Downtown Camrose Alberta (Source Janusz Sliwinski – Under Creative Commons License)
Are you planning a move to Alberta but not interested in big-city living? You may be interested in living in Camrose, a smaller city with good amenities and peaceful rural locations.
In a Moneysense.ca survey of the best places to live in Canada, Camrose ranked 11th out of 415 cities in Canada. Camrose’s highest-ranking indicators in this survey were based on its economy and affordability.
Although not as well known as the popular Calgary commuter towns of Okotoks and Cochrane, or the incredibly picturesque mountain towns of Banff, Canmore and Jasper, Camrose offers many advantages for those wishing to move to Alberta, Canada.
This article will give you all of the basic facts you need about living in Camrose. In addition, we will provide you with an unbiased view of the pros and cons of living in Camrose to help you decide whether it is the place for you.
Living In Camrose – The Facts
|Population Growth 2016/2021||0.20%|
|Population Born in UK 2016 Census||Not Available|
|Ave Cost Real Estate April ’22||$289,000|
|Sales Tax||5% GST|
|Prov Income Tax Low Band*||10%|
|Prov Income Tax High Band*||15%|
|Crime Severity Index 2020**||92.24|
|Violent Crime Severity Index 2020**||65.07|
Where Is Camrose?
Camrose is the regional centre for Camrose County in central Alberta. Its closest major cities are Edmonton (to the northwest) and Calgary (to the southwest). The distance from Camrose to Edmonton is around 90 km, almost 300km from Calgary.
The city has prairies to the south, boreal forest to the north, and the Rocky Mountains to the west, and its surrounding countryside is attractive and filled with lakes.
What Is The Population Of Camrose in 2023?
The population of Camrose in 2023 is 19,847, according to the latest Alberta provincial data.
The town has seen marginal growth in recent years. The latest federal census data (released in 2022) showed a population of 18,772, representing a growth in the population of Camrose of 0.2% between 2016 and 2021.
There is less diversity than you would find in many Canadian cities, but this is typical of a rural Albertan community. The majority of the population of Camrose is white and English speaking.
Around 10%of residents are classed as visible minorities, and most of these are either Filipino or South Asian.
However, the presence of a University of Alberta campus partly counters the lack of diversity. More than 1000 students attend the university full-time, including around 15% from overseas.
What Is The Weather Like In Camrose?
Camrose has four distinct seasons, with the long cold winters you would expect of Canada.
However, the relatively dry and sunny climate results in pleasant summers. Also, the area doesn’t suffer from the high humidity you find in some regions of Canada (e.g. Toronto), so the summer weather is rarely uncomfortable.
Winters can be bitterly cold, and temperatures minus 30 deg C are not uncommon. Unfortunately, the city doesn’t experience the warm Chinook winds, which benefit much of southern Alberta.
However, Camrose is blessed with a sunny climate which means bright, dry, and sunny winter days. The low humidity in winter gives rise to stunning sunsets and sunrises, where the snow reflects the colours of the sky.
|Annual Rainfall (mm)||326.3|
|Annual Snowfall (mm)||113.5|
|Ave Hours Sunshine/Day||6.3|
|Ave Jan Temp (DegC)||-12|
|Ave July Temp (DegC)||17|
What Is The Cost Of Living In Camrose, Alberta?
Living costs in Camrose are lower than the national average. Property and rental prices are lower than provincial averages and significantly lower than average prices for Canada. In addition, Alberta’s sales and income taxes are lower than many other Canadian provinces.
What Is The Economy Of Camrose Based On?
Camrose’s economy has performed steadily in recent years. Unlike much of Alberta, the oil and gas industry doesn’t drive the economy; therefore, the city avoids the “boom or busts” cycles that dominate many communities.
The most significant industry in the region is agriculture, supported by other sectors such as manufacturing and services. In addition, Camrose is a regional hub for the surrounding rural areas, with many employed in retail, finance, health and education.
Does Camrose Have Good Transport Connections?
Road connections to Camrose are good. Highway 21 will get you to downtown Edmonton in around 75 minutes, while Highway 13 West will connect you to Highway 2. Highway 2 is a major north-south route that connects the US border, Calgary, Edmonton and northern Alberta.
Public transport options in Camrose aren’t great, and many people find they need a car. For example, if you want to get to Edmonton, you will probably need to drive yourself.
There is a community bus service within Camrose that loops the city. At the time of writing, the service operated on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, with an on-demand service on other days of the week.
Some good news is that you can get from Camrose to Edmonton International Airport in under an hour. The airport, located on the south side of Edmonton, is a major airport with annual passenger numbers of around 8 million (before the COVID outbreak).
