So you've never heard of Medicine Hat, Alberta? Let me extend a warm southern Alberta welcome to you all. As you start to discover Medicine Hat... you'll find that you want to stay!
What attracts new residents to our region? Being the sunniest city in Canada with mild winters certainly helps! (We receive an average of 2,513 hours of sunshine per year according to Environment Canada). Besides that favourite feature, it's the friendly atmosphere, beautiful outdoors and big city conveniences with small town quality of life that make "the Hat" a sought after location. Of course other reasons such as low property taxes, natural gas and electricity rates that are well below the North American average, reasonable housing costs, no provincial sales tax and the lowest income taxes in the country are attractive too!
Our little city has grown to be Alberta's fifth largest, with a population of 60,426 (2008). We are located approximately 293 km (183 miles) to the southeast of Calgary, Alberta, 60 km (36 miles) to the Saskatchewan border and 160 km (99 miles) from the United States Wildhorse border crossing.
If you love the great outdoors, then Medicine Hat is the city for you.... our community boasts more than 92 km (57 miles) of hiking and biking trails and 250 hectares of parks, not counting six first class golf courses, plus three private campgrounds and one municipally operated campground. We also have three indoor and four outdoor pools, six indoor ice arenas, indoor and outdoor waterslides, soccer fields, baseball diamonds, tennis courts and a skateboard park – activities for every season and for every member of your family!
Medicine Hat is a manufacturer’s haven. This strong sector of our economy produces a variety of goods such as tires for cars and heavy equipment, anhydrous ammonia and granulated urea for fertilizers, clay brick and refractories, thermal carbon black, catalyst compounds for gasoline production, compressors, furniture, playground equipment, flour, cereals and feeds, business forms and commercial printing, dairy products, vertical blinds, modular housing, marble and onyx products, ceramic insulators, storage tanks, pipeline equipment, mining equipment and drills, pressure vessels, metal fabricated products, potting soil and concrete.
Another large contributor to the areas’ economy is agriculture. As you can imagine, with the most sunny days in the country we have the longest growing season too. Our region produces a variety of crops such as wheat, flax, barley and oats and specialty crops including corn, carrots, safflower, sunflowers and beans. The cattle industry and food processing are also important components of this sector.
If you head 56 km (35 miles) northwest of the Hat you can see the Canadian Forces Base Suffield. It is a military training area that is shared with BATUS, the British Army Training Unit.
Local manufacturing, agriculture and military sectors contribute about $120 million every year to our economy, thus providing many opportunities for employment as well as a great climate for new businesses to thrive.
When it comes to education, there are several options available to you here. The Medicine Hat School District #76 has thirteen elementary schools and three secondary schools to choose from. Also available from them are French Immersion, virtual learning, learning assistance and outreach programs. The Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education has six elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school, which offer a comprehensive religious education program. There are three private schools here: the Cornerstone Christian School, the Medicine Hat Christian School and the Montessori Elementary Institute of South-eastern Alberta. The Centre for Academic and Personal Excellence School is a chartered school and L’Ecole les Cypress rounds out the education resources for our young ones as a public francophone school.
For post secondary education, we have the Medicine Hat College that provides pre-employment trades training, apprenticeship and upgrading programs. Over 40 full-time certificate and diploma programs in business, technology, early childhood development, travel and tourism, rehabilitation services, nursing, police, security and visual communications to university transfer programs are offered.
Here concludes your short tour of Medicine Hat, Alberta. Whether you are planning a visit or relocation, I invite you to come experience the Hat – a community with so much to offer!
For a gorgeous view of Medicine Hat, check out this photo gallery from City Hall's website: