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Medicine Hat

Medicine Hat, known to locals as "The Hat", is a city of nearly 57,000 people located in the southeastern part of the province of Alberta, Canada. It is enclaved within Cypress County along with the nearby town of Redcliff, although neither is part of the county.

It is situated on the Trans-Canada Highway, the eastern terminus of the Crowsnest Highway, and the South Saskatchewan River. Nearby towns considered part of the Medicine Hat area include Dunmore, Seven Persons, Redcliff, and Irvine. The Cypress Hills (including Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park) is a relatively short distance (by car) to the southeast of the city. Its major claim to fame is Rudyard Kipling's famous line "all hell for a basement" referring to the vast reserves of natural gas beneath it. It is because of this that the city is known as The Gas City. It is Alberta's sixth largest city.

Geography

The Medicine Hat landscape is dominated by the South Saskatchewan River valley. In addition to this major river, both the Seven Persons Creek and Ross Creek empty into the South Saskatchewan River within the City of Medicine Hat boundary. The presence of these water bodies provide for a dramatic valley landscape with numerous cliffs, and finger coulees throughout the City. Beyond the City and river valley the land is flat to slightly rolling and is characterized by short-grass vegetation.

Twenty-five miles to the east at 50°0'38.2?N 110°6'48.3?W? / ?50.010611, -110.113417? (Badlands Guardian) lies the Badlands Guardian Geological Feature. It is a landscape formation taking the form of a head wearing a feathered headdress. The head is 1000 feet wide. It is in inverse relief, formed by valleys rather than raised ground.

Neighbourhoods

  • North Flats - Located northeast of the CPR marshaling yards near the South Saskatchewan River and downtown. Old inner city neighbourhood that is home to residential and industrial uses. This area is in the east valley.
  • South Flats - Located south of the CPR marshaling yard, also in the valley, and adjacent to downtown.
  • SE Hill - One of the oldest areas of the city. It originally overlooked downtown on the north side of the hill and Kin Coulee on the south side. Originally this area housed CPR workers. Holds 4 schools.
  • SW Hill - Located west of Division Avenue next to the SE Hill area. Holds 5 schools and the city's hospital.
  • Riverside - A mature inner city neighbourhood along the north bank of the South Saskatchewan River. The community has experienced, over the past 5 years, significant gentrification. Mature trees and boulevards line the streets.
  • River Heights - Located on the SW Hill north of the hospital, and south of the South Saskatchewan River. Includes River Heights Elementary School and an extended care wing, which was originally a part of the hospital.
  • Crescent Heights - mainly built in the 1950s through to the 1960s. Located on the north side of city on the entire hill above the river valley.
  • Parkview - located on the South Saskatchewan River.
  • Ranchlands - A new neighbourhood in the northeast sector of the city. The neighborhood includes residential lands both above and in the South Saskatchewan River valley.
  • Southview - Located in the southeast part of the city between Ross Glen and Crestwood.
  • Park Meadows - An area that was developed in the 1990s. Primarily residential with several apartments.
  • Crestwood and Norwood - This is an older area of town mainly built in the 1950s. It is located on a plateau southeast of the South Flats and the Seven Person's Creek. The Medicine Hat Stampede and Exhibition centre is within this area.
  • Ross Glen - Low density middle class neighbourhood located in the southeast end of the city.
  • South Ridge - The first residential development south of the Trans Canada Highway. First developed in the late 1970s. Adjacent to the World's Largest Teepee.
  • South Vista Heights - A new residential suburban community south of the Trans Canada Highway. Community is 60% complete.
  • Saamis Heights - A new community that is now almost complete. The community is located west of South Ridge in the south sector of the city. Saamis Heights was a very popular development and was completed in under 5 years. The community borders the Seven Person's Creek valley and thus provides many prime walkout view lots.
  • Southlands - a community that opened in 2007. It is home to a significant regional commercial centre including Wal Mart and Home Depot. The residential community includes parks, future school sites, many low residential lots, and several large multi-family sites (i.e. Kingsland Developments has a townhouse project called Lexington and Medican has a self containted community called Chartwell.
  • Cottonwood - A community located above the cottonwood golf course, between the light industrial area and the airport. Overlooks World's Largest Teepee.
  • Desert Blume - A new exclusive golf course and residential community south of the city. The community is exclusively low density residential.

