Lethbridge: Wikis


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City of Lethbridge
—  City  —
Downtown Lethbridge as seen on 4 Avenue south facing west


Coat of arms
City of Lethbridge is located in Alberta
City of Lethbridge
Location of Lethbridge in Alberta
Coordinates: 49°41′39″N 112°49′58″W / 49.69417°N 112.83278°W / 49.69417; -112.83278Coordinates: 49°41′39″N 112°49′58″W / 49.69417°N 112.83278°W / 49.69417; -112.83278
Country  Canada
Province  Alberta
Region Southern Alberta
Census division 2
Incorporated 1906
 - Mayor Robert D. Tarleck
(Past mayors)
 - Governing body Lethbridge City Council
 - MP Rick Casson (Cons.)
 - MLAs Greg Weadick (P.C.),
Bridget Pastoor (Lib.)
 - City Manager Garth Sherwin
 - City 127.19 km2 (49.1 sq mi)
 - Metro 2,975.59 km2 (1,148.88 sq mi)
Elevation 910 m (2,986 ft)
Population (2009 (proper), 2006 (metro))
 - City 85,492
 Density 607.0/km2 (1,572.1/sq mi)
 Metro 95,196
 - Metro Density 32/km2 (82.86/sq mi)
Population rank 46th
Postal code span T1H to T1K
Area code(s) 403 587
Twin Cities
 - Anyang China
 - Culver City United States
 - Timashyovsk Russia
 - Towada Japan
Highways Highway 3, 4, 5, 25
Waterways Oldman River
Website City of Lethbridge

Lethbridge (pronounced /ˈlɛθbrɪdʒ/) is a city in the province of Alberta, Canada, and the largest city in southern Alberta. It is Alberta's fourth-largest city by population after Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer, and the third-largest by area after Calgary and Edmonton. The nearby Canadian Rockies contribute to the city's cool summers, mild winters, and windy climate. Lethbridge lies southeast of Calgary on the Oldman River.

Lethbridge is the commercial, financial, transportation and industrial centre of southern Alberta. The city's economy developed from drift mining for coal in the late 19th century and agriculture in the early 20th century. Half of the workforce is employed in the health, education, retail and hospitality sectors, and the top five employers are government-based. The only university in Alberta south of Calgary is in Lethbridge, and two of the three colleges in southern Alberta have campuses in the city. Cultural venues in the city include performing art theatres, museums and sports centres.



Round Street in 1911

Before the 19th century, the Lethbridge area was populated by several First Nations at various times. The Blackfoot referred to the area as Aksaysim ("steep banks"), Mek-kio-towaghs ("painted rock"), Assini-etomochi ("where we slaughtered the Cree") and Sik-ooh-kotok ("coal"). The Sarcee referred to it as Chadish-kashi ("black/rocks"), the Cree as Kuskusukisay-guni ("black/rocks"), and the Nakoda (Stoney) as Ipubin-saba-akabin ("digging coal").[1]

After the US Army stopped alcohol trading with the Blackfeet Nation in Montana in 1869, traders John J. Healy and Alfred B. Hamilton started a whiskey trading post at Fort Hamilton, near the future site of Lethbridge. The post's nickname became Fort Whoop-Up.[1] The whiskey trade led to the Cypress Hills massacre of many native Assiniboine in 1873. The North-West Mounted Police, sent to stop the trade and establish order,[1] arrived at Fort Whoop-Up on 9 October 1874. They managed the post for the next 12 years.[1]

Lethbridge's economy developed from drift mines opened by Nicholas Sheran in 1874 and the North Western Coal and Navigation Company in 1882. North Western's president was William Lethbridge, from whom the city derives its name.[2] By the turn of the century, the mines employed about 150 men and producing 300 tonnes of coal each day.[1] In 1896, local collieries were the largest coal producers in the Northwest Territories,[3] with production peaking during World War I. After the war, increasing oil and natural gas production gradually replaced coal production,[1] and the last mine in Lethbridge closed in 1957.

The first rail line in Lethbridge was opened on 28 August 1885 by the Alberta Railway and Coal Company,[1] which bought the North Western Coal and Navigation Company five years later.[4] The rail industry's dependence on coal and the Canadian Pacific Railway's efforts to settle southern Alberta with immigrants boosted Lethbridge's economy. After the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) moved the divisional point of its Crowsnest Line from Fort Macleod to Lethbridge in 1905, the city became the regional centre for Southern Alberta.[1] In the mid-1980s, the CPR moved its rail yards in downtown Lethbridge to nearby Kipp, and Lethbridge ceased being a rail hub.[5]

Between 1907 and 1913, a development boom occurred in Lethbridge, making it the main marketing, distribution and service centre in southern Alberta.[1] Such municipal projects as a water treatment plant, a power plant, a streetcar system, and exhibition buildings — as well as a construction boom and rising real estate prices — transformed the mining town into a significant city.[1] Between World War I and World War II, however, the city experienced an economic slump. Development slowed, drought drove farmers from their farms, and coal mining rapidly declined from its peak.[1] After World War II, irrigation of farmland near Lethbridge led to growth in the city's population and economy. Lethbridge College (previously Lethbridge Community College) opened in April 1957 and the University of Lethbridge in 1967.[1]


Lethbridge City Hall

Eight aldermen and a mayor make up the Lethbridge City Council.[6] City voters elect a new government every three years, the next being 18 October 2010. Lethbridge does not have a ward system, so the mayor and all aldermen are elected at large.[6] The City of Lethbridge has an operating budget of C$200 million, more than half of which comes from property tax.[7] One Member of Parliament (MP) representing Lethbridge sits in the House of Commons in Ottawa, and two members of Alberta's legislative assembly (MLAs), representing Lethbridge-East (Liberal) and Lethbridge-West (PC), sit in the legislative assembly in Edmonton.

