Taber, Alberta

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For the municipal district, see Municipal District of Taber.
Town of Taber
Taber town centre
Taber town centre
Coat of arms of Taber
Coat of arms
Motto: "Unity, Growth, Prosperity"
Taber, Alberta is located in Alberta
Taber, Alberta
Location of Taber in Alberta
Coordinates: 49°47′05″N 112°09′03″W / 49.78472°N 112.15083°W / 49.78472; -112.15083Coordinates: 49°47′05″N 112°09′03″W / 49.78472°N 112.15083°W / 49.78472; -112.15083
Country  Canada
Province  Alberta
Region Southern Alberta
Census division 2
Municipal district Municipal District of Taber
 • Mayor Hendrick De Vlieger
 • Governing body
 • CAO T. Greg Birch
 • MLA Gary Bikman (WR)
Area (2011)[2]
 • Total 15.09 km2 (5.83 sq mi)
Elevation[3] 815 m (2,674 ft)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 8,104
 • Density 537.2/km2 (1,391/sq mi)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
Postal code span T1G
Highways Highway 3
Highway 36
Waterway Oldman River
Website Official website

Taber /ˈtbər/ is a town in southern Alberta, Canada within the Municipal District of Taber. It is located approximately 51 km (32 mi) east of the City of Lethbridge at the intersection of Highway 3 and Highway 36.

Taber is famous for its corn due to the large amounts of sunshine the area receives. It is therefore known as the Corn Capital of Canada and holds an annual "Cornfest" in the last week of August.


Originally, Taber was known as "Tank No. 77," and was used by the railway to fill up on water. In 1903, it is said that the first Mormon settlers from the U.S.A. were the ones to establish a hamlet at the Tank. After the town's post office was built in 1907, the CPR decided to call the town "Tabor," probably after Mount Tabor in the Holy Land. However, various letters and station heads came out printed "Taber," so the CPR changed the name to make it match the records.

An alternate version of the towns name origin is that the first part of the word tabernacle was used by Mormon settlers in the vicinity, and the next Canadian Pacific Railway station was named Elcan (nacle spelled backwards).

After time, Taber became a successful coal mining town. Coal mining declined in the late 1920s, but picked up in the 1930s after extensive irrigation in the area.

During the Second World War Japanese Canadians were "evacuated" to Alberta where some were employed in sugar beet cultivation for the duration of the war.

Irrigation helped not only the coal-miners, it also brought with it the production of sugar beets. In 1950, a sugar beet processing plant (Roger's Sugar) was built, which has become a vital part of the town's economy.

A number of archaeological discoveries were made in the vicinity of Taber, including that of extinct buffalo,[4] and the so-called "Taber child" in 1961 by the head of a Geological Survey of Canada team Dr. Archie Stalker in the glacial deposits along the east bank of the Oldman River.[5]

On April 28, 1999, Taber gained notoriety due to the W. R. Myers High School shooting[6] in which a 14-year-old entered W. R. Myers High School and shot two students, killing one and wounding another.



Taber experiences a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk).


The population of the Town of Taber according to its 2015 municipal census is 8,380,[8] a 5.6% change from its 2011 municipal census population of 7,935.[9]

In the 2011 Census, the Town of Taber had a population of 8,104 living in 3,086 of its 3,279 total dwellings, a 6.8% change from its 2006 population of 7,591. With a land area of 15.09 km2 (5.83 sq mi), it had a population density of 537.0/km2 (1,390.9/sq mi) in 2011.[2]

In 2006, Taber had a population of 7,591 living in 3,034 dwellings, a 1.0% decrease from 2001. The town has a land area of 15.09 km2 (5.83 sq mi) and a population density of 503.2/km2 (1,303/sq mi).[10]


Taber's economy is largely based on agriculture. Local produce includes hogs, beef, sheep, poultry, sugar beets, potatoes, peas, carrots, wheat, flax, barley, corn, beans, sunflowers, oats, onions, canola and mustard. Roger's Sugar Taber's sugar beet processing plant plays a vital role in the economy. There are several food processing companies based in the town, including a Frito-Lay factory, which produces various snack products for much of Western Canada. As well, sand and gravel are mined here. To a smaller extent, there is also a significant oil and gas component to the economy.

Arts and culture[edit]


Cornfest is an annual summer festival held in late August, and it includes a midway (rides, booths, and tests of skill) and a stage with performers.[11] There are also corn-based activities, such as corn tasting and stuffing. Large-scale, local corn producers enter their best varieties in the 'Best Corn of the Year' award.

Corn stuffing involves two people, one wearing an over-sized coverall. One of the contestants attempts to stuff as much corn as possible into the other's coverall. Whichever team can put the most corn in the coveralls in the allotted time wins.


The Taber Police Service is the only town municipal police service in Alberta.[12]

The Town of Taber gained notoriety when it adopted a bylaw on February 23, 2015 that granted the police and bylaw officials the authority to levy fines for controversial actions including swearing, public assembly, spitting and applying graffiti on one's own private property. The bylaw also implemented a curfew.[13][14] The adoption met criticism over its appearance of being unconstitutional; violating freedoms of expression and association protected under section two of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.[15] The town defended its adoption stating the bylaw "is intended to consolidate existing municipal regulations and allow enforcement under a municipal bylaw rather than the Criminal Code" and citing concerns about unnecessary prosecutions clogging the court.[16] Mayor Henk De Vlieger supported the bylaw while stating that town council will review the bylaw after a six-month trial.[13]


Kindergarten through grade 12 education is administered in Taber by the Horizon School Division and Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Division. Taber has a Christian School for kindergarten through grade 9. Other education systems include Community Adult Learning Council, ACE Place Learning Center and a Career Resource Centre.[17]

Sister cities[edit]

Taber and Notogawa, Japan are sister towns.[18]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Municipal Officials Search". Alberta Municipal Affairs. October 2, 2015. Retrieved October 4, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "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. 
  3. ^ "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. 
  4. ^ C. Trylich and L.A. Bayrock, "Bison occidcntalis Lucas Found at Taber, Alberta, Canada.", Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 3 (1966), pp. 987-95.
  5. ^ Francis, R. Douglas, Palmer, Howard, The Prairie West: historical readings, The University of Alberta Press, 2nd (Revised) ed., 1992, p.50
  6. ^ CBC News. Taber school shooting information
  7. ^ Environment CanadaCanadian Climate Normals 1971–2000. Retrieved 20 December 2009.
  8. ^ {{}}
  9. ^ "2011 Municipal Affairs Population List" (PDF). Alberta Municipal Affairs. October 5, 2010. Retrieved December 12, 2011. 
  10. ^ Statistics Canada. "Canada 2006 Census: Taber - Community Profile". Retrieved 2007-06-13. 
  11. ^ Taber Chamber of Commerce. Cornfest 2004 website
  12. ^ Mabell, Dave (July 18, 2014). "Not everyone’s happy with Coaldale policing plans". Lethbridge Herald. Retrieved November 29, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b "Taber bylaw bans public swearing, spitting and yelling in Alberta town". CBC News. March 10, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Town of Taber Bylaw 4-2015". Town of Taber. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  15. ^ Stark, Erika (March 10, 2015). "Forget washing your mouth out with soap, Taber establishes $150 fine for potty mouths". Edmonton Journal (Postmedia Network Inc.). Retrieved March 11, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Media Release on Community Standards Bylaw". Town of Taber. March 10, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Taber School List". Archived from the original on 2008-03-21. Retrieved 2007-05-25. 
  18. ^ "Town of Taber". Alberta/Japan Twinned Municipalities Association. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 

External links[edit]