Are you planning a move to Alberta but looking for a peaceful rural location away from the big cities? If so, you may be interested in living in Peace River, Alberta.
Peace River is a stunning riverside town in northern Alberta. It’s an excellent place for outdoor enthusiasts, including endless options for walking, hiking and biking, both in town and in the surrounding areas.
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, Peace River offers many advantages for those wishing to move to Alberta, Canada.
This article will give you all the key information you need about living in Peace River, Alberta. In addition, we will provide you with an unbiased view of the pros and cons of living in Peace River to help you decide whether it is the place for you.
Living In Peace River – The Facts
Here are a few key facts about this small town for anyone interested in living in Peace River.
Where Is Peace River?
Peace River lies in northwest Alberta, surrounded by aspen parkland. It sits on the banks of Peace River, at the point where it meets Smoky River, Heart River and Pat’s Creek.
It will take you almost 5 hours to drive southeast to Edmonton and 2.5 hours to drive southwest to Grand Prairie.
What Is The Population Of Peace River in 2023?
The population of Peace River in 2023 is 6,662, according to the latest Alberta provincial data.
The town has seen a small decline in recent years. The latest federal census data (released in 2022) showed a population of 6,619, representing a reduction in the population of Peace River of 3.3% between 2016 and 2021.
The average age of the population is 37, which is significantly lower than the national average of 41.9. The majority of those living in Peace River are white and English-speaking. Around 13% are classed as visible minorities, and the largest minority group is Filipino (just over 50%).
What Is The Weather In Peace River Like?
Most of Canada experiences cold, harsh winters with pleasant, moderately hot summers. 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 one of Canada’s sunniest provinces.
Peace River has summer highs of around 23 Deg C and winter lows of around -20 Deg C. Precipitation levels are low, and the town sees over 2000 hours of sunshine each year.
In addition, humidity is low, which means that the summer heat and (more importantly) the winter cold feel less extreme.
What Is The Cost of Living Like In Peace River?
Most immigrants find the cost of living high in Canada. However, Alberta is one of the cheaper provinces, and most Albertans have a high disposable income.
One reason for this is the relatively low cost of housing. The average price of a property in Alberta is around 30% lower than the average for Canada.
In addition, income and sales taxes are lower than in many provinces. For example, sales tax is just 5%, compared to 12% in BC, 13% in Ontario and 15% in Nova Scotia.
Peace River is a relatively cheap place to live; much of this is due to low property prices, even for Alberta. The average property in Peace River is around 40% of the average for the province.
What Is The Peace River Economy Based On?
The economy of Peace River is built on resource extraction, and this industry is still one of the biggest employers in the area. Other major employers are the Government of Alberta and DMI. DMI is a pulp mill located around 15km outside Peace River, employing close to 300 people.
Is Peace River 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.
Crime rates in Alberta are generally higher than Canadian averages, and in Peace River, crime rates are close to 3 times the national average.
What Are The Schools In Peace River 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.
There are three main public schools in Peace River: Springfield Elementary School (K-4), T.A. Norris Middle School (5-8) and Peace River High School (9-12). All offer instruction in both English and French Immersion.
In addition, Peace River Outreach Campus provides an alternative high school education for teen moms and at-risk students, and there are two religious school options.
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 Is The Healthcare In Peace River 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 Peace River 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. However, to find out about doctors accepting patients in any area, you can use Alberta Health’s online tool.
Peace River Community Health Centre offers various medical services to those living in Peace River, including 24/7 emergency care. For more specialist care, Beaverlodge Municipal Hospital is around a 2.5-hour drive away.
Pros And Cons Of Living In Peace River, Alberta
The pros and cons of living in Peace River will vary from person to person, but whatever you are looking for, these are key factors for you to consider.
Pros Of Living In Peace River, Alberta
- Beautiful rural location
- Great for outdoor enthusiasts
- Sunny climate
- Low precipitation
- Low housing costs
- Low provincial taxes
Cons Of Living In Peace River, Alberta
- High crime rates
- Too isolated for some
- 500km from the international airport
- Low winter daylight hours
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.