The City of St. Albert, now with 45,000 residents, is Alberta’s oldest non-fortified community. It was established in 1861, and named for Father Albert Lacombe, one of the earliest missionaries in the West. This city is accessed by following St. Albert Trail (Highway 2) northwest out of Edmonton for 8 km. This city is renowned for its French heritage and its “public” schools are Catholic, while the “separate” schools are Protestant.
The Sturgeon River Valley shapes the urban landscape of St. Albert. This slow moving and shallow river created gentle rolling hills that are a contrast to the flat prairie surroundings. The river-lot system, styled after rural Quebec townships, defines the majority of land parcel sizes and shapes along both sides of the Sturgeon River. Streams, ravines and drainage channels leading to the river continue to be preserved in their natural state as much as possible.
Northern Alberta Children’s Festival (late May).
St. Albert Attractions
St. Albert Place/Musee Heritage Museum
5 St Anne St, St. Albert, AB T8N 3Z9
(St. Anne St., 1 km W of St. Albert Trail)
This complex includes the Arden Theatres, a library, an arts & crafts facility, the city hall and the Musee Heritage Museum. The museum celebrates the city’s rich history, including the contributions of the Metis, the missionaries and the early settlers. Special exhibits change every three months. Hours are Mon. – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm Sunday 1 – 5 pm.
Father Lacombe Chapel
2 St Vital Ave, St. Albert, AB T8N 1K1
On St. Vital St. (on Mission Hill), west of St. Albert Trail
This Provincial Heritage Site was built back in 1861 and is the oldest building in Alberta. It was built by Father Albert Lacombe for ministering to the Cree and the Metis and has been restored to its original appearance. The chapel is open daily from mid-May to Labour Day 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission fee.