Traditionally, political leanings in Lethbridge have been right-wing. Federally, from 1917 to 1930, Lethbridge voters switched between various federal parties,[8] but from 1935 to 1957, they voted Social Credit in each election.[8] Progressive Conservatives held office from 1958 until 1993, when the Reform Party of Canada was formed.[8][9][10] The Reform party and its various subsequent incarnations have dominated the polls since.[10]

The Alberta government through Alberta Health Services administers public health services. Chinook Health oversees facilities in southwestern Alberta, such as the Chinook Regional Hospital and St. Michael's Health Centre.

Geography and climate

Map of southern Alberta

The city of Lethbridge is located at 49.7° north latitude and 112.833° west longitude and covers an area of 127.19 square kilometers (49.11 sq mi). The city is divided by the Oldman River; its valley has been turned into one of the largest urban park systems in North America at 16 square kilometres (4,000 acres) of protected land.[11] The city is Alberta's fourth largest by population after Calgary, Edmonton, and Red Deer. It is the third largest in area after Calgary and Edmonton and is near the Canadian Rockies, 210 kilometres (130 miles) southeast of Calgary.

Map of Lethbridge

Lethbridge is split into three geographical areas: north, south and west. The Oldman River separates West Lethbridge from the other two while the Crowsnest Highway and the Canadian Pacific Railway rail line separate North and South Lethbridge.[12] The newest of the three areas, West Lethbridge (pop. 29,673)[13] is home to the University of Lethbridge. Much of the city's recent growth has been on the west side, and it has the youngest median age of the three. The north side (pop. 24,514)[13] was originally populated by workers from local coal mines. It has the oldest population of the three areas, is home to multiple industrial parks and includes the former town of Hardieville, which was annexed by Lethbridge in 1978.[14][15] South Lethbridge (pop. 29,773)[13] is the commercial heart of the city. It contains the downtown core, the bulk of retail and hospitality establishments, and the Lethbridge College.



Lethbridge has a moderate continental climate with an average maximum temperature of 12.3 °C (54.1 °F) and an average minimum temperature of −1.1 °C (30.0 °F). With an average precipitation of 386.3 mm (15.2 in) and 264 dry days on average, Lethbridge is the second driest city in Canada.[16] On average, Lethbridge has 116 days with wind speed of 40 km (24.9 mi) or higher, ranking it as the second city in Canada for such weather.[16]

Its high elevation of 929 m (3,047.9 ft) and close proximity to the Rocky Mountains provides Lethbridge with cooler summers than other locations in the Canadian prairies.[17] These factors protect the city from strong northwest and southwest winds and contribute to frequent chinook winds during the winter. Lethbridge winters have the highest temperatures in the prairies, reducing the severity and duration of winter cold periods and resulting in fewer days with snow cover.[18]

Climate data for Lethbridge
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16.7
Average high °C (°F) -1.8
Average low °C (°F) -13.8
Record low °C (°F) -42.8
Precipitation mm (inches) 17.6
Source: Environment Canada[19] 2009-07-07


Lethbridge is southern Alberta's commercial, distribution, financial and industrial centre (although Medicine Hat plays a similar role in southeastern Alberta). It has a trading area population of 275,000, including parts of British Columbia and Montana,[17] and provides jobs for up to 80,000 people who commute to the city from a radius of 100 kilometres (60 mi).[17]

Lethbridge's economy has traditionally been agriculture-based; however, it has diversified in recent years. Half of the workforce is employed in the health, education, retail and hospitality sectors,[20] and the top five employers are government-based.[21] Several national companies are based in Lethbridge. From its founding in 1935, Canadian Freightways based its head office there until moving operations to Calgary in 1948, though its call centre remains in Lethbridge.[22] Taco Time Canada was based in the city from 1978–1995 before moving to Calgary.[23] Minute Muffler, which began in 1969, is based in Lethbridge.[24] International shipping company H & R Transport has been based in the city since 1955.[25] Braman Furniture, which has locations in Manitoba and Ontario, was headquartered in Lethbridge from 1991–2008.[26]

Lethbridge serves as a hub for commercial activity in the region by providing services and amenities. Many transportation services, including Greyhound buses, four provincial highways, rail service and an airport, are concentrated in or near the city. In 2004, the police services of Lethbridge and Coaldale combined to form the Lethbridge Regional Police Service.[27] Lethbridge provides municipal water to Coaldale, Coalhurst, Diamond City, Iron Springs, Monarch, Shaughnessy and Turin.[28][29]

In 2002, the municipal government organized Economic Development Lethbridge, a body responsible for promoting and developing the city's commercial interests.[30] Two years later, the city joined in a partnership with 24 other local communities to create an economic development alliance called SouthGrow, representing a population of over 140,000.[31] In 2006, Economic Development Lethbridge partnered with SouthGrow Regional Initiative and Alberta SouthWest Regional Alliance to create the Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership. This partnership promotes business related to alternative energy, including wind power, solar power and biofuel, in the region.[32] Economic Development Lethbridge won first place at the Economic Developers Association of Canada 2007 Marketing Canada Awards for its "County of Lethbridge Business Investment Profile 2007–2008".[33] In 2007, Site Selection magazine ranked Economic Development Lethbridge as fourth among Canadian economic development groups for volume of capital investment and job creation.[34]


In its 2009 municipal census, the City of Lethbridge reported a population of 85,492.[13][35]

In 2006, the federal census reported a population of 74,637 in the city and 95,196 in the metropolitan area.[36] In 2006, Lethbridge had a predominantly white population; only one out of eight people were non-European,[36] compared to one in ten in 2001.[20] Of those, 40 percent were aboriginal, most of whom came from the nearby Peigan and Kainai nations. Of the remaining 60 percent, Japanese, Chinese and Latin American made up the largest portion at over 1,200, 920 and 705 respectively.

