Town of Claresholm
Home to 3758 residents, the town of Claresholm is rooted in farming and ranching, and celebrates its economic role as an agricultural service centre for the past 130 years.
In the 1880’s the lush grasslands drew ranchers to the foothills. Claresholm began as a railway siding.
Their herds of cattle roamed across the prairie as far east as the Little Bow River. With the construction of the rail line from Calgary to Macleod, ranchers were able to ship their cattle from Claresholm to markets elsewhere. Located mid-way between Calgary and Lethbridge on Highway 2 - Alberta’s most significant economic corridor - Claresholm has evolved into a service centre for health care, education and commerce.
Claresholm's new, $10 million, advanced technology water treatment plant opened in 2010. It has generated significant economic benefit by enticing food processor El Molino Foods to move its operations from Abbotsford and Calgary to Claresholm.
Download a detailed, printable, PDF version of the Invest In Claresholm Profile.
The Claresholm Competitive Edge
The Claresholm economy is driven by business and community service, retail, manufacturing, public administration, transportation, and utilities. Ease of access to urban centres has contributed to local growth in the food processing and transportation industries.
An expanding industrial park anchored by several large and established companies supports a strong economy whose market area reaches Calgary, only one hour to the north. A diversity of financial, health, and personal services and a robust retail sector support the local and regional farming and ranching communities.
Claresholm has access to an educated workforce supported by the University of Calgary as well as eleven additional colleges and technical institutes in the Calgary area, the University of Lethbridge, and Lethbridge College.
The Claresholm & District Chamber of Commerce encourages shoppers to support the town's local businesses. Working in cooperation with the town, the Economic Development Committee, and local business the Chamber of Commerce is active in pursuing an agenda of economic growth.
The yellow Harvard aircraft on display in Centennial Park honours Claresholm's contribution as a military pilot training facility from 1941 to 1958.
Claresholm's sandstone railway station was once half of Canadian Pacific's downtown Calgary station. It was moved to Claresholm and opened in 1912 and is the site of the Claresholm & District Museum and Visitor Information Centre.
A Diversified Economy
Claresholm has historically been a regional centre of agriculture, farming and ranching. Surrounding the community is the Municipal District of Willow Creek, composed of 772 farming operations and covering over 1,126,368 acres. Five hundred and two of these farms engage in some degree of cattle or ranching activity. The community continues to support the growth and expansion of this sector. In recent years, Claresholm has expanded its base in food processing and manufacturing of both agricultural and non-agricultural goods, including the manufacture of green building systems.
Claresholm is situated mid-way between Calgary and Lethbridge on Highway 2, a major north-south transportation corridor. The community has a solid retail base, with the majority of retailers situated within four downtown blocks.
Located on the south-east side of Claresholm is the industrial subdivision where a large number of industrial, light industrial and commercial enterprises are situated. Industrial businesses are also located at the Claresholm Airport, approximately five kilometres west of the Town.
Major Employers in Claresholm
- El Molino Foods – Food Processing
- Livingstone Range School Div. No. 68 – Education
- Calgary Health Region – Healthcare
- Claresholm Centre for Mental Health and Addictions – Healthcare
- Willow Creek Continuing Care Centre – Healthcare
Claresholm is uniquely situated on Highway 2, 80 kilometres from Lethbridge to the southeast and only an hour away from the major city of Calgary to the north. Highway 3 intersects Highway 2 and runs east to British Columbia and west to Medicine Hat, which then links to the eastern Canadian provinces. Highway 3 also intersects with Highway 4 at Lethbridge to connect to the CANAMEX trade corridor.
Its location makes Claresholm an attractive community for both industrial and commercial operations as well as travel and tourism. The community is especially busy during the Calgary Stampede. Businesses that relocate to Claresholm find the balance between distance to their markets and the reduced capital and operating costs beneficial to their bottom line.
The nearest commercial and air-freight services are located only 80 km away in Lethbridge. Calgary International Airport is located north of Calgary 143 kilometers from Claresholm. The nearest seaports are located in Vancouver and Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
Distance and times to major centres
|Lethbridge||Calgary||Edmonton||Red Deer||Carway (US Land Crossing)||Vancouver (Seaport)|
|80 km||134 km||503 km||351 km||10 km||1181 km|
|1 hours||1.5 hours||5 hours||3.5 hours||1 hour||12 hours|
Visit our interactive map to learn more about the different communities and their locations.
Primary industries in Claresholm are agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing, supported by a strong presence in the service, retail, public administration, transportation, and utilities sectors. Ease of access to urban centres has contributed to local growth in the food processing and transportation industries. Manufacture of green building systems also has prominence in the community with iLevel, a Weyerhauser company, employing 100 people (located at the airport 5 km west of Claresholm in the M.D. of Willow Creek)
Claresholm 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 Claresholm’s economy and culture.
