Spirit River, Alberta

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Spirit River
Town of Spirit River
Location in the MD of Spirit River No. 133
Location in the MD of Spirit River No. 133
Spirit River is located in Alberta
Spirit River
Spirit River
Location of Spirit River in Alberta
Spirit River is located in Canada
Spirit River
Spirit River
Spirit River (Canada)
Coordinates: 55°46′46″N 118°50′11″W / 55.77944°N 118.83639°W / 55.77944; -118.83639Coordinates: 55°46′46″N 118°50′11″W / 55.77944°N 118.83639°W / 55.77944; -118.83639
RegionNorthern Alberta
Planning regionUpper Peace
Municipal districtMunicipal District of Spirit River No. 133
 • VillageJune 13, 1916
 • TownSeptember 18, 1951
 • MayorAllan J. Georget
 • Governing bodySpirit River Town Council
 • Land3.14 km2 (1.21 sq mi)
Elevation640 m (2,100 ft)
 • Total995
 • Density317.3/km2 (822/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-7 (MST)
Area code(s)1-780
HighwaysHighway 49
Highway 731
WaterwaysSpirit River
Dunvegan Creek
WebsiteOfficial website

Spirit River is a town in northern Alberta, Canada. It is located 78 km (48 mi) north of Grande Prairie at the junction of Highway 49 and Highway 731. The first school opened in 1910 and the railroad arrived in 1916.[5]


In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Spirit River recorded a population of 995 living in 442 of its 487 total private dwellings, a -2.9% change from its 2011 population of 1,025. With a land area of 3.14 km2 (1.21 sq mi), it had a population density of 316.9/km2 (820.7/sq mi) in 2016.[3]

In the 2011 Census, the Town of Spirit River had a population of 1,025 living in 425 of its 471 total dwellings, a -10.7% change from its 2006 population of 1,148. With a land area of 2.81 km2 (1.08 sq mi), it had a population density of 364.8/km2 (944.7/sq mi) in 2011.[14]


The community is largely agricultural, being located in the fertile Peace Country. It also features an active oil and gas industry. Together with Rycroft, Spirit River services an area of approximately 10,000 people.[15]


The town features the Richardson Pioneer Central Peace Aquatic Centre[16] and the Spirit River and District Museum.[17]


In 1891, a trading post became the original settlement along the banks of the Spirit River. Ranching in the area started as early as the 1840s and farming in the 1880s.[18] In 1915, to the northwest, on Section 22, the Edmonton, Dunvegan and British Columbia Railway subdivided a townsite called Spirit River Station. The residents and storekeepers at the old settlement then moved, creating a village in 1916.[19] On February 16 of that year, the Herald Tribune reported that McRae & Co. opened a general store.[19] Spirit River was incorporated as a town in 1951.[15]

In October 2013, a pipeline inspection crew working in the Saddle Hills area southwest of Spirit River unearthed a 10-metre long dinosaur fossil.[20] It was later confirmed to be that of the duck-billed hadrosaur.[21]

The name Spirit River comes from the Cree Chepe Sepe, or Ghost River.[18]

The Town of Spirit River, along with the Municipal District of Spirit River celebrated its centennial anniversary in August 2016.[22]


The Municipal District of Spirit River No. 133's municipal office is located in Spirit River. It is also home to the Peace-Wapiti School Board and provincial offices for Alberta Agriculture and Fish and Wildlife.



A paved airport accommodates medical emergency flights and private aircraft.


The town features a curling rink, arena, outdoor pool, library, museum and community hall.

Health care

Spirit River is home to a hospital, the Central Peace Health Complex and a new Central Peace Health center that has three Physicians, Dentist, Physiotherapist and Massage Therapists A new 92 bed level 2/3/4 seniors care home to open 2024


The town is home to two schools – Ste. Marie Catholic School[23] (elementary) and Spirit River Regional Academy[24] (K-12).

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Location and History Profile: Town of Spirit River" (PDF). Alberta Municipal Affairs. October 7, 2016. p. 576. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  2. ^ "Municipal Officials Search". Alberta Municipal Affairs. September 22, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d "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. ^ Spirit River History Book Committee (1989). Chepi sepe : Spirit River : the land, the people. p. 16. ISBN 0-88925-781-7.
  6. ^ "Table 5: Population of urban centres, 1916-1946, with guide to locations". Census of the Prairie Provinces, 1946. Volume I: Population. Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics. 1949. pp. 397–400.
  7. ^ "Table 6: Population by sex, for census subdivisions, 1956 and 1951". Census of Canada, 1956. Volume I: Population. Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics. 1958.
  8. ^ "Table 9: Population by census subdivisions, 1966 by sex, and 1961". 1966 Census of Canada. Western Provinces. Population: Divisions and Subdivisions. Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics. 1967.
  9. ^ "Table 3: Population for census divisions and subdivisions, 1971 and 1976". 1976 Census of Canada. Census Divisions and Subdivisions, Western Provinces and the Territories. Population: Geographic Distributions. Ottawa: Statistics Canada. 1977.
  10. ^ "Table 2: Census Subdivisions in Alphabetical Order, Showing Population Rank, Canada, 1981". 1981 Census of Canada. Census subdivisions in decreasing population order. Ottawa: Statistics Canada. 1982. ISBN 0-660-51563-6.
  11. ^ "Table 2: Population and Dwelling Counts, for Census Divisions and Census Subdivisions, 1986 and 1991 – 100% Data". 91 Census. Population and Dwelling Counts – Census Divisions and Census Subdivisions. Ottawa: Statistics Canada. 1992. pp. 100–108. ISBN 0-660-57115-3.
  12. ^ "Population and Dwelling Counts, for Canada, Provinces and Territories, and Census Divisions, 2001 and 1996 Censuses – 100% Data (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
  13. ^ "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2006 and 2001 censuses – 100% data (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. January 6, 2010. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ a b http://townofspiritriver.ca/
  16. ^ http://townofspiritriver.ca/index.php/community/community-facilities/richardson-pioneer-central-peace-aquatic-centre
  17. ^ "Spirit River and District Museum". Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  18. ^ a b http://www.mdspiritriver.ab.ca/about/history.php
  19. ^ a b http://www.ourroots.ca/e/page.aspx?id=3712677
  20. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/massive-dinosaur-fossil-unearthed-by-alberta-pipeline-crew-1.1876996
  21. ^ http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/media/2013_Recent_Discoveries.pdf
  22. ^ http://townofspiritriver.ca/index.php/events/icalrepeat.detail/2016/08/05/18/-/spirit-river-centennial
  23. ^ http://stemarie.gpcsd.ca/
  24. ^ http://www.pwsd76.ab.ca/schools/srra/Pages/default.aspx

External links[edit]