Red Deer, Alberta
Red Deer is located in Central Alberta, Canada, at the halfway point between Calgary and Edmonton. It is Alberta’s third most populated city, following Calgary and Edmonton. Red Deer truly offers it all, being close to Rocky Mountains, rivers and a bustling city to explore.
Red Deer sits in Aspen parkland, which is a large transitional biome between prairie and boreal forest. This biome creates a unique ecology in which prairie and woodlands are in a constant struggle to overtake one another within the parkland. Interestingly, it is the largest boreal-grassland transition zone in the world.
Brief History of Red Deer
Aboriginal tribes such as the Blackfoot, Stoney and Plains Cree inhabited the land long before European settlement took place. In the 18th century, Europeans and the Métis peoples began passing through the land on the tails of the fur trade.
The name Red Deer originated with the Cree peoples who called the land “Waskasoo Seepee.” This translates to “Elk River,” but British traders mistakenly thought elk were European red deer, hence how they began calling the land “Red Deer River.”
Red Deer began as a spot on the map often passed through but not largely populated. As traffic increased due to the establishment of Fort Calgary and then the Canadian Pacific Railway, a trading post and stopping houses were built. This occurred in 1882, around which time permanent settlement in the area began to grow and thrive.
The 1885 Riel Rebellion (also known as the North-West Rebellion) planted roots here, as the Canadian militia built Fort Normandeau at the Crossing, which famously connected Edmonton and Calgary. The Crossing was later abandoned after a bridge was built over the Red Deer River along with a town site.
Sadly, as hunters killed bison in larger numbers, indigenous tribes began to decline as they relied on bison for their main source of food, clothing, and shelter.
The fertile lands in the area continued to draw in more and more farmers and ranchers. By the early 1900’s, the area experienced a rapid period of growth as many settlers moved into the area.
In 1901, the area was incorporated into a town and the population stood at just 343. Between 1907 and 1911, the Canadian Northern Railway and the Alberta Central Railway expanded into the area, once again causing the population to boom.
On March 25, 1913, Reed Deer was incorporated as a city, at which time the population had reached 2,800.
The Great Depression greatly stumped Red Deer’s economic growth, but during World War II the city began to regain traction. Red Deer was chosen to host a large military training camp, which was located precisely where Memorial Centre and Lindsay Thurber High School stand today.
In 1948, the City of Red Deer merged with North Red Deer, and in the late 1950’s was recognized as the fastest-growing city in Canada.
Red Deer Demographics
According to the 2015 census, 100,807 people call Red Deer home. A 2.2% increase over the previous year.
The average age of people living in Red Deer is 37.
88.4% of the population is white, followed by Métis with 3.1% of the population, Latin American (1.7%), Filipino (1.6%), First Nations (1.1%), and Chinese (1.1%). There are other important ethnic groups in the region including African, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Japanese, Arab, West Asian, Korean and Inuit, each making up less than 1% of the total population.
There are 42,034 households, 96% of which speak English and 2% speak other languages. After English, the top 5 most common languages include Tagalog, Spanish, French, Chinese and Korean.
72% of residents identify as Christian and over 26% claim no religious affiliations.
The average after-tax income for a family living in Red Deer is $75,553.
Cost Of Living In Red Deer
Red Deer offers some of the lowest overall tax systems in Canada. You can say goodbye to provincial sales tax, saving you at least 5-7% on every purchase you make compared to other Canadian provinces and the majority of the US.
Locals also enjoy a lower cost of transportation thanks to the fact commute times tend to be less, averaging just 10 to 15 minutes. Bonus perk, the city is known for its affordable parking as well as the lowest gasoline tax.
On average, shelter takes up 19.8% of the average household expenditures, making housing the most costly factor to consider. Shelter is followed by income tax (17,4%), transportation (15.1%), and food (10.1%).
Red Deer is one of the more affordable places to live when compared to surrounding cities. A family needs a monthly income of around $5,000 to live a comfortable lifestyle in the area, which is less than the average after-tax income for local families.
The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in the City is $962.83. Outside the city the same apartment averages closer to $900.27.
Home Prices In Red Deer
As of 2016, the median home price in Red Deer is $359,900 and the median apartment price is $244,900. Apartments have shown the greatest fluctuation in price over the last couple years, while home prices have remained more stable.
Red Deer offers more affordable real estate than other parts of Alberta. It is ranked as North America’s 1,034 most expensive city to buy a house in. In other words, it’s more affordable to purchase a home here compared to over 1,000 cities in North America.
Red Deer Neighbourhoods
There are over 80 neighbourhoods in Red Deer with a vast variety of things to offer depending on what you’re seeking. It is more expensive to live in the City Centre, so if you don’t feel the desire to live at the heart of the action there are more affordable options that still offer a very short commute into the downtown area.
The best family-friendly neighbourhoods are generally located south of “the river.”
