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Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

prince albert saskatchewan, prince albert saskatchewan map
Prince Albert is the third-largest city in Saskatchewan, Canada, after Saskatoon and Regina It is situated near the centre of the province on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River The city is known as the "Gateway to the North" because it is the last major centre along the route to the resources of northern Saskatchewan Prince Albert National Park is located 51 km 32 mi north of the city and contains a huge wealth of lakes, forest, and wildlife The city itself is located in a transition zone between the aspen parkland and boreal forest biomes Prince Albert is bordered by the Rural Municipality of Prince Albert No 461 and the Rural Municipality of Buckland No 491


  • 1 History
    • 11 Royal visits
  • 2 Geography
    • 21 Climate
  • 3 Demographics
  • 4 Economy
  • 5 Attractions
  • 6 Sports and recreation
  • 7 Government
  • 8 Infrastructure
    • 81 Bridges
    • 82 Historic trails
    • 83 Railways
      • 831 Canadian Northern & Grand Trunk Pacific
      • 832 Canadian National and Canadian Pacific
      • 833 Carlton Trail Railway
    • 84 Highway
    • 85 Transit
    • 86 Air transport
  • 9 Education
  • 10 Media
  • 11 Prince Albertans
  • 12 See also
  • 13 Notes
  • 14 References
  • 15 Book references
  • 16 External links


The area was named kistahpinanihk by the Cree, which translates to sitting pretty place, "a great meeting place" or "meeting place"

Henry Kelsey passed through the area on his journey along the North Saskatchewan River in 1692, when he tried unsuccessfully to bring locals that he called "Neywatame" to the trading fort York Factory The first trading post set up in the area was built in 1776 by Peter Pond James Isbister, an Anglo-Métis employee of the Hudson's Bay Company, settled on the site of the current city in 1862 He farmed there until 1866, and had been joined by a number of families who called the site Isbister's Settlement

The community received a boost in 1866 when Reverend James Nisbet, a Canada Presbyterian Church minister arrived to establish a mission for the Cree Nisbet named the mission after Albert, Prince Consort, husband of Queen Victoria, who had died in 1861, from which the present city derives its name In 1879 the Presbyterian Church brought out Lucy Margaret Baker to run the local mission school During the same year, the local Freemasons established the first lodge in what is now the province of Saskatchewan: Kinistino Lodge No 1, which still exists "The Mission", the settlement centrally located, and "Porter Town", located to the west, were the two communities that would come together to form what is now Prince Albert The settlement east of Prince Albert was termed Goschen before finally amalgamated, however East Prince Albert still appears on a 1924 map

In 1884, Honore Jaxon and James Isbister were involved in the movement which brought Louis Riel back to Canada Riel returned from the United States following a political exile resulting from the Red River Rebellion that had occurred in 1869–1870 Five hundred people gathered to hear Riel speak one month after his return

In the Northwest Rebellion of the 1885, Prince Albert Volunteers bore the heaviest casualties of the fighting at the Battle of Duck Lake Surrounding settlers took refuge with the North-West Mounted Police in a hastily improvised stockade at Prince Albert, fearing an attack by Gabriel Dumont, which never came After the Battle of Batoche, Major General Frederick Middleton marched to Prince Albert to relieve the town Prince Albert, with a population of about 800 people, was incorporated as a town the same year under its first mayor, Thomas McKay In 1904, the settlement was incorporated as the City of Prince Albert Its government is of a council-mayor type

Prince Albert was the capital of the District of Saskatchewan, a regional administrative division of what then constituted the Northwest Territories The District of Saskatchewan was formed on May 8, 1882, and named Prince Albert as its capital This ended in 1905 when Saskatchewan became a province and Regina was designated the new provincial capital

Prince Albert was one of the rival candidates to house either the University of Saskatchewan or the Saskatchewan Federal Penitentiary The university was built in Saskatoon and the penitentiary was built in Prince Albert in 1911

The federal constituency of Prince Albert has been represented by three prime ministers of Canada:

