Monday, December 8, 2008

Okotoks: A Little Bit About The Town

We've been asked by a number of people coming to Calgary and surrounds to create and publish a series of guides to areas that people may consider as their future home. The logical starting point for this task was our home town of Okotoks. We're going to tackle Okotoks in a number of parts and to begin with, here's some key facts and information regarding the town.

Okotoks is a town situated on the Sheep River. We've covered Sheep River before on some of our blog items:
January 2008 - Walk Along Sheep River
Autumn 2008 - Sheep River
Wikipedia gives an overview of the source and flow of what is, the lifeblood of the town...
Wikipedia - Sheep River

By Eurpopean standards, the town is very young. It was only incorporated in 1904. Okotoks has been and is still undergoing a significant growth in its population. As recently as the year 2000, the population was less than 10,000. Today, (and contrary to the population figure on the picture above), it is about to push through the 20,000 mark. Demographically it is a young town: 83 per cent of the town is under 45 years of age, with 30 per cent under the age of 19.

Despite its growth, Okotoks retains a friendly and small-town feel and there remains a strong sense of community pride and spirit. If you like your facts, you'll like this publication by Okotoks Town Council.
Okotoks Fact File 2008.pdf

Okotoks lies about 18km (11 miles) south of the southern edge of Calgary, Alberta. Okotoks to Central Calgary is approximately 46.7 km (30 miles). How long that would take you to drive is a subject of some debate. It depends on a number of factors, such as whether you were trying to get to downtown Calgary in the rush hour, whether you were driving legally and what the road and weather conditions were like. In the very best case, you would probably budget about 35 mins to drive from Okotoks to downtown Calgary and add time accordingly to reflect rush hour and poor conditions. You can be fairly predictable in estimating that it takes about 17 minutes to drive from the northern reaches of Okotoks to the southern reaches of Calgary in good road conditions.

There isn't any public transport to speak of, however, Southland, the people that run the school buses around here, do operate a morning and evening shuttle coach service to and from downtown Calgary. You can get the details here.

There is a live debate about the provision of a commuter bus service to Calgary in 2009 and longer term discussion about a rail link but it would be foolhardy to envisage the latter arriving any time soon.

Okotoks prides itself on its sustainability and even has areas (Drake Landing) with sustainable housing.
Sustainable Okotoks

More on areas to live, schools, recreation and more will follow.