Cardston is established in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Southwest Alberta.

Cardston is established in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Southwest Alberta. Home to over 3,500 residents, Cardston is located in a high visibility location right on a main throughway that is minutes from Waterton Lakes National Park and the U.S. border.  It is ideally situated for a wide variety of businesses and industries. 

The vision of founder, Charles Card, namesake of the town, is still maintained to this day. As Canada’s first Mormon settlement, it is a vibrant community for the denomination, with Mormons accounting for over 80% of the population. Without doubt, Cardston is the heart of the Mormon denomination in Canada. Life is focused on the family, team sports and the western equestrian culture.

Regional Industry SectorsSouthwest Alberta has three 

Download a detailed, printable, PDF version of the Invest In Cardston Profile.

The Cardston Competitive Edge

Cardston’s excellent location makes it a great choice for import/export companies wishing to do business with the United States. There are many centrally located parcels of land ready for commercial development, including light and heavy industry zoned lots.

Cardston is currently seeking private sector investment to expand the preexisting Lee Creek Campground to serve the growing number of RV campers that arrive during the summer.

Interesting Features

Cardston is also neighbour to the large Blood Indian Reserve to the North.  Friends and neighbours for over 100 years the two communities sit side by side and work side by side.

A Diversified Economy

Cardston’s location in the fertile prairies of Alberta makes farming and ranching activities an ideal economic activity. The local economy is primarily driven by agriculture and the agricultural services industry, with over 50% of the labour force employed in the industry.
 
Tourism is another big player in the Cardston economy. Located next to breathtaking natural vistas, Cardston is able to attract both day and overnight tourists from surrounding cities in Alberta, British Columbia and Montana.
 
With hospitals, clinics, schools and municipal infrastructure to operate and maintain, Cardston has a robust public sector. Cardston intends to make use of the Chinook winds that it receives throughout the year and build out new wind energy projects to feed into the power grid. AltaLink has planned the development of new high-voltage transmission lines in the area, pending regulatory approval. 

Major Industries

  • Agriculture
  • Public Services
  • Oil & Gas Exploration
  • Professional Services
  • Tourism & Entertainment 

Major Employers in Cardston

  • Westwind School Division
  • Alberta Health Services
  • Town of Cardston
  • Cardston County
  • Extra Foods

Market Accessibility

Cardston can be accessed by both Highway 5/501 and Highway 2, which runs right through Cardston’s Main Street. Almost all individuals wishing to enter the United States through the Carway border crossing will pass through Cardston, presenting a unique opportunity for investors wishing to locate their business in a high traffic and visibility area. It connects easily to the Trans-Canada number 1 east coast to west coast highway system. Highway 5 also intersects with Highway 4 via highway 501 to connect to the CANAMEX corridor.

The nearest border crossing into the United States through the State of Montana is the Carway crossing, located just 17 minutes (25 KM) away.  

Cardston has an airport available with a runway length of 1,067m for private flights. The Lethbridge Airport, located only 70 KM away is the nearest commercial airport that provides airfreight services. The Calgary International Airport (245 KM) provides commercial flights to many national and international destinations. 
 

Distance and times to major centres

Lethbridge Calgary Edmonton Red Deer Carway (US Land Crossing) Vancouver (Seaport)
79 km 234 km 525 km 374 km 25 km 1200 km
1 hours 2.5 hours 5 hours 3.5 hours 17 minutes 12 hours

Interactive Map

Visit our interactive map to learn more about the different communities and their locations.

Industry Sectors

Tourism is a major component of the Cardston economy, supported by a strong presence in the service, retail, public administration, transportation, and utilities sectors. Cardston’s close proximity to the US Border and nearby provincial and national parks make it a gateway town to the surrounding natural landscape. With friendly neighbors and affordable accommodations, Cardston is a great launch pad for travels around Southwest Alberta.
 

The Tourism Industry

Cardston Alberta Temple

Opened on August 26, 1923, the Cardston Alberta Temple is the oldest Mormon temple located outside the United States. Sitting in the centre of Cardston, the temple is one of Southern Alberta’s defining landmarks and a major attraction for tourists. Recognized as having national historical significance, it was named a National Historic Site of Canada in 1995. 

Remington Carriage Museum

Preservation of 19th century, horse-drawn carriages is the reason for Cardston’s Remington Carriage Museum. The Museum holds the largest collection of horse-drawn vehicles in North America, with over 270 unique pieces. Visitors can tour a factory and learn about the traditional techniques used to produce carriages. Interactive galleries bring bygone stories of society and the carriage industry from a century ago to life.

