Are you planning a move to Alberta but looking for a quiet rural location away from the big cities? If so, you may be interested in living in Grande Cache, a mountain hamlet on the edge of the Rockies.
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, Grande Cache, Alberta, offers many advantages for those wishing to move to Alberta, Canada.
This community has suffered some ups and downs in recent years, but the economy is improving, partly thanks to a growing tourist industry. Live in a stunning location, surrounded by nature and benefit from unusually low property costs.
This article will give you all the key information you need about living in Grande Cache. In addition, we will provide you with an unbiased view of the pros and cons of living in Grande Cache to help you decide whether it is the place for you.
Living In Grande Cache – The Facts
Here are some key facts about this small town for anyone interested in living in Grande Cache.
Where Is Grande Cache?
Grande Cache is a hamlet in west-central Alberta. It is located on Highway 40 (known as Bighorn Highway), approximately 145 kilometres northwest of Hinton and 435 kilometres west of Edmonton.
This mountain community is at the northern edge of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains overlooking the Smoky River. It lies adjacent to Wilmore Wilderness Park, with panoramic views of mountains and river valleys.
What Is The Population Of Grande Cache?
The population of Grande Cache is around 3,000 in 2023. The latest federal census data released in 2022 showed a population of 3,037.
This data collected in 2021 showed a decline in the population of Grande Cache of 7.6% from 2016. The main reason for the decline is likely to be due to the closure of the local coal mine.
The average age of the population living in Grande Cache is 39, around 3 years below the national average of 41.9. The majority of those living in Grande Cache are white and English-speaking. Just 6% are classed as visible minorities, and the largest minority groups are Korean and Black.
What Is The Weather Like In Grande Cache?
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.
Grande Cache has an average January low of -15 deg C and an average July high of 20 deg C. Annual precipitation is around 700mm, which is pretty typical of Alberta.
Grande Cache benefits from chinooks in the winter. These warm, dry winds blow down from the mountains causing dramatic temperature changes. An increase of 10-20 deg C in one day is not uncommon.
What Is The Cost of Living Like In Grande Cache?
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.
The isolated nature of Granda Cache means that some goods and services are more expensive than provincial averages. However, this is more than offset by low property costs. The average property cost for those living in Grande Cache is around half the provincial average.
What Is The Grande Cache Economy Based On?
Historically Grande Cache was heavily dependent on a single coal mine and subject to boom or bust cycles. This mine temporarily closed a few years ago, forcing many residents to move on and causing a 25% drop in population.
Following this, the residents voted to dissolve the town, and the community took on hamlet status. Since then, the economy has diversified by opening a low/medium security correctional facility and developing tourism-related businesses in the area.
Is Grande Cache 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 Grande Cache are 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 Grande Cache 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.
Grande Cache has three public schools covering education from kindergarten to grade 12 as follows:
- Sheldon Coates Elementary School (K to grade 3)
- Summitview School (grades 4-8)
- Grande Cache Community High School (grades 9-12 & SonRise Christian Program K to grade 6)
What Is The Healthcare In Grande Cache 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 Grande Cache 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 is especially true of the smaller towns and cities. To find out about doctors accepting patients in any area, you can use Alberta Health’s online tool.
At the time of writing, there did not appear to be any family doctors taking on new patients in Grande Cache, and the closest walk-in clinic we could find was in Hinton.
However, Grande Cache Community Health Complex does offer a range of medical care, including 24/7 emergency services. The closest regional hospital can be found in Grande Prairie.
Pros And Cons Of Living In Grande Cache
The pros and cons of living in Grande Cache will vary from person to person, but whatever you are looking for, these are some key factors for you to consider.
Pros Of Living In Grande Cache
- Stunning location
- Abundant wildlife
- High sunshine hours
- Low provincial taxes
- Low housing costs
Cons Of Living In Grande Cache
- It May be too isolated for some
- A lack of family doctors
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.