Athabasca Landing Trail Attractions

ALT TRAIL ATTRACTIONS

Athabasca Landing Trail Map

FORT SASKATCHEWAN

Fort Saskatchewan is a city in Alberta located 25 kilometres (16 mi) northeast of downtown Edmonton, along the North Saskatchewan River. The city is bordered by Strathcona County to the south and east, Sturgeon County to the north and west, and the City of Edmonton to the southwest. According to the City's 2010 municipal census, the city has a population of 18,653.

Fort Saskatchewan is well known for its proximity to petrochemical facilities including Dow Chemical, Sherritt International, Agrium and Shell Canada. It is also known for its flock of 50 sheep that roam its downtown park throughout the summer months eating the grass. The city mascot is a sheep named Auggie.

Over 50 km of paved trails meander through the city's dozen parks, including Legacy Park, which is the city's main gathering place and the site of several summer festivals.

History

In 1875, under the command of Inspector W.D. Jarvis, the North West Mounted Police established Fort Saskatchewan as a fort on the North Saskatchewan River. The fort was later incorporated as a village in 1899, a town in 1904, and a city in 1985.

The Canadian Northern Railway reached Fort Saskatchewan in 1905, placing the town on a transcontinental rail line. The first bridge across the river was also built at this time, with the rail company paying for it in exchange for free land for its station in Fort Saskatchewan. Prior to the bridge, the only method to cross the river at Fort Saskatchewan was via ferry. In the decade after the railway arrived, the town's population nearly doubled to 993.

A new $200,000 provincial jail opened in 1915 at the end of what is now 100th Avenue to replace the 34-cell guard house that had been used to hold prisoners since the NWMP fort was constructed in 1875. The jail would see various additions throughout the next 70 years, including the construction of more cell blocks and a stand-alone power plant. The original jail cell block was subsequently demolished in 1994; only one building from the complex as well as the Warden's House still stand today.

In 1952, Sherritt Gordon Mines started construction on a $25-million nickel refinery in Fort Saskatchewan, which began production in 1954.More industries followed. Between 1951 and 1956, the town's population doubled from 1,076 to 2,582. Dow Chemical acquired 700 acres in Fort Saskatchewan in 1959, opening its plant in 1961, and resulting in another significant population increase.

Attractions

Fort Saskatchewan Museum and Historic Site is a three-acre attraction founded in 1970. It is located at 10006 - 100 Avenue in the heart of Fort Saskatchewan near Legacy and Jarvis Parks and the historic CN Station. There are eight heritage buildings on site furnished with period pieces that form a picturesque historic village overlooking the North Saskatchewan River. These buildings include a red brick courthouse, historic school, church and house that were relocated from their original sites. A new addition in 2011 is a recreation of the 1875-1885 North West Mounted Police Fort. Visitors are encouraged to make a "day of it" to experience the ambiance of a bygone era, visit the gift shop and enjoy a picnic on the grounds or a meal at nearby restaurants. The museum is listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.

Athabasca Landing Trail Map

Legacy Park is located in the heart of downtown Fort Saskatchewan with 7.5 acres of green space. You can listen to entertainment from the Band Shell, enjoy a family picnic or participate in the city's many summer festivals such as Legacy Park Family Festival, Canada Day and STARS Sunshine Carnival. Local produce and crafts can be purchased all summer long at the Farmer's Market held weekly in the park. Public restrooms on site are open year round. The park is within walking distance to the Museum and the restored Warden's House that is now the Visitor Information Centre. The original CN Station constructed in 1905 has been restored and borders the park's main entrance along 99 Avenue.

Dow Centennial Centre contains a host of recreational facilities as well as the Shell Theatre for live performances and the Alberta Lottery Fund Art Gallery for art and craft exhibitions.

Parks and Recreational Trails: There are more than 400 hectares of parks and green spaces in Fort Saskatchewan, including 50 km of paved walking and biking trails along the river valley. For more information, visit www.fortsask.ca

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