Agriculture
Agriculture is a prominent economic driver in Southwest Alberta. Cardston County had total farm receipts of $163 million in 2010, and ranks second within the Alberta region on a farm receipts basis. There are still many opportunities in the region for value added agricultural processing services in the area. More information can be found in the regional agriculture sector below.
Ranching and Rodeo Academy
Ranching and Rodeo are longstanding traditions in Cardston’s culture. The Westwind Rodeo Academy is the only school in Canada that offers a competitive rodeo and equine therapy program. Students come from all across Alberta and Canada to receive world-class training at the school. Investors can build on Cardston’s reputation as a centre for high performance training. There are many opportunities available to provide new training programs or to serve the industry through the provision of secondary services related to ranching and rodeo.
Card Pioneer Home

Charles Card, the founder of Cardston, constructed the Card Pioneer Home in 1887.  It is now a historical site staffed by friendly and knowledgeable volunteers that will provide a guided tour and tell stories about the history of Cardston as it evolved throughout the decades. 

Other popular tourism attractions in the area include:
  • Cardston Courthouse Museum
  • Lee Creek Valley Golf Course
  • Waterton Lakes National Park
  • Woolford Provincial Park
  • The Great Canadian Barn Dance
  • Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

Current Capital Projects

The Province of Alberta is committed to the economic development and wellbeing of residents in Cardston County. There are currently infrastructure upgrades in the works for two of the county's spillways - the Taylor Coulee Emergency Spillway and the Bullhorn Emergency Spillway

The Government of Alberta plans to replace the current wooden emergency spillways with concrete ones by 2017.

Regional Industry Sectors

Regional Industry SectorsSouthwest Alberta has three 
Southwest Alberta has three primary industrial sectors which drive its economic engine. For a detailed description of these industries click to learn more:
•    Agriculture
•    Tourism
•    Renewable Resources Energy

Demographics




English is the dominant mother tongue in the community (95%), with 1% of the population declaring French as their first language and 4% declaring a non-official language. Cardston has a highly skilled workforce, with 48% of the working population attaining some form of post-secondary education. The labour force participation rate in Cardston is 62%.
  • Population (2016): 3,585
  • Growth since 2011: 0.1%
  • Median age of population (2011): 38.1
  • Land Area (square km): 8.64
  • Trading Area: 158,242 residents within its 100 kilometre Trading Area
  • Number of Businesses: 179
  • Major Employers: Westwind Shool Division, Alberta Health Services, Town of Cardston, Cardston County, Extra Foods
  • Unemployment: 94 persons (Statistics Canada 2015)
 
  • Participation rate (%): 62.0 (2006 Census)
  • Unemployment rate (%): 2.3 (2006 Census)
  • Key Economic Sectors: Housing material manufacturing, Agriculture, Oil & Gas Exploration, and Tourism
  • Key Economic Sectors: Agriculture, Energy, Tourism
  • Average house Price (2012): $263,092.00
  • Utilities: Municipal, water, sewage, garbage and recycling services: Electrical - Enmax, Natural Gas - ATCO Gas, Chief Mountain Natural Gas Co-op; Telecommunications - Telus, Shaw Cable

Taxation and Cost of Living

Alberta boasts one of the most competitive tax environments in North America. There are also no capital or payroll taxes in the province. The only sales tax in cardston is the Federal GST (5%), as no provincial sales taxes are levied in Alberta. The Town of Fort Macleod does not charge business or equipment taxes.
 
How to calculate property taxes:
ASSESSED PROPERTY VALUE X MILL RATE/1000 = TAXES OWED
TAXES OWED + ASFF + MCF = TOTAL TAXES TO BE PAID
 
  Municipal AFSS (School) Seniors Lodge TOTAL MILL RATE
Residential 7.286 2.488 0.2068 9.9808
Commercial (Non-Residential) 12.5623 3.7044 0.2068 16.4735
Water Usage Rates   Waste Water Usage  
Flat Rate metered(monthly) $19.50 Flate Rate metered (monthly)  $42.00
Consumption (Over 20 m3) $0.86 Consumption(Over 20 m3) $1.40
No-Meter (monthly) $105.00 No-Meter (monthly) $105.00

For further details contact the Cardston Town Office, 403-653-3366, and reference Bylaw # 1562C.
Small Commercial
Transmission
Service Charge 0.08762 $ per kW per day.
System Usage Charge 0.00862 $ per kWh.
Distribution
Service & Facilities (kW): 1st 2 kw of demand 0.2424 $ per kW per day.
Service and Facilities Charge (kW): Additional kW of demand 0.1273 $ per kW per day
System Usage Charge 0.02083 $ per kWh.
Medium Commercial
Transmission
Service Charge 0.11429 $ per kW per day.
System Usage Charge 0.00812 $ per kWh.
Distribution
Service and Facilities Charge (kW): First 50 kW of demand 0.2101 $ per kW per day.
Service and Facilities Charge (kW): Next 450 kW of demand 0.1494 $ per kW per day.
Service and Facilities Charge (kW): Additional kW of demand 0.1091 $ per kW per day.
System Usage Charge 0.00478 $ per kW per day.

