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Prepared by: Eamonn O’Gorman Tel: 001 403 966 6665 e-mail: eogorman@southernrealty.ca www.yournewlife.com


Background 

Okotoks is a town situated on the Sheep River. Wikipedia gives an overview of the source and flow of what is, the lifeblood of the town.

By European standards, the town is very young. It was only incorporated in 1904. Okotoks has been and is still undergoing a significant growth in its population. As recently as the year 2000, the population was less than 10,000. Today, it is about to push through the 20,000 mark. Demographically it is a young town: 83 per cent of the town is under 45 years of age, with 30 per cent under the age of 19.

Despite its growth, Okotoks retains a friendly and small-town feel and there remains a strong sense of community pride and spirit.

Okotoks lies about 18km (11 miles) south of the southern edge of Calgary, Alberta. Okotoks to Central Calgary is approximately 46.7 km (30 miles). How long that would take you to drive is a subject of some debate. It depends on a number of factors, such as whether you were trying to get to downtown Calgary in the rush hour, whether you were driving legally and what the road and weather conditions were like. In the very best case, you would probably budget about 35 mins to drive from Okotoks to downtown Calgary and add time accordingly to reflect rush hour and poor conditions. You can be fairly predictable in estimating that it takes about 17 minutes to drive from the northern reaches of Okotoks to the southern reaches of Calgary in good road conditions.


Background ď‚—

There isn't any public transport to speak of, however, Southland, the people that run the school buses, do operate a morning and evening shuttle coach service to and from downtown Calgary.

ď‚—

There is a live debate about the provision of a commuter bus service to Calgary in 2009 and longer term discussion about a rail link but it would be foolhardy to envisage the latter arriving any time soon.

ď‚—

Okotoks prides itself on its sustainability and even has areas (Drake Landing) with sustainable housing.


Housing ď‚—

Housing (generally speaking) is built around the concept of communities, known as subdivisions, and Okotoks has several: Air Ranch Developed in the last few years (2005), Air Ranch is an upscale community based around a private airstrip for those who own their own light aircraft! There is direct access to the taxiway and the airport runway. Air Ranch is still being developed today.

The mountain views are good from most lots. The houses in Air Ranch are quite unique. There is green space, golf course, ponds, 23 acre wildlife reserve and walking pathways.


Housing

Crystal Ridge, Green & Shores Developed from xxxx. Crystal Ridge, Crystal Green and Crystal Shores is a community based around a lake, a beach and Beach House. The Beach House is accessible to any address with Crystal in it along with some select few such as Milligan Drive and Bannister Drive. The beach is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. There are covered picnic areas and barbecues. In the winter, they set up a skating rink outside the Beach House and clear a path on the frozen lake for skaters.

There is a jetty where you can take out pedelo's and canoes, all facilities are covered in your annual lake fees (around $300 per year) along with the use of life vests, which must be worn.


Housing Cimarron Developed from 1992 and is still under development. It is overlooking the Sheep River. The Sheep River pathways offers great opportunity for biking, walking or running. Cimarron Meadows is a newer area southwest of Cimarron offering slightly smaller lots, but affordable housing. Close to Foothills Composite High School and Holy Trinity Academy.

Downey Ridge Developed from 1985 to 1992 with excellent access to Dr. Morris Gibson Elementary School, Okotoks Junior High School and Triplex Recreational Center. Many homes have mountain views with some backing to walking paths or parkland.

Drake Landing Developed in xxxx. Drake Landing is the first Solar Community in North America. Houses are designed to be heated by solar energy which is stored underground to cover needs during the winter months. Nice views and walking paths.


Housing Hunters Glen Developed from 1982 to 1992 making Hunters an established community with many homes facing the Sheep River Valley. The cul-de-sacs and crescents offer a quiet neighborhood with River Pathway System. Close to Big Rock Elementary and two high Schools. Rosemont/Crescent Heights Developed from 1970 to 1982 so a mature area, with lots of trees and largle lots. Close to Percy Pegler Elementary School, Okotoks Junior High School, and Triplex Recreational Center Sandstone Ridge This is considered to be fairly exclusive neighbourhood, it is mature and a number of properties have mountain views, it is raised on a hill so overlooks town, it is made up of a variety of small cul-de-sacs which feel quite secluded yet not isolated. Sheep River Ridge Development started in 1993 and is a quiet riverside neighbourhood. Sheep River has many high-end (if older) properties backing to the environmental reserve with a walking path along the river. Close to Big Rock Elementary School and Two high schools. Suntree Heights Developed from 1990 and some development is still underway. All the cul-de-sacs and crescents are connected with a series of walking paths and parks. Some lots have great mountain views. Close to Good Shepherd Elementary School, Okotoks Junior High School and Triplex Recreational Center.


