Are you planning on living in Alberta but looking for a quiet location away from the big cities? If this is the case, then Lacombe could be the hidden gem you are looking for.
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, living in Lacombe, Alberta, offers many advantages for those wishing to move to Alberta, Canada.
The city has received many awards in recent years, but the most notable was a 5th place ranking in a Moneysense.ca survey of the best places to live in Canada.
The survey ranked 415 cities in Canada based on economy, affordability, healthcare, education, weather, amenities and cultural events.
This article gives you the crucial things you need to know about living in Lacombe and an honest assessment of the pros and cons of living in Lacombe.
Living In Lacombe – The Facts
|Population Growth 2016/2021||2.60%|
|Population Born in UK 2016 Census||Not Available|
|Ave Cost Real Estate April ’22||$322,000|
|Sales Tax||5% GST|
|Prov Income Tax Low Band*||10%|
|Prov Income Tax High Band*||15%|
|Crime Severity Index 2020**||60.51|
|Violent Crime Severity Index 2020**||55.85|
Where Is Lacombe?
Lacombe lies in central Alberta between the cities of Edmonton (to the north) and Red Deer (to the south). The distance from Lacombe to Edmonton is 125 km, and Lacombe to Red Deer is around 25km.
This attractive city sits in rolling parkland surrounded by lakes, with the Rocky Mountains to the west and the flatter prairies to the east.
The Lacombe population is around 14,000, with a growth rate of 2.6% pa, which is half the national average. The people of Lacombe are friendly, laid-back and more diverse than you would expect of a rural prairie community. This is mainly due to the presence of Burman University, which attracts students from all over Canada.
What Is The Weather Like In Lacombe?
Lacombe’s weather is typical of central Alberta, with long cold winters and warm/hot summers.
Winter temperatures often drop to minus 30 deg C but can feel colder with wind chill. Sadly, the area doesn’t benefit from warm Chinook winds that relieve southern Albertans from the bitter cold.
However, on a positive note, the climate is dry and sunny, and a typical winter’s day will be cold but very bright and sunny.
The low humidity leads to intense, spectacular sunrises and sunsets, the best I have seen anywhere. The colours of the sky are reflected in the snow turning the entire landscape the most amazing hues of orange, red, or pink.
Summers are also dry, with lots of sunshine and low rainfall. The low humidity means that hot summer days are rarely uncomfortable.
|Annual Rainfall (mm)||380|
|Annual Snowfall (mm)||106|
|Ave Hours Sunshine/Day||6.4|
|Ave Jan Temp (DegC)||-11|
|Ave July Temp (DegC)||17|
Is Living In Lacombe Expensive?
Lacombe’s property costs are somewhat lower than average for Alberta, as are prices in general.
The Living Wage for Lacombe in 2021 was $18.23 per hour, compared to an average of $21.00 for the province. The Living Wage is the hourly wage rate that each parent of a two-child family needs to earn to cover basic living costs.
What Is The Economy Of Lacombe Based On?
The economy of Lacombe is based on agriculture and supplemented by the oil and gas industry. Other significant employees are the financial and healthcare sectors, Burman University and the Lacombe Research and Development Centre.
The research centre is one of 20 centres in Canada dedicated to agricultural research. The centre mainly researches crop and livestock production within Alberta. Its claim to fame was the development of a new breed of pig, the Lacombe pig.
In the Moneysense survey referred to in our introduction, Lacombe received an excellent economic rating. The economic factors assessed included the unemployment rate, average income and a range of cost of living indicators.
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.
Does Lacombe Have Good Transport Connections?
Lacombe has excellent road connections. Firstly, it lies just off Highway 2, connecting the US border to Calgary, Edmonton and northern Alberta. Secondly, it is intersected by Highway 12, which runs east to west, giving easy access to the Rocky Mountains.
Unfortunately, Lacombe doesn’t have any local public transport, so living in Lacombe can be challenging without a car.
However, Alberta Regional Rail is currently working to establish a passenger rail service in the Calgary-Edmonton corridor. This service would pass through Lacombe.
Some good news is that living in Lacombe means you are just under an hour’s drive to Edmonton International Airport. The airport is conveniently situated on the south side of Edmonton, with annual passenger numbers of around 8 million (before the COVID outbreak).
