|Town of Swan Hills|
Centre of Alberta Natural Area
|Planning region||Upper Athabasca|
|Municipal district||Big Lakes County|
|• New town||September 1, 1959|
|• Town||January 1, 1967|
|• Mayor||Craig Wilson|
|• Governing body||Swan Hills Town Council|
|• Land||26.12 km2 (10.08 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,113 m (3,652 ft)|
|• Density||49.8/km2 (129/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC−07:00 (MST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−06:00 (MDT)|
|Postal code span|
|Area code(s)||780, 587, 825|
Swan Hills is a town in Alberta, Canada. Part of Northern Alberta, it is located in the eponymous Swan Hills, 80 km (50 mi) north of Whitecourt and 62 km (39 mi) northwest of Fort Assiniboine. The town is at the junction of Highway 32 and Grizzly Trail, and is surrounded by Big Lakes County.
It is the nearest major settlement to the geographic centre of the province. In 1989, local resident Roy Chimiuk used a minimum bounding box method to place a cairn marking the exact location at , about 30 kilometres south of the town. The site is protected by the Centre of Alberta Natural Area, a 3-kilometre hike from Highway 33.
Initially a base camp for workers in the Swan Hills oilfield, accommodations and facilities were moved from a nearby site and jointly developed in the present location by the government of Alberta and oil companies between 1959-1961. Casually nicknamed 'Oil Hills', the town's official name was taken from the area of densely forested uplands in which it is located, although 'Chalmers' was also considered, after T.W. Chalmers, who had surveyed and cut the Klondike Trail through the area.
The New Town of Swan Hills was incorporated on September 1, 1959 and R.L. Maxfield was appointed as Development Officer and Secretary Treasurer. Twenty-four parcels of industrial land were sold at the first land auction in November 1959. The first all-weather road into the area was completed in 1960, replacing the treacherous forestry road connecting Swan Hills to Fort Assiniboine; the Swan Hills Post Office was opened the same year. The New Town of Swan Hills was officially opened by Premier Ernest Manning in June 1962.
Two teachers provided instruction for forty students in the first two-room school, which was quickly replaced by a seven-room building due to the rapidly increasing population as oil field workers began to relocate their families to the town. Two mobile radio units provided communications and an isolated diesel generating plant provided power until Alberta Government Telephones installed service and Canadian Utilities Ltd. completed an 138 kilometres (86 mi) transmission line in 1960. In November 1965, Swan Hills became the most northerly town in Alberta to be served with natural gas by Northwestern Utilities.
Swan Hills' status was changed when it was formally incorporated as a town on January 1, 1967 making it the first town incorporated during Canada's centennial year. Tom Parkinson was elected the first mayor, serving in the position until 1971.
Situated within dense boreal forest, Swan Hills has been evacuated at least five times as wildfires threatened the town: 1972, 1981 and 1983, and twice in May 1998, when the Virginia Hills Fire, came close. The town has since implemented a FireSmart program, reducing fire fuel within and around the urban perimeter.
|Source: Statistics Canada|
In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Swan Hills recorded a population of 1,301 living in 535 of its 724 total private dwellings, a change of -11.2% from its 2011 population of 1,465. With a land area of 26.12 km2 (10.08 sq mi), it had a population density of 49.8/km2 (129.0/sq mi) in 2016.
In the 2011 Census, the Town of Swan Hills had a population of 1,465 living in 576 of its 718 total dwellings, a change of -10.9% from its 2006 population of 1,645. With a land area of 25.44 km2 (9.82 sq mi), it had a population density of 57.6/km2 (149.1/sq mi) in 2011.
The population of the Town of Swan Hills according to its 2008 municipal census is 1,858.
The primary industry in Swan Hills is oil and gas, although the Swan Hills Treatment Centre, north of the town, is also a local employer. It is also a service centre for the logging industry.
- Snowmobiling: Swan Hills is one of the three points of The Golden Triangle, a groomed 350 kilometres (220 mi) snowmobile trail. A large number of people visit town for the annual Swan Hills Snow Goers snowmobile rally.
- Motocross: The Swan Hills Dirt riders host an annual motocross meet.
- Target Shooting: Swan Hills Outdoor Recreation Club hosts an annual skeet-shooting competition at the gun range
- Golfing: The 9-hole Swan Hills Golf and Country Club, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) south of town is open from mid-April to mid-October, depending on snowfall and hosts several annual tournaments.
- Curling: In the winter there are several annual bonspiels hosted by the Swan Hills Curling Cub.
- Hockey: In the winter there are several tournaments hosted by Swan Hills Minor Hockey.
Emergency and other medical services are provided at the Swan Hills Healthcare Centre. Family and community social programs and services are available through FCSS (Family & Community Support Services) 780-333-4119
Local affairs in Swan Hills are managed by a Mayor and town council under Alberta Municipal Affairs. Swan Hills is located in the provincial riding of Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock. Federally, the town is in the constituency of Peace River-Westlock.
- Leland Irving, professional hockey player
- Goose Mountain Ecological Reserve
- E.S. Huestis Demonstration Forest
- Trapper Lea's Cabin
- Centre of Alberta Natural Area
- Swan Hills Airport
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- "Center of Alberta". Town of Swan Hills. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
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- Peter., Baergen, William (2005). Pioneering with a piece of chalk : the one-room country schools of Alberta, 1885-1982. Stettler, AB: W.P. Baergen. ISBN 9780973949100. OCLC 62181440.
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- "Wild blows forest fires out of control". CBC News. May 5, 1998. Retrieved Aug 7, 2017.
- Government of Canada, Public Safety Canada (2013-09-13). "Canadian Disaster Database". Retrieved 2017-08-07.
- AEP Alberta (2012-11-15), Virginia Hills and The Fires of 1998, retrieved 2017-08-07
- Alberta, Government of. "FireSmart grants help protect communities from risk of wildfire | Alberta.ca". www.alberta.ca. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "Population and Dwelling Counts, for Canada, Provinces and Territories, and Census Divisions, 2001 and 1996 Censuses – 100% Data (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2019-05-28.
- "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 2019-05-28.
- "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.
- Alberta Municipal Affairs (2009-09-15). "Alberta 2009 Official Population List" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-09-14.
- Marketing, BubbleUP. "Trapshooting". www.townofswanhills.com. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
- "Swan Hills Golf & Country Club". GolfAlberta.com. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
- "Swan Hills Minor Hockey Association - Home : Powered by RAMP Interactive". swanhillsminorhockey.com. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
- Marketing, BubbleUP. "Goose Mountain Ecological Reserve". www.townofswanhills.com. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
- "Alberta Parks Goose Mountain Information & Facilities". www.albertaparks.ca. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
- "E. S. Huestis Demonstration Forest". Woodlands County. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
- "Alberta Parks Trapper Lea's Cabin Trapper Leas Cabin". www.albertaparks.ca. Retrieved 2017-08-10.