On The Fast Track

City of Airdrie one of Canada’s most bustling communities

Once a train stop where thirsty travellers would enjoy the sweet waters of Nose Creek, the city of Airdrie has grown to be one of the fastest growing communities in Canada.

In 1890, with the formation of the Calgary and Edmonton Railway Company, an area north of Calgary settled by Addison McPherson became a prime stop for thirsty travellers.

In 1901, Airdrie was named a hamlet with its first buildings constructed by A.E. Bowers and his brother in law W.H. Croxford. The hamlet increased in size, sustained by the railroad, and became a village in 1909.

Fast-forward more than a hundred years; today Airdrie is a bustling city of about 43,155 people.

“We have a great mix of demographics but 95 per cent of Airdrie’s population is under 65 and you would not believe the significant amount of people with strollers in the community,” said Mayor Peter Brown in a November issue of CREB® Real Estate News.

True to its moniker as of one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, Airdrie saw $265 million in total construction value in 2011, a $20 million increase over 2010’s numbers.

“It was a strong year for construction growth in Airdrie with the commercial and industrial sector experiencing its strongest year in the last four,” said Kevin Slemko, building inspections team leader. “The residential housing market growth continued to be robust with permit applications for six additional multi-family complexes, further diversifying Airdrie’s housing mix.”

‘‘It was a strong year for construction growth in Airdrie with the commercial and industrial sector experiencing its strongest year in the last four.” kevin slemko building inspections team leader

Business licenses in the city also increased in 2011 with a total of 2,695 licenses issued last year, an increase of 131 over 2010.

“It was another great year for Airdrie business,” said Kent Rupert, economic development team leader. “From the expansion of existing businesses to new strip malls to construction of a large scale industrial building, the market reflected there is still a lot of confidence in the Airdrie market.

Located only 10 minutes north of Calgary, Airdrie can more than hold its own in the amenity department. The city has a busy downtown core as well as a variety of schools, health care facilities, a public library, Genesis Place for recreation and has a variety of parks.

Located in Nose Creek Park are six handcrafted Totem Poles donated to the city by sister city Gwacheon, Korea. The poles were installed in 2007 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the sister city relationship. In 2011, the poles were designated as one of 36 icons in communities across Alberta and were featured on the cover of the Alberta Community Icons Passport, a Travel Alberta campaign.

“Participating in the passport program gives Airdrie an opportunity to showcase all that it has to offer,” said Sara Chamberlain, economic development officer, City of Airdrie. “Taking a stroll through Nose Creek Park to see the totem poles is just one of many ways residents and visitors can explore the world in their backyard through (the community icons) program.

Airdrie Pro Rodeo
This year marks the 44th annual Airdrie Pro Rodeo. The not-for-profit, 100 per cent volunteer event is part of the Wrangler Canadian Rodeo tour and features competitions such as cattle penning, branding, mutton bustin’, steer wrestling, barrel racing and bull riding followed by entertainment every evening by artists such as Quentin Reddy and Chris LeBlanc. This years rodeo takes place from June 28 to July 2. Check out www.airdrieprorodeo.net for more information.

Bert Church Live Theatre
Airdrie’s Bert Church Live Theatre is a fully equipped live performing arts centre with a capacity for 377. The theatre has brought some big names to the city including Fred Penner for the kids, musicians Sass Jordan, Sylvia Tyson and Bif Naked and classical acts such as the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. The theatre also hosts various summer camps centering on performing and visual arts and is available to rent.

East Lake Athletic Park
Sitting on a small, scenic lake, the East Lake Athletic Park is located in northeast Airdrie near the Genesis Place recreation centre. The park can be rented for various events and includes a 400-metre; eight lane rubberized running track, 1,000 capacity grandstand, announcers box, electronic scoreboard and track and field long jump pits. Genesis Place is Airdrie’s mecca of recreation and includes aquatic and dryland programs, dive tank; meeting rooms, weight room, gymnasium and fitness studios.

Woodside Golf Course
Located in the city’s northwest, the Woodside Golf Course offers up 18-holes of scenic golfing. The course (with driving range) is open to public golfers as well as offering memberships. Woodside stays active in its community with tournaments such as the Alberta Children’s Hospital Day and annual golf For The Cure tournament in support of breast cancer research. Tee times can be booked online 11 days in advance by members and eight days in advance for the public at www.woodsidegc.com.

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