  • John Diefenbaker, 13th Prime Minister 1957–1963, became the Member of Parliament for Lake Centre in 1940, and when that riding was abolished in 1952, represented Prince Albert from 1953 until his death in 1979
  • William Lyon Mackenzie King 10th Prime Minister, represented Prince Albert from 1926 to 1945
  • Sir Wilfrid Laurier 7th Prime Minister, represented Prince Albert in the Saskatchewan provisional district still part of Northwest Territories in 1896, before returning to his Quebec East riding later that year

Royal visits

Main article: Monarchy in Saskatchewan

Prince Albert has welcomed the following members of Canada's Royal Family:

  • The Princess Margaret – 1958 and 1980
  • The Duke and Duchess of York The Prince Andrew and Sarah – 1989
  • The Earl of Wessex The Prince Edward – 2003


See also: List of neighbourhoods in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and Central Business District, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Prince Albert is located on the White Fox Plain of the Saskatchewan River lowlands These lowlands are located in the physiographic region of the Saskatchewan Plains Region of the Central Lowlands Province:40, 41 The natural vegetation of the area consists of aspen parkland to the south and southern boreal forest to the north of the North Saskatchewan River These two ecoregions have differing soil types: the northern forested soils are brunisolic and sandy, whereas south of the river are black chernozemic soils:131, 131 The North Saskatchewan River runs through the centre of Prince Albert The main soils of the city of Prince Albert are those of the valley complex consisting mainly of regosolic soils which produce natural vegetation which are not forest nor grassland but a complex of the two:70, 71 It is here that the treeline of Saskatchewan begins, and to the north of the city begins the forested growth of Jack Pine Pinus banksiana, as well as other boreal forest growth in the Prince Albert National Park, and Nisbet forest The forests north of the city, especially those containing Jack Pine are infected with Dwarf Mistletoe and various projects have been undertaken to stop the spread of this parasitic plant:92, 93 The agricultural soils around Prince Albert have some limitations and about 35% of the land is covered with sloughs or potholes Creek systems such as the Red Deer Hill creek and McFarlane creek drain into the South Saskatchewan River In the past these creeks have been known to dry up allowing farmers to cut hay, but in recent years these waterways have been overfilling due to large amounts of winter run-off and increase of the water table:106, 107 The land use is divided into the southern woodland area north of Prince Albert and cropland to the south:110, 111

The Quaternary glacial geology precludes the region to have been covered by the large prehistoric glacial lake called Lake Agassiz The ancient shoreline can be seen along the "Esker Trail" in Narrow Hills Provincial Park which is just north-east of the city Many different types of fossils have been found in the Prince Albert region Along the riverbanks of the Shell River can be observed a stratum containing Quaternary bivalve mollusk shells and in 2014 the vertebrae and bone fragments of a bison were found by local college students attending Saskatchewan Polytechnic in the Shell River area Various areas especially eroded river banks have been known to reveal bison skulls and other various types of fossils Claims have also been made of various types of marine fossils including oysters, clams, corals and other invertebrates are to be found mixed in fossil matrixes just east of the city near the small town of Love, SK The bedrock geology is a part of the phanerozoic basin and belongs to the Lea Park and Milk River Formation:76, 77


Prince Albert experiences a humid continental climate Köppen climate classification Dfb The coldest month on average is January with an average low of −231 °C −96 °F, and July is the hottest month with an average high of 243 °C 757 °F The highest temperature ever recorded in Prince Albert was 394 °C 103 °F on July 19, 1941 The coldest temperature ever recorded was −567 °C −70 °F on February 1, 1893 Winter lasts five months of the year with January daily means of −173 °C 09 °F, causing a great temperature amplitude in comparison to the 180 °C 644 °F mean temperature of July The variability of the climate is further demonstrated by the brief transition zones with April recording both above and below 32 °C 90 °F and −33 °C −27 °F respectively

