Prior to the 20th century, the area around what is now Chestermere Lake was settled by only a few farmers. When the Canadian Pacific Railway was established in the 1880s, more and more people came to settle in the west. To make farming more productive, settlers began to determine ways to irrigate their land. As a natural wetland, Chestermere Lake was considered to be perfect for use as a balancing pool for the Western Irrigation Block. By 1907, a dam and canal system had been built, the wetland developed into a lake, and farmers began using the water for irrigation.
Following the irrigation development, the lake began to be used for recreation. People would lease land from the Western Irrigation District (WID) (which took control of the land from CPR in 1944), build cabins and stay on the lake during the summer months. In 1959, the Chestermere Cabin Owners Association (CCOA) was incorporated with approximately 50 members. The CCOA held events, bought a fire truck for the community, worked to reduce pollution in the lake, planted trees, and arranged for electricity and natural gas for the cabins.
As more people began to live around Chestermere Lake, residents wanted to secure long-term leases. In 1975, the CCOA bought the land from the WID and then transferred it to the residents. By 1977, the lake boasted 120 permanent homes and gained official status as the Summer Village of Chestermere Lake on April 1, 1977. As a summer village, the residents of Chestermere gained more political influence and were able to begin adding services and amenities or encouraging infrastructure and developments such as fire and protection services, improved roads, a community hall, street lights, a recreation centre, local businesses and a golf course.
By 1992, Chestermere’s population had increased to 1,043 permanent residents. On March 1, 1993, the Summer Village of Chestermere Lake officially changed its status and name to the Town of Chestermere. Becoming a town gave the residents more local and political authority. The town continued developing amenities and services for residents and its population has grown to 17,203 residents as recorded by its 2014 municipal census. In late 2014, town council voted in favour of pursuing city status, which became effective January 1, 2015.
Chestermere’s town council voted to apply for city status on September 29, 2014. It became Alberta’s 18th city on January 1, 2015.
The city is organized into several neighbourhoods:
- The Cove
- Chesterview Estates
- The Beaches
- Lakeside Greens
- Lakeview Landing
- Rainbow Falls
- West Creek
- Chestermere Estates
- East Lakeview Shores
- Estates of Chestermere
- Lake Ere Estates
The population of Chestermere according to its 2014 municipal census is 17,203, a 9.1% change from its 2013 municipal census population of 15,762. At that population, Chestermere was one of the largest towns in the province. According to Alberta’s Municipal Government Act, a town is eligible for city status when it reaches 10,000 residents, Chestermere became a city January 1, 2015.
In the 2011 Census, the City of Chestermere had a population of 14,824 living in 4,635 of its 4,858 total dwellings, a 49.4% change from its 2006 adjusted population of 9,923. With a land area of 32.64 km2 (12.60 sq mi), it had a population density of 454.2/km2 (1,176.3/sq mi) in 2011. The 2011 census also indicated that Chestermere was ranked as the municipality with the fifth-highest population growth between 2006 and 2011.
In 2006, according to Statistics Canada census data, Chestermere had a population of 9,564 living in 3,165 dwellings, a 148.0% increase from 2001. Chestermere had a land area of 8.91 km2 (3.44 sq mi) and a population density of 1,073.4/km2 (2,780/sq mi) The 2006 census also indicated that Chestermere was ranked as the municipality with the highest population growth among municipalities in Canada with a population of 5,000 and over between 2001 and 2006.
Chestermere is accessible on land through Trans-Canada Highway and Alberta Highway 1A. By air, the city is accessible through Chestermere (Kirkby Field) Airport.
Chestermere Lake – Chestermere is well known for its lake. In the summer, it is used for waterskiing, wakeboarding, fishing and a variety of other water sports. It also provides day use parks for launching boats and family areas for the enjoyment of the outdoors. Chestermere Lake is also home to the Calgary Yacht Club.
Chestermere Water Festival – The Chestermere Water Festival is an annual celebration of summer at the lake. Activities include live bands, beer gardens, wakeboard competition, market, family activities, and more.
Biking and Skateboarding – Chestermere is connected to the Calgary bicycle pathway system at the south end or West Chestermere Drive (by the canal) and has bike trails surrounding the lake, a BMX park and a skate park.
Chestermere Winter Festival – The Chestermere Winter Festival is an annual celebration of winter in a small city. Activities include motorcycle races, fireworks, and family entertainment.
Lakeside Greens Golf Course – Semi-private 18 hole golf course, clubhouse and restaurant.
Camp Chestermere – Christian camp located on the southeast end of Chestermere Lake.
The public schools in the city are Chestermere High School, Chestermere Lake Middle School, Prairie Waters Elementary School, and Rainbow Creek Elementary School. Public schools in the city are run by the Rocky View School Division, which includes several other communities surrounding Calgary.
For publicly funded Catholic education, the city falls within the jurisdiction of the Calgary Catholic School District, which runs the St. Gabriel the Archangel school for grades K-12 and Our Lady of Wisdsom school for grade K-6.
Most educational needs beyond this (e.g. post-secondary education) are met within Calgary.
All information courtesy of Wikipedia and accuracy is not guaranteed.