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old CPR railway station Red Deer

Red Deer Regional Airport

Gaetz and Ross downtown Red Deer

mounted Harvard trainer

former CPR railway bridge now used by pedestrians

Springbrook homes

replica of Penhold station

former Mynarski Park

Springbrook entrance sign


The Red Deer area & Central Alberta

Red Deer city hall park and airmen plaqueRed Deer
map of area between Red Deer and PenholdThe community was established in its present location in 1891 as a result of the Calgary-Edmonton Railway (now Canadian Pacific) crossing the river there. The city got a huge boost in 1907 when Canadian Pacific decided to make it a regional division point. By 1911, the population had reached 2,000 and had established itself as the distribution hub of Central Alberta. It took until the early 1940s to reach a population of 3,000 people but exploded to 8,000 by 1951, expanding again to 20,000 by 1961. In 2011, the city boasts almost 92,000 people with all the services and amenities you would expect from any large city while maintaining some of its town character.
front of old CPR railway station Red DeerRed Deer is well known for and proud of its green spaces, trails and interpretive centres along the Red Deer River in Waskasoo Park. Due to its location half way between Calgary and Edmonton, it is also a convention hub with superb facilities including the Centrium in Westerner Park. Several golf courses, recreational facilities, parks, shopping centres and historical sites exist in the city and the immediate area.

One of the biggest changes in the downtown and the arterial road system occurred as a result of the relocation of the railway yards from the downtown to the west side of the city in the early 1990s.
Gasoline Alley south of Red Deer
Gasoline Alley
For many years, Gasoline Alley along Highway 2 and south of Red Deer, was known for a scattering of motels, gas stations and the odd restaurant. Now the area has expanded with several restaurants, fast food outlets, gas stations, motels, big box stores like Costco, Leon's and Staples, RV and motorcycle sales, automobile sales, retail and home improvement stores and a 10 screen movie theatre. Plans are in the works to create a community of up to 8,000 with schools, green spaces and trails.

Mynarski Park in SpringbrookSpringbrook
Springbrook is a hamlet of around 1,100 people in Red Deer County next to the Red Deer Regional Airport. The community was created from the sale of the former CFB Penhold military housing, called Mynarski Park, to developers in 1995.

Springbrook housing
The original housing was built in 1954 as married quarters for the NATO training period. Several new houses have been built in the last 10 years and several more are under construction.
The community is adjacent to the Canadian Pacific Railway main north-south line parallel to Highway 2A and to the west is the old steel trestle of the Alberta Central Railway across the Red Deer River.

Penhold sign and caboosePenhold
The small community was established as a railway siding in 1891 with the coming of the Calgary-Edmonton Railway. By the time that the station was the main depot for the arrival of British soldiers to the Penhold air base in 1941, the town had a population of about 200 people. Now the town boasts 2,300 people and is growing having recently doubled its area for the first time in its history.


Sylvan Lake tour boat and light houseSylvan Lake
The town had been a relatively unknown local resort for many years since the arrival of two railroads -- the Canadian Northern Western (now Canadian National) and the Alberta Central Railway (now an abandoned Canadian Pacific branch line). In the middle of the last century, the town had less than 1,000 year-round residents with the population swelling in the summer due its beautiful lake and beach. The town now has a permanent population of over 12,000 people. It is one of the fastest-growing towns in Canada and has one of the highest property values for tourist-destination sites in the country. There are also parks and small communities around the lake. A four-lane highway connects the town with the city of Red Deer.


CF-104 Starfighter at InnisfailInnisfail and area
A small community called Poplar Grove existed prior to the Calgary-Edmonton Railway arriving in 1891 when the name was changed to Innisfail. For a short period, it rivalled Red Deer as the dominant centre of the region. By 1941, Innisfail had a population of 1,400, expanding to 2,300 in 1951, expanding again to 3,400 in 1961. The population is now over 7,800. The Innisfail Legion has acquired a CF-104 Starfighter Type F trainer jet, only one of two now in existence, that it has mounted at an 80 degree angle.
The town is an industrial centre with many recreation and historical attractions in the area. To the west of Innisfail are the historical hamlets of Dickson and Markerville and the recreational resort area around Glennifer Reservoir, a large man-made lake as a result of the building of the Dickson Dam on the Red Deer River.

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