Airdrie was first established as a railway siding in 1889 during the construction of the Calgary and Edmonton Railway, named for Airdrie, Scotland. Airdrie originated as a stopping point for steam trains next to Nose Creek. Only railway buildings existed until 1901 when the first farmhouse and barn was built, followed by a post office and store in that same year. The village of Airdrie was incorporated in 1909. The Nose Creek Valley Museum offers an overview of Airdrie's past and history.
Recent annexation of land by Airdrie to the south, coupled with recent expansion of Calgary's city limits in July 2007, have placed the two cities' boundaries within only a few kilometres of each other.
Airdrie is divided into four civic addressing quadrants. As of the 2012 census, the City of Airdrie recognized the following neighbourhoods, not including rural and annexation land.
In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the City of Airdrie had a population of 74,100 living in 26,298 of its 27,037 total private dwellings, a change of 20.3% from its 2016 population of 61,581. With a land area of 84.39 km2 (32.58 sq mi), it had a population density of 878.1/km2 (2,274.2/sq mi) in 2021.
In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the City of Airdrie had a population of 61,581 living in 21,661 of its 22,398 total private dwellings, a change of 42.3% from its 2011 population of 43,271. With a land area of 84.57 km2 (32.65 sq mi), it had a population density of 728.2/km2 (1,885.9/sq mi) in 2016.
In 2021, 74.7% of residents were white/European, 20.4% were visible minorities and 4.9% were Indigenous.
46.8% of Airdrie residents were Christians, down from 62.1% in 2011. 18.4% were Catholic, 11.3% were Protestant, and 11.8% were Christian n.o.s. 5.3% were other Christian denominations or Christian-related traditions, including 1.3% Latter Day Saints believers. 45.9% were non-religious or secular, up from 35.5% in 2011. 7.2% of the population belonged to other religions, up from 2.3% in 2011. The largest non-Christian religions were Islam (3.0%), Sikhism (2.1%) and Hinduism (1.0%).
Nose Creek Regional Park hosts the annual Airdrie Festival of Lights during the Christmas season, usually lasting for the whole month of December. Other annual festivals include the Canada Day Parade and the Airdrie Pro Rodeo. Airdrie's primary cultural venues include the Nose Creek Valley Museum and the Bert Church Live Theatre.
Nose Creek Park
Nose Creek Park is home to the first monument in Alberta to Philippine National Hero, José Rizal, which was inaugurated in October 2021.
Airdrie is the home of several sporting franchises. Major teams include the Knights of Airdrie, a senior men's lacrosse team that plays in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League. As well they have a Jr. B level hockey Team, the Airdrie Thunder, that competes in the Heritage Junior B Hockey League, and Team Airdrie, a Jr. C level hockey team that competes in the Calgary Jr. C Hockey League. They are also home to the CFR Chemical Bisons, a AAA Midget hockey team, playing out of the AMHL (Alberta AAA Midget Hockey League).
Airdrie is also the home of the Airdrie Irish () a SR MENS Semi Pro Alberta Football League. The Irish were formed in 2015 and play all home games at Airdrie's Genesis Place in summer months.
There is also a number of competitive junior and amateur sports with the largest being soccer, that call Airdrie home. Airdrie District Soccer Association (ADSA) has over 2000 children between the ages of 3 and 18 registered to its ever-growing program (www.airdriesoccer.com). With Airdrie being one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada, it is also home to eight competitive adult soccer teams playing within the Calgary Soccer Associations competition.
Airdrie has one fully francophone school, operated by the FrancoSud school board: École Francophone d’Airdrie (K-12)
Due to its proximity to Calgary, Airdrie receives radio and television broadcasts from the city (see Media of Calgary). It at present has no local television broadcasters but has a radio station, Air 106.1 FM and an accompanying community internet portal, DiscoverAirdrie.com. The city has two local newspapers, the Airdrie City View and the Airdrie Echo. A community newsletter, Here's the Scoop, was also published weekly and delivered door to door as part of a larger flyer package throughout the city until July 2020, at which time it was purchased by Airdrie City View. A quarterly magazine, AirdrieLIFE, is also available.
Shopping and services
Airdrie offers a full slate of resident services, with any services not available in the city being easily obtained nearby Calgary.
The city is served by a number of strip-mall developments, including Tower Lane Mall (a former enclosed shopping centre converted to a strip mall in the late 2000s) and Yankee Valley Crossing. On the city's south end, the Sierra Springs area is seeing the ongoing development of big-box retail, including a Walmart Supercentre and London Drugs. The city's north end includes Real Canadian Superstore and Canadian Tire locations and other major grocery chains such as Sobeys, Canada Safeway and Calgary Co-op are also located in the city.