2001 distribution of religions in Lethbridge

The most commonly observed faith in Lethbridge is Christianity. According to the 2001 federal census,[20] 50,245 residents, representing 76 percent of respondents, indicated they were Christian. Just over 22 percent of Lethbridgians reported no religious affiliation, which was higher than the national average of 16 percent. The number of residents reporting other religions, including Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews and Sikhs amounted to nearly 2 percent. For specific denominations, Statistics Canada reported 14,965 Roman Catholics who were well over 22 percent of the population, and 10,235 members of the United Church of Canada who were about 15 percent of the population. For Mormons, Statistics Canada counted 5,680 adherents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints within the Lethbridge Census Agglomeration Area.[37] Less numerous denominations included 3,605 Anglicans (more than 5 percent of the population), 3,025 Lutherans (more than 4 percent), and 2,155 Baptists (more than 3 percent).

According to the 2006 census, more than 85 percent of residents spoke English as a first language. More than 4 percent spoke German, well over 2 percent spoke Dutch and almost 1 percent each spoke French, Chinese, and Spanish as their first language. The next most commonly spoken languages were Hungarian, Polish, Ukrainian, Japanese, Italian, Persian, Blackfoot, and Tagalog.[38]


Lethbridge was designated a Cultural Capital of Canada for the 2004–2005 season.[39] The Southern Alberta Ethnic Association (Multicultural Heritage Centre) promotes multiculturalism and ethnic heritage in the community.[40] The city is home to venues and organizations promoting the arts. Founded in 1957, the Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge is the largest organization in the city dedicated to preserving and enhancing the local arts.[41] Lethbridge has a public library and three major museum/galleries. The Southern Alberta Art Gallery is a contemporary gallery; the Bowman Arts Centre, administered by the Allied Arts Council, operates three galleries; and the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery produces contemporary exhibitions including works from its extensive collection of Canadian, American and European art.[40]

The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra has been performing in the city since 1960. It has produced spin-off music groups, the Lethbridge Musical Theatre and the Southern Alberta Chamber Orchestra.[42] Vox Musica is a community choir based at the University of Lethbridge and has been performing since 1984. Theatrical productions are presented by the University of Lethbridge's theatre department and the New West Theatre, which produces seven shows annually. New West Theatre performs at the Genevieve E. Yates Memorial Centre using its two theatres: the 500-seat proscenium Yates Theatre and the 180-seat black box Sterndale Bennet Theatre.[43]

Sports and recreation

Henderson Lake

Lethbridge has designated 16 percent of the land within city boundaries as parkland, including the 755 hectare (1,865 acre) Oldman River valley parks system.[44] It has facilities for field sports and baseball, a disc golf course, a skate park, a BMX track, a climbing wall, a dozen tennis courts, and seven pools. It is home to five golf courses, including the award-winning Paradise Canyon Golf Resort, and is within 30 kilometres (19 mi) of several others.[40]

Built for the 1975 Canada Games, the ENMAX Centre is Lethbridge's multipurpose arena. The 6,500-seat facility has hosted concerts, three-ring circuses, multicultural events, national curling championships, basketball events, banquets, skating events and the Lethbridge Hurricanes, a major Western Hockey League franchise. The arena has a running track, racquetball and squash courts, and a full-size ice rink.[45] An outdoor sports field with capacity for 2,000  people is adjacent to the centre. In 1997, the 58,000-square-foot (5,400 m2) Community Savings Place (formerly the Lethbridge Soccer Centre) was built directly south of the ENMAX Centre and added two regulation size indoor soccer pitches to the complex.[46]

Several winter sports venues are in or near Lethbridge. The city has six indoor ice arenas with a total ice area of 11,220 square metres (120,800 sq ft) and a total seating capacity of 8,149. Other than the ENMAX Centre, all ice surfaces are available from October to April only. Lethbridge is 150 kilometres (90 mi) east of the Castle Mountain ski resort.[40]

Current amateur teams
Team Sport League
Lethbridge Bulls Baseball Western Major Baseball League
Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Western Hockey League

Major attractions

High Level Bridge near downtown Lethbridge

The city, which began as a frontier town, has several historical attractions. The Lethbridge Viaduct, commonly known as the High Level Bridge, is a steel trestle bridge. It was completed in 1909 on what was then the city's western edge.[47] Indian Battle Park, in the coulees of the Oldman River, commemorates the last battle between the Cree and the Blackfoot First Nations in 1870.[48]

Fort Whoop-Up in Lethbridge

Originally known as Fort Hamilton, Fort Whoop-Up was a centre of illegal activities during the late 19th century. It was first built in 1869 by J.J. Healy and A.B. Hamilton as a whiskey post and was destroyed by fire a year later. A second, sturdier structure later replaced the fort.[49]

As the cultural centre of southern Alberta, Lethbridge has notable cultural attractions. Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden in south Lethbridge was opened in 1967 as part of a Canadian centennial celebration attended by Japan’s Prince and Princess Takamatsu.[50] Galt Museum & Archives is the largest museum in the Lethbridge area; the building housing the museum served as the city's main hospital during the late 19th century and early 20th centuries.[51]

Skyline of downtown Lethbridge

Several structures such as the post office are prominent on the skyline of Lethbridge. Less well-known than the High Level Bridge, the post office is one of the most distinctive buildings in Lethbridge. Built in 1912, the four-storey structure is crowned by a functioning clock tower.[52] Other prominent buildings include office towers; the water tower, which was originally built in 1958 and sold to a private developer who converted it into a restaurant;[53] and the Alberta Terminals grain elevators.


The Lethbridge Public School District and the separate Holy Spirit Roman Catholic School Division administer grades kindergarten through 12 locally. The Palliser School Division, which is based in Lethbridge, administers public primary and secondary education in the outlying areas.

Lethbridge is home to Lethbridge College, founded in 1957, and the University of Lethbridge, founded in 1967. Red Crow Community College has a campus in the city. During the 2003–2004 school year, the University of Lethbridge and the Lethbridge College had a combined enrolment of 14,000, which was 20 percent of the city's population.[54]


Lethbridge has three major newspapers: the daily Lethbridge Herald and the weekly Lethbridge Sun Times and Lethbridge Journal. The university and college each have a student-run, weekly newspaper. There are 11 FM radio stations and 6 broadcast television channels, including CKXU-FM, a campus radio station located at the University of Lethbridge.