Housing Suntree Village Developed between 1976-1983, the area has mature trees, large lots, mountain views and walking paths. There is a central park with playground, ponds and water fountains. Close to Good Shepherd Elementary, Percy Pegler Elementary School and Triplex Recreational Center. Tower Hill Developed from 1980-1985 and is an excellent starter home neighborhood which is close to the Good Shepherd Elementary, Percy Peglar Elementary, Okotoks Junior High and the Recreation Center in the area.

Westmount Developed started in xxx and is still under development. Many areas of Westmount have unobstructed views of the rolling prairie. There is also access to abundant trails and open spaces. The trail system links the neighborhood park with a tot lot, pocket parks, a pond, natural open spaces and a future school<a href="http://www.westmount-okotoks.ca/index4.html" target="_blank">Westmount</a> Westridge Developed from 1990 and is still under some development. Uniquely styled neighborhood in small town, "Old Alberta" style. High-end condominiums and executive homes. Close to Big Rock Elementary Schools. Woodhaven Developed from 1980 to 1989 so mature with lots of trees, parkland and a pathway system along the Sheep River. Close to Big Rock Elementary School


Unique High Street Okotoks is one of the few areas where Main Street has 3 names for one High Street: Elizabeth Street, Railway Street and McRea Street. This area of Okotoks has a number of unique shops, cafes & restaurants

Town Square

The Station was formerly the town's railway station where art exhibitions, programs and live theatre are now hosted. The Station is also home of the Visitor's Information Centre.

Okotoks Museum

Western Wheel Offices

The Old Town Hall

The New Town Hall


High Street Shopping

The High Street has a number of individual shops and antique stores, as well as clothing stores, dollar store, flower & gift shops and much more.

Finishing Touches & the Country Store (converted Church) Great for gifts, accessorising your home, Christmas decorations etc


High Street Cafes & Restaurants A flavour of downtown cafes and restaurants. Cafe Divine â&#x20AC;&#x201C; also offers cooking courses

Tea & Time Emporium: very nice spot for lunch. The cafe has clocks all over the walls, so any time is tea time! Lots of teas to choose, very cozy & good food.

Bistro Provence

79 Restaurant. This is a restaurant for adults only. The place to go if you want a break from the kids!


Southside Shopping

Okotoks has a second, much larger shopping area on the southern edges of the town. You can find the big stores such as Wal-mart, Canadian Tire and Sobeys Grocery Store, Safeway, drug stores, Staples, a Strip Mall including: Hallmark, Marks Work Wear, M&M Meat Shops, Reitmans, Pet store etc. There is also a number of banks, restaurants, gas stations and plenty of fast food options.


South Side Restaurants Rickyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

The George Pub Mr Mikes Steakhouse

Good Earth Cafe & Edo

Starbucks

Okotoks also has: Rickys, Original Joes, Reileys Cattlebar & Grill, Tim Hortons, Extreme Pita, A&W, Dairy Queen, Opa, Macdonalds, Coras, various pizza and Chinese places and much, much more.


Schools The schools in Okotoks are governed by the Foothills School Division. Schools in Okotoks appear to have a good reputation and are plentiful resulting in smaller classroom sizes. There are five elementary, two junior high and two senior high with new schools under construction. There are also private, specialty (performing arts) and catholic schools in the immediate area. You can usually choose an area that is in walking distance of a school.

Nursery & Kindergarten  Percy Pegler Kindergarten  Serendipity Pre-Kindergarten  Sunshine Nursery School  Big Rock Kindergarten  Dr Morris Gibson Kindergarten/Elementary Catholic Kindergarten & Schools  Christ the Redeemer Catholic Separate Regional Division  Good Shepherd Kindergarten/Elementary  St Marys Kindergarten/Elementary  John Paul II  Holy Trinity Academy High School  St Lukes Outreach Centre Holy Trinity Academy  St Paul’s Virtual School Ricky’s


Schools Public Schools  Percy Pegler Elementary School: (no website)- Tel: 403 938-4449  69 Okotoks Drive  Big Rock Elementary School  Dr Morris Gibson Kindergarten/Elementary Okotoks Junior High  Alberta High School of Fine Arts & Foothills Composite High School Private Schools  Edison School  Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School Edison School


