Barb Willison with her three-year-old daughter Aela and her one-year-old son Anthony at the playground next to the Abbey Centre. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Population of Blackfalds approaches 10,000

Sixteen years ago Sandra Congdon and her family made Blackfalds their home.

While plenty has changed since then in the town, the spirit of it hasn’t, she said.

“I’ve always found Blackfalds has had a great sense of community,” she said. “I find there’s never a reason to leave. Community-wise it’s great for the kids and it feels safe and secure.”

It is one of the reasons the Town of Blackfalds continues to be one of the fastest growing communities in Canada.

On Wednesday, the town released its 2017 Municipal Census, which revealed Blackfalds’ population grew to 9,916, up 4.7 per cent from 2016.

Mayor Melodie Stol said there are a number of reasons why Blackfalds continues to grow every year.

“There are a lot of great community hubs and activities going on so if you’re looking to raise a family Blackfalds is a great location,” she said.

There are new schools, new parks and public buildings, such as the Abbey Centre, that keep people coming to town, she said.

“We continue to see the strong housing market with new homes being built, so it’s not too surprising the community is growing with it,” said Stol.

According to the municipal census, the residential dwelling count is now sitting at 4,349 units, which is up 254 units from 2016.

Once a town has 10,000 people it can officially become a city, but it’s unlikely the town will be in a huge rush to make the change, Stol said. If the town’s citizens do want it to be considered a city, council will have to consider it, she added.

The more people who live in Blackfalds the more businesses the town will see, Stol said.

“Those companies want to be close to a huge customer base and 10,000 people is pretty substantial,” she said.

Stol has lived in Blackfalds since 1991 and became mayor in 2007.

Marci Siebold and her family moved to Blackfalds just one month ago.

“We just found a house we liked. We actually didn’t know too much about Blackfalds until we moved here,” she said.

Siebold’s two young daughters have really enjoyed the playgrounds in town and the Abbey Centre, she said.

Barb Willison, who moved to the town about five years ago, loves the small town feel.

Living so close to the Abbey Centre is a big positive for Willison because her two young children have somewhere to play, she said.

sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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