The downtown Lethbridge transit terminal

Mass transit in Lethbridge consists of 40 buses (with an average age of 10 years) operating on more than a dozen routes.[55] Traditionally, bus routes in the city started and ended downtown. In the early 21st century, however, Lethbridge Transit introduced cross-town and shuttle routes, such as University of Lethbridge to Lethbridge College, University of Lethbridge to the North Lethbridge terminal, and Lethbridge College to the North Lethbridge terminal. Several routes converge near the Chinook Regional Hospital, although it is not officially a terminal.

The Parks and Recreation department maintains the citywide, 30-kilometre (19 mi) pedestrian/cyclist Coal Banks Trail system (map). The system was designed to connect the Oldman River valley with other areas of the city, including Pavan Park in the north, Henderson Lake in the east, Highways 4 and 5 in the south and a loop in West Lethbridge (including University Drive and McMaster Blvd).[56]

Four provincial highways (3, 4, 5, and 25) run through or terminate in Lethbridge. This has led to the creation of major arterial roads, including Mayor Magrath Drive, University Drive and Scenic Drive. This infrastructure and its location on the CANAMEX Corridor has helped make Lethbridge and its freight depots a major shipping destination.[18] Lethbridge is 100 kilometres (62 mi) north of the United States border via Highways 4 and 5 and 210 kilometres (130 mi) south of Calgary via Highways 2 and 3. Highways 2, 3 and 4 form part of the CANAMEX trade route between Mexico, the United States, and Canada.[18]

Lethbridge is near the Lethbridge County Airport and the CPR rail yards in Kipp, Alberta. The rail yards were moved to Kipp, just west of the city, from downtown Lethbridge in 1983 to make way for commercial expansion.[57] The county airport provides commercial flights to Calgary and Edmonton, as well as private and charter flights elsewhere. The airport provides customs services for flights arriving from the United States.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Greg Ellis (October 2001). "A Short History of Lethbridge, Alberta". http://www.lethbridge.ca/home/Enjoying+Lethbridge/Picture+Gallery/Short+History.htm. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  2. ^ "Indian Battle Park". City of Lethbridge. http://www.lethbridge.ca/home/City+Hall/Departments/Parks+-+Pathways+-+Trails/Major+Parks/Indian+Battle+Park/Indian+Battle+Park.htm. Retrieved 2007-02-16. 
  3. ^ City of Lethbridge website
  4. ^ "Alberta Railway and Coal Company". Table of Private Acts (1867 to December 31, 2006), Railways. Department of Justice Canada. 25 January 2007. http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/privlaw/214797/2525.html. Retrieved 2007-02-16. 
  5. ^ "Executive Summary" (PDF). Highways 3 & 4, Lethbridge and Area NHS & NSTC, Functional Planning Study, #R - 970. Stantec Consulting Ltd.. February 2006. Archived from the original on 21 June 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070621192600/http://www.infratrans.gov.ab.ca/INFTRA_Content/docType182/Production/exec_summ.pdf. Retrieved 2007-02-16. 
  6. ^ a b "City Council". City of Lethbridge. http://www.lethbridge.ca/home/City+Hall/City+Council/. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  7. ^ 2006–2008 Preliminary Operating Budget Overview, City of Lethbridge
  8. ^ a b c "LETHBRIDGE, Alberta (1914 - 1977)". History of Federal Ridings since 1867. Parliament of Canada. http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Sites/LOP/HFER/hfer.asp?Language=E&Search=Det&Include=Y&rid=394. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  9. ^ "LETHBRIDGE--FOOTHILLS, Alberta (1977 - 1987)". History of Federal Ridings since 1867. Parliament of Canada. http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Sites/LOP/HFER/hfer.asp?Language=E&Search=Det&Include=Y&rid=395. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  10. ^ a b "LETHBRIDGE, Alberta (1987 - )". History of Federal Ridings since 1867. Parliament of Canada. http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Sites/LOP/HFER/hfer.asp?Language=E&Search=Det&Include=Y&rid=917. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  11. ^ "Field Guide Booklet". The Lethbridge Naturalists Society. http://www.lethbridge.ca/NR/rdonlyres/F286C2B1-59B5-4B7E-819E-2A830AD404F2/0/CouleestoCottonwoodsbrochure.pdf. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
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  16. ^ a b Weather Winners, Environment Canada. Retrieved December 26, 2006.
  17. ^ a b c Business Investment Profile 2005/2006, Economic Development Lethbridge. 2005. Retrieved November 7, 2006.
  18. ^ a b c Community Profile, Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved December 24, 2006.
  19. ^ Environment CanadaCanadian Climate Normals 1971–2000. Retrieved 07 July 2009.
  20. ^ a b c Lethbridge Community Profile Statistics Canada. 2002. 2001 Community Profiles. Released June 27, 2002. Last modified: 2006-12-14. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 93F0053XIE
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  22. ^ Company History, Canadian Freightways. Retrieved December 24, 2006.
  23. ^ Company History, Taco Time Canada. Retrieved December 24, 2006.
  24. ^ The First 30 Years, Minute Muffler & Brake. Retrieved December 24, 2006.
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  26. ^ Braman Furniture International, Canadian Company Capabilities, Industry Canada. Last Updated: 9 November 2005.
  27. ^ Police Commission, Lethbridge Regional Police Service. Retrieved December 24, 2006.
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  30. ^ About Economic Development Lethbridge. Retrieved December 24, 2006.
  31. ^ Annual Report 2006, SouthGrow. June 21, 2006.
  32. ^ Southern Alberta Economic Development Organizations Partner to Launch Major Alternative Energy Initiative. Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership news release. November 6, 2006.
  33. ^ Economic Developers Association of Canada (17 September 2007). "2007 Marketing Canada Awards" (PDF). Press release. http://www.chooselethbridge.ca/media/edac.pdf. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  34. ^ Economic Development Lethbridge (4 September 2007). "Lethbridge and Economic Development Lethbridge Ranked in the Top 10’s of National Survey for Best to Invest Canada". Press release. http://www.chooselethbridge.ca/media/release.php?view=41. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  35. ^ Alberta Municipal Affairs. "Alberta 2009 Official Population List". http://www.municipalaffairs.alberta.ca/documents/ms/2009pop.pdf. Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  36. ^ a b Lethbridge Community Profile Statistics Canada. 2007. 2006 Community Profiles. Released March 13, 2007. Last modified: 2007-03-13.
  37. ^ "Lethbridge". Religion (95A), Age Groups (7A) and Sex (3) for Population, for Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas 1 and Census Agglomerations, 1991 and 2001 Censuses - 20% Sample Data. Statistics Canada. 1 March 2007. http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/products/standard/themes/RetrieveProductTable.cfm?Temporal=2001&PID=55822&APATH=3&METH=1&PTYPE=55440&THEME=56&FOCUS=0&AID=0&PLACENAME=0&PROVINCE=0&SEARCH=0&GC=99&GK=NA&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=&FL=0&RL=0&FREE=0&GID=431636. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
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  39. ^ Cultural Capitals of Canada, Canadian Heritage. Retrieved December 24, 2006.
  40. ^ a b c d "Recreation & Leisure". Choose Lethbridge. Economic Development Lethbridge. http://www.chooselethbridge.ca/chooselivability/recreation.php. Retrieved 2007-02-16. 
  41. ^ "About Us". Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge. http://www.artslethbridge.org/. Retrieved 2007-02-16. 
  42. ^ Nelson, Margaret; Philip M. Wults. "Lethbridge, Alta". Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Historica. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=U1ARTU0002050. Retrieved 2007-02-16. 
  43. ^ "About Us". New West Theatre. Archived from the original on 6 February 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070206003935/http://www.newwesttheatre.com/aboutus.php. Retrieved 2007-02-16. 
  44. ^ "Bikeways and Pathways Master Plan". City of Lethbridge. March 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070927024139/http://www.lethbridge.ca/home/City+Hall/Departments/Parks+-+Pathways+-+Trails/Whats+New/What+New.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
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  46. ^ "Lethbridge Soccer Centre". City of Lethbridge. http://www.lethbridge.ca/home/City+Hall/Departments/Leisure+and+Recreation+Services/Other+Recreational+Facilities/Soccer+Centre/Lethbridge+Soccer+Centre.htm. Retrieved 2007-02-16. 
  47. ^ "High Level Bridge". City of Lethbridge. http://www.lethbridge.ca/home/Enjoying+Lethbridge/Picture+Gallery/Landmarks/High+Level+Bridge/High+Level+Bridge.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  48. ^ "Lethbridge". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9047928. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  49. ^ Allen, Robert. "Fort Whoop-Up". The Canadian Encyclopedia. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0002974. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  50. ^ Neugebauer, Dierk (January 2003). "Nikka Yuko - A Special Place". The Journal (Toronto Bonsai Society). http://torontobonsai.org/Journal/Journal.2003/jan.2003/nikka.yuko.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  51. ^ "Our History". Galt Museum & Archives. http://www.galtmuseum.com/aboutus-ourhistory.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  52. ^ "Buildings". City of Lethbridge. http://www.lethbridge.ca/home/Enjoying+Lethbridge/Picture+Gallery/Buildings/Buildings.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  53. ^ "Landmarks". City of Lethbridge. http://www.lethbridge.ca/home/Enjoying+Lethbridge/Picture+Gallery/Landmarks/Landmarks.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  54. ^ Lethbridge Profile, 2003–2004, City of Lethbridge
  55. ^ Mabell, Dave (9 September 2006). "Richard keeps the city's buses on the road". Lethbridge Herald. p. A4. 
  56. ^ "Coal Banks Trail". City of Lethbridge. http://www.lethbridge.ca/home/City+Hall/Departments/Parks+-+Pathways+-+Trails/Pathways+and+Trails/Coal+Banks+Trail/Coal+Banks+Trail.htm. Retrieved 2007-02-16. 
  57. ^ Coalhurst, Alberta : History, The Virtual Crowsnest Highway. Retrieved December 26, 2006.

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Lethbridge [1] is located in southern Alberta, Canada. The city is a commercial hub for the many smaller farming and ranching communities in the surrounding area. It is quiet and on the small side, but has a friendly population. Lethbridge has approximately 83 000 people, and that number is growing fast. The natural beauty of the area is in its starkness. The coulees are a valley formed by erosion. The Old Man River runs through this interesting landscape. This valley provides some shelter from the wind, which can be quite strong at almost any time of the year.


Before European settlement of Lethbridge the area was under the control of the Blackfoot tribe of Native Americans. As more and more European settlers came many Natives were forced into a new life and eventually the Natives signed over their control of the territory to Canada. Before the Canadian government established full control over the area a booming whiskey trade took root. It took the intervention of the NWMP (North-West Mounted Police) to stop these illegal activities. Soon after this a major coal mining operation started to develop in the coulee regions of Coalbanks. Coalbanks was renamed Lethbridge in 1885. Lethbridge received city status in 1906.

During World War II, many Japanese Canadians and German POW's were interned in Lethbridge. After the war many stayed having established a new life. As a result, you'll see some influences of Japanese and German culture blended with the surrounding Ukrainian, Dutch, Mormon, Native and Hutterite cultures.

Today Lethbridge is undergoing a strong economic boom and as a result many new businesses are cropping up. There is also a large population boom but many businesses are still looking for people to work because there are still so few people to work.

Get in

By Car

If you are coming from Montana or somewhere south of Lethbridge, you can either use highway 4 or highway 5. Highway 4 takes you past Canadian Tire. Highway 5 takes you right past the airport and some big box stores like Wal-Mart & The Real Canadian Superstore.

