Turner Valley

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Turner Valley
Town of Turner Valley
Welcome sign
Welcome sign
Turner Valley is located in Alberta
Turner Valley
Turner Valley
Location of Turner Valley in Alberta
Coordinates: 50°40′26″N 114°16′43″W / 50.67389°N 114.27861°W / 50.67389; -114.27861Coordinates: 50°40′26″N 114°16′43″W / 50.67389°N 114.27861°W / 50.67389; -114.27861
Country  Canada
Province  Alberta
Region Calgary Region
Census Division No. 6
Municipal district M.D. of Foothills No. 31
 • Village February 23, 1930
 • Town September 1, 1977
 • Mayor Kelly Tuck
 • Governing body Turner Valley Town Council
Area (2011)[2]
 • Total 5.45 km2 (2.10 sq mi)
Elevation[3] 1,215 m (3,986 ft)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 2,167
 • Density 397.6/km2 (1,030/sq mi)
Time zone Mountain Standard (UTC-7)
Postal Code T0L 2A0
Area code(s) +1-403
Highways Highway 7
Highway 22
Highway 546
Waterways Sheep River
Website ‹See Tfm›turnervalley.ca

Turner Valley is a town in the Calgary Region of Alberta, Canada within the Municipal District of Foothills No. 31. It is located on Highway 22 (Cowboy Trail),[4] 3 km (1.9 mi) west of Black Diamond and approximately 60 km (37 mi) southwest of Calgary.

The town was once the centre of an oil and natural gas boom. For 30 years, the Turner Valley oilfields were a major supplier of oil and gas and the largest producer in the British Empire.


The population of the Town of Turner Valley according to its 2015 municipal census is 2,511,[5] a 24.2% change from its 2008 municipal census population of 2,022.[6]

In the 2011 Census, the Town of Turner Valley had a population of 2,167 living in 888 of its 934 total dwellings, a 13.6% change from its 2006 population of 1,908. With a land area of 5.45 km2 (2.10 sq mi), it had a population density of 397.6/km2 (1,029.8/sq mi) in 2011.[2]

In 2006, Turner Valley had a population of 1,908 living in 794 dwellings, an 18.7% increase from 2001. The town has a land area of 5.45 km2 (2.10 sq mi) and a population density of 350.1/km2 (907/sq mi).[7]


Kananaskis Country, approximately 25 km (16 mi) to the west, offers camping, hiking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, fishing and bird watching.[8]

Recreation venues include the 18-hole semi-private Turner Valley Golf and Country Club, outdoor Dr. Lander Memorial Pool, an outdoor rink and skateboard park, and Friendship Trail, 3 km (1.9 mi) paved link to nearby Black Diamond.


William Herron, a rancher from nearby Okotoks, gathered investors from local luminaries such as Senator James Lougheed, R.B. Bennett and A.E. Cross. Herron himself lacked the technical expertise to drill Turner Valley's fossil-fuel that was some 800 meters underground.[9] Herron recruited drilling expert Archibald Dingman, a 19th-century American veteran from Pennsylvania.

On May 14, 1914, A.W. Dingman struck gas near Turner Valley.[10] For six years, the plant produced naphtha under local ownership. However, in 1920, the Turner Valley Gas Plant burned down. Herron's group could no longer afford to rebuild and operate the site. Imperial Oil bought Calgary Petroleum Products for its subsidiary Royalite Oil Co. and rebuilt the plant.[11]

The plant ceased operations in 1985 and was turned over to the provincial government. Since that time, it has been plagued by vandalism, floods and internal hazards such as asbestos insulation, soil contamination, and mercury leaks from old equipment. Due to a flood in 2003, public visits were discontinued and work to restore the plant for a 2014 centennial celebration has been underway since.[12] It is estimated that, along with the $20 million spent on restoring the site, an additional $20 million will be needed to help get the site operational.


Students in kindergarten through grade 6 attend Turner Valley Elementary School. Junior and senior high school students attend Oilfields High School in Black Diamond.

Notable people[edit]

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