Climate data for Prince Albert Airport, 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1884–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high humidex 117 106 194 308 351 413 418 406 360 299 185 83 418
Record high °C °F 128
Average high °C °F −114
Daily mean °C °F −173
Average low °C °F −231
Record low °C °F −550
Record low wind chill −597 −579 −500 −431 −183 −92 00 −32 −160 −282 −497 −541 −597
Average precipitation mm inches 162
Average rainfall mm inches 06
Average snowfall cm inches 194
Average precipitation days ≥ 02 mm 101 76 85 92 104 129 140 109 97 90 85 104 1213
Average rainy days ≥ 02 mm 04 03 19 64 99 129 140 109 96 67 13 07 748
Average snowy days ≥ 02 cm 106 83 78 44 11 01 00 00 06 34 79 106 547
Average relative humidity % 687 652 609 469 416 478 520 498 506 562 698 716 568
Mean monthly sunshine hours 939 1265 1759 2251 2692 2750 2977 2897 1871 1361 780 747 2,229
Percent possible sunshine 372 457 479 538 548 543 585 633 490 413 299 316 473
Source: Environment Canada


According to the 2011 Canadian Census, the population of Prince Albert is 35,129, a 29% increase from 2006 The population density is 5344 people per square km The median age is 347 years old, which is lower than the national median age at 406 years old There are 14,779 private dwellings with an occupancy rate of 923%

According to the 2011 National Household Survey, the median value of a dwelling in Prince Albert is CAN$224,963 which is lower than the national average at CAN$280,552 The median household income after-taxes in Prince Albert is CAN$49,421, a bit lower than the national average at CAN$54,089

Census Population
1901 1,785
1911 6,254
1921 7,558
1931 9,905
1941 12,299
1951 17,149
1961 24,168
1971 28,464
1981 31,380
1991 34,181
1996 34,771
2001 34,291
2006 34,138
2011 35,129
References: 2011 2006 earlier
Canada census – Prince Albert, Saskatchewan community profile
2011 2006
35,129 +29% from 2006 34,138 -04% from 2001
6574 km2 2538 sq mi 6568 km2 2536 sq mi
5344/km2 1,384/sq mi 5197/km2 1,346/sq mi
347 M: 328, F: 364 354 M: 335, F: 368
14,779 14,029
Population by ethnic group, 2011
Ethnic group Population Percent
European 24,315 7001710000000000000♠71%
First Nations 8,835 7001258000000000000♠258%
Métis 5,380 7001157000000000000♠157%
Asian 1,000 7000290000000000000♠29%
African 255 6999700000000000000♠07%
Total respondent population 34270 100%

Prince Albert has one of the highest Aboriginal population ratios for any Canadian city at 415%

Most of Prince Albert is either a Christian 744%, or affiliates with no religion 234% The remaining 22% affiliate with another religion

For residents over the age of 25 years, 827% have a high school diploma or equivalent to, 553% have a post-secondary degree, and 173% don't have any certificate, diploma or degree


Prince Albert is situated on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, with rich agricultural land to the south and the boreal forest to the north Although Prince Albert is centrally located in Saskatchewan, it is the second most northerly city in the province after Meadow Lake This physical location has led to the creation of the slogan "Gateway to the North"

After being established as a mission centre, the main impetus for growth was speculation that the Transcontinental Railway would travel north from the Red River Valley along Hind's fertile belt through to Edmonton When the Canadian Pacific Railway chose a more southerly route, Prince Albert's growth collapsed:

By 1914, Prince Albert had become the terminus of four railway branch lines However, neither the Hudson Bay and Pacific or the Canadian Northern had started any line to the north In all, the city had not become the great gateway to north as it had planned

— City of Prince Albert Website The La Colle Falls hydroelectric power dam under construction in 1916

The La Colle Falls hydroelectric power dam project was an attempt to provide affordable electricity to attract industry By 1927, the project was abandoned as the city was close to bankruptcy In 1945, Prince Albert National Park was established, and the tourism sector helped to again revive Prince Albert's economy