If you are coming from Medicine Hat or somewhere east of Lethbridge, use highway 3. Highway 3 turns into Crowsnest Trail and goes through the heart of Lethbridge.

If you are coming from Calgary go onto highway 2 and turn left onto highway 3 near Fort Macleod.

If you coming from the Crowsnest Pass, British Columbia or somewhere west of Lethbridge then you will also use highway 3.

By Plane

Lethbridge is served by a regional airport just outside the city limits in Lethbridge County. The airport is located beside Highway 5 and south of Lethbridge. The airport is not an international airport, so only flights from somewhere in Canada can come into Lethbridge. The only exception is seasonal flights to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico during the winter. Air Canada and Integra Air operate flights in and out of Lethbridge.

By Bus

You can get into Lethbridge by bus via Greyhound [2]. The Greyhound station is located downtown at 411 5th Street South. The station is open:

  • Monday-Saturday: 7:30 am-6:00 pm
  • Sunday: 7:30 am-10:30 am, 1:30 pm-6:00 pm
  • Holidays: 7:30 am-10:30 am, 1:30 pm-6:00 pm

By Train

The closest city with intercity rail passenger service to Lethbridge is the Montana city of Cut Bank, (90 miles from Lethbridge) which is served by the Empire Builder passenger train which operates between Chicago and Seattle/Portland, stopping also in Shelby, Montana.

For information, call Amtrak at 1-800-872-7245 or at: www.amtrak.com

Get around

By Car

A car is probably the easiest way to get around Lethbridge. Every major attraction is easily reachable by car. Car Rentals:

  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car, 1106 3rd Avenue South, +1 403 327-5906, [3].
  • Hertz Rent A Car, 1021 3rd Avenue South, +1 403 320-5141, [4].
  • National Car Rental, 417 Stubb Ross Road, +1 403 328-3015, [5].

By Bus

Lethbridge does have a public transport system [6]. Major service changes have recently been implemented and many routes have changed. There is now 30 minute service on all routes during the day and 40 minute service at night. You can now cross town in half an hour or so. The bus is reliable, usually on time, and not overly expensive; for adults it is $2.00 for one way.

On Foot/Bike

You can walk/bike around in certain stretches of the city, but trying to walk/bike from south Lethbridge to west Lethbridge is a daunting task as you will have to walk Whoop-Up Drive, which translates walking/biking down a hill, into the coulees and then walking/biking up a steep hill. However parts of Lethbridge are tailor-made for walking/biking around to explore, such as downtown Lethbridge and the actual coulees themselves. The parks around Henderson Lake and Nicholas Sheran Lake provide pleasant spaces for recreation.


Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden - Corner of 9th Avenue South & Mayor Magrath Drive[7]. Open from mid-May to mid-October, Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden is a beautiful example of a traditional Japanese garden nestled beside the equally beautiful Henderson Lake. Traditional Japanese architecture and flower design are abundant. Guided tours are available. Admission is: Adults - $7.00; Seniors (65+) - $5.00; Youth (6-17) - $4.00; Children (0-5) - Free.

Sir Alexander Galt Museum & Archives - West of 5th Avenue South[8]. Open year-round, The Galt Museum has numerous exhibits detailing the history of Lethbridge and Southern Alberta. The museum was originally a hospital, and it is rumored that the museum is now haunted! The museum is also the starting or ending point of many walking trails going in or out of the coulees. Admission is: Adults - $5.00; Seniors/Post-Secondary/IYH Members - $4.00; Youth (7-17) - $3.00; Children (0-6) - Free.

High Level Bridge - This trestle bridge goes across the coulees and can be viewed best when traversing Whoop-Up Drive. The High Level Bridge is the longest and highest bridge of its kind in the world reaching 5,327.625 feet long (1.6km) and 314 feet high (96 meters). It was built during 1908-1909, and still has trains pass over it everyday. It is one of Lethbridge's most well-known landmarks.

Fort Whoop-Up Interpretive Centre - Located in the coulees[9]. Open year-round (only open on Saturday & Sunday in the winter), Fort Whoop-Up is an near-exact replica of the original Fort Whoop-Up that served as a major center during the mid-1800's in the whiskey and firearms trade. The first fort was destroyed in a fire. The Fort features exhibits of the original fort and occasionally special events like carriage rides. Admission is (for the summer): Adults - $7.00; Seniors (65+) - $6.00; Students (13-18) - $5.00; Children (5-12) - $3.00; Infants (0-4) - Free.

Helen Schuler Coulee Centre - Located in the coulees [10]. Open year-round, Helen Schuler Coulee Center is a great point to start your day in the coulees. It features many displays that highlight the delicate ecosystem in the coulees. Don't miss Pegleg, the talking crow! Guided walks through the coulees can be booked here. The centre also has many programs and displays dedicated especially for kids. Admission is free of charge.

Southern Alberta Art Gallery - 601 3rd Avenue South[11]. Open year-round, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery features exhibitions from many local contemporary artists. The exhibitions are constantly changing to give all the talented local artists a chance to shine. The SAAG is a respected Canadian art institution and is a great place to spend a day. The SAAG also has beautiful scenery surrounding the building, as it is located in Galt Gardens, a picturesque downtown park. Admission varies.

Brewery Gardens - 1 Avenue South (near Tourist Information Center). A constantly changing floral garden, the gardens are put into a display that represents the time of year or a special event that is happening in Lethbridge. You can't walk through the gardens. Unsurprisingly, the gardens are best viewed during the summer.


Lethbridge has many things to do, espeically in the area of hiking and natural wildlife observation.


Lethbridge has numerous places for a good hike or leisurely walk. Some recommended walks/hikes include:

  • Coulees (starting at the Helen Schuler Coulee Centre)
  • Popson Park (down 10th Street West, past Paradise Canyon)
  • Alexander Wilderness Park (north of Stafford Drive North, near Hardieville)
  • Henderson Lake (South Parkside Drive, near Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens and the Exhibition Grounds)
  • Nicholas Sheran Park (just off McMaster Blvd. West).


