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Cochrane is a growing and vibrant bedroom community just minutes west of Calgary's city limits and a 40 Minute commute to Downtown Calgary. With a growing population comes a growing service sector with international retailers like Safeway, Starbucks, and Blockbuster just to name a few. But don't forget home grown favorites like Cochrane Coffee Traders, Guy's Cafe and World Famous McKay's Ice Cream.
With incredible proximity to the Rocky Mountains, Banff National Park, Canmore and Kananaskis Country. Local amenities include the Cochrane Library,Cochrane Ranche, Swimming Pool, Hockey Rinks, Curling Rink, The Links of GlenEagles a 18 Hole Championship Golf Course and kilometers of walking and bike paths along the Bow River.
Cochrane is a town in the Canadian province of Alberta. The town is located 18 km west of the Calgary city limits along Highway 1A. With a population of 15,424 (2009), Cochrane is the second largest town in Alberta and one of the fastest growing communities in Canada. It is part of Calgary's Census Metropolitan Area (1,107,200 in 2006) and a member community of the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP). The town is surrounded by Rocky View County.
Cochrane was established in 1881 as the Cochrane Ranche, after Matthew Cochrane, a local rancher. It became a village in 1903 and a town in 1971.
Cochrane is situated at the base of Big Hill in the Bow River Valley. It sits at an elevation of 1,186 meters (3,891 ft). The town is intersected by Highway 1A and Highway 22. Cochrane has a reputation for its western culture, which can easily be felt when one wanders the streets (particularly Main Street). The town is a popular destination for ice cream and coffee in its quaint western-oriented stores as well as for windsports, golfing, hiking and other adventure activities.
Cochrane is also a small industrial centre. Major industries include lumber, construction, retail, and agriculture (ranching). It is notable as being one of a very few communities in Canada with no business tax.
Cochrane is known for outdoor pursuits. It is a centre for paragliding/skydiving instruction, with the renowned Muller family operating a school at the top of the Big Hill.
The hill is also a popular training ground for cyclists from the area, who take advantage of its 7% grade and 3.5 km distance.
The population of the Town of Cochrane according to its 2009 municipal census is 15,424.
In 2006, Cochrane had a population of 13,760 living in 4,969 dwellings, a 14.3% increase from 2001. The town has a land area of 30.03 km2 (11.6 sq mi) and a population density of 458.3 /km2 (1,187/sq mi).
Cochrane houses attractions such as Cochrane Ranche Historic Site and Bert Sheppard Stockmen's Foundation Library And Archives, located in the Cochrane Ranchehouse.
Cochrane is home to many annual events each year:
- Chamber of Commerce Trade Fair: Early May
- Cochrane Valley Festival of the Arts: Canada Day (July 1)
- Town of Cochrane presents the Canada Day Family Concert : Canada Day (July 1)
- Labour Day Rodeo & Parade: Labour Day weekend
- Terry Fox Run: September
- Christmas Lightup: Late November
Cochrane Ranch provided the corral setting for the 1954 National Film Board of Canada documentary Corral, by Colin Low, whose father had worked as a foreman at the ranch. This film played theatrically across Canada and was named Best Documentary at the Venice Film Festival.
Cochrane has a town council consisting of an elected mayor and six councillors elected at-large. Councillors are elected by the eligible electors by voting for up to six candidates and the six receiving the largest number of votes being elected. The position of deputy mayor is rotated through the councillors over their term. Elections are held on the third Monday in October every third year.
The current town council (elected in October 2010) consists of Mayor Truper McBride and Councillors Ivan Brooker, Joann Churchill, Ivan Davies, Tara McFadden, Jeffery Toews, and Ross Watson.
Cochrane is located within the provincial electoral division of Banff-Cochrane. It has been represented in the Alberta Legislature by Progressive Conservative MLA Janis Tarchuk since the 1997 provincial election.
Cochrane is located along the southern most boundary of the federal electoral district of Wild Rose. Blake Richards is representing Cochrane in the House of Commons since 2008. He replaced long standing MP Myron Thompson, who was originally elected as a member of the Reform Party in 1993.
Cochrane is home to schools from both the public Rocky View School Division as well as the separate Calgary Catholic School District and the Francophone school system, the Greater Southern Alberta Catholic Francophone Region #4 (CSCFSA).
As of 2008, there are currently nine public and separate schools in operation within the town boundaries.
- Rocky View School Division
- Cochrane Catholic School District
In November 2006 the Rocky View School Division accepted a proposal by the Cochrane Christ-Centred Education Society to set up a Protestant Christian education program in Cochrane. The Cochrane Christian Program opened its doors at Mitford Middle School in September 2007, offering kindergarten to grade 4. Approval for expansion to include grade 5 for the 2008�09 school year was given by the board of trustees in April 2008. Further expansion to higher-grade levels will depend on student enrolment numbers.
There are currently two trustees (one from each board) elected to represent Cochrane Schools at their respective boards. As of January 2008 these trustees are:
- Dr. Bruce Pettigrew: Rocky View School Division, Ward 6
Serafino Scarpino: Calgary Catholic School District, Wards 1, 2 and Cochrane
The Greater Southern Alberta Catholic Francophone Region #4 has one trustee for the Region from Cochrane.
Cochrane is also home to the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary, the flagship seminary of the Canadian Southern Baptist Convention, the Canadian branch of the largest US Protestant denomination.