URBAN SERVICE AREAS
  Definition of an Urban Service Area

  A formal definition of an Urban Service Area has not been published on the Alberta Municipal Affairs website nor has it been researched by AltaPop to this date. However, the following unofficial definition has been provided by AltaPop in the interim. An Urban Service Area is a large unincorporated community within a Specialized Municipality that is recognized as an equivalent to a City by the Government of Alberta. It has a population, services, and other characteristics comparable to those experienced by Alberta’s incorporated Cities.

  Quick facts on Urban Service Areas
  Of Alberta’s countless Unincorporated Places, only two of them are considered Urban Services Areas. Sherwood Park, which is within Strathcona County east of the City of Edmonton, was Alberta’s largest Hamlet for a number of years until 2003 when it was eclipsed by the unprecedented growth of Fort McMurray, which is within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Fort McMurray was incorporated as a City until April 1, 1995 when it was amalgamated with a portion of its large surrounding rural municipality to create Wood Buffalo. Meanwhile, Sherwood Park has never experienced any incorporated status since it was first settled in December 1955.

TOWNSITES
  Definition of a Townsite

  A formal definition of a Townsite has not been published on the Alberta Municipal Affairs website nor has it been researched by AltaPop to this date. However, since there is only one instance of a Townsite in Alberta at the moment, a generalized unofficial definition that desicribes its uniqueness has been provided by AltaPop in the interim. A Townsite is an unincorporated settlement on a Reserve that has its own governing Council and is recognized as an equivalent to a Town by the Government of Alberta. It has a population, services, and other characteristics comparable to those experienced by Alberta’s incorporated Towns.

  Quick facts on Townsites
  Redwood Meadows, which is situated on the Tsuu T’ina Nation west of the City of Calgary, is the only Unincorporated Place in Alberta that is recognized as a Townsite to date. It is a community that was planned and developed by the Tsuu T’ina Nation and has a Council consisting of a Mayor and six Councillors. For more information about the Townsite of Redwood Meadows, visit its Official website.

HAMLETS
  Definition of an Hamlet
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  According to Section 590 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA), the Council of a Municipal District or a Specialized Municipality may designate an unincorporated community within its boundaries as a Hamlet if it consists of five or more dwellings on parcels of lands smaller than 1,850 m�, has a generally accepted boundary and name, and contains non-residential land. Section 590 of the MGA also states that the Minister of Municipal Affairs may designate an unincorporated community within the boundaries of an Improvement District as a Hamlet with a specified name and boundary. See Alberta’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs website for a further description of a Hamlet.

  Quick facts on Hamlets
  As of January 2004, Alberta Municipal Affairs recognized a total of 390 unincorporated communites as Hamlets. According to current census figures, the Hamlets of Cardiff, Clairmont, Fort Chipewyan, La Crête, Lake Louise, Landgon, and Wabasca-Desmarais are eligible to acquire Town status with populations greater than 1,000 people each. Meanwhile, numerous Hamlets are elgible to acquire Village status with populations greater than 300 people. Currently, Alberta’s largest Hamlet is La Crête, which is situated within the Municipal District of Mackenzie No. 23 in northern Alberta southeast of the Town of High Level.

UNINCORPORATED COMMUNITIES
  Definition of an Unincorporated Community
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  A formal definition of an Unincorporated Community has not been published on the Alberta Municipal Affairs website nor has it been researched by AltaPop to this date. However, the following unofficial definition has been provided by AltaPop in the interim. An Unincorporated Community is a settlement within a Rural Municipality that does not have incorporated municipal status nor does it meet the necessary criteria to be recognized by the Government of Alberta as an Urban Service Area, a Townsite, or a Hamlet. Unincorporated Communities typically have generally accepted names.

  Quick facts on Unincorporated Communities
  Alberta has countless Unincorporated Communities. Specific facts on these settlements will be provided after AltaPop pursues Alberta Municipal Affairs for a list of the Unincorporated Communities recognized by the Province.

DESIGNATED PLACES
  Definition of an Designated Place
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  According to Statistics Canada, a Designated Place is a small community or Métis Settlement that has a generally accepted name and boundary, but does not have an incorporated municipal status, nor is it large enough to be considered an unincorporated Urban Area by Statistics Canada. Designated Places are created by the Province of Alberta in cooperation with Statistics Canada. See Statistic Canada’s website for a further description of a Designated Place and for the specific criteria used in considering a community for Designated Place status.

  Quick facts on Designated Places
  As of the 2001 Federal Census, Statistics Canada recognized 260 of Alberta’s Unincorporated Places as Designated Places. These Designated Places include certain communities that are recognized as either Hamlets, Unincorporated Communities, or Rural Residential Subdivisions by the Province of Alberta. However, Statistics Canada does not recognize every single Hamlet or Unincorporated Community in Alberta, as presented above, as Designated Places. Note that at this time, Statistics Canada does not recognize the Urban Service Area of Fort McMurray and the Townsite of Redwood Meadows, also as presented above, as Designated Places.


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