Pros and cons of living in Medicine Hat, Alberta

Changing cities is always an uphill task. Among the many things to consider when moving is deciding where to go. It is essential that you are aware of the pros and cons of a place before you move. This article will provide a detailed review of the advantages and disadvantages of living in