Slave Lake

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Slave Lake
Town of Slave Lake
Main street in August 2006
Main street in August 2006
Slave Lake is located in Alberta
Slave Lake
Slave Lake
Location of Slave Lake in Alberta
Coordinates: 55°17′07″N 114°46′14″W / 55.28528°N 114.77056°W / 55.28528; -114.77056Coordinates: 55°17′07″N 114°46′14″W / 55.28528°N 114.77056°W / 55.28528; -114.77056
Country Canada
Province Alberta
Region Northern Alberta
Census division 17
Municipal district M.D. of Lesser Slave River No. 124
 • Village January 1, 1961
 • Town August 2, 1965
 • Mayor Tyler Warman
 • Governing body
 • CAO Brian Vance
 • MP Arnold Viersen (Peace River-Westlock-Cons)
 • MLA Danielle Larivee (Lesser Slave Lake-NDP)
Area (2016)[3]
 • Land 14.44 km2 (5.58 sq mi)
Elevation[4] 590 m (1,940 ft)
Population (2016)[3]
 • Total 6,651
 • Density 460.5/km2 (1,193/sq mi)
Time zone MST (UTC−7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC−6)
Postal code span T0G
Area code(s) 780, 587, 825
Highways Highway 2
Bicentennial Highway
Waterways Lesser Slave Lake
Lesser Slave River
Website Official website

Slave Lake is a small town in northern Alberta, Canada about 200 km northwest of Edmonton and a similar distance southwest of Fort McMurray. It is located on the southeast shore of Lesser Slave Lake at the junction of Highway 2 and Highway 88. Slave Lake is in the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River No. 124.

Slave Lake serves a local centre for the area. The administrative office for the Sawridge First Nation reserve is also located in the town.


The area of the present-day Town of Slave Lake was discovered by Europeans when David Thompson visited the area in 1799. Following his brief visit, several fur trading posts were established around Slave Lake, with a Hudson's Bay Company post established at the mouth of the lake. The first community, called Sawridge, was renamed Slave Lake in 1923. It was wiped out by a flood in the 1930s, and was subsequently moved to the current location. It was incorporated as a town in 1965.[5]

The Town of Slave Lake was inundated by the flood of Sawridge Creek in July 1988.[6]

2011 wildfire[edit]

On May 15, 2011, large parts of the town were affected by wildfires in the area. Winds pushed the flames into the town and destroyed many houses and businesses. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued, but with highways being closed, residents were urged to make their way to beaches, large parking lots, and open spaces.[7][8] Highway 2 had been closed at the outset of the fire, but eventually re-opened for evacuation,[9] with full evacuation ordered for Slave Lake.[10]

On May 16, provincial officials said that 40% of the town had been destroyed or damaged, including the town hall, the library, a radio station, a mall and a significant number of homes and other buildings; no injuries or deaths were reported.[11][12][13][14] On May 17, Mayor Karina Pillay-Kinnee indicated one-third of the town had been destroyed by the wildfire.[15] On May 20, 2011, a firefighting helicopter crashed into the Lesser Slave Lake near Canyon Creek where its pilot died at the scene. It crashed about 30 m (98 ft) off shore into water that was 1.5 m (4.9 ft) deep.[16] On July 6, Prince William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, visited the town to offer encouragement to residents and rebuilding efforts.[17]



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


Population history
Year Pop. ±%
1996 6,553 —    
2001 6,600 +0.7%
2006 6,703 +1.6%
2011 6,782 +1.2%
Source: Statistics Canada

In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Slave Lake recorded a population of 6,651 living in 2,329 of its 2,762 total private dwellings, a −1.9% change from its 2011 population of 6,782. With a land area of 14.44 km2 (5.58 sq mi), it had a population density of 460.6/km2 (1,192.9/sq mi) in 2016.[3]

In the 2011 Census, the Town of Slave Lake had a population of 6,782 living in 2,294 of its 2,554 total dwellings, a 1.2% change from its 2006 population of 6,703. With a land area of 14.18 km2 (5.47 sq mi), it had a population density of 478.3/km2 (1,238.7/sq mi) in 2011.[21]

The population of the Town of Slave Lake according to its 2007 municipal census is 7,031.[22]


In 1994, the town hosted the Arctic Winter Games which is a celebration of circumpolar sports and culture.

Club League Sport Venue Established Championships
Slave Lake Wolves
Ice Hockey Arctic Ice Centre


Residents of Slave Lake are in the electoral district of Peace River—Westlock for elections to the federal House of Commons, and Lesser Slave Lake for elections to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.


Media outlets serving Slave Lake and surrounding area include LAKE (FM) and the Lakeside Leader, a local community newspaper.

Notable people[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Location and History Profile: Town of Slave Lake" (PDF). Alberta Municipal Affairs. October 7, 2016. p. 562. Retrieved October 11, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Municipal Officials Search". Alberta Municipal Affairs. 2017-07-21. Retrieved 2017-07-23. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  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 9, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Town History". Town of Slave Lake. Retrieved 2011-05-16.  Archived March 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "1988 Flood Archive". Dartmouth Flood Observatory. July 2003. Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  7. ^ Wingrove, Josh (May 15, 2011). "Change in winds caused chaos for fire-devastated Slave Lake, Alta.". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail Inc. Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  8. ^ Ibrahim, Mariam; Jesse Snyder; Julianna Cummins (May 16, 2011). "Slave Lake burns as thousands evacuated". Edmonton Journal. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  9. ^ "Wildfire Update: HWY 2 Re-Opened". 93.5 Prairie FM. Newcap Radio. May 15, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  10. ^ "Wildfire Update: Slave Lake". 93.5 Prairie FM. Newcap Radio. May 15, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  11. ^ "Slave Lake firefighters struggle to save town". CBC News. May 16, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  12. ^ "Aerial view of fire damage in Slave Lake". CTV Edmonton. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  13. ^ Ibrahim, Mariam; Ryan Cormier (May 16, 2011). "A third of town reduced to ashes: Slave Lake mayor". National Post. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  14. ^ "Destroyed Slave Lake radio station turns to internet". CBC News. 2011-05-17. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  15. ^ Ibrahim, Mariam; Ryan Cormier (2011-05-17). "One-third of Slave Lake destroyed in massive wildfire, mayor says". Edmonton Journal. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  16. ^ "Pilot dies in helicopter crash near Slave Lake". CBC News. 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2011-05-22. 
  17. ^ "Prince William and Kate arrive... at town devastated by wildfire". The Daily Mail. 2011-07-06. 
  18. ^ Environment CanadaCanadian Climate Normals 1971–2000. Retrieved 6 July 2011.
  19. ^ "Population and Dwelling Counts, for Canada, Provinces and Territories, and Census Divisions, 2001 and 1996 Censuses – 100% Data (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2011 and 2006 censuses". Statistics Canada. Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2011 and 2006 censuses (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  22. ^ Alberta Municipal Affairs (2009-09-15). "Alberta 2009 Official Population List" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-09-14. 

External links[edit]