Pincher Creek

Pincher Creek

Town of Pincher Creek
The Town of Pincher Creek is located in southwest Alberta where the prairies meet the Canadian Rocky Mountains. 

Pincher Creek is open to new development and welcomes investment.

With a population of approximately 3500 people, this small town is doing big business with companies looking to invest in industries as diverse as wind energy, high tech, manufacturing and agriculture. Pincher Creek is open to new development and welcomes investment.

Pincher Creek received its name in 1874 when a group of prospectors lost a pincer (similar to a pair of pliers) in the small creek at this location and an officer from the North-West Mounted Police later discovered the rusting tool. Before modern day settlements, this region was home to the Blackfoot, Peigan and Kootenai Aboriginal Tribes.

Today, the Piikani Nation (formerly the Peigan Nation) the is headquarters in Brocket, Alberta just outside of Pincher Creek. The Piikani Nation controls two parcels of land, Peigan Timber Limit "B" and the Piikani 147 Indian reserve (on which Brocket is located). As of 2014 the band had a registered population of 3,638 members, of whom 2,358 lived on Piikani Nation reserves, and actively contributes to the regional economy.

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

Download Pincher Creek Profile

Pincher Creek’s Competitive Edge

The Town of Pincher Creek is a business-friendly community that actively encourages new commercial and industrial development. There is a modern two-acre industrial park that is zoned for both light and heavy industry. With a dedicated Economic Development Manager and a local Chamber of Commerce, Pincher Creek is able to provide the support needed to get new business off the ground. 


Warm Chinook winds often blow down the mountains bringing mild weather in the coldest months of winter. The town frequently experiences strong gusts of wind, with the strongest recorded wind clocking in at 177 KM/H. The presence of these winds has led to a significant number of wind farm developments in the area, and the iconic wind turbines are a defining characteristic of the landscape.

​A Diversified Economy

Pincher Creek is situated on Southern Alberta’s prime farming and ranching land. The local economy is primarily driven by the agriculture, wind energy and natural resource industries. In recent years, rapid economic growth has occurred in the tourism industry and related businesses.
Continuing economic development is a top priority for Pincher Creek. The town seeks to balance economic growth with sustainability and the preservation of the local culture. 

Major Employers in Pincher Creek

  • Alberta Health Services
  • Enmax Energy
  • Livingstone Range School Division
  • Municipal District of Pincher Creek
  • Pincher Creek Coop
  • Shell Waterton Gas Plant
  • Town of Pincher Creek
  • TransAlta
  • Vestas Canadian Wind Technology
  • Walmart

Market Accessibility

Pincher Creek is well located and has the infrastructure necessary to be an efficient industrial hub. The Town is situated on the intersections of Highways 3, 6 and 507. Highway 3 (The Crowsnest Highway) runs east-west to British Columbia in the west and Medicine Hat in the east, with connections to the other eastern Canadian provinces. Highway 3 intersects with Highway 4 at Lethbridge to connect to the CANAMEX corridor. Two Border Crossings connect Alberta to the American State of Montana: Carway) (open all year); and Chief Mountain (seasonal).
Pincher Creek also has a local airport with a 2011m long paved airstrip, it currently has limited winter maintenance and is unmanned. The nearest commercial and air freight services are located only 100km away in Lethbridge. The nearest seaports are located in Vancouver and Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Canadian Pacific Rail provides rail freight services for Pincher Creek businesses.

Distances and Times to Major Centres

Lethbridge Calgary Edmonton Red Deer Carway (US Land Crossing) Vancouver (Seaport)
100 km 218 km 508 km 356 km 70 km 1163 km
1 hour 2 hours 5 hours 3 hours 1 hour 12 hours

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

Pincher Creek’s economy feeds off the vital sectors of agriculture, natural resources, renewal energy and energy technology, and tourism.  These sectors are supported by a strong presence in the service, retail, public administration, transportation, and utilities sectors.  The community’s businesses support local and regional businesses catering as well to businesses in a larger market from British Columbia top the northwest American states. 

natural res
Natural Resources
Natural resources such as timber, oil and gas are plentiful in the Pincher Creek region.  In 1957, Shell Canada discovered a rich sour gas field west of Pincher Creek and constructed a plant to process it. The Shell Canada Waterton Gas Complex processes more than 5.5 million cubic meters of raw gas each day and is a major employer in the region. 

Pincher Creek 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 Pincher Creek’s economy and culture.

Tourism is the fastest growing industry in Pincher Creek.  Surrounded by natural beauty and cultural destinations, the area attracts more than 500,000 visitors per year. Pincher Creek is an exciting year-round travel destination.


