Working in Okotoks: The Jobs, Industries, and Characters

Okotoks, AB

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History & heritage

When Okotoks opened to European settlement with the arrival of the railway in the 1890s, hundreds of immigrants were drawn to this spot alongside the Sheep River. They were drawn by the jobs and opportunities presented by the new industries that grew up here, such as sawmills, ranches, and brickworks. Just as important were the merchants who established shops that provided Okotokians with all the goods and services that made daily life possible. On this tour we will look at some of these jobs and industries, and some of the prominent figures who helped build Okotoks. This tour is a short walk that begins at the Okotoks Art Gallery on North Railway Street, the site of the old railway station. From there we'll walk west along North Railway Street and McRae Street in the historic downtown. Finally we'll walk to the edge of the Sheep River where the sawmill once stood, and reflect on how the jobs have changed. The land on which you'll be walking is the traditional territory of the People of Treaty 7 which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy comprised of the Siksika, Piikani and Kainai First Nations, as well as the Metis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.

This event runs the duration of Culture Days.


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This event is free.

Organized by

On This Spot

The On This Spot app takes people on guided walking tours through the history that surrounds them. At each stop on their journey users will find themselves standing on the spot a historic photo was taken. They can view a then and now photo comparison, use the built in camera to create their own, and read about local history and how it ties into the broader human experience. Based in Vancouver, On This Spot is working with heritage, tourism, and business organizations across Canada to expand the app's coverage.


Okotoks, AB

Event Contact

Andrew Farris