Five Years Later

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How High River seized the opportunity to become stronger and more vibrant than ever

As High River approaches the fifth anniversary of the 2013 flood, it’s time to reflect on what our community has accomplished and look to the future. The events of 2013 were undeniably challenging, but they also brought the community together to weather adversity and seize the opportunity to build a community that is even more vibrant and prosperous.

High River has invested more than $200 million in flood mitigation since 2013, and it is now one of the most flood-protected communities in Canada. 

High River is a hub for business and investment, not to mention a community where residents can experience unbeatable quality of life and truly achieve work-life balance.  Keep reading to learn more about post-flood community initiatives that inspire bringing vibrant ideas to life. 

Revitalized Downtown Core

In 2017, High River Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP) and Public Realm Revitalization received an Award of Merit at the annual Building Resilience Conference in Calgary.

What does the ARP mean for High River? It’s about putting people first by creating inviting places for everyone in High River to enjoy—whether it’s for business, recreation, socializing or celebrating. Our community is equipped with wide, pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, plenty of parks and green spaces, and flood mitigation is incorporated into existing cycling and pathway systems. The town’s ground-breaking Land Use Bylaw complements High River’s people-powered focus, allowing for more new and innovative development than ever before.

High River is also an incredibly walkable community, which is further assisted by the 4th Avenue Woonerf. A woonerf means the street is shared equally by pedestrians, cyclists and motorists—while still complementing the street’s historic aesthetic—to make the area safe and accessible for all residents.

High River was ranked one of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Communities by MoneySense Magazine.

Community Vitality Fund

Initiated in 2016, the Community Vitality Fund was provided by High River Town Council to ensure the success of community-led initiatives that contribute to our community’s growth, prosperity, vibrancy and sustainability. These initiatives, led by citizens or community groups, make High River attractive, safe, contribute to community pride and showcase the town as a thriving place to live and invest in.

High River has experienced more than 285,000 square feet of new development since 2015, and there are now more than 1,109 businesses operating in the community. 

Public Realm Policy

People build communities and strengthen their vitality, and the Public Realm Policy—introduced in summer 2017—streamlines the process for community members to plan and execute events. The Public Realm Policy can be used for groups doing film production, mobile businesses, special events and community projects being held on spaces owned by the Town.

The policy was implemented by the Economic Development department to encourage residents to make use of public spaces in High River, and it can be adapted as the community continues to grow and evolve.

High River’s Economic Development Department won first place in Business Investment Attraction Strategy for the Rooted in People campaign at the Alberta Economic Development Conference in 2018 

High River is a community where families and businesses thrive. To see what our community has to offer, visit and watch our Rooted in People video series on the Town of High River YouTube page.

Be sure to follow High River on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest community updates and events.

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