Climate

Medicine Hat has a semiarid continental climate, with cold, dry winters and warm to hot summers. However, the winter cold is occasionally ameliorated by mild and dry chinook winds blowing from the west, and hot summer daytime temperatures are made tolerable by low humidity and rapid cooling in the evening hours. Medicine Hat receives less precipitation annually than other cities on the Canadian prairies, making it a popular retirement city. Maximum precipitation typically occurs in the late spring and early summer.

History

Name Origins

The name "Medicine Hat" is the English translation of 'Saamis' (SA-MUS)- the Blackfoot word for the eagle tail feather headdress worn by medicine men - or 'Medicine Hat'. Several legends are associated with the name from a mythical merman river serpent named Soy-yee-daa-bee, the creator, who appeared to a hunter and instructed him to sacrifice his wife in order to obtain mystical powers which were manifest in a special hat. Another legend tells of a battle long ago between the Blackfeet and the Cree in which a retreating "Medicine Man" lost his headdress in the South Saskatchewan River.

A number of factors have always made Medicine Hat a natural gathering place. Prior to the arrival of Europeans the Blackfoot, Cree and Assiniboine nations used the area for hundreds of years. The gently sloping valley with its converging water ways and hardy native cottonwood trees attracted both man and the migratory bison herds which passed through the area.

Founding

In 1883, when the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) reached Medicine Hat and crossed the river a town site was established using the name from the Indian Legends. As the west developed Medicine Hat became instrumental with the development of the first hospital past Winnipeg in 1889 and as a C.P.R. divisional point. It was incorporated as a town on October 31, 1898, and as a city on May 9, 1906. Medicine Hat is 1/2 way between Winnipeg and Vancouver.

Progress & Growth

Rich in natural resources including natural gas, coal, clay, and farmland, the town was known in the early days as "the Pittsburgh of the West". A number of large industries located here, under the inducement of cheap and plentiful energy resources. Coal mines, brick works, pottery and glass bottle manufacturing plants, flour mills, etc. became established. The agricultural potential of the surrounding area, both in crop and livestock, also made the town a viable service center with a well established transportation route. An economic boom was experienced between 1909-1914 bringing the population to over 10,000. Little growth occurred between the World Wars, although the population swelled in the mid-1940s due to the town hosting one of the largest Second World War P.O.W. camps in Canada. It was not until the 1950s that the town again experienced significant commercial development. Today, Medicine Hat prides itself as one of the most economical places to live in Canada, with its unique city owned gas utility and power generation plant being predominant factors. Major industries have included chemical plants, a tire and rubber plant, a foundry, brickworks, etc. and Medicine Hat continues to grow and prosper.

Demographics

In 2006, Medicine Hat had a population of 56,997 living in 24,729 dwellings, an 11.2% increase from 2001. The city has a land area of 112.01 km² (43.2 sq mi) and a population density of 508.9/km² (1,318/sq mi).

More than 89 percent of residents identified English as their first language at the time of the 2006 census, while 6 percent identified German and just over 1 percent each identified Spanish and French as their first language learned. The next most common languages were Ukrainian, Chinese, Dutch, and Polish.

More than 79 percent of residents identified as Christian at the time of the 2001 census while almost 20 percent indicated they had no religious affiliation. For specific denominations Statistics Canada counted 16,175 Roman Catholics (26.5 percent), 9,445 members of the United Church of Canada (15.5 percent), and 6,170 Lutherans (slightly more than 10 percent). Less numerous denominations included 3,780 Anglicans (more than 6 percent), 1,745 members of the Evangelical Missionary Church (almost 3 percent), 1,470 Baptists (over 2 percent), 1,220 identifying as Pentecostal (2 percent), 1,215 Mormons (2 percent), and 675 Presbyterians (just over 1 percent).

