History of Red Deer Development
About Red Deer
Red Deer is located in the central province of Alberta in Canada. The city is located in an aspen park, a region of hills where oil, grain and livestock are raised. It is a center for the distribution of oil and agriculture, and the surrounding region is a major center for petrochemical production.
Before the emergence of European settlement in this area, the territory was inhabited by Aboriginal people, including the Blackfoot, Plains Cree and Stoney tribes. At the end of the eighteenth century, European fur traders began to pass through the Red Deer territory. This ethnic mixture also included the Metis people.
The city's first settlers fled from Montana across the Bow River near Calgary and to Fort Edmonton. About halfway between Calgary and Edmonton, the trail crossed the Red Deer River in wide, rocky shallow waters. Since ancient times, indigenous people and bison have lived there, commonly known as American bison. The shallow waters, now known as the Old Red Deer Crossing, are located about 7 kilometers upstream of what is now Red Deer city.
In the early 1900s, a massive influx of British settlers began in the city. In 1901, Red Deer's population was 343 people and it rightfully began to be called a city. The city flourished and developed as an agricultural center thanks to its strategic position and fertile fields. Agriculture was a very lucrative business during those years.
In 1907, the city was selected as the primary site for constructing the Canadian Pacific Railway. And in 1911, construction began on two other railways – Canadian Northern and Alberta Central. This led to a large land boom in the area. However, the outbreak of World War I ended this boom and left the city small and quiet.
The Great Depression of the 1930s was a major setback for the city. However, Red Deer did better than many other communities in the area as a severe drought did not hit it. Besides, it was virtually debt-free and profited from the property of local utilities.
The outbreak of World War II has revived the growth of Red Deer. The city was designated as the site of a military training camp. Also, two air bases south of the city at Bowden and Penhold were designed in accordance with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
After World War II, there was a great discovery of a significant amount of oil and natural gas. This had a positive impact on the city's economy. In the late 1950s, Red Deer was considered the fastest growing city in Canada.
The city currently serves as a regional administrative center and commercial center with major business facilities.