In the 1880’s the lush grasslands drew ranchers to the foothills. Claresholm began as a railway siding.

Their herds of cattle roamed across the prairie as far east as the Little Bow River. With the construction of the rail line from Calgary to Macleod, ranchers were able to ship their cattle from Claresholm to markets elsewhere.  Located mid-way between Calgary and Lethbridge on Highway 2 - Alberta’s most significant economic corridor - Claresholm has evolved into a service centre for health care, education and commerce.

Claresholm's new, $10 million, advanced technology water treatment plant opened in 2010. It has generated significant economic benefit by enticing food processor El Molino Foods to move its operations from Abbotsford and Calgary to Claresholm.

Regional Industry SectorsSouthwest Alberta has three 

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

The Claresholm Competitive Edge

The Claresholm economy is driven by business and community service, retail, manufacturing, public administration, transportation, and utilities. Ease of access to urban centres has contributed to local growth in the food processing and transportation industries.

An expanding industrial park anchored by several large and established companies supports a strong economy whose market area reaches Calgary, only one hour to the north.  A diversity of financial, health, and personal services and a robust retail sector support the local and regional farming and ranching communities.

Claresholm has access to an educated workforce supported by the University of Calgary as well as eleven additional colleges and technical institutes in the Calgary area, the University of Lethbridge, and Lethbridge College.

The Claresholm & District Chamber of Commerce encourages shoppers to support the town's local businesses.  Working in cooperation with the town, the Economic Development Committee, and local business the Chamber of Commerce is active in pursuing an agenda of economic growth.

Interesting Features

The yellow Harvard aircraft on display in Centennial Park honours Claresholm's contribution as a military pilot training facility from 1941 to 1958.

Claresholm's sandstone railway station was once half of Canadian Pacific's downtown Calgary station. It was moved to Claresholm and opened in 1912 and is the site of the Claresholm & District Museum and Visitor Information Centre.

A Diversified Economy

Claresholm has historically been a regional centre of agriculture, farming and ranching. Surrounding the community is the Municipal District of Willow Creek, composed of 772 farming operations and covering over 1,126,368 acres.  Five hundred and two of these farms engage in some degree of cattle or ranching activity. The community continues to support the growth and expansion of this sector.  In recent years, Claresholm has expanded its base in food processing and manufacturing of both agricultural and non-agricultural goods, including the manufacture of green building systems.
 
Claresholm is situated mid-way between Calgary and Lethbridge on Highway 2, a major north-south transportation corridor. The community has a solid retail base, with the majority of retailers situated within four downtown blocks. 
 
Located on the south-east side of Claresholm is the industrial subdivision where a large number of industrial, light industrial and commercial enterprises are situated.  Industrial businesses are also located at the Claresholm Airport, approximately five kilometres west of the Town.

Major Employers in Claresholm

 
  • El Molino Foods – Food Processing
  • Livingstone Range School Div. No. 68 – Education
  • Calgary Health Region – Healthcare
  • Claresholm Centre for Mental Health and Addictions – Healthcare
  • Willow Creek Continuing Care Centre – Healthcare

Market Accessibility

Claresholm is uniquely situated on Highway 2, 80 kilometres from Lethbridge to the southeast and only an hour away from the major city of Calgary to the north. Highway 3 intersects Highway 2 and runs east to British Columbia and west to Medicine Hat, which then links to the eastern Canadian provinces. Highway 3 also intersects with Highway 4 at Lethbridge to connect to the CANAMEX trade corridor.

Its location makes Claresholm an attractive community for both industrial and commercial operations as well as travel and tourism.  The community is especially busy during the Calgary Stampede.  Businesses that relocate to Claresholm find the balance between distance to their markets and the reduced capital and operating costs beneficial to their bottom line.

The nearest commercial and air-freight services are located only 80 km away in Lethbridge.  Calgary International Airport is located north of Calgary 143 kilometers from Claresholm. The nearest seaports are located in Vancouver and Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

Distance and times to major centres

Lethbridge Calgary Edmonton Red Deer Carway (US Land Crossing) Vancouver (Seaport)
80 km 134 km 503 km 351 km 10 km 1181 km
1 hours 1.5 hours 5 hours 3.5 hours 1 hour 12 hours

Interactive Map

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

Industry Sectors

Primary industries in Claresholm are agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing, supported by a strong presence in the service, retail, public administration, transportation, and utilities sectors. Ease of access to urban centres has contributed to local growth in the food processing and transportation industries. Manufacture of green building systems also has prominence in the community with iLevel, a Weyerhauser company, employing 100 people (located at the airport 5 km west of Claresholm in the M.D. of Willow Creek)
Agriculture

Claresholm is a community with a long history of farming and ranching. Since the 19th century, many generations of Canadians have farmed and raised livestock in this area. Agriculture still remains at the heart of Claresholm’s economy and culture. 

Alberta is the sunniest province in Canada.  The long summer days of concentrated sunlight allow for a diversified crop base to be grown in the Claresholm region. 