Things To Do In Camrose
Camrose Restaurants & Evening Entertainment
Camrose has some good restaurants and bars; some are in the downtown area, with the remainder scattered along 48th Avenue. However, the nightlife isn’t great, and most places close early. For a lively night scene, you would need to travel to Edmonton.
Other evening entertainment options include:
- The Magic Lantern Theatre – a movie theatre with 5 screens.
- Bailey Theatre – a multipurpose venue for music, plays, and other events.
- Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre – offers a variety of live performances.
- Camrose Casino – on the southeastern edge of the city.
What Sports Facilities Are There In Camrose?
Camrose recreation centre houses two arenas (Encana Arena Camrose and Max McLean Arena), an aquatic centre and Camrose Curling Club.
In addition, the city has a good range of outdoor facilities, including baseball diamonds, soccer pitches, basketball courts, a football field, and tennis and pickleball courts. You can find Camrose Golf Course on the northwest side of town.
What Sports Can I Watch In Camrose?
The only sports team in Camrose is the Camrose Kodiaks Junior A ice hockey team. However, if you are prepared to travel to Edmonton, you have several options, including the Edmonton Oilers National Hockey League team and the Edmonton Elks Canadian Football League team.
Shopping In Camrose
Camrose’s role as a regional centre means that shopping options are suitable for a city of size. The stores are concentrated on the west side of town off 48th Avenue, with some small boutique stores in downtown.
The main shopping area has big box stores such as Walmart and a small mall. Duggan Mall includes clothing and jewellery stores, a food court and a movie theatre.
What Outdoor Activities Can I Enjoy Living In Camrose?
In a city the size of Camrose, it doesn’t take long to escape into the surrounding countryside. However, the town has an extensive system of parks and trails (over 37km) running through its core.
Mirror Lake and Mirror Lake Park are dominant features of the city. You will find playgrounds, boat launches, piers, and picnic spots here.
The surrounding area has many lakes for enjoying year-round activities such as skating, fishing (including ice fishing), golf and boating/canoeing.
Are You Planning A Move To Canada?
Are you wondering whether to make the move and have endless questions?
We have the answers to these and many more questions.
What Are The Best Neighbourhoods In Camrose?
A few of the popular areas for people living in Camrose are as follows:
- Downtown & College Area – The downtown area is close to bars and restaurants. It is also near the university area and popular with students.
- Mount Pleasant & Rosedale – These two areas lie to the university’s west on the south side of Mirror Lake. They are well-established areas close to schools, the recreation centre, Mirror Lake and Jubilee Park.
- Duggan Park & Southwest Meadows – These are newer areas on the west side of town. They are further from many of the city’s amenities but have easy access to Edmonton and the airport.
- Victoria Park & Creekside – Located on the north side of Camrose, these communities are well spread out with great views of the surrounding countryside. Some premium properties here back onto the golf course.
- Valleyview & Valleyview West – At the southern end of town, these are peaceful areas away from the main downtown and college areas. There is a range of townhouses, duplexes and single-family homes here.
Is Camrose A Safe Place To Live?
Canada’s crime rates are generally low compared to many countries, and Camrose compares well to the rest of Canada. Camrose’s crime severity index is marginally higher than national averages, but its violent crime index is significantly lower.
What Is The Healthcare In Camrose Like?
Camrose has its own hospital offering acute care services and a 24/7 emergency department.
There is currently a shortage of family doctors in Alberta, and it can be difficult to find clinics taking on new patients. This is especially true of the smaller towns and cities. Alberta Health has an online tool to search for doctors accepting patients in a particular area.
However, at the time of writing, there were doctors in Camrose taking on new patients and a walk-in clinic.
What Are The Schools In Camrose Like?
Alberta’s highly developed education system consistently performs well in international rankings. Furthermore, it is one of the best education systems in Canada and the world.
Camrose’s public schools fall under the Battle River Schools Division. Annual performance reports indicate that the quality of education within the area is closely in line with Alberta norms.
There are elementary, middle, and high schools within the city, with dual-track English and French Immersion available for all age ranges.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Living In Camrose?
The pros and cons of living in Camrose will vary from person to person. For example, a peaceful location may be a pro for a young family but a con for a young couple looking for lively nightlife.
Whatever you are looking for, these are the primary considerations for anyone interested in moving to Camrose.
Pros of Living in Camrose
- A small city in a rural area
- Good amenities for its size
- Good road connections
- Close to a major city
- Close to an international airport
- Provincial taxes low
- Below average cost of living
- Sunny climate
- Attractive location
Cons of Living in Camrose
- Public transport is very limited
- Long cold winters
- Lack of nightlife
If you are interested in checking out other small towns in Alberta, you may be interested in our article on the 16 Best Small Towns In Alberta To Live In 2023.
FAQs – Living In Camrose, Alberta
Sources of Data Statistics Canada & Canadian Real Estate Association