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 divisionNo. 6
Municipal districtRocky View County
Government
 • TypeUnincorporated
 • ReeveGreg Boehlke
 • Governing body
Elevation1,080 m (3,540 ft)
Time zoneUTC-7 (MST)

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 Alberta federal electoral district of Banff—Airdrie (formerly in the federal electoral district 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.[4] 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.[5] Canadian Senator and senate reform advocate Bert Brown hails from Balzac.

Economy[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, saw the addition of a horse-racing track and casino in 2015, and is earmarked for an equestrian college campus and other businesses. The mall and surrounding businesses are officially within the County of Rocky View, but the mall and business park 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 in the business park east of Balzac. The facility opened in late 2010 and acts as a distribution hub for fresh food in Western Canada.
  • In late 2017 Amazon agreed to locate a 600,000-square-foot (56,000 m2) distribution center. The facility is estimated to create 750 permanent jobs. According to Amazon's director of Canadian operations, Glenn Sommerville the location's proximity of the Calgary International Airport is optimal for faster shipping.[6]
  • The company Enterra has secured $30M to establish a breeding facility of insects such as the soldier black fly as a source for high protein animal feed. The facility will employ 30 staff and be operational in 2019.[7]
  • New Horizon Mall

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).[8]

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).[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alberta Municipal Affairs (2010-04-01). "Specialized and Rural Municipalities and Their Communities" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
  2. ^ Alberta Municipal Affairs (2010-04-01). "Specialized and Rural Municipalities and Their Communities" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2010-06-06.
  3. ^ City of Calgary. Annexation map Archived September 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Place-names of Alberta. Ottawa: Geographic Board of Canada. 1928. p. 14.
  5. ^ Read, Tracy (1983). Acres and Empires : a history of the Municipal District of Rocky View no. 44. p. 57.
  6. ^ Canadian Press 'October 26, 2017',Financial Post, retrieved from http://business.financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/amazon-com-to-add-750-full-time-jobs-at-calgary-area-fulfillment-centre, retrieved on Oct 26, 2017.
  7. ^ Stephenson, S.(August 23, 2018) ' $30M insect farm planned for Balzac; company says bugs are 'the future of food', Calgary Herald retrieved from https://calgaryherald.com/business/local-business/30m-insect-farm-planned-for-balzac-company-says-bugs-are-the-future-of-food, retrieved on August 23, 2018
  8. ^ "Balzac Billy". Retrieved 2009-09-10.[unreliable source?]
  9. ^ Industry Canada/Web Archive (2006-11-04). "Balzac - Community demographics (2001 census)". Archived from the original on 2006-11-04. Retrieved 2010-02-07.

External links[edit]

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