Things To Do In Lacombe?
Lacombe doesn’t have nightlife. It has a few good restaurants and some lounges, but you will find that everything here closes pretty early.
However, I was surprised to learn that the city has several screens in its own movie theatre (Lacombe City Cinema).
What Sports Facilities Are There In Lacombe?
Lacombe Sportplex houses the Lacombe swimming pool and two ice arenas. The arenas are home to Lacombe’s minor hockey program; in summer, they are used for indoor lacrosse. Lacombe Curling Club is also based here.
Outdoor sports facilities include 12 baseball diamonds and three soccer pitches, and golf players have two options, Lacombe Golf Club and the Nursery Golf and Country Club.
What Sports Can I Watch In Lacombe?
Lacombe doesn’t have any teams of its own, but you have several options close by. If you are an ice hockey fan, you can drive to watch the following:
- Blackfalds Bulldogs Junior A – a 12-minute drive
- Red Deer Rebels WHL – a 20-minute drive
- Edmonton Oilers NHL – an 80-minute drive
Shopping In Lacombe
Lacombe has a decent selection of grocery stores, but you will probably need to travel to Red Deer if you want to buy clothes. You can visit Lacombe Farmers Market for fresh Alberta produce from late April to October.
What Outdoor Activities Can I Enjoy In Lacombe?
Lacombe is a great place for outdoor activities, and many Calgarians and Edmontonians head to this area to enjoy the lakes in the summer.
Lacombe County is home to Aspen Beach Provincial Park, where you can enjoy the sandy beaches of Gull Lake. The day-use area has a boat launch, a boardwalk, a concession, changing rooms and BBQ pits.
Sylvan Lake and Buffalo Lake are also easily accessible from the city, and many small lakes surround the city itself.
For something a bit different, the Kray Family Farm has a15 acre corn maze that kids (and adults!) will love.
Lacombe and Lacombe Country have countless winter activity options so that you can benefit from all that winter sun.
For example, you can head for one of the many frozen lakes where you can skate or try your hand at ice fishing. However, if you want something adventurous, you could take up snowkiting. This is a popular activity on Gull Lake, where people use kite power to ski or board the frozen lake.
In addition, the City of Lacombe has cleared ponds for you to skate on and groomed trails for hiking, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing.
There is a ski hill close at hand for downhill skiing. Medicine Lodge Ski Hill is a small volunteer-run resort around a half-hour drive west of Lacombe. Unfortunately, it doesn’t match up to the world-class resorts of the Rockies, although these more prominent resorts would be accessible for a minibreak.
Where Should I Live In Lacombe?
A large proportion of the residential properties in Lacombe are single-family homes, and I’m not aware of any “bad” areas.
The residential areas on the south side of town are close to the main amenities, including the main street (50th Avenue) and the Sportsplex. The housing here is a little denser than in many neighbourhoods to the north.
Properties on the north side of town generally have more space and are a little more peaceful. They have more parkland and are close to the large ponds in the city. This is area is agreat choice if you are considering living in Lacombe.
Is Living In Lacombe Lacombe Safe?
Living in Lacombe is very safe. The city’s crime rates are significantly lower than provincial and national averages.
What Is The Healthcare Like In Lacombe?
Lacombe has its own hospital offering a range of services, including a 24/7 emergency department and several doctor’s clinics.
However, 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.
Unfortunately, no doctors in Lacombe took on new patients at the time of writing. However, there were plenty of available family doctors in Red Deer, and there is also a walk-in clinic for those living in Lacombe.
What Are The Schools Like In Lacombe?
Alberta’s highly developed education system consistently performs well in international rankings. Furthermore, it has a reputation for being one of the best systems in Canada and the world.
Lacombe’s public schools fall under the Wolf Creek School 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 Lacombe?
The pros and cons of living in Lacombe 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 living in Lacombe.
Pros Of Living In Lacombe
- Peaceful rural location
- Sunny weather year-round
- Good road connections
- Close to a major city
- Close to an international airport
- Provincial taxes are lower than many
- Below average cost of living
Cons Of Living In Lacombe
- Long cold winters
- No nightlife
- You probably need a car
- Limited shopping options
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 Lacombe
Sources of Data Statistics Canada & Canadian Real Estate Association