Medical Centres Okotoks comes under the Calgary Health Region. Okotoks does not have a hospital but the nearest would be High River or Black Diamond. Call 911 for all emergency situations 

Black Diamond Hospital (10 minutes west)

Okotoks Health & Wellness, Black Diamond(20 minutes south)

High River Hospital (20 minutes south)

Walk in Health Centre in Cimarron (Okotoks Health & Wellness Centre)

Pet Health  Foothills Animal Hospital  Okotoks Animal Clinic


Churches Big Rock Baptist Church The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Evangelical Free Church Grace Lutheran Church Grace Lutheran Church Holy Cross Lutheran Church Okotoks Alliance Church St Peters Anglican Church St James Catholic Church Church of Jesus Christ United Church Of Canada Latter-day Saints Holy Trinity Church

Okotoks Alliance Church

Holy Cross Lutheran Church

Holy Trinity Church


Recreation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Natural Beauty

Okotoks has more than 40 km of interconnected walking/biking trails that pass by everything from the Sheep River to mountain views to backyards, to parks. There is also the Heritage Walking Tour. A brochure from the information office will give you history on the old buildings. Okotoks is also just an hours drive from beautiful Kannanaskis Country and two hours from Banff National Park. On the road out of Okotoks towards Black Diamond and Longview, is the Okotoks Erratic, one of the worlds largest erratics, known as The Big Rock. The erratic is situated in a prairie field, which are a common summertime sight in this area.

Bird Watching: While at the Okotoks Air Ranch, discover another form of flight - the Bird Sanctuary, where geese, ducks and other waterfowl make their home. The Okotoks Fish and Game Association has created a haven for these birds in a sanctuary located just off the road that leads into the Air Ranch. An elevated observation deck allows visitors to easily study the birds as they wade about the waters or set up nests along the shoreline.

Sheep River Park provides great family days out in the summertime. You will often see families picnicking and splashing around in the river. You can also find a quiet spot for fly fishing.


Recreation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Rec Centres & Arenas Centennial Centre & Arena: This multi-cultural complex is made up of a seniors' centre, youth space, meeting rooms, covered outdoor patio, commercial kitchen, and a 10,000-square-foot hall that can be divided into four smaller halls.

The Okotoks Recreation Centre houses twin ice arenas, both of official size, with full amenities and excellent seating and viewing areas. The swimming pool has four lanes, and is 25 metres long. Enjoy a vigorous swim, or relax in the whirlpool or sauna. If curling is your game, we have a 6 sheet curling rink with a full viewing lobby or a private viewing lounge. In spring, the Recreation Centre hosts the Okotoks Car Auction, where bidders from across North America bid on cars of every vintage and type.


Recreation - Sporting

The Falcons Football

The Okotoks Oilers Ice Hockey The Dawgs Baseball


Recreation - Golf Courses Crystal Ridge: Opened on August 8th, 2004 with great reviews. For those of you who have not had an opportunity to play it in for a treat. The 9 hole, 3125-yard, par 35 track features water and rockwork on every hole, with lots of mature trees, berms, sand traps and large undulating greens. It also has a clubhouse with two restaurants. The River's Edge Golf Club is now a full 18 hole facility, with grass tee driving range, Pro Shop, Licensed Clubhouse and Restaurant. The new north nine is a link style course, featuring the finishing hole as a true Island green par 3.

D'Arcy Ranch 18 hole Golf Course is one of the most unique courses in Western Canada. The terrain has been left in the most natural state possible, providing both novices and experts alike with an exciting and challenging game and a spectacular view of the mountains.


Recreation 

34-acre Triplex recreational complex with 2 indoor arenas, hot tub, sauna, and 4-lane indoor swimming pool

 2 football fields & 2 rugby fields  Tennis Courts

Public library

Outdoor ice rink

Two hockey rinks

21 parks and playgrounds

 40 slow pitch teams

Six indoor curling sheets

 Campgrounds & hiking trails

Leisure pool

Seven ball diamonds

 Outdoor track & field amenitis  400m rubberized running track

 Senior citizens country club  40 KM of interconnected hiking & biking

12 Soccer fields

trails


We have done our best to capture as much relevant information as possible. Of course we cannot include everything as the document would be way too big. All weblinks can be accessed via our blog: jan&eamblogspot.com

Okotoks Area Guide  

A guide to the town of Okotoks, Alberta

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