More than 100 years ago a dam was built east of Calgary in order to provide irrigation for area farmers, with time “Alberta’s Oasis” was born.
Chestermere Lake has become a thriving lake community just 10 minutes away from Calgary. The town started out as a “pleasure resort” and The Cabin Owners of Chestermere Lake organized in 1959. Back then, people were able to lease their lots with the opportunity to buy initiated in 1975.
According to www.chestermere.ca, the Chestermere became a summer village in 1977 with residents afforded the authority to levy their own taxes and make their own decisions regarding allotment of revenue, and then, in 1993, was incorporated as a town.
As of 1996, there were only 1,911 people in Chestermere, since that time, the population has grown to 14,682 strong.
“We are the fifth fastest growing municipality in Canada and the fastest growing municipality in Alberta according to the Federal census,” said Mayor Patricia Matthews, who has lived in Chestermere for the last 13 years. “Despite that growth Chestermere still feels resort-like and friendly.”
For the activity lovers, there’s a plethora of watersports to enjoy but the town also has a pathway system for walking, jogging and biking. Putting family first, the town is introducing Birth Park Tree Planting, with the Streetscape Committee, planting trees this fall in Sunset Beach Park to recognize children born to families living in Chestermere.
“As a town of roughly 15,000, it is really important for us to keep that sense of community and the small town feel,” said Matthews. “In order to preserve that, we make sure there are lots of opportunities to come out and socialize with your neighbours. The lake is the perfect place to host many of our community events like the Water Festival and WinterFest.”
As well as the popular annual Water Festival and Winter Festival, the lake community also has events like the Country Connections Spring Festival the Chestermere Country Fair and Canada Day celebrations. Between community events the town’s pathway system and easy lake access make for a nice day out.
“The best way to spend your day in Chestermere is outdoors enjoying all the opportunities that our lake community has to offer,” explained Matthews. “In the summertime, a bike ride along the canals, past the golf course or alongside the lake takes you to a place to get a cool drink or an ice cream while you sit with your feet in the water and enjoy the serenity.”
Despite its close proximity to Calgary, Matthews explained Chestermere still maintains a very strong identity.
“If you spend any time here, you’ll see that Chestermere is a community unlike any other with great community pride,” she said. “We’re growing more sustainable every day and we sometimes joke with our friends in Calgary that we may annex them someday!”
Chestermere Recreation Centre
Featuring two arenas, a gym, curling rink as well as baseball diamonds and soccer fields, the Chestermere Recreation Centre is more than a recreation centre; it’s a meeting and gathering place for Chestermere and its surrounding communities. The Chestermere Regional Community Association operated centre, located in the heart of the small town, also features a seniors centre, food service and hosts special events such as Friday Teen Nights, Fall Country Fair and the community Christmas Party.
Calgary Yacht Club
The Calgary Yacht Club (located in Chestermere) was formed in the early 1920’s by the owners of Lake Chestermere’s first sailboats; Morris Shyback, Roy Lea and Mike Sullivan. The club was incorporated as a not-forprofit society in 1933 and a clubhouse was built at the northeast end of the lake. In 1951, the club changed locations with the original clubhouse being replaced in 2011 and today the club is made up of a devoted membership of sailors promoting the love of their sport.
Formed in 1906 in order to irrigate surrounding farms. The 4.5 kilometre long and 0.8 kilometre wide lake lies parallel to the city of Calgary and is well used by both residents of Chestermere as well as visitors from all over. The annual Chestermere Water Festival (taking place July 28 this year) celebrates summer on the lake and includes a fishing derby, wakeboard competition, live music, boat parade and more.