Amenities and adventure a stone’s throw away from Calgary
Immediately south of Calgary, the MD of Foothills has everything one could need for a natural escape from the hustle and bustle of city living.
Incorporated in 1954, the MD had a population of 21,258 as of 2011, an increase of 7.7 per cent compared to 2006. Aside from agriculture and industrial operations, the MD surrounds the communities of Okotoks, High River, Black Diamond, Priddis, Blackie, Turner Valley, Heritage Pointe, Aldersyde, Cayley, De Winton, Longview and Millarville.
“(It’s) a playground for all seasons,” said Leslie Lambert, corporate communications, MD of Foothills No. 31. “Bird watching, golfing, hiking, camping, fishing, farmer’s markets, a day at the horse races, shopping and more. To the west of the MD is Kananaskis Country, the landscape encompasses the flat prairie to the rolling foothills with the mountain vista.”
For residents of the MD, Calgarians looking for a quick day trip or for the many tourists who travel down southern Alberta’s highways on a daily basis, the MD has a little something for everyone. The historic Bar U Ranch gives visitors a glimpse into ranch living; the Okotoks Erratic is a 16.5 tonne rock transported to the prairies by glacial ice; the Cross Conservation Area and Frank Lake.
“Bird watching, golfing, hiking, camping, fishing, farmer’s markets, a day at the horse races, shopping and more. To the west of the MD is Kananaskis Country, the landscape encompasses the flat prairie to the rolling foothills with the mountain vista.” Leslie Lambert corporate communications, MD Foothills
As well there’s the Chinook Honey Farm, Museum of the Highwood, Kayben Farms and the Leighton Art Centre, Gallery and Museum. For overnight trips the MD has a bed and breakfast and
For golfers there’s the Heritage Pointe Golf Club, the D’Arcy Ranch Golf Club in Okotoks, the Turner Valley Golf Club, the Highwood Golf and Country Club and more while adventurers in the area can take in WJ Homestead Disc Golf, Waterskiing at Predator Bay Water Ski Club and trail rides at Anchor D Guiding and Outfitting Ltd.
Dotted throughout the MD and along Highway 2 and The Cowboy Trail (Highway 22) are a mix of acreages, farms and cattle ranches.
“The MD is mainly agriculture, with some industries located within the Highway 2A industrial corridor between High River and Okotoks,” said Lambert.
Recently the MD and the Town of Okotoks unveiled a $20 million sports facility located across Highway 7 southeast of Okotoks. Plans for the facility include up to four indoor fields with future plans for outdoor fields. Construction is set for this July with a completion date of mid 2013. Construction has also begun on a new hockey arena beside Heritage Heights School in De Winton. The Scott Seaman Sports Rink will include an NHL size ice surface, change rooms, weight room, walking track and more and residents and will be accessible to MD residents by fall 2013.
In 2010, the total estimated residential housing starts construction value for the M.D was more than $98 million, a more than $30 million increase compared to 2009’s $64 million. Non-residential (institutional, commercial and industrial) permits issued in 2010 totaled more than $10 million compared to just over $6 million in 2009.
Millarville Farmers’ Market
For the last 30 years the Millarville Farmers’ Market has been providing freshproduce, baked goods and more to the folks who make the scenic drive to the popular market on Highway 22. The grounds are also home to the annualMillarville Races on Canada Day (celebrating its 107th year), the Millarville Rodeo and annual Priddis and Millarville Fair. The market runs rain or shine every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and kicked off its 2012 season June 16.
Moving from Calgary to Okotoks in 2007, the Western Major Baseball League (WMBL) Okotoks Dawgs have enjoyed continued success. The Dawgs are one of the highest draws for baseball in Alberta and have captured three WMCL titles since moving to Seaman Stadium. The home stadium is named for Alberta energy entrepreneurs and philanthropists Donald and Daryl (Doc) Seaman and features a wraparound concourse with full concessions, two barbecue patios, full service bars and a family berm.
You can’t get much more homegrown than the Chuckwagon Café in Turner Valley. Owner Terry Myhre raises his own beef ensuring both cut and freshness for a menu including the likes of steak and eggs, the house burger and chicken club. The bright red barn style restaurant has recently been included on the likes of the Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here! and Avenue and FFWD magazine.
Since 2007, Maggie’s Diner (located in an old western store) in High River has been a production set for the CBC series Heartland and is located in the heart of the communities’ downtown. The town recently celebrated their longtime relationship with the television series by launching their new town title, “High River — Home of Heartland”. Amber Marshall, who plays the lead part in the TV series isn’t far from the set as the Ontario native purchased property near the nearby town of Okotoks.