is a city in central Alberta
. It is located near the midpoint of the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor
, and is Alberta's third most populous city—after Calgary
. Red Deer is located in aspen parkland
, a region of rolling hills focused on oil, grain, and cattle production. The city is a centre for oil and agriculture distribution, and the surrounding region is a major centre for petrochemical production.
Red Deer County surrounds the city.
The city takes its name from Scottish immigrants who, seeing both White Tail and Mule Deer, mistook them for the deer of their ancestral home. Thus a river flowing through this area would be called the Red Deer River, and may have been originally called was-ka-soo which means "elk river" in the Cree aboriginal language. Waskasoo is a tributary creek of the Red Deer River and is also a neighborhood overlooking the Red Deer River.
Red Deer is the hometown of several famous people, including former NHLer Ron Anderson, ex-NHLer Glen Wesley, Trent Hunter and Mark Trinordi, and Olympic gold medalist Jamie Salé. Olympic medallist speed skater Jeremy Wotherspoon also spent most of his childhood in Red Deer after being born in Saskatchewan. Olympic bronze medallist Deidra Dion grew up in Red Deer.
Red Deer Transit provides local bus service throughout the city.
- Prior to European settlement, the area was inhabited by aboriginal tribes (Blackfoot, Plains Cree, and Stoney) and later by Métis and fur traders.
- The city was named for the 'Red Deer' looking deer (actually Mule and White Tail Deer) romantically misidentified by Scottish settlers. The Red Deer River runs through it.
- The first major road from Fort Calgary to Fort Edmonton was called the Calgary and Edmonton Trail (abbreviated to C&E Trail) and it crossed the Red Deer River near the present city at Red Deer Crossing. It is now known as the C and E Trail.
- In 1882, a trading post was established at Red Deer Crossing.
- During the Riel Rebellion of 1885, the Canadian militia constructed Fort Normandeau at the Crossing, which was later taken over by the North-West Mounted Police, who used it until 1893.
- By 1891, the Calgary and Edmonton Railway laid track east of the Crossing at the present site of the city.
- In 1901, Red Deer was incorporated as a town with a population of 343.
- In 1907, it became a major divisional point for the Canadian Pacific Railway.
- In 1911, the Alberta Central Railway and the Canadian Northern Railway entered the town.
- On March 25, 1913, Red Deer was incorporated as a city with a population of nearly 2800.
- In 1922, the province established an institution in Red Deer to care for the mentally disabled, now called the Michener Centre. It is currently out of use and, due to an unfortunate lightening strike in 2003, is in a dilapidated state. Currently several organizations are looking to refurbish and move into the Michener Centre.
- In the late 1950s, Red Deer claimed to be the fastest-growing city in Canada.
- By roughly 1991 the Canadian Pacific Railway had been removed from the inner city; the track currently runs parallel to the city outskirts. The most prominent landmark of the railway remaining is the CPR bridge spanning the Red Deer River, converted to a walking trail shortly after the track removal.
Red Deer College
was founded in 1964 as Red Deer Junior College.
Today, it offers some degrees, adult upgrading, certificate programs, diploma programs, university transfer courses, applied degree programs, and apprenticeship and trades training.
In 2006, Red Deer had a population of 82,772 living in 33,894 dwellings
, a 22.0% increase from 2001. The city has a land area of and a population density
Nearly 90% of residents spoke English as a first language while 1.7% spoke Spanish and 1.6% spoke French. The next most common languages were Tagalog (Filipino) at 1.1%, German at 1.0%, and Chinese at 0.8%, followed by Dutch at 0.6%, Ukrainian at 0.4%, and Vietnamese at 0.3%.
About 4.4% of residents identified as aboriginal at the time of the 2006 census.
Red Deer is home to almost 1,800 recent immigrants (arriving between 2001 and 2006) who now make up just more than 2% of the population. About 16% of these immigrants came from the Philippines, while about 14% came from Colombia, 8% came from India, 7% came from the United States, and about 5% from each of South Africa and the United Kingdom, and about 4% from El Salvador.
Almost 72% of the residents are identified as Christian and over 26% said they had no religious affiliation for the 2001 Census. For specific denominations Statistics Canada counted 14,660 Roman Catholics (22%), and 10,970 United Church (16.5%), 3,720 Anglicans (5.6%), 3,065 Lutherans (4.6%), as well as about 1,305 Baptists (2%), and about 1,200 Pentecostals (1.8%), about 1,060 Presbyterians (1.6%), about 905 for the Christian and Missionary Alliance (1.5%), and about 650 Jehovah's Witnesses (1.0%), as well as about 585 for the Evangelical Missionary Church (0.9%) and 455 Mormons (0.7%).
In a July 2007 analysis of demographic information from the 2006 Federal Census prepared by Environics Analytics, Red Deer was the city most closely resembling the country as a whole.