Wind Energy
The Town of Pincher Creek is the Wind Energy Capital of Canada.  The wind in the area around Pincher Creek is extraordinarily strong and consistent. It is often warm as Chinook winds come down the eastern slopes of the Rockies in wintertime.  Pincher Creek and the surrounding area offer the wind energy industry the ideal geographical area for developments in alternative and renewable energy technology. This industry is increasingly important to Canada as a sustainable energy resource.

Current Capital Projects

Pincher Creek is constantly growing and upgrading. There are currently infrastructure upgrades in the works for Pincher Creek’s St. Michael’s School, Senior’s Lodge and the electrical transmission infrastructure. 

In 2015 a $12 million Seniors Lodge was announced.  The new 50-unit seniors' home will be constructed to replace Crestview Lodge by 2017.

The new lodge is a stellar example of a collaborative community effort to provide affordable seniors housing: the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta contributing $9.8 million, and additional funding coming from the Pincher Creek Foundation.

More information can be found here.

Regional Industry Sectors

Alberta SouthWest 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

Learn More


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English is the dominant language in the community (90.4%), with 1.2% of the population declaring French as their first language and 7.2% declaring a non-official language. Pincher Creek has a highly skilled workforce, with 52% of the population attaining some form of post-secondary education. The labour force participation rate of Pincher Creek is 68.2%.  

A complete table of population statistics for Pincher Creek is provided by Statistics Canada
National Household Survey Profile Data for Pincher Creek can be found here

Pincher Creek Quick Facts

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 Pincher Creek is the Federal GST (5%), as no provincial sales taxes are levied in Alberta.

How to calculate property taxes: 

Town of Pincher Creek Tax Statistics 2016

  Municipal AFSS (School) Seniors Lodge TOTAL MILL RATE
Residential 8.9961 2.4824 0.2079 11.6864
Commercial (Non-Residential) 11.0808 3.5889 0.2079 14.8776

Commercial Water Usage Rates (2015)

Direct Energy Electricity Regulated Rate Tariff (2015)

Pincher Creek Business Licensing Fee Schedule

Administration Fees

Municipally Owned Commercial Lots For Sale

Listings for commercial lots appear on the Town website at:
Information can also be accessed through the ORRSC GIS system at:

The Pincher Creek Lifestyle

Pincher Creek residents enjoy a very high quality of life. Residents have access to first-rate education, health care, social services, recreational facilities and community organizations. The average resale home price in Pincher Creek is $289,113 CAD (2012). The low cost of utilities, land, and real estate make Pincher Creek a very affordable town to live in.


Pincher Creek is home to a variety of options for individuals seeking an active lifestyle. The Pincher Creek Golf Club houses a beautiful 9-hole course in the foothills of the Rockies. There is a multi-purpose facility with an aquatic centre, soccer field, library and conference facilities. The Memorial Community Centre Arena offers free public and family skating in addition to hosting a variety of tournaments, games and special events. The scenic Rocky Mountains to the west provide skiing and camping in both National and Provincial parks. 

Community Organizations

There are a multitude of churches in Pincher Creek serving a diverse group of denominations. Sports clubs cover activities such as football, baseball, soccer and swimming. Other community organizations include the Pincher Creek Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Army Cadets, Lions Club, various youth clubs, 4-H agricultural clubs, Scouts and Guides. 


An elementary (K-6) and secondary (grades 7-12) public school serves the children of Pincher Creek. St. Michael’s (French immersion) School offers comprehensive Catholic education for grades K-12. Post-secondary institutions in the area include the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College, which also runs a satellite campus in Pincher Creek. In addition there are many education options available in the cities of Calgary and Edmonton.  


Pincher Creek’s Health Centre provides the most comprehensive medical care in southwest Alberta. The Health Centre provides 24-hour emergency services, lab and x-ray, renal dialysis, acute care, regional support services including rehabilitation, community care programs, detox programs, health protection and health assessments. Long-term care is available at a multitude of senior’s lodges. Additionally, the services of dentists, denturists, chiropractors, naturopathic practitioners, homeopathic practitioners and massage therapists are available to Pincher Creek residents.​

A full list of community resources can be found in this Community Services Directory

Online Business and Investment Resources






Pincher Creek Administration Office 
Civic Address
962 St. John Avenue
P.O. Box 159
Pincher Creek, AB
T0K 1W0, Canada
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 159
Pincher Creek, AB
Canada, T0K 1W0
Office Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00am – 4:00pm MST
Phone: 1-403-627-3156
Fax: 1-403-627-4784
Chief Administrative Officer 
Laurie Wilgosh
Economic Development Officer 
Marie Everts