Are you planning a move to Alberta but looking for a quiet location away from the big cities? If so, you may be interested in living in Drumheller, a unique town known for its unusual landscape and world-famous dinosaur museum.
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 Drumheller, Alberta, offers many advantages for those wishing to move to Alberta, Canada.
Drumheller is a busy tourist destination in the summer with good amenities for its size and low housing costs.
This article will give you all the key information you need about living in Drumheller. In addition, we will provide you with an unbiased view of the pros and cons of living in Drumheller to help you decide whether it is the place for you.
Living In Drumheller – The Facts
Here are some key facts about this unique town for anyone interested in living in Drumheller.
Where Is Drumheller?
Drumheller can be found in south-central Alberta, around 140km northeast of Calgary. It lies on the Red Deer River, surrounded by a surreal landscape of hoodoos known as the Alberta Badlands.
What Is The Population Of Drumheller in 2023?
The population of Drumheller in 2023 is 7,968, according to the latest Alberta provincial data.
The town’s numbers have been relatively stable in recent years. The latest federal census data (released in 2022) showed a population of 7,909 living in Drumheller, representing a marginal decline in the population of Drumheller of 0.9% between 2016 and 2021.
The average age of the population is 44, around 2 years above the national average. The majority of those living in Drumheller are white and English-speaking. Some 12% are classed as visible minorities, and around half of the minority population is Filipino.
What Is The Weather Like In Drumheller?
Most of Canada experiences cold, harsh winters with pleasant, moderately hot summers, and Alberta is no different. However, the good news is that with 2,300 hours of sunshine in the south annually and 1900 hours in the north, it is Canada’s sunniest province.
Drumheller has an average January low of -19 deg C and an average July high of 27 deg C. Its climate is very dry, with annual precipitation of just 370mm.
What Is The Cost of Living Like In Drumheller?
Most Albertans have a high disposable income compared to other provinces of Canada. Income tax and sales tax are lower than in many provinces. Sales tax is just 5%, compared to 12% in BC, 13% in Ontario and 15% in Nova Scotia.
Living in Drumheller is relatively cheap. Property costs are low compared to the Alberta average, and big box stores such as Walmart and Canadian Tire help keep goods costs down.
What Is The Economy Of Drumheller Based On?
Drumheller was originally built on the back of coal mining. However, its primary industry is now tourism, thanks to the Royal Tyrrell Museum and its location in the Alberta Badlands.
Oil and gas have also been important to the economy of Drumheller, although the town is moving towards renewable sources of energy such as wind power.
Other significant employers are a federal prison and a regional health centre.
Is Drumheller A Safe Place To Live?
Canada is one of the safest countries in the world to live in. Crime rates are low, and the country always features near the top of the annual Global Peace Index rankings.
Within Canada, Quebec, Ontario and the Maritime provinces have the lowest crime rates, while rates are highest in the territories.
Alberta crime rates are higher than the national average, and crime rates in Drumheller are a little higher than Alberta averages. However, you should remember that crime rates are still low compared to most other developed countries.
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 Schools In Drumheller Like?
Canada has a strong and publicly-funded education system, which consistently ranks as one of the best in the world. Education is administered at a provincial level, and the Alberta education system is considered one of the best in Canada.
Drumheller has three schools. Greentree Elementary School, Drumheller Valley Secondary School, plus a Catholic school. The public high school is proud of the international program, which exposes youngsters to a diverse range of customs from all over the world.
In addition, Campus Alberta Central (CAC) provides post-secondary education opportunities in the area.
What Is The Healthcare In Drumheller Like?
Canada has an excellent publicly-funded healthcare system which covers “medically necessary” care. Generally, hospital and doctor visits are covered, while other types of care, such as dental, optical and prescriptions, are funded for certain groups of people.
In Canada, healthcare is administered at a provincial level, so anyone living in Drumheller would be covered through Alberta Health Services.
You should be aware that there is currently a shortage of family doctors in Alberta, and it can be difficult to find clinics taking on new patients. This can be especially true of the smaller towns and cities.
However, Drumheller had several doctors taking on new patients at the time of writing. You can check the availability of family doctors for any area in the province using Alberta Health’s online tool.
Drumheller has a regional health centre with a good range of hospital and medical services. This includes 24/7 emergency care. However, for some specialist services, you may need to travel to Calgary (around 140km).
Pros And Cons Of Living In Drumheller
The pros and cons of living in Drumheller will vary from person to person. For example, you may love the unique landscape, while others may find it a little bleak, especially in winter. Whatever you are looking for, these are some key factors for you to consider.
Pros Of Living In Drumheller
- Low housing costs
- Rural location
- Low provincial taxes
- Fascinating landscape
- Hiking trails within Badlands
- Calgary is easily accessible.
- Calgary Airport is easily accessible.
Cons Of Living In Drumheller
- Potentially bleak in winter
- Some may find it isolated
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.