Airdrie is located immediately north of the hamlet of Balzac, which is the location of the major regional shopping mall CrossIron Mills, which opened in 2009, and its neighbouring retail/business park development. In addition, north Calgary's numerous malls and retail areas are quickly accessible via Hwy. 2 and the extension of Calgary's Métis Trail into the Balzac/CrossIron Mills area.
^"Table I: Area and Population of Canada by Provinces, Districts and Subdistricts in 1911 and Population in 1901". Census of Canada, 1911. Vol. I. Ottawa: Government of Canada. 1912. pp. 2–39.
^"Table I: Population of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta by Districts, Townships, Cities, Towns, and Incorporated Villages in 1916, 1911, 1906, and 1901". Census of Prairie Provinces, 1916. Vol. Population and Agriculture. Ottawa: Government of Canada. 1918. pp. 77–140.
^"Table 8: Population by districts and sub-districts according to the Redistribution Act of 1914 and the amending act of 1915, compared for the census years 1921, 1911 and 1901". Census of Canada, 1921. Ottawa: Government of Canada. 1922. pp. 169–215.
^"Table 7: Population of cities, towns and villages for the province of Alberta in census years 1901–26, as classed in 1926". Census of Prairie Provinces, 1926. Vol. Census of Alberta, 1926. Ottawa: Government of Canada. 1927. pp. 565–567.
^"Table 12: Population of Canada by provinces, counties or census divisions and subdivisions, 1871–1931". Census of Canada, 1931. Ottawa: Government of Canada. 1932. pp. 98–102.
^"Table 4: Population in incorporated cities, towns and villages, 1901–1936". Census of the Prairie Provinces, 1936. Vol. I: Population and Agriculture. Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics. 1938. pp. 833–836.
^"Table 10: Population by census subdivisions, 1871–1941". Eighth Census of Canada, 1941. Vol. II: Population by Local Subdivisions. Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics. 1944. pp. 134–141.
^"Table 6: Population by census subdivisions, 1926–1946". Census of the Prairie Provinces, 1946. Vol. I: Population. Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics. 1949. pp. 401–414.
^"Table 6: Population by census subdivisions, 1871–1951". Ninth Census of Canada, 1951. Vol. I: Population, General Characteristics. Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics. 1953. p. 6.73–6.83.
^"Table 6: Population by sex, for census subdivisions, 1956 and 1951". Census of Canada, 1956. Vol. Population, Counties and Subdivisions. Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics. 1957. p. 6.50–6.53.
^"Table 6: Population by census subdivisions, 1901–1961". 1961 Census of Canada. Series 1.1: Historical, 1901–1961. Vol. I: Population. Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics. 1963. p. 6.77–6.83.
^"Population by specified age groups and sex, for census subdivisions, 1966". Census of Canada, 1966. Vol. Population, Specified Age Groups and Sex for Counties and Census Subdivisions, 1966. Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics. 1968. p. 6.50–6.53.
^"Table 2: Population of Census Subdivisions, 1921–1971". 1971 Census of Canada. Vol. I: Population, Census Subdivisions (Historical). Ottawa: Statistics Canada. 1973. p. 2.102–2.111.
^"Table 3: Population for census divisions and subdivisions, 1971 and 1976". 1976 Census of Canada. Census Divisions and Subdivisions, Western Provinces and the Territories. Vol. I: Population, Geographic Distributions. Ottawa: Statistics Canada. 1977. p. 3.40–3.43.
^"Table 4: Population and Total Occupied Dwellings, for Census Divisions and Subdivisions, 1976 and 1981". 1981 Census of Canada. Vol. II: Provincial series, Population, Geographic distributions (Alberta). Ottawa: Statistics Canada. 1982. p. 4.1–4.10. ISBN0-660-51095-2.
^"Table 2: Census Divisions and Subdivisions – Population and Occupied Private Dwellings, 1981 and 1986". Census Canada 1986. Vol. Population and Dwelling Counts – Provinces and Territories (Alberta). Ottawa: Statistics Canada. 1987. p. 2.1–2.10. ISBN0-660-53463-0.
^"Table 2: Population and Dwelling Counts, for Census Divisions and Census Subdivisions, 1986 and 1991 – 100% Data". 91 Census. Vol. Population and Dwelling Counts – Census Divisions and Census Subdivisions. Ottawa: Statistics Canada. 1992. pp. 100–108. ISBN0-660-57115-3.
^"Table 10: Population and Dwelling Counts, for Census Divisions, Census Subdivisions (Municipalities) and Designated Places, 1991 and 1996 Censuses – 100% Data". 96 Census. Vol. A National Overview – Population and Dwelling Counts. Ottawa: Statistics Canada. 1997. pp. 136–146. ISBN0-660-59283-5.