Lethbridge annually hosts Whoop-Up Days [12], a carnival of sorts with rides, live performances, a rodeo, and exhibitions. In 2009 the fair and rodeo will be held from August 18-22 at the Exhibition Grounds (end of South Parkside Drive and next to Henderson Lake).


Lethbridge has numerous semi-professional sports teams, including:

  • The Lethbridge Hurricanes[13] (Western Hockey League). They play each year from October to March at the Enmax Centre (2510 Scenic Drive South).
  • The Lethbridge Bulls[14] (Western Major Baseball League). They play from the end of May to the end of July at Henderson Stadium (2425 North Parkside Drive South).
  • The University of Lethbridge [15]
  • Lethbridge College [16]


The main mall is Park Place Mall [17] and it is located north of Galt Gardens on 1st Avenue South. It has some big box stores like Sears, Staples, and Chapters. It also has numerous clothing shops, a food court, a movie theatre, and few locally owned art and craft stores. Lethbridge also has a Wal-Mart located near the airport at 3700 Mayor Magrath South and a Home Depot right beside the Wal-Mart. Downtown Lethbridge [18]is also a good place to spend a day shopping. Downtown has many locally owned shops selling items ranging from clothes to computers to stationary. Beware however that downtown businesses have higher prices than big box stores.

  • Cal's Calzone Zone is an Alberta calzone chain that uses local ingredients. Beer is available. Credit cards are not accepted, however the prices are reasonable.
  • Carmichael's - 1303 Mayor Magrath Dr. South, +1 403-328-5077. Located in the Best Western Heidelberg Inn, Carmichael's has a wide range of menu options.
  • The Cheescake Cafe - 904 2nd Ave. South, +1 403-394-2253 [19]. Wide range of menu options.
  • Ciao Mein - 680 Columbia Blvd. West, +1 403-331-3363. Italian & Chinese food. Take-out or delivery.
  • Coco Pazzo - 1264 3rd Ave. South, +1 403-329-8979. Italian.
  • Dionysios - 635 13th St. North, +1 403-320-6554 [20]. Mediterranean.
  • Douros Pizza & Steak House - 2433 Fairway Plaza Rd. South, +1 403-327-3067 [21]. Mostly Italian.
  • Earls - 203 13th St. South, +1 403-320-7677. Wide range of menu options.
  • East Side Marios - 3720 Mayor Magrath Dr. South, +1 403-331-0123. Italian-American.
  • El Comal Mexican - 1020 Mayor Magrath Dr. South, +1 403-380-6836. Mexican.
  • Fire Chef's Creations - 860 Heritage Blvd. West, +1 403-320-9626. Exspensive.
  • Georgio's Contemporary Dining - 1520 3rd Ave. South, +1 403-328-0676. Italian.
  • Guesthouse Restaurant Ltd. - 110 W T Hill Blvd. South, +1 403-394-9333 [22]. Swiss/German.
  • The Keg Steakhouse & Bar - 1621 3rd Ave. South, +1 403-327-2727. Steak.
  • Lighthouse Japanese Restaurant - 708 3rd Ave. South, +1 403-328-4828. Japanese.
  • Luigi's Pizza & Steak House - 306 13 St. North, +1 403-327-2766. 1119 Mayor Magrath Dr. South, +1 403-329-8322. Mostly Italian.
  • Mandarin Restaurant - 1624 Mayor Magrath Dr. South, +1 403-327-8696. Chinese.
  • Mongolie Grill - 502 5th Ave. South, +1 403-394-3555. Mongolian.
  • Montana's Cookhouse - 20th Ave. & Mayor Magrath Dr. South, +1 403-381-7717. Steak & ribs.
  • Moxie's Classic Grill - 1st Ave. & Stafford Dr. South. Premium Steaks.
  • New Dynasty Restaurant -103 7th St. South, +1 403-328-1212. Chinese.
  • O-Sho Japanese Restaurant - 311 4th St. South, +1 403-327-8382. Japanese.
  • Thuan Hoa Vietnamese Restaurant - 1354 Mayor Magrath Drive South, +1 403-320-9947. Vietnamese.
  • Poly's Pizza & Steakhouse - 3205 8th Ave. North, +1 403-380-3314. Pizza & steak.
  • Regent Restaurant - 1255 3rd Ave. South, +1 403-328-7800. Chinese.
  • Ric's Grill - 103 Mayor Magrath Drive South (Lethbridge's old water tower), +1 403-317-7427 [23]. Ric's Grill has an amazing view of the city and their made from scratch menu offers a lot of variety. It has a wide range of menu options.
  • Saigonese Restaurant 1210 Mayor Magrath Dr. South, +1 403-327-7225. Vietnamese.
  • Shanghai Chop Suey - 610 3rd Ave. South, +1 403-327-3552. Chinese.
  • Song Thuan Vietnamese Restaurant - 265 13th St. North, +1 403-381-8838. Vietnamese.
  • Tony Roma's - 3716 Mayor Magrath Dr. South, +1 403-394-7427. Steak & ribs.
  • Tony's Diner - 3221 2nd Ave. North, +1 403-327-2665. Locally owned.


The legal drinking age in Alberta is 18.