The city's location has benefited the community in many ways through the years as an agriculture, forestry, tourism, mining, retail, and service centre for the immediate market and the northern communities Prince Albert has a total trade area of 140,000 people, including an additional 12,000 that can be included if Flin Flon and The Pas are accounted for The major contributing factor to this is the role of Prince Albert as a retail and service centre to these northern communities

There are a number of major developments that are happening around Prince Albert Diamond exploration is currently occurring east of the City in the Fort à la Corne region and it is expected a mine may go up around 2010–2011 In addition to diamond prospects, Bio-fuels are also playing a significant role to the area The Prince Albert region is one of the richest areas in the province for agriculture, and with the current emphasis on bio-fuel technology from the provincial and federal governments, it is expected that this economic sector will grow Uranium is also expected to play a bigger role in the future development of Prince Albert There is speculation that, due to the proximity the uranium mining in northern Saskatchewan, the area could be ideal for a value-added type of business

Prince Albert is still heavily reliant on its government service sector, which accounts for about 11% of the workforce There are three prisons, the Prince Albert Correctional Centre, Pine Grove Correctional Centre and the Saskatchewan Federal Penitentiary

Chief Joseph Custer, Kistapinanihk 231, Northern Lights 220, Muskoday 99 and Wahpeton 94B Indian Reserves are within 20 kilometres 12 mi of the city

The forestry industry is also a major contributor to the economy of Prince Albert Prince Albert currently hosts the Provincial Forestry Centre, a building that hosts significant wood and forestry related types of businesses and associations

Prince Albert Pulp Company had been the area's largest employer since it opened in 1968 The mill was closed down in 2006 by its then owner, Weyerhaeuser The mill was subsequently sold Paper Excellence purchased the long-closed down Prince Albert Pulp Inc from Domtar in April 2011 with plans to operate a dissolving pulp mill producing 1000 tonnes per day employing about 250 people The pulp mill was shut down indefinitely and 42 employees laid off on Aug 29, 2014


Prince Albert Historical Museum Prince Albert Arts Centre See also: List of historic places in Prince Albert

There are three historical museums in Prince Albert The combined The Evolution of Education Museum and Rotary Museum of Police and Corrections are located at the tourist information centre just off of Highway #2 South The second museum, the Historical Society Museum, is located in an old Fire Hall at the north end of Central Avenue on River Street The John G Diefenbaker House is a historic site open to the public and is found on 249 19th Street West The Prince Albert Heritage Museum c 1911 is a Municipal Heritage Property on the Canadian Register of Historic Places

Across from the Historical Society Museum is the site of Diefenbaker's constituency office that is not open to the public Among the other heritage, historic and protected sites of Prince Albert are the Blockhouse from the 1885 Rebellion & First Presbyterian Church/School, Historic St Paul's Presbyterian Church, Honeywood Dr AJ Porter Heritage Nursery, Keyhole Castle, LaColle Falls Hydroelectric Dam, Oldest Downtown Store, Prince Albert Arts Centre and The Cathedral Church of St Alban the Martyr Anglican Sacred Heart Cathedral Roman Catholic near the downtown area was built in 1914 in the Romanesque style It contains paintings by Berthold Imhoff The Institute for Stained Glass in Canada has documented the stained glass of six buildings in Prince Albert

Other historical points of interest include:

  • The St Louis Light, a commonly visited, supposedly paranormal, phenomenon occurring south of the city
  • Fort de la Corne, a short distance east from Prince Albert, is the furthest westward post of the French Empire in North America see New France
  • The Prince Albert Sanitorium, completed in 1930 and treated tuberculosis patients
  • The Buckland Wildlife Management Unit, located within 4 kilometres 25 mi of the city

Sports and recreation

See also: List of festivals in Saskatchewan

The city is home to the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League The Raiders, who won the Memorial Cup in 1985, play in the 3,571-seat Art Hauser Centre The city is also home to the Prince Albert Mintos of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League They won the 2006, 2007 and 2014 Telus Cup They also play in the Art Hauser Centre


