Athabasca, Alberta

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Athabasca Landing (1877–1912)
Town of Athabasca
Town of Athabasca, Alberta photograph.jpg
Motto: Gateway to the Great New North
Athabasca is located in Alberta
Location of Athabasca 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
Country Canada
Province Alberta
Region Northern Alberta
Census division 13
Municipal district Athabasca County
Established[1] 1877
 • Village
 • Town
May 18, 1905
September 19, 1911
Name change[1] August 4, 1913
 • Mayor Roger Morrill
 • Governing body Athabasca Town Council
 • CAO Joshua Pyrcz
 • MP Shannon Stubbs (Conservative - Lakeland)
 • MLA Colin Piquette (NDP - Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater)
Area (2011)[3]
 • Total 17.48 km2 (6.75 sq mi)
Elevation[4] 515 m (1,690 ft)
Population (2011)[3]
 • Total 2,990
 • Density 171.1/km2 (443/sq mi)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
Postal code span T9S
Area code(s) +1-780
Website Official website

Athabasca (2011 population 2,990), 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.[1]


Unlike many other towns in Alberta, Athabasca predates the railway. It was the terminus of the Edmonton to Athabasca Landing trail. 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 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.



Athabasca experiences a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) that borders on a subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc).


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.[3]

The population of the Town of Athabasca according to its 2008 municipal census is 2,734.[7]

According to the Canada 2006 Census:[8]

* Population: 2,575 (+6.6% from 2001)
* Land area: 16.98 km2 (6.56 sq mi)
* Population density: 151.7 people/km² (392.9/sq mi)
* National population rank (Out of 5,008): Ranked 1,115th
* Median age: 37.7 (males: 35.4, females: 40.2)
* Total private dwellings: 1,117
* Dwellings occupied by permanent residents: 1,062
* Mean household income: $58,418


The town is home to Athabasca University, a major centre for distance education.

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 7
  • Edwin Parr Composite School (EPCS) – Grades 8 to 12


Local news is provided by the Athabasca Advocate, a weekly newspaper.[9] Athabasca's local radio station is 94.1 CKBA-FM, The River.


Health care[edit]

Health care is provided at the Athabasca Healthcare Centre.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Brief History". Town of Athabasca. Retrieved March 6, 2013.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "history" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ "Municipal Officials Search". Alberta Municipal Affairs. January 8, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2011 and 2006 censuses (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "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 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Climate Normals 1981-2010". Environment Canada. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000". Environment Canada. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  7. ^ Alberta Municipal Affairs (15 September 2009). "Alberta 2009 Official Population List" (PDF). Retrieved 14 September 2010. 
  8. ^ Statistics Canada. "Canada 2006 Census: Athabasca – Community Profile". Retrieved 9 June 2007. 
  9. ^ "About Us: The Athabasca Advocate". Great West Newspapers LP. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 


External links[edit]