  • Average Joe's Sports Bar - 518 5th Street South, +1 403-394-9337.
  • Backstreet Pub & Pizza - 1810 3rd Avenue South, +1 403-394-7119.
  • Backstreet Pub & Pizza - 407 Laval Boulevard West, +1 403-380-2811.
  • Blarney Stone Pub - 1917 Mayor Magrath Drive South, +1 403-331-2337.
  • Bo'diddly's Pub & Grill - 425 21A Street North, +1 403-328-0066.
  • Bully's Sport & Entertainment Centre - 3401 Parkside Drive South, +1 403-380-1905.
  • Corner Pocket Billiards and Lounge - 241 Stafford Drive North, +1 403-394-2100.
  • Honkers Pub & Eatery - 2808 5th Avenue North, +1 403-327-9405.
  • Ice Taps & Grill - Heritage Heights Plaza West, +1 403-320-7191.
  • O'Rileys Pub & The Attic Grill - 411 3rd Avenue South, +1 403-328-6116.
  • Scores Thirst & Grill - 1025 Mayor Magrath Drive South, +1 403-328-2255.
  • Shotz Billiard Club & Lounge - 1120 2nd Avenue South, +1 403-394-7727.
  • Studio 54 - 202 5 Street South, +1 403-328-6099.
  • The Duke Of Wellington - 132 Columbia Boulevard West, +1 403-381-1455.
  • The Front Row Pub - 2012 Mayor Magrath Drive South, +1 403-328-0423.
  • The Roadhouse - 420 6th Street South, +1 403-380-4210.
  • The Tankhouse Neighbourhood Pub & Grill - 1814 Mayor Magrath Drive South, +1 403-328-9000.
  • Top Hat Strip Club - 1216 1st Avenue South, +1 403-327-8667.




  • Lethbridge Community College Residences - +1 403-329-7218 - 3000 College Drive South - Open from May to August 15.


  • Henderson Lake Campground - +1 403-328-5452 - 3419 Parkside Dr. South
  • Bridgeview RV Resort - +1 403-381-2357 - 1501 2nd Avenue West

Bed & Breakfasts

  • Enid's Bed and Breakfast Lethbridge - Rates $60/single, $85/double - +1 403-329-3893 - 3204 Lakehill Cres. South
  • B & B in Paradise Canyon Lethbridge - +1 403-381-7508 - 402 Canyon Blvd. West
  • Heritage House B&B Lethbridge - +1 403-328-3824 - 1115 - 8th Ave. South
  • A CouleeView Getaway B&B Lethbridge - +1 403-315-3530 - 1604 Scenic Heights South
  • Chellsea House B&B Lethbridge - +1 403-381-1325 - 9 Dalhousie Rd. West


  • Parkside Inn Lethbridge - Rates $40+ - +1 403-328-2366 - 1009 Mayor Magrath Dr. South
  • Howard Johnson Express Inn Lethbridge - Rates $40-$80 - +1 403-327-4576 - 1026 Mayor Magrath Dr. South
  • Peppertree Inn Lethbridge - Rates $40-$80 - +1 403-328-4436 - 1142 Mayor Magrath Dr. South
  • Travelodge Lethbridge Hotel & Convention Centre - Rates $40-$100 - +1 403-327-5701 - 526 Mayor Magrath Dr. South
  • Thriftlodge Lethbridge - Rates $50-$70 - +1 403-329-0100 - 1142 Mayor Magrath Dr. South
  • Econo Lodge & Suites Lethbridge [24] - Rates $50-$80 - +1 403-328-5591 - 1124 Mayor Magrath Dr. South
  • Lethbridge Village Inn - Rates $60-$90 - +1 403-327-2104 - Scenic Dr. & 4th Ave. South
  • Days Inn Lethbridge Hotel [25] - Rates $50-$120 - +1 403-327-6000 - Scenic Dr. & 3rd Ave. South - Home of Canada's largest indoor mural.
  • Comfort Inn Lethbridge Hotel [26] - Rates $70-$140 - +1 403-320-8874 - 3226 Fairway Plaza Rd. South
  • Sandman Hotel Lethbridge - Rates $70-$150 - +1 403-328-1111 - 421 Mayor Magrath Dr. South - Denny's restaurant attached.
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Lethbridge - Rates $70-$160 - +1 403-394-9292 - 120 Stafford Dr. South
  • Ramada Hotel & Suites Lethbridge - Rates $80-$220 - +1 403-380-5050 - 2375 Mayor Magrath Dr. South
  • Lethbridge Lodge Hotel - Rates $110-$160 - +1 403-328-1123 - 320 Scenic Dr South
  • Premier Inn & Suites Lethbridge - +1 403-380-6677 - 2225 Mayor Magrath Dr. South
  • Best Western Heidelberg Inn Lethbridge [27] - +1 403-329-0555 - 1303 Mayor Magrath Dr. South - Carmichael's restaurant attached.

Stay Safe

Violent crime is extremely rare in Lethbridge. That being said, there are probably a few places you should avoid at night for fear of being hassled for money or robbed. Although safe during the day, several robberies have happened at the Galt Gardens at night. Similarly, you might want to avoid walking downtown near the Coal Banks Inn at night if you are alone. All in all however, Lethbridge is a very safe city and the probability of a crime being committed against you is very low.

  • Lethbridge Public Library - 810 5th Avenue South, +1 403-380-7310 [28]. Open from: Mon-Fri 9:30AM - 9:00PM, Sat 9:30AM - 5:30PM, Sun 1:30PM - 5:30PM.
  • Waterton Lakes National Park - A beautiful national park that is about an hour drive away southwest from Lethbridge. The park is also a UNESCO World Heritage site and attracts tourists from all over the world.
  • Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump - A UNESCO World Heritage Site near Fort Macleod, about a 30-45 minute drive west of Lethbridge. Head-Smashed-In displays how Native Americans lived before and after they came into contact with the European settlers; and it shows how the Native Americans used buffalo jumps to kill the buffalo for food, protection, and shelter.
  • Calgary - About a 2 hour drive north, Calgary offers world-class attractions and shopping. Calgary also is home to numerous professional sport organizations and is home to over 1 000 000 people.
  • Montana - About a 1.5 hour drive south from Lethbridge.
  • Edmonton - 5 hours away and is the capital city of Alberta. It is the second largest city with 1.1 mill people. It is popular for it's numerous festivals, amazing river valley, West Edmonton Mall, Edmonton Oilers, a growing arts community, and the University of Alberta.
Routes through Lethbridge
CranbrookFort Macleod  W noframe E  → Taber → Medicine Hat
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


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