabasca Landing, and in 1893, Inspector D.M. Howard, with eight constables, established a permanent outpost at Athabasca Landing to regulate the rapidly increasing northward traffic.
  9. ^ The Edmonton Bulletin, August 6, 1913
  10. ^ "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2011 and 2006 censuses (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. February 8, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
  11. ^ Alberta Municipal Affairs (September 15, 2009). "Alberta 2009 Official Population List" (PDF). Retrieved September 14, 2010.
  12. ^ "AUPE News - Alberta Union of Provincial Employees". March 16, 2016. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  13. ^ "About Us: The Athabasca Advocate". Great West Newspapers LP. Archived from the original on June 27, 2013. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
  14. ^ a b "July 1941". Environment Canada. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  15. ^ a b "January 1911". Environment Canada. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  16. ^ "Climate Normals 1981-2010". Environment Canada. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
  17. ^ "Athabasca". Environment Canada. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  18. ^ "Athabasca Landing". Environment Canada. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  19. ^ "June 2002". Environment Canada. Retrieved May 22, 2016.

External links[edit]