Like many southwest Alberta towns, agriculture is the lifeblood of the community.  It not only stands on its own as an industry providing jobs and economic trade and activity, but it supports many secondary sectors which in turn supply jobs and economic stability to families and the community.  Retail, service and trade as well as tourism have all been enhanced by the role agriculture plays.  Several saddlery, tack and western apparel shops attract consumers from inside and outside the trade area.

Tourism

The Claresholm region caters to a selection of experiential and historical tourism.  Five vacation ranches are located in the area giving visitors the opportunity to participate in modern farm and ranch life – riding the trails, rounding up cattle and helping out with daily work.

The region is home several museums including: the Claresholm & District Museum; a 1912 CPR Train Station which is a provincially designated historic resource; and an 8000 sq. ft. Exhibit Hall which contains Claresholm’s first school from 1903, a 1920s log cabin and a CPR caboose and many other artifacts.  Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump, a UNESCO designated Heritage Site promises visitors a vivid, educational perspective into Canadian First Nations’ culture.

The Claresholm Agriplex hosts over fifty ranching and rodeo events from January through October every year. A schedule of events and dates can be found here.  Another four rodeos are held within the Municipal District of Willow Creek annually.  

Claresholm is also home to the Appaloosa Horse Club of Canada & Museum, the official registry of the Appaloosa Horse in Canada.  The museum and archives aim is to collect, preserve, record and display artifacts, relics, books, pamphlets, publications, papers, documents, photographs and other materials illustrative of, or of interest to the history of the Appaloosa breed of horse.

Claresholm is centrally located and a great hub to stay in while you enjoy tourism opportunities and activities in the immediate vicinity including:

  • The “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” – The Calgary Stampede;
  • Local and regional rodeos;
  • Western ranch vacations;
  • Bed & breakfasts; and
  • Several annual regional festivals and events.
  •  

Current Capital Projects

The Willow Creek Composite High School modernization project was completed in June of 2014. The school held its grand opening in September of 2014.

 

For additional information on new or planned capital projects contact Marian Carlson (CAO) at the town office, 1-403-625-3381. 

Regional Industry Sectors

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 primary language in the community (92.5%), with 1% of the population declaring French as their first language and 6.4% declaring a non-official language. Claresholm has a skilled workforce, with 57% of the population attaining some form of post-secondary education. The labour force participation rate of Claresholm is 56%.

A complete table of population statistics for Claresholm is provided by Statistics Canada.
Note: National Household Survey Profile data was not released for the Town of Claresholm.
  • Population (2016): 3,424
  • Growth since 2011: 1.4%
  • Median age of the population (2011): 51.1
  • % of the population aged 15 and over (2011): 86.6  
  • Labour force: 1,750 persons (2011 NHS)
  • Employment: 1,650 persons (2011 NHS)
  • Participation rate (%): 56.8 (2011 NHS)
  • Number of Businesses:  299 licensed businesses in 2015.
  • Employment rate (%): 53.6 (2011 NHS)
  • Major Employers: Calgary Health Region,  iLevel  (A Weyerhaeuser Company), Livingstone Range School Div. No. 68 Education, Claresholm Centre for Mental Health and Addictions Health Care, Willow Creek Continuing Care Centre, Watt & Stewart Commodities Inc., VJV Foothills Livestock Auction, El Molino Foods of Canada, Triple "T" Trucking Ltd.
 
  • Key Economic Sectors: Agricultural, Health, Education and Energy
  • Trade Population: 236,045 within 100 km.
  • Land area (square km): 2.68 in munc. boundaries
  • Average House Price (2015): $ 354,567.00
  • Utilities: Municipal water, sewage, garbage, composting and recycling; Electrical – Fortis Alberta, Epcor; Natural gas – Atco Gas, Telecommunications – Telus, Shaw, Bell
  • Time Zone: Mountain Time (-7 UTC)
  • English is the primary language in the community (92.5%), with 1% of the population declaring French as their first language and 6.4% declaring a non-official language. Claresholm has a skilled workforce, with 57% of the population attaining some form of post-secondary education. The labour force participation rate of Claresholm is 56%.

Taxation and Cost of Living

Alberta boasts one of the most competitive tax environments in North America. There are no capital or payroll taxes in the province. The only sales tax in Claresholm is the Federal GST (5%), as no provincial sales taxes are levied in Alberta.
 