The Claresholm region caters to a selection of experiential and historical tourism. Five vacation ranches are located in the area giving visitors the opportunity to participate in modern farm and ranch life – riding the trails, rounding up cattle and helping out with daily work.
Current Capital Projects
The Willow Creek Composite High School modernization project was completed in June of 2014. The school held its grand opening in September of 2014.
For additional information on new or planned capital projects contact Marian Carlson (CAO) at the town office, 1-403-625-3381.
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:
- Renewable Resources Energy
English is the primary language in the community (92.5%), with 1% of the population declaring French as their first language and 6.4% declaring a non-official language. Claresholm has a skilled workforce, with 57% of the population attaining some form of post-secondary education. The labour force participation rate of Claresholm is 56%.
A complete table of population statistics for Claresholm is provided by Statistics Canada.
Note: National Household Survey Profile data was not released for the Town of Claresholm.
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 Claresholm is the Federal GST (5%), as no provincial sales taxes are levied in Alberta.
How to calculate property taxes:
ASSESSED PROPERTY VALUE X MILL RATE/1000 = TAXES OWED
TAXES OWED + ASFF + MCF = TOTAL TAXES TO BE PAID
Town of Claresholm Tax Statistics 2016
|Municipal||AFSS (School)||Seniors Lodge||TOTAL MILL RATE|
Commercial Water Usage Rates (2015)
Commercial Sewage Water Rates (2015)
Direct Energy Electricity Regulated Rate Tariff (2015)
Claresholm Business Licensing Fee Schedule
Permitting and Development Process
For information on Claresholm’s permitting, development and property services visit the town website link here. Information on Claresholm’s planning and development fees can be located here. You can also peruse the town’s land use by-laws or the Town of Claresholm Strategic Plan 2015-2018.
The average resale house price in Claresholm is $354,567.00 (2015). The low cost of utilities, land, real estate, business taxes, location and operating costs make Claresholm a very affordable town to live, work and invest in.
Municipally Owned Commercial Lots For Sale
Please contact the Town of Claresholm at 1-(403)-625-3381 with any questions regarding Property for Sale.
The Claresholm Lifestyle
Claresholm is a wonderful place to call home. This friendly small town, with its tree lined streets, comfortable houses, convenient shopping, and excellent medical and recreational facilities, is an ideal place to enjoy a high quality of life. The low cost of utilities, land, and real estate make Claresholm a very affordable community to live in. The average resale home price is $354,567 CAD (2015).
Claresholm offers a diversity of recreational outlets for families and individuals looking for casual entertainment and those living an active lifestyle. The Claresholm arena, the curling rink, spray park, baseball complex, tennis courts, skateboard park, and the Claresholm Aquatic Centre offer a wide range of opportunities to participate in sports. The Bridges at Claresholm, an 18-hole golf course, is nestled into the Porcupine Hills at the southwest corner of town. Details on the recreational opportunities in Claresholm can be found here.
The community features walking paths on the west side of town, with two provincial parks and two lakes in close proximity:
Fourteen churches in Claresholm serve a diverse group of denominations. Other community organizations include the Claresholm & District Chamber of Commerce, the Claresholm Business Association, the Royal Canadian Legion, Kinsmen, Lions Club, various sports and youth clubs, 4‑H agricultural clubs, and Scouts and Guides.
West Meadow Elementary School (K‑6) and Willow Creek Composite High School (grades 7‑12) are public schools that serve the children of Claresholm under the Livingstone Range School Division. Post‑secondary institutions in the area include the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College. There are also a numerous educational options nearby in the cities of Calgary and Edmonton.
The Claresholm Medical Clinic (Phone: (403) 625-4484) is located west of the General Hospital on 43rd Avenue West and houses the offices of local doctors. The Claresholm General Hospital was opened in 1972 and today is an active treatment facility with 16 beds and a 24-hour emergency room. The facility provides an array of services including general family medicine, immunization, public health, maternity, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and seniors care.
Additional health facilities include the Willow Creek Continuing Care Centre which provides extended care for long term patients, the Porcupine Seniors Lodge, the David Lander Centre for addictions, and the Claresholm Centre for Mental Health.
Through the Claresholm Health Unit, a wide array of community health programs is offered by the Calgary Health Region. Some of the services and programs offered are: home visits; immunizations; public health inspections; speech pathology; senior’s wellness clinic; prenatal classes; and foot clinics.
A full list of community resources can be found here.
Online Business and Investment Resources
Claresholm Administration Office
221 - 45 Avenue West
Claresholm, AB, Canada
P.O. Box 1000
Claresholm, AB, Canada
Monday to Friday
June 1 - September 30
8:00am to 4:00pm
October 1 - May 31
8:30am to 4:30pm
Chief Administrative Officer: