|Region||Edmonton Metropolitan Region|
|Census division||No. 11|
|- Municipal district||1943|
|- Specialized municipality||January 1, 1996|
|Named for||Donald Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal|
|• Mayor||Rod Frank|
|• Governing body|
Strathcona County Council
|• Seat||Sherwood Park|
|• Land||1,170.65 km2 (451.99 sq mi)|
|• Density||84.8/km2 (220/sq mi)|
|• Municipal census (2015)||95,597|
|• Estimate (2020)||103,166|
|Time zone||UTC-7 (MST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-6 (MDT)|
Strathcona County is a specialized municipality in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region within Alberta, Canada between Edmonton and Elk Island National Park. It forms part of Census Division No. 11.
Strathcona County is both urban and rural in nature. Approximately 73% of its population lives in Sherwood Park, which is an urban service area east of Edmonton remains an unincorporated hamlet. The balance lives beyond Sherwood Park within a rural service area.
In Treaty 6, the First Nations ceded their title to the land that would become Strathcona County. Local governance began in 1893 when the North-West Territorial Legislature established an area east of Edmonton as Statute Labour District No. 2. It then grew in size over the following decade and was renamed Local Improvement District (LID) No. 517 in 1913. In 1918, LID No. 517 became a municipal district under the name of the Municipal District (MD) of Clover Bar No. 517. At the same time, the neighbouring LID No. 518 to the south became the MD of Strathcona No. 518.
The MD of Clover Bar No. 517 and the MD of Strathcona No. 518 amalgamated on March 1, 1943 into a larger municipal district under the name of the MD of Strathcona No. 517. It was subsequently renumbered as the MD of Strathcona No. 83 in 1945. Upon further amalgamating with the Clover Bar School Division No. 13, the MD of Municipal District No. 83 incorporated as a county under the name of the County of Strathcona No. 20 on January 1, 1962. Its county status reverted to municipal district status in 1995 when the County Act was repealed by the provincial legislature though its name remained County of Strathcona No. 20. Its name was officially changed to Strathcona County on April 26, 1995. Shortly thereafter, Strathcona County's status was changed from municipal district to specialized municipality on January 1, 1996.
The purpose of Strathcona County's change to specialized municipality status was to provide "for the unique needs of a municipality that includes both a large urban centre and a significant rural territory and population." The status change specifically designated Strathcona County's large urban centre, Sherwood Park, as an urban service area deemed equivalent to a city. Its remaining rural territory was specifically designated a rural service area deemed equivalent to a municipal district.
Strathcona County is in the central portion of the province of Alberta and forms the eastern portion of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. It borders Lamont County to the northeast, Improvement District No. 13 (Elk Island National Park) to the east, Beaver County to the southeast, Leduc County to the south, the City of Edmonton to the west, the City of Fort Saskatchewan to the northeast, and Sturgeon County to the north. The North Saskatchewan River forms its municipal boundary with Sturgeon County. Some of its water bodies include Cooking Lake, Half Moon, and Hastings Lake.
The following urban municipalities are surrounded by Strathcona County.
The following localities are located within Strathcona County.
|Source: Statistics Canada|
In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Strathcona County had a population of 99,225 living in 37,128 of its 38,203 total private dwellings, a change of 1.2% from its 2016 population of 98,024. With a land area of 1,170.65 km2 (451.99 sq mi), it had a population density of 84.8/km2 (219.5/sq mi) in 2021.
|Component||2018 population||2015 population|
|Sherwood Park urban service area||71,332||68,782|
|Rural service area||27,049||26,815|
|– Hamlet of Antler Lake||435||—|
|– Hamlet of Ardrossan||532||—|
|– Hamlet of Collingwood Cove||376||—|
|– Hamlet of Half Moon Lake||214||—|
|– Hamlet of Hastings Lake||104||—|
|– Hamlet of Josephburg||118||—|
|– Hamlet of North Cooking Lake||57||—|
|– Hamlet of South Cooking Lake||270||—|
|Total Strathcona County||98,381||95,597|
The population of Strathcona County according to its 2018 municipal census is 98,381, a change of 2.9% from its 2015 municipal census population of 95,597. Its 2018 population includes 71,332 or 72.5% living in the Sherwood Park urban service area and 27,049 or 27.5% in the rural service area.
In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Strathcona County had a population of 98,044 living in 35,567 of its 36,354 total private dwellings, a change of 6% from its 2011 population of 92,490. With a land area of 1,182.78 km2 (456.67 sq mi), it had a population density of 82.9/km2 (214.7/sq mi) in 2016.
Strathcona County has over $12.0 billion worth of industrial projects completed, announced, or under construction. This is aided in part by the concentration of oil refineries on the west side of Sherwood Park. This district, known as Refinery Row, includes some of the largest industrial facilities in Western Canada, such as Imperial's Strathcona Refinery. Originally built in the 1940s, a new refinery was constructed in 1976 and is one of the largest refining facilities in Canada. As well, the Suncor's Edmonton Refinery produces 142,000 barrels per day (22,600 m3/d) of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and aviation gasoline. This refinery sits on 247 hectares of land and has been operating for over 65 years. A founding member of Alberta's Industrial Heartland, Strathcona County is home to Canada's largest hydrocarbon refining cluster.
The leading industries in Strathcona County as of 2020[update] are extraction, manufacturing, scientific, construction, trucking and engineering.
Strathcona County is home to more than 11,000 businesses, with 3,500 of those businesses comprising employees. A market area population of 1.4 million has resulted in household spending power of $5.6 billion. Strathcona County has over 15,800 highly-skilled graduates available with 94% of residents holding a diploma, certificate, or degree. Within the active business community, there are several resources available to local entrepreneurs to help support their businesses:
Strathcona County Library is a publicly funded library with its main branch in Sherwood Park. Its bookmobile provides service to rural residents through 14 regular weekly stops.
Elk Island National Park is adjacent to Strathcona County to the east.
Unlike most Albertan municipal districts, where council appoints a reeve, Strathcona County elects a mayor. Rod Frank was elected in 2017, replacing Roxanne Carr who was elected in 2013.
Strathcona County is home to two public airports. Cooking Lake Airport, which operates as a condo board, accommodates 87 per cent of Strathcona County's public aeronautical transportation needs. It is also the oldest operating public airport in Canada and approved for international flights under the Canada Border Services Agency CANPASS program.
The Warren Thomas Aerodrome, better known as the Josephburg Airport, serves the remaining 13 per cent of Strathcona County's public aeronautical transportation needs.
The following provincial highways service Strathcona County.
Main article: Strathcona County Transit
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