For further details on electricity rates contact the Cardston Town Office, 403-653-3366.
License Annual Fee
  1. Small Commercial Business (1 to 5 employees)
$50.00
  1. Large Commercial Business
$100.00
  1. Residential Occupation
$60.00
  1. Mobile Street Vendor

$150.00

  1. Non-Resident Business
$150.00
  1. Transient Commercial Agent
$375.00
  1. Non-resident Business
$150.00
  1. Non-resident Contractor
$300.00
  1. Trade Shows, Trade fairs, Flea Markets, Farmer’s Markets
$80.00 per location or event

Administration Fees

Administration Fees are $10.00 per transaction.  

The fee for submitting an application to the Municipal Subdivision & Development Authority will be as per the Land Use By-Law and any amendments thereto.  If the application is approved, this fee will be applied towards the cost of the development permit required.  If the application is denied, the application fee will not be refunded.  The Business License fee as set forth in this Schedule will also be required at time of approval. 

Municipally Owned Commercial Lots For Sale

To access a list of commercial and industrial property for sale or to learn more about the construction permitting process, visit this link of the Town of Cardston Website:

http://www.cardston.ca/real-estate-and-permits

MLS Business & Commercial Listings

View Commercial Real Estate Listings

Friends and Neighbours

Kainai – Blood Tribe 

The Kainai Tribe is a group of First Nations People numbering over 11,000 and located in Southern Alberta. Blood Tribe Reserve 148, the nearest community of the Blood Nation has a population of over 4000 individuals living just next door. They are greater in number than the whole population of Cardston. 

The Cardston Lifestyle

Located 25 kilometres from the United States and 30 kilometres from Waterton National Park, Cardston offers its residents access to travel, service and commodities, and incredible recreational amenities.  The community enjoys access to quality education, health care, social services, and community organizations.   The average resale home price in Cardston is $263,092 CAD (2012). The low cost of utilities, land, and real estate make Cardston a very affordable town to live in.

Recreation

Cardston provides a variety of amenities for individuals and families seeking an active lifestyle. The Lee Creek Valley Golf Course is a beautiful 18‑hole public course designed by Les Furber, offering strategic challenges for players of all skill levels. Cardston also has swimming facilities, tennis courts, ball diamonds and a football field. The Cardston Agridome provides an indoor venue for jockeys to train for timed competition events. Two outdoor arenas on the site accommodate team roping and barrel racing events. The surrounding Rocky Mountains and Watertown Lakes National Park provide skiing opportunities and campgrounds, where fishing, hunting, mountain biking and hiking is possible. Because of the large Mormon population, alcohol sales are prohibited in Cardston County and the Town of Cardston. 
 

Community Organizations

There are a number of churches in Cardston serving a variety of denominations. Of note is the large number of Mormon churches (10) in the small town. Not only do they serve as places of worship, but as hubs for the community. Other community organizations include the Cardston & Area Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, Royal Canadian Legion, various sports and youth clubs and the Cardston Agricultural Society.  

Education

Cardston is part of the larger Westwind School Division. Three regular public schools (one Elementary, Jr. High and High School) serve the children of Cardston. The Westwind Alternate School provides individualized learning plans for children in grades K-12 with special needs. Notable post-secondary institutions serving the community include the University of Lethbridge, SAIT, University of Calgary and the University of Alberta. There are also many other options for post-secondary education located in the cities of Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge. 
 

Healthcare

The Cardston Health Centre, run by Alberta Health Services offers both acute and continuing care services. The Health Centre provides 24-hour emergency services, houses a long-term care facility, and also provides obstetrical, palliative and surgical services. Smaller medical clinics are also available for routine care and patient checkup needs. The services of dentists, optometrists, chiropractors and massage therapists are also available to Cardston residents. There are three different assisted living options available for senior citizens who can no longer live in their own homes. 

A full list of community services can be found here

Online Business and Investment Resources

Contact Information

Cardston Administration Office

Civic Address

67 3rd Avenue West
Cardston, AB, Canada
T0K 0K0

Mailing Address
PO Box 280,
Cardston, AB, Canada
T0K 0K0

Office Hours
Monday - Friday 
9:00am - 4:30 PM
Phone: 1-403-653-3366
Fax: 1-403-653-2499
Email: info@cardston.ca
Website: www.cardston.ca

Chief Administrative Officer
Jeff Shaw
1-403-653-3366
Email: jeff@cardston.ca

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