We at www.blissfulbalancermt.com were intrigued that Spruce Grove has come a long way to become the 9th largest city in Alberta. Homesteaders settled in the area as far back as 1879. The city, located almost at the geographical center of the province of Alberta, is 30 km away from downtown Edmonton and 14 km from Edmonton’s city limits. Spruce Grove is part of Edmonton Capital Region.
The city was first incorporated as a village on March 14, 1907. The status lasted till 30th August, 1916 when it was dissolved. On 1st January, 1955, Spruce Grove was re-incorporated as a village. The city grew in status and on 1st January, 1971, was incorporated as a town; this was followed up by incorporation as a city on 1st March, 1986.
It is hard to imagine that a city that hosts a population of just over 34,000 had a population of 47 at one time, however, this was the count in the census of 1916. At the turn of the century, a settlement was born in Spruce Grove, AB. The homesteaders found it difficult to keep trekking to Edmonton for supplies and such and thus settled here. It was out of convenience rather than the urge to develop new lands or the urge to explore.
The settlement began to grow slowly as farming entrepreneurs emerged as small businesses followed suit. They were the core of the community, keeping it going through provision of supplies.
As is the case in many places, Spruce Grove got its name from the surrounding landscape. The region had a lot of spruce trees and poplars growing throughout the countryside. The founders were at odds about what to name their new settlement because of the two dominant trees growing in the area. However, the decision was made easier because Poplar Grove’ had already taken roots in the west thus, the unanimous decision was to go for Spruce Grove and thus the settlement had a name.
2. Initially for the French and Scottish
In its younger days, the sprawling city had French and Scottish settler families as the dominant residents in the area. There was little commerce going on and the most prominent buildings then were a general store, hotel, blacksmith shop, livery stables and the Roman Catholic Church. The crossroads of Baseline and Century road, now Highway 16, formed the center of the settlement.
In 1908, the first railway station was built in what is now Main Street. It was the Grand Trunk Pacific that passed through Spruce Grove and prompted the setting up of the station. The station stood on the north side of the tracks to the south of Baseline.
The new development meant that all established businesses in the area had to move about a mile to the west in what is now the location of the City of Spruce Grove. The railway line brought a new lease of life to the settlement and soon it began developing owing to its status as a grain-trading center.
This growth has kept on and is vigorous now more than before. The area celebrated its 25th anniversary as a city in 2011. It is one of the fastest growing cities in Western Canada and has it’s own newspaper: Spruce Grove Examiner. Today, Spruce Grove continues to thrive both socially and economically, with people from all religions, races and educational backgrounds calling it home.