Town of Vermilion
Vermilion is located in Alberta
Location of Vermilion in Alberta
Coordinates: 53°21′15″N 110°51′10″W / 53.35417°N 110.85278°W / 53.35417; -110.85278
RegionCentral Alberta
Census division10
Municipal districtCounty of Vermilion River
 • MayorGregory Throndson
 • Governing bodyVermilion Town Council
 • Land12.72 km2 (4.91 sq mi)
Elevation580 m (1,900 ft)
 • Total3,948
 • Density310.4/km2 (804/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−7 (MST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−6 (MDT)
Forward sortation area
Area code+1-780
HighwaysHighway 16
Highway 41
WaterwayVermilion River
WebsiteOfficial website

Vermilion is a town in central Alberta, Canada that is surrounded by the County of Vermilion River. It is at the intersection of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) and Highway 41 (Buffalo Trail), approximately 60 kilometres (37 mi) west of Lloydminster and 192 kilometres (119 mi) east of Edmonton.


The 1912 Imperial Block in Vermilion

It was not until 1902 that a significant number of settlers arrived in this area of Alberta, mostly of British ethnic background coming from the east. Just west of Vermilion is the line between British and those of Ukrainian ethnic background having travelled mostly from the west.

In 1904, a post office was established at Breage approximately 5 km (3.1 mi) east of the present townsite.[5]

In 1905, the Canadian Northern Railway arrived and a station was built. The post office was relocated from Breage. Throughout the days of steam, the railway was important to Vermilion. Vermilion was used as a divisional point. It had a water tower to resupply engines, a large roundhouse, an extensive yard, a wye, a turntable, and a bunkhouse for engine crews. With the decline of steam power in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the railway became less important.

In early 1906, Vermilion was incorporated as a village and then as a town later in the same year. The name Vermilion comes from the red clay found in the river valley. In fact, one of the first businesses in Vermilion was the brick factory which operated from 1906 until 1914. Some Vermilion buildings built from brick from this factory are still standing.

The first newspaper to publish in the Vermilion area was the Vermilion Signal which was founded and edited by William Bleasdell Cameron. (a survivor of the Frog Lake Massacre).[6] In 1909, S.R.P. Cooper established the Vermilion Standard, which continues to publish to this day.

In 1911, the provincial government established three demonstration farms near Olds, Fairview, and just west of the Vermilion townsite. The Vermilion Board of Trade had lobbied the government for a demonstration farm and or college. When the Vermilion School of Agriculture officially opened on November 17, 1913, it became the first of the provincial agricultural colleges to open its door. The Vermilion School of Agriculture has had several name changes in the intervening years including Vermilion Agricultural and Vocational College and Vermilion College before becoming Lakeland College in 1975.[citation needed]

Looking northeast along 49th Avenue, 1912

Like other communities on the prairies in the early years of the 20th century, Vermilion experienced an extensive fire. Occurring on April 10, 1918, the fire destroyed 28 stores and business blocks.[5]

Two Vermilion businesses have operated since before the town was incorporated. Craig's, a department store, and Long's, a drugstore, have been at the same downtown locations since 1905.[citation needed]


In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Vermilion had a population of 3,948 living in 1,678 of its 1,976 total private dwellings, a change of -3.3% from its 2016 population of 4,084. With a land area of 12.72 km2 (4.91 sq mi), it had a population density of 310.4/km2 (803.9/sq mi) in 2021.[2]

The population of the Town of Vermilion according to its 2017 municipal census is 4,150,[7] a change of -8.7% from its 2012 municipal census population of 4,545.[8]

In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Vermilion recorded a population of 4,084 living in 1,753 of its 1,988 total private dwellings, a 3.9% change from its 2011 population of 3,930. With a land area of 12.93 km2 (4.99 sq mi), it had a population density of 315.9/km2 (818.1/sq mi) in 2016.[9]

Mayor and council

The Mayor of Vermilion is Gregory Throndson.


The economy is largely service industry to agriculture, with Education (Lakeland College) being a secondary economic driver.

Arts and culture

The Vermilion Agricultural Society hosts an annual fair which started in 1906. The fair begins with a parade on Thursday morning. The fair lasts a total of three days the last weekend in July.[10]


The Vermilion Provincial Park is located on the northwest side of the town. It includes camping, fishing, canoeing and trails for hiking, cycling and cross-country skiing.[11]


The town has two public schools: Vermilion Elementary (K-6) and J.R. Robson Secondary (7-12), and one Catholic school, St. Jerome's School[12] (K-12). The School of Hope, a home school, has its central office in Vermilion.[citation needed]

The town also attracts students from throughout Canada to Lakeland College.[13] Lakeland offers certificate, diploma, applied degree, university transfer, apprenticeship, and pre-employment programs. Programming at the Vermilion campus includes agricultural sciences, business, environmental sciences, fire and emergency response, human services, interior design technology, and trades and technology. Lakeland's residence village is home to more than 500 students.


Vermilion's local weekly newspapers are the coffee news,[14] Vermilion Standard[15] and the Vermilion and Area Voice.[16]

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ Town of Vermilion. "Mayor's Message". Archived from the original on 2007-08-12. Retrieved 2007-08-04.
  2. ^ a b c "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities)". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
  3. ^ "Alberta Private Sewage Systems 2009 Standard of Practice Handbook: Appendix A.3 Alberta Design Data (A.3.A. Alberta Climate Design Data by Town)" (PDF) (PDF). Safety Codes Council. January 2012. pp. 212–215 (PDF pages 226–229). Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  4. ^ "Population and dwelling counts: Canada and population centres". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Town of Vermilion Archived October 7, 2006, at the Wayback Machine – History
  6. ^ "Vermilion Signal, 27 February 1908 (Peel's Prairie Provinces)". Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  7. ^ 2017 Municipal Affairs Population List (PDF). Alberta Municipal Affairs. ISBN 978-1-4601-3652-2. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  8. ^ 2016 Municipal Affairs Population List (PDF). Alberta Municipal Affairs. ISBN 978-1-4601-3127-5. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  9. ^ "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2016 and 2011 censuses – 100% data (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. February 8, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  10. ^ "Vermilion Agricultural Society". Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  11. ^ "Vermilion Provincial Park". Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  12. ^ East Central Alberta Catholic Schools Archived August 20, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Lakeland College
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Vermilion Standard". Canoe Sun Media. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  16. ^ "Vermilion and Area Voice". Vermilion Voice. Retrieved January 15, 2013.

53°21′15″N 110°51′10″W / 53.35417°N 110.85278°W / 53.35417; -110.85278 (Vermilion)