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 Jasper, a mountain town within the Jasper National Park.
This tourist town, nestled in the Rocky Mountains, has thousands of kilometres of trails on its doorstep and easy access to some of the best skiing in the country.
Living in Jasper means living in one of the most beautiful places in the world; you will be surrounded by mountains, fast-flowing rivers and a winter wonderland in the colder months.
This article will give you all the key information you need about living in Jasper. In addition, we will provide you with an unbiased view of the pros and cons of living in Jasper to help you decide whether it is the place for you.
Living In Jasper – The Facts
For anyone interested in living in Jasper, here are a few key facts about this small mountain town.
Where Is Jasper?
You will find Jasper on the western edge of Alberta, close to the British Columbian border. It is almost equal distances from Edmonton (390 km to the east) and Calgary (415 km to the southeast). Both cities have international airports, but the trip to Edmonton is around one hour quicker (just under 4 hours).
One downside (although maybe an upside for some) is that living in Jasper is relatively isolated. The next biggest community is Hinton, around one hour west, with a population of around 10,000. Hinton has some big box stores such as Walmart, Canadian Tire and Mark Workwear, but you may find yourself travelling to Edmonton for some types of purchases.
What Is The Population Of Jasper in 2023?
The population of Jasper in 2023 is around 4,800, and the town has seen small but steady growth in recent years.
The latest federal census data (released in 2022) showed the population of Jasper at 4,738, representing a growth in the population of Jasper of 2% between 2016 and 2021.
The average age of the population living in Jasper is 40.6, slightly lower than the national average of 41.9, and the majority of those living in Jasper are white and English-speaking.
However, around 17% of the population of Jasper are classed as visible minorities, which is higher than most Alberta communities. The largest minority group is Filipino (almost 50%).
The town also has significant numbers of temporary seasonal workers employed in the services/hospitality industries. These are generally younger single people.
What Is The Weather Like In Jasper?
Most of Canada experiences cold, harsh winters with pleasant moderately-hot summers, and Alberta is no exception. 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.
Jaspers’s weather is surprisingly moderate compared to some regions of Canada. For example, the average low in January is around -9 deg C, and the average high in July is around 21 deg C.
Its mountain location means the weather can be a little unpredictable, but the climate is relatively dry, with annual precipitation of around 600mm per annum.
Are You Planning A Move To Canada?
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We have the answers to these and many more questions.
What Is The Cost of Living In Jasper Expensive?
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.
On the downside, property prices are pretty high in Jasper (almost double the provincial average), and the remote location means that other costs can be higher than elsewhere in Alberta.
However, if you have a car, you can make the hourly trip to Hinton to stock up at the big box stores.
What Is The Economy Of Jasper Based On?
Jasper’s location in the national park limits development, including manufacturing and extraction of natural resources. Its main industry is tourism, and a high proportion of the population work in the hospitality industry. The town is popular with young seasonal workers or those working gap years.
You should note that national park regulations impose eligibility requirements for anyone wanting to live in the park. This means that (with a few exceptions) you need to work in the park to live in the park.
Is Jasper 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 (including violent crime) in Jasper are higher than Alberta averages. However, crime is still low compared to most other developed countries, and I have always felt perfectly safe in Jasper, even late at night.
What Are The Schools Like In Jasper?
Canada has a strong and publicly-funded education system, which consistently ranks as one of the best in the world. The province administers education at a provincial level, and the Alberta education system is considered one of the best in Canada.
The town has two public schools which fall within the Grande Yellowhead School division. These are the Jasper Elementary School and the Jasper Junior/Senior High School, and both schools offer French immersion programs. In addition, there is a small French language school, Ecole Des Rochers.
What Is The Healthcare In Jasper 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 Jasper would be covered through Alberta Health Services.
Jasper has a small hospital offering 24/7 emergency care and several family doctors. However, 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. However, you can find out about doctors accepting patients in any particular area using Alberta Health’s online tool.
Pros And Cons Of Living In Jasper
The pros and cons of living in Jasper will vary from person to person; for example, the relatively isolated location may be ideal for some people but a disadvantage to others. But, whatever you are looking for, these are some key factors to consider.
Pros Of Living In Jasper
- Stunning location
- Great outdoor lifestyle
- Access to ski hills
- Range of restaurants & bars
- High sunshine hours
- Low provincial taxes
Cons Of Living In Jasper
- Limited shopping options
- Crime rates above average
- High property cost
- Relatively 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.