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 6.5130 2.5485 0.2767 9.3382
Commercial (Non-Residential) 12.0279 3.5621 0.2767 15.8667
Water Usage Rates Monthly Cost per Additional 113.64 m3 Additional Total Cost Overage Running Total
Basic Rate 136.37 0.32 $36.36
Up to 250.01 0.34 $75.00
Up to 363.65 0.37 $117.05
Up to 477.29 0.40 $162.51
Up to 590.93 0.42 $210.04
Up to 704.57 0.45 $261.18
Up to 818.21 0.47 $314.40
Up to 931.85 0.50 $371.22
Up to 1045.49 0.52 $430.32
Up to 1159.13 0.55 $492.82
Thereafter additional 113.64 m3 0.57 64.77 Based on usage
Commercial Sewage Water Rates (2015)
Basic Metered
(Gallons)
Cost per Additional 113.64 m3 Rate per 1,000 Gallons
0 to 5,000 13.55              Minimum Rate
5,001 – 10,000 17.20              0.73
10,001 – 15,000 21.50              0.86
15,001 – 20,000 26.45              0.99
20,001 – 25,000 32.05              1.12
25,001 – 30,000 38.30              1.25
30,001 – 35,000 45.25              1.39
35,001 – 40,000    52.85               1.52
40,001 – 45,000    61.10             1.65
45,001 – 50,000 70.00             1.78
50,001 – 55,000 79.55             1.91
Over 55,000   2.05
Rate Description Administration Charges
  Fixed ($/Day) Cost of Energy ($/kWh)
E1 Residential Service 0.285 0.08634
E2 Small General Service 0.313 0.08743
E3 Large General Service 0.585 0.08144
License One Job/Day/Show Annual Fee
  1. Publically-funded, educational, institutional
  NIL
  1. Home Occupation
  $50.00
  1. Resident Business
$50.00
  1. Resident Contractors
 

a) From Site  $50.00

b) From Storefront $100.00

  1. Non-Resident Business
$175.00 $100.00 - $300.00
  1. Non-Resident Contractor
$175.00 $100.00 - $1,000.00
  1. Transient Exhibitions
$50.00 - $100.00 $300.00
  1. Transient Professional
$175/day N/A
Permit Fee $20.00
MPC Fee $125.00

Application to Municipal Planning Commission (Home Occupations Only)

Permitting and Development Process

For information on Claresholm’s permitting, development and property services visit the town website link here. Information on Claresholm’s planning and development fees can be located here. You can also peruse the town’s land use by-laws or the Town of Claresholm Strategic Plan 2015-2018.

The average resale house price in Claresholm is $354,567.00 (2015). The low cost of utilities, land, real estate, business taxes, location and operating costs make Claresholm a very affordable town to live, work and invest in.

Municipally Owned Commercial Lots For Sale

Please contact the Town of Claresholm at 1-(403)-625-3381 with any questions regarding Property for Sale.
MLS Business & Comercial Listings

MLS Business & Commercial Listings

View Commercial Real Estate Listings

The Claresholm Lifestyle

Claresholm is a wonderful place to call home. This friendly small town, with its tree lined streets, comfortable houses, convenient shopping, and excellent medical and recreational facilities, is an ideal place to enjoy a high quality of life.   The low cost of utilities, land, and real estate make Claresholm a very affordable community to live in.  The average resale home price is $354,567 CAD (2015).

Recreation

Claresholm offers a diversity of recreational outlets for families and individuals looking for casual entertainment and those living an active lifestyle. The Claresholm arena, the curling rink, spray park, baseball complex, tennis courts, skateboard park, and the Claresholm Aquatic Centre offer a wide range of opportunities to participate in sports.  The Bridges at Claresholm, an 18-hole golf course, is nestled into the Porcupine Hills at the southwest corner of town.  Details on the recreational opportunities in Claresholm can be found here.

The community features walking paths on the west side of town, with two provincial parks and two lakes in close proximity:

 

Community Organizations

Fourteen churches in Claresholm serve a diverse group of denominations. Other community organizations include the Claresholm & District Chamber of Commerce, the Claresholm Business Association, the Royal Canadian Legion, Kinsmen, Lions Club, various sports and youth clubs, 4‑H agricultural clubs, and Scouts and Guides.

Education

West Meadow Elementary School (K‑6) and Willow Creek Composite High School (grades 7‑12) are public schools that serve the children of Claresholm under the Livingstone Range School Division.   Post‑secondary institutions in the area include the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College. There are also a numerous educational options nearby in the cities of Calgary and Edmonton.
 

Healthcare

The Claresholm Medical Clinic (Phone: (403) 625-4484) is located west of the General Hospital on 43rd Avenue West and houses the offices of local doctors. The Claresholm General Hospital was opened in 1972 and today is an active treatment facility with 16 beds and a 24-hour emergency room. The facility provides an array of services including general family medicine, immunization, public health, maternity, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and seniors care.

Additional health facilities include the Willow Creek Continuing Care Centre which provides extended care for long term patients, the Porcupine Seniors Lodge, the David Lander Centre for addictions, and the Claresholm Centre for Mental Health.

Through the Claresholm Health Unit, a wide array of community health programs is offered by the Calgary Health Region. Some of the services and programs offered are: home visits; immunizations; public health inspections; speech pathology; senior’s wellness clinic; prenatal classes; and foot clinics.

A full list of community resources can be found here

Online Business and Investment Resources

Contact Information

Claresholm Administration Office

Civic Address

221 - 45 Avenue West
Claresholm, AB, Canada
T0L 0T0 

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 1000
Claresholm, AB, Canada
T0L 0T0 

Office Hours
Monday to Friday
June 1 - September 30
8:00am to 4:00pm

October 1 - May 31
8:30am to 4:30pm
Phone: 1-403-625-3381
Fax:1-403-625-3869
Website: townofclaresholm.com

Chief Administrative Officer:
Marian Carlson
Phone: 1-403-625-3381
marian.carlson@townofclaresholm.com

Make An Enquiry