Cardston

Cardston

Town of Cardston
Cardston is located in a high visibility location right on a main throughway that is minutes from Waterton Lakes National Park and the U.S. border.  

Cardston is established in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Southwest Alberta.

Cardston is established in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Southwest Alberta. Home to over 3,500 residents, Cardston is located in a high visibility location right on a main throughway that is minutes from Waterton Lakes National Park and the U.S. border.  It is ideally situated for a wide variety of businesses and industries. 

The vision of founder, Charles Card, namesake of the town, is still maintained to this day. As Canada’s first Mormon settlement, it is a vibrant community for the denomination, with Mormons accounting for over 80% of the population. Without doubt, Cardston is the heart of the Mormon denomination in Canada. Life is focused on the family, team sports and the western equestrian culture. 

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The Cardston Competitive Edge

Cardston’s excellent location makes it a great choice for import/export companies wishing to do business with the United States. There are many centrally located parcels of land ready for commercial development, including light and heavy industry zoned lots.

Cardston is currently seeking private sector investment to expand the preexisting Lee Creek Campground to serve the growing number of RV campers that arrive during the summer.

INTERESTING FEATURES

Cardston is also neighbour to the large Blood Indian Reserve to the North.  Friends and neighbours for over 100 years the two communities sit side by side and work side by side.

A Diversified Economy

Cardston’s location in the fertile prairies of Alberta makes farming and ranching activities an ideal economic activity. The local economy is primarily driven by agriculture and the agricultural services industry, with over 50% of the labour force employed in the industry.
 
Tourism is another big player in the Cardston economy. Located next to breathtaking natural vistas, Cardston is able to attract both day and overnight tourists from surrounding cities in Alberta, British Columbia and Montana.
 
With hospitals, clinics, schools and municipal infrastructure to operate and maintain, Cardston has a robust public sector. Cardston intends to make use of the Chinook winds that it receives throughout the year and build out new wind energy projects to feed into the power grid. AltaLink has planned the development of new high-voltage transmission lines in the area, pending regulatory approval. 

MAJOR INDUSTRIES

  • Agriculture
  • Public Services
  • Oil & Gas Exploration
  • Professional Services
  • Tourism & Entertainment 

Major Employers in Cardston

  • Westwind School Division
  • Alberta Health Services
  • Town of Cardston
  • Cardston County
  • Extra Foods

Market Accessibility

Cardston can be accessed by both Highway 5/501 and Highway 2, which runs right through Cardston’s Main Street. Almost all individuals wishing to enter the United States through the Carway border crossing will pass through Cardston, presenting a unique opportunity for investors wishing to locate their business in a high traffic and visibility area. It connects easily to the Trans-Canada number 1 east coast to west coast highway system. Highway 5 also intersects with Highway 4 via highway 501 to connect to the CANAMEX corridor.

The nearest border crossing into the United States through the State of Montana is the Carway crossing, located just 17 minutes (25 KM) away.  

Cardston has an airport available with a runway length of 1,067m for private flights. The Lethbridge Airport, located only 70 KM away is the nearest commercial airport that provides airfreight services. The Calgary International Airport (245 KM) provides commercial flights to many national and international destinations. 
 
Distance and times to major centres

Lethbridge Calgary Edmonton Red Deer Carway (US Land Crossing) Vancouver (Seaport)
79 km 234 km 525 km 374 km 25 km 1200 km
1 hours 2.5 hours 5 hours 3.5 hours 17 minutes 12 hours

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INTERACTIVE MAP

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Industry Sectors

Tourism is a major component of the Cardston economy, supported by a strong presence in the service, retail, public administration, transportation, and utilities sectors. Cardston’s close proximity to the US Border and nearby provincial and national parks make it a gateway town to the surrounding natural landscape. With friendly neighbors and affordable accommodations, Cardston is a great launch pad for travels around Southwest Alberta.

The Tourism Industry

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Cardston Alberta Temple
Opened on August 26, 1923, the Cardston Alberta Temple is the oldest Mormon temple located outside the United States. Sitting in the centre of Cardston, the temple is one of Southern Alberta’s defining landmarks and a major attraction for tourists. Recognized as having national historical significance, it was named a National Historic Site of Canada in 1995. 

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Remington Carriage Museum
Preservation of 19th century, horse-drawn carriages is the reason for Cardston’s Remington Carriage Museum. The Museum holds the largest collection of horse-drawn vehicles in North America, with over 270 unique pieces. Visitors can tour a factory and learn about the traditional techniques used to produce carriages. Interactive galleries bring bygone stories of society and the carriage industry from a century ago to life.

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Agriculture
Agriculture is a prominent economic driver in Southwest Alberta. Cardston County had total farm receipts of $163 million in 2010, and ranks second within the Alberta region on a farm receipts basis. There are still many opportunities in the region for value added agricultural processing services in the area. More information can be found in the regional agriculture sector below.

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Ranching and Rodeo Academy
Ranching and Rodeo are longstanding traditions in Cardston’s culture. The Westwind Rodeo Academy is the only school in Canada that offers a competitive rodeo and equine therapy program. Students come from all across Alberta and Canada to receive world-class training at the school. Investors can build on Cardston’s reputation as a centre for high performance training. There are many opportunities available to provide new training programs or to serve the industry through the provision of secondary services related to ranching and rodeo.

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Card Pioneer Home
Charles Card, the founder of Cardston, constructed the Card Pioneer Home in 1887.  It is now a historical site staffed by friendly and knowledgeable volunteers that will provide a guided tour and tell stories about the history of Cardston as it evolved throughout the decades. 

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Other popular tourism attractions in the area include:

  • Cardston Courthouse Museum
  • Lee Creek Valley Golf Course
  • Waterton Lakes National Park
  • Woolford Provincial Park
  • The Great Canadian Barn Dance
  • Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

Current Capital Projects

The Province of Alberta is committed to the economic development and wellbeing of residents in Cardston County. There are currently infrastructure upgrades in the works for two of the county's spillways - the Taylor Coulee Emergency Spillway and the Bullhorn Emergency Spillway

The Government of Alberta plans to replace the current wooden emergency spillways with concrete ones by 2017.

Regional Industry Sectors

Regional Industry SectorsSouthwest Alberta has three 
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

Learn More

Demographics

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English is the dominant mother tongue in the community (95%), with 1% of the population declaring French as their first language and 4% declaring a non-official language. Cardston has a highly skilled workforce, with 48% of the working population attaining some form of post-secondary education. The labour force participation rate in Cardston is 62%.
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Quick Facts

  • Population (2016): 3,585
  • Growth since 2011: 0.1%
  • Median age of population (2011): 38.1
  • Land Area (square km): 8.64
  • Trading Area: 158,242 residents within its 100 kilometre Trading Area
  • Number of Businesses: 179
  • Major Employers: Westwind Shool Division, Alberta Health Services, Town of Cardston, Cardston County, Extra Foods
  • Unemployment: 94 persons (Statistics Canada 2015)