Okotoks, best know for the big rock left behind by the glaciers, has a population of 17,000 (which has doubled over the past decade) and is a bedroom community south of Calgary. It is just 23 kilometres south of the city and accessible by Macleod Trail and Highway 2 South. The town has is a commuter bus service on weekdays, and there is early talk of a commuter rail connection..
The town celebrated its centennial in 2004, and got its start with four brick-making plants which did well until their peak in 1912, making twelve million bricks, but were adversely affected by the outbreak of he outbreak of World War I. The town was basically a supply point and market for local farms. The town has a number of heritage/historical buildings.
The town lies on the Sheep River which tends to flood in the springtime. The town also has a small airport, home to a charter company, flight school and helicopter flight school.
Okotoks is the regional centre of commercial activity with a trade area estimated at 85,000 which covers the area between Lethbridge and Calgary. The key industries in Okotoks are agriculture, education, construction, transport, trade, commercial business, professional services, retail, home-based businesses and municipal government.
Okotoks is served by two school boards, the Foothills School Division and Christ the Redeemer Catholic School Division. The town has 3 public elementary school, a public French elementary, 2 high schools, a fine arts high school for the region, 3 catholic elementary schools and a catholic high school. There are also two private schools in the area, and the town has a public library.
Okotoks has two shopping districts, one on Elizabeth Street on the north side of the river, and another where Big Rock Trail intersects with Highway 2.
Okotoks is a demographically young town: 83 per cent of the town is under 45 years of age, with 30 per cent under the age of 19. Okotoks is built around the Sheep River, has the pretty Sheep River Park along the south shore of the river, and also Wylie Park on the north side of town.
Horse races and Rodeo are held at Pacer Park on the western outskirts. Okotoks also has the Camp Okotoks childrens camp on the eastern side of town. Okotoks also has four golf courses: D'Arcy Ranch, Heritage Pointe, Crystal Ridge Golf Club and Cottonwood. The town has an indoor pool, a skateboard park, 3 ice arenas, a curling rink, a Rec centre, several ball diamonds, soccer field and tennis courts.
Okotoks has several neighbourhoods: Air Ranch Estates/Pencross , Cimarron , Cornerstone , Crystal Ridge , Downey Place , Drake Landing , Sheep River , Sunset , Tower Hill , Westmount/Westridge , Woodhaven,. There are three single-family developments underway: Cimarron on the town's south side, Sheep River Ridge in the southwest, and Crystalaire in the northeast. Prices range from $115,000 to $300,000.
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