See also: Prince Albert City Council


The first hospital was constructed in 1899, followed by a maternity home built in 1945 which lasted approximately twelve years:63


The Diefenbaker Bridge at Prince Albert

At present, only a single road bridge, the Diefenbaker Bridge, connects the north and south shore in Prince Albert; this bridge is also the only river crossing connecting southern and northern Saskatchewan in the immediate vicinity one needs to drive many miles to the east or west to find another

This has long been a subject of concern in the region, especially in light of a partial closure of the bridge in August 2011 that occurred when cracks were found during an inspection The bridge has also been closed numerous times since and for extended periods of time, which has raised concerns for many Grassroots efforts are under way to lobby for the construction of a second bridge over the North Saskatchewan River within Prince Albert

Historic trails

In 1866, Prince Albert was established as a mission post, and a trail to Fort Carlton arose This trail connected the growing community to the Carlton Trail, the main land transportation route in Western Canada of the 19th century The trail followed along the current Lily Plain grid road in Saskatchewan to the ferry service at Lilly Plain post office

The Qu'Appelle Troy – Prince Albert Trail was in use from 1883 transporting mail and freight goods from the rail depot at Qu'Appelle across the ferry at St Louis to Prince Albert Besides these two trails, Prince Albert was also served by the Montreal Lake–PA, Green Lake–PA, and Fort à la Corne–PA trails:11


Canadian Northern & Grand Trunk Pacific

Qu'Appelle, Long Lake and Saskatchewan Railroad and Steamboat Company QLSRSC arrived in Prince Albert in October 1890 as a means to link the three major cities of Saskatchewan through one railroad For the next few years the line was seldom used, and in order to raise capital, QLSRSC leased the line out to the Canadian Pacific Railway Canadian Pacific soon realized the economic uncertainty of the line, and the lease was cancelled after only a few years of service

By 1906, less than twenty years after the line was completed, it was sold to the Canadian Northern Railway CNoR Canadian Northern also crossed the North Saskatchewan River, heading west towards Shellbrook Prince Albert was slated to become a northern hub for rail service into the north, however with little economic activity in the area, no branch lines were ever extended into the north except for the Paddockwood spur, which was subsequently abandoned during the 1990s as a grain-dependent branch line

Grand Trunk Pacific GTP also serviced Prince Albert through a branch line that headed north from Young, through St Louis and North into Prince Albert Later both the CNoR and GTP were nationalized, eventually becoming the Canadian National Railway CN

Canadian National and Canadian Pacific

For years the Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway dominated the city of Prince Albert, operating on both sides of 15th Street The Canadian Pacific Railway branched off at Lanigan moving north up to Hagen, then under trackage rights with CN, and curved towards the northeast end of Prince Albert This was CPR's principal northern site, with many of the branch lines feeding back to Prince Albert These branch lines almost entirely served lumber mills and grain elevators as principal commodities

In 1991 CPR decided to shut down rail line operations in Prince Albert and the surrounding area CPR sold the Meadow Lake line to CN, and abandoned the Meath Park branch up to Choiceland Many small CN branch lines extended past Prince Albert hauling primarily grain, but proved ineffective due to larger and more accessible grain elevators As a result, many were abandoned through the 1990s Lines that have been abandoned include the Paddockwood Spur CN, CPR to Meath Park, CPR to Lanigan, CN to Shellbrook, and CN to St Louis As grain storage and sorting technology improved over the years, a state of the art Inland elevator was built, located north of Prince Albert This facility was owned by Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, later succeeded by Viterra The smaller elevator located in the CN yards — owned by United Grain Growers, later acquired by Agricore United which was also succeeded by Viterra — operated in Prince Albert until Viterra announced its cease of operations on April 1, 2008 Today, only the Inland terminal owned by Viterra, located in White Star, continues to operate

In December 1997, CN announced the branch line was up for sale due to lack of productivity The engines primarily used by CN at the time were GMD1s for short haul and yard shunting, and EMD SD40-2W/EMD SD40-2s for long-haul trips CP utilized switchers due in part to the light rail on many of their branch lines These switchers were manufactured by Montreal Locomotive Works Bombardier and were designated as RS-23