Infrastructure

The Province and the City are preparing future plans for the upgrading of the Trans Canada Highway in the region to freeway status.

The City is working on design of the South-West Sector Sanitary Trunk main, extension of South Boundary Road from Strachan Road to Southridge Drive, and a South-West Sector water transmission line. This infrastructure will accommodate the development of new residential communities west of South Ridge Dr, and south of the Seven Persons Creek.

The city is served by the Medicine Hat Airport.

Military

Medicine Hat is home to The South Alberta Light Horse (SALH), an army reserve unit. The SALH is one of Alberta's oldest and most prestigious army reserve units. The SALH dates back to 1885 when it took part in the North-West Rebellion. Since then it has gained battle honours in the First and Second World Wars and today its members continue to serve overseas on United Nations and North Atlantic Treaty Organization missions. Currently the SALH has members serving in Afghanistan.

Canadian Forces Base Suffield is located 50 kilometers (31 mi) west of the city. It is estimated that the base contributes C$120 million annually to the local economy, principally through its two lodger units: British Army Training Unit Suffield, and Defence Research and Development Canada -- Suffield).

Attractions

The Medicine Hat Clay Industries National Historic District The Historic Clay Districtis a living, working museum that offers a unique and extensive experience through collections, exhibits, interpretation, guided tours and educational and artistic programming. The Medalta Potteries and Hycroft China Factory Complexes are the focal points in this 150-acre (0.6 km²) region. This nationally recognized industrial historic district is a cultural initiative of the Friends of Medalta Society with Federal, Provincial, Municipal and Private support. Restoration, preservation and cultural development of the Medicine Hat Clay Industries National Historic District for the purpose of education and public enjoyment is ongoing.

Just south of the Trans-Canada Highway and overlooking the Blackfoot buffalo jump, is the world's tallest teepee, the "Saamis Tepee". Designed for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary as a symbol of Canada's Aboriginal heritage, it was moved to Medicine Hat in 1991. It stands over 20 stories high and was designed to withstand extreme temperatures and winds up to 240 km/h (150 mph). During a January 2007 windstorm, a portion of the tepee was damaged. Upon further inspection, it was discovered that extensive weathering was partially to blame. After repairs were complete, the Saamis Tepee now stands approximately 15 feet shorter.

The Medicine Hat Family Leisure Centre is the largest indoor multi purpose facility in the City. The building is 90,000 sq ft (8,000 m²) and is sited on 57 acres in the north end of the City. The facility includes olympic size ice rink, 50 m pool, waterslide, diving platforms, kiddies pool, wave pool, cafe, 4 ball diamonds, lighted football field, and 3 soccer pitches.

Located in downtown Medicine Hat, The Esplanade is a large multi purpose cultural centre. The facility features a 700+ seat performing arts theatre, art gallery, museum, archives, gift shop, and cafe. The Esplanade officially opened in October 2005.

Parks

There are over 100 kilometres (62 mi) of walking trails in the City. All of the major parks are linked by the extensive trail system.

  • Police Point Park was an early North West Mounted Police outpost, and the park is now a 300-acre (1.2 km²) nature-lovers' dream with shale paths next to the South Saskatchewan River. It is also one of Southern Alberta's well known birding destinations. The park encompasses The Medicine Hat Interpretive Program building, where they run programs and inform the public about the happenings of nature around the city.
  • Strathcona Island Park is located along the south bank of the South Saskatchewan River. The park has 5 kilometres (3 mi) of walking trails, playgrounds, water park, ball diamond, pavilion centre, washrooms, ice skating, kitchens and fire pits. The park is heavily treed.
  • Kin Coulee Park is located along the banks of the Seven Persons Creek. This 100-acre (0.4 km²) park is almost entirely manicured. The park features a skateboard park, 2 ball diamonds, beach volleyball courts, fire pits, band shell, washrooms, and 2 playgrounds.
  • Echodale Regional Park is a 650 acre (2.6 km²) park that includes an artificial swimming lake. The amenities include beach, walking trails, fire pits, canoe rentals, snack bar, washrooms and historic ranch.
  • Central Park, located in the Southeast Hill neighborhood is surrounded by large cottonwood trees and, on the northside, a row of cedar trees. It also has playstructures and a spraydeck. A street basketball court can be found here, which is usually in full use during the summer months.

Golf courses

  • Medicine Hat Golf and Country Club is located along the north banks of the South Saskatchewan River.
  • Connaught Golf Course
  • Cottonwood Golf Course is located in southwest Medicine Hat along the banks of the Seven Persons Creek
  • Paradise Valley Par 3 is located along the banks of the Seven Persons Creek.
  • Ross Creek Par 3 is located along the banks of the Bullshead Creek.
  • Riverview Golf Course is located in Redcliff along the banks of the South Saskatchewan River.
  • The Links at Desert Blume are located immediately south of the City.
  • Advantage Golf Academy, located at Cottonwood Coulee Golf Course, is Medicine Hat's only full time golf instructional facility.

Education

Medicine Hat School District No. 76 has been serving the needs of public school students since it came into existence in 1886.

The District has five trustees and comprises 3 secondary schools, 12 elementary (K-6) schools, a special needs school for the severely disabled, as well as an Alternative School program which incorporates a joint partnership with the YMCA Teen Moms' Program, YMCA Stay-in-School Program, a program with Palliser Health for secondary students and a program supported by Children Services for students with behavioural needs.

Medicine Hat School District has a current enrollment of 6,400 students for children from 2-1/2 years of age from ECS through Grade 12.

The Medicine Hat College is a junior college located in south Medicine Hat. The first students were accepted to Medicine Hat College in 1965. Now with over 2,500 students and 3 campuses, the college has grown into an integral part of the community. Athletics include basketball, volleyball, and soccer.

Medicine Hat Real Estate

Medicine Hat

Medicine Hat Medicine Hat, known to locals as "The Hat", is a city of 61,097 people located in the southeastern part of the province of Alberta, Canada. It is enclaved within Cypress County along with the nearby Town of Redcliff, although neither is part of the county.

It is situated on the Trans-Canada Highway, the eastern terminus of the Crowsnest Highway, and the South Saskatchewan River. Nearby communities considered part of the Medicine Hat area include the Town of Redcliff (located immediately adjacent to the city's northwest boundary) and the hamlets of Desert Blume, Dunmore, Irvine, Seven Persons, and Veinerville. The Cypress Hills (including Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park) is a relatively short distance (by car) to the southeast of the city.

Historically, Medicine Hat has been known for its large natural gas fields, being immortalised by Rudyard Kipling as having "all hell for a basement". Because of these reserves, the city is known as The Gas City. It is Alberta's sixth largest city. In October 2008, Medicine Hat was named one of Alberta's Top Employers by Mediacorp Canada Inc., which was announced by the Calgary Herald and the Edmonton Journal.

The Medicine Hat landscape is dominated by the South Saskatchewan River valley. In addition to this major river, both the Seven Persons Creek and Ross Creek empty into the South Saskatchewan River within the City of Medicine Hat boundary. The presence of these water bodies provide for a dramatic valley landscape with numerous cliffs, and finger coulees throughout the city. Beyond the city and river valley the land is flat to slightly rolling and is characterized by short-grass vegetation. Medicine Hat is also known as Canada's sunniest city.

Twenty-five miles to the east at 50°0'38.2?N 110°6'48.3?W? / ?50.010611°N 110.113417°W? / 50.010611; -110.113417? (Badlands Guardian) lies the Badlands Guardian Geological Feature. It is a landscape formation taking the form of a head wearing a feathered headdress. The head is 1,000 feet (300 m) wide. It is in inverse relief, formed by valleys rather than raised ground. (SOURCE: wikipedia.org)

Public Schools

  • Medicine Hat School District No. 76 (403) 528-6700
  • Prairie Rose School District #8 (403) 527-5516

Private Schools

  • Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education (403) 527-2292

Residents of Medicine Hat enjoy more recreation and leisure services than other Canadian cities. We are also privileged to support a number of cultural facilities and events throughout our city. We have something for every age at all times of the year.

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