Areas that offer larger homes built on spacious lots include Deer Park, Mountview, Sunnybrook and Bowers, among others. These areas allow homeowners to enjoy extra land plus peace and quite, while remaining as little as five minutes from downtown.
The downtown area is undergoing a lot of revitalization, which means home prices are bound to increase in the near future. Like all cities, you are not going to find sprawling property here, but you can find small plots of land with a yard, as well as multi-family apartment buildings.
In 2015, the strongest areas of growth in regards to new residents occurred in the Timberlands and Vanier Woods areas.
Red Deer Economy
There are a number of fundamental industries that fuel Red Deer’s economy, including manufacturing, construction, oil and gas, health care, professional services and retail. By 2020, these industries combined are expected to add more than 9,800 jobs to the area.
The most powerful force of all is the manufacturing sector, as local manufactures lead they way in the production of metal fabrication, drilling equipment and petrochemicals.
Rich farming land fuels a healthy agriculture and agri-processing industry.
Red Deer also serves as the nucleus for health care services in Central Alberta. The healthcare industry employs a total 11.3% of the city’s workforce.
It’s predicted that within the next 30-years, Red Deer’s working population will balloon from 65,000 to over 112,000 workers.
Schools In Red Deer
There are three distinct districts that operate schools within Red Deer.
The Red Deer Public School District was founded in 1887 and provides education to 10,000 students across 30 schools. The district offers a number of unique programs, welcoming not only local students but also international students.
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools was founded in 1909 by Daughters of Wisdom and still serves as the Catholic school district of Red Deer. This district includes the only Catholic high school in Central Alberta, École Secondaire Notre Dame High School.
The Greater North Central Francophone Education Region No. 2’s school École La Prairie is located near downtown. This school offers prekindergarten through grade 9 education and all courses are taught in French to a total of 119 students.
As for post-secondary education, Red Deer College was founded as a junior college in 1964. It continues to offer a number of degree opportunities, university transfer courses, apprenticeship, adult upgrading, certificate programs, applied degree programs, diploma programs and trades training.
Red Deer Crime Rates
Crime reports for the first quarter of 2016 show pretty consistent data over the last few years. Crime has been on the rise in recent years, especially related to property crimes and assault. This increase has caused some concern amongst community members, but the overall safety of walking alone during daylight remains very high.
Red Deer has no city police and remains the largest municipality in Alberta patrolled by the RCMP. Faced with population growth and an increase in crime this will likely change. In fact, Council just earmarked an additional $1.1 million to the 2016-operating budget in order to hire six more officers and increase local patrol force.
While Red Deer used to operate under reactive policing they are now moving into a more proactive model in order to reduce crime in the future.
What’s There To Do In Red Deer?
There are a lot of things to do in Red Deer. For starters, you can explore the many pretty parks such as Waskasoo Park, which includes over 80 kilometers (50 miles) of parkland and multi-purpose trails, plus plenty of free family-fun activities. During the winter people enjoy cross-country skiing here. Speaking of hitting the slopes, the Canon Ski Resort is just 7.5 km (4.7 miles) east of Red Deer.
During the summer, Red Deer gets as much as 18-hours of daylight, which leaves plenty of time to go golfing at one of the 6 courses in the area. Other favorite local pastimes include rafting down the river, or renting paddleboats at Bower Ponds. Every summer comes alive with a number of festivals and rodeos.
There are over 9,100 farms in the area growing fresh produce, many of which are open to tours and tastings and make the perfect spot for an afternoon picnic.
Arts, Culture & Nightlife In Red Deer
In 2003, the Canadian Heritage named Red Deer Canada’s Cultural Capital. There are many arts and cultural groups in the area as well as theaters including Central Alberta Theatre, Ignition Theatre, Red Deer Symphony Orchestra, Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery, plus more. These theaters are home to countless concerts, music festivals and other events surrounding the performing arts.
Downtown’s beloved Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery showcases varied rotating exhibits as well as permanent exhibits dedicated to the history of the area. This museum offers an abundance of educational programs for both children and adults.
The Westerner Exposition Grounds is home to rodeos, fairs and other fun events that take place annually in early July.
As for nightlife, the downtown area is home to a variety of bars, lounges and nightclubs that tend to be most popular Thursday through Saturday nights. The largest concentration of bars and nightclubs is on 50 Avenue.
Red Deer Real Estate Listings
Red Deer is a picture-perfect city that isn’t too big or too small, it’s just right. Depending what suits your lifestyle and needs, there are suburban options and homes in the center of the city.
Good schools, golfing, scenic views or water sports, you decide what’s most important to you and an experienced Red Deer real estate agent can help you locate the right neighbourhood. With so many options to choose from, it’s best to start narrowing down your hunt with help from Homestoc.
Homestoc was created in aims of helping people find the perfect home in the best possible location. Get excited searching Red Deer homes for sale and rent by price, amenities, number of bedrooms and many other user-friendly filters. All listings are verified for authenticity in order to help your search remain safe and productive.
Your ideal home is waiting in the family-friendly city of Red Deer, start your search today!