Carlton Trail Railway

Carlton Trail Railway locomotive crossing the North Saskatchewan at Prince Albert

OmniTRAX, an American shortline railway company, bought the former CN line and named it Carlton Trail Railway CTRW or CTR Currently, Carlton Trail Railway resides in the old CN yard, storing tank cars for CN, transporting grain, and refurbishing diesel engines for other OmniTRAX lines Carlton Trail has recently discussed abandoning several parts of the shortline due to increasing costs and poor track condition The Railroad bridge in Prince Albert had the ability to turn in on itself to allow ferry ships to pass through In 2001 CTRW announced the abandonment of the Birch Hills branch line, but the City of Prince Albert intervened, citing the possibility of an ethanol plant In 2008 Carlton Trail announced the Meadow Lake line would be abandoned by April 1, 2009 Carlton Trail primarily operates EMD GP10s for switching and long-haul transport


Prince Albert is located on SK 2, SK 3, SK 11, SK 55, and SK 302 Prince Albert demarks the change of name for SK 2 The stretch of Highway 2 from Moose Jaw to Prince Albert was designated in 2005 as Veterans Memorial Highway The renaming coincided with Veterans Week 2005 1763 miles 2837 km of Saskatchewan Highway 2 contribute to the CanAm Highway between Prince Albert and La Ronge The CanAm highway south of Prince Albert is designated on SK 3 between Melfort and Prince Albert SK 11 connects Saskatchewan's three largest cities: Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert On June 20, 2001, the entire length of SK 11 was re-named the Louis Riel Trail at a ceremony which took place at the Duck Lake Regional Interpretive Centre The Louis Riel Trail connects major sites of the 1885 North-West Rebellion


Prince Albert Transit is the local city bus service with Saskatchewan Transportation Company formerly providing intercity service for passengers and freight throughout Saskatchewan, with connecting service to national bus routes

Air transport

Glass Field Airport has regular flights to Saskatoon and Regina and serves as an access point to communities and mining operations North of Prince Albert


See also: Prince Albert Indian Residential School

Anglican Bishop John McLean opened Emmanuel College on November 1, 1879, the first university of the District of Saskatchewan A federal act later incorporated Emmanuel College into the University of Saskatchewan Emmanuel College moved to Saskatoon in 1907 to become a part of the provincial University of Saskatchewan, following the inception of Saskatchewan as a province in 1905

The Saskatchewan Rivers School Division operates 33 schools and the Prince Albert Catholic School Division operates nine schools The city has five high schools St Mary High School, and Rivier Academy private, co-ed are part of the Prince Albert Catholic School Division, while Carlton Comprehensive High School largest high school in Saskatchewan, Wesmor Acronym of the rural elementary schools Wildrose, East Central, Spruce Home, Meath Park, Osborne, and Redwing, and PACI Prince Albert Collegiate Institute are in the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division École Valois offers preschool to grade 12 and is the only Francophone school in Prince Albert

Post-secondary schools found in Prince Albert used to include the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology SIAST Woodland Campus which as of fall 2014 became known as Saskatchewan Polytechnic and has a University-off Campus for both the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan Prince Albert also has the First Nations University of Canada Northern Campus, Gabriel Dumont Institute, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies SIIT, and Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program SUNTEP


Main article: Media in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Prince Albertans

Main article: List of people from Prince Albert

See also

  • Saskatchewan portal
  • List of communities in Saskatchewan


  1. ^ Climate data was recorded in the city of Prince Albert from September 1884 to November 1942 and at Prince Albert Airport from December 1942 to present


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Book references

  • Abrams, Gary W D 1966 Prince Albert: The First Century Modern Press, Saskatoon 

External links

  • Official website

Coordinates: 53°12′N 105°45′W / 53200°N 105750°W / 53200; -105750

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Prince Albert, Saskatchewan Information about

Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

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Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
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