Town of Strathmore
A vibrant community in Southern Alberta, the Town of Strathmore is home to more than 12,000 people and is best known for its surrounding farmlands and strong agricultural sector. In recent years, the Town of Strathmore has drawn greater interest toward oil and gas exploration efforts, with several oil and gas drilling wells located near the community.
A short commute east of Calgary, the Town of Strathmore is easily accessible from the major centre via the Trans-Canada Highway, with many residents regularly commuting between Strathmore and Calgary.
Home to Strathmore District Health Services, walking trails, bicycle paths, and an array of recreational opportunities, Strathmore offers a range of amenities that are more often found in larger cities, plus a warm community feel, making it the ideal rural living environment.
“Quality of Life is very ‘down home’ – it’s where you grew up, it’s quiet, and it’s a community where you want to raise your children,” Steve Grajczyk, Mayor of the Town of Strathmore, told The Canadian Business Journal. “Strathmore has a low crime rate, kids can play street hockey with no worries, it’s a clean community, and you have the same residential yards as Calgary without the hassles of the busy city.”
Gateway to the North
As the Western Canadian oil and gas sector has grown, so too has Strathmore. The Town of Strathmore ranked ninth nationwide in terms of population growth, with an increase of nearly 4,000 residents between 2000 and 2007.
Additionally, over the past three years, Strathmore has witnessed major growth in local commercial developments, from franchise chain restaurants and big box retail developers setting up shop in Strathmore. Strathmore does not have business tax which adds to the incentive. Strathmore was the proud winner of the 2012 Alberta Venture magazine’s Best Small Community for Business. As an arterial community, Strathmore is easily accessible from all directions, making it a logistics and transportation hub for those travelling from across Canada and the United States. Strathmore can be considered a regional business hub for the areas east of Calgary.
“I always call Strathmore the ‘Gateway to the North’ because industry-wise it’s the only way that big trucks can go up north to the oil sands,” Mayor Grajczyk detailed. “They have to come from southeast Calgary through our community.”
Despite the exceptional growth happening in Strathmore, the community experienced a bit of a slowdown in recent years as the economic recession took its toll worldwide. Nevertheless, the slowdown was moderate and manageable, and the Town of Strathmore has continued its marketing and promotional efforts, getting out the message of Strathmore. The expectation is slowed growth in the coming years, measuring about five per cent annually, and a much more accommodating and sustainable rate overall.
“We usually have about a five per cent growth every year,” Mayor Grajczyk summarized. “We have all of the amenities, including our new $21 million sewage treatment plant. We have everything here, it’s operating, and we can grow to about 30,000 people before we have to improve our water or wastewater infrastructure.
“My real big goal is marketing the community and letting people know what we have. We had a stigma for years because we didn’t have a large sewage treatment plant but now that it is in place, we are letting the world know that we are open for business.”
As such, the Town of Strathmore engages in several promotional initiatives to grow its recognition, from taking part in home and garden shows, to participating in events like the Global Petroleum Show and the Gas and Oil Expo, both hosted in Calgary.
“We are marketing 583 acres of industrial land, so the goods are here and it’s just a matter of getting people to Strathmore,” Mayor Grajczyk said. “I made trips across Canada to market Strathmore and to entice business to come here.”
Coming from a sales background, Mayor Grajczyk noted the importance of marketing the community and making it attractive for investors, new businesses, residents, and tourists, particularly the more than 30,000 visitors who flock to Strathmore every August for chuckwagon races, rodeo and the Running of the Bulls festival hosted by Strathmore Stampede.
“We are always improving the streets and making Strathmore attractive,” Mayor Grajczyk concluded. “I believe a community must have curb appeal and I believe in keeping the community extremely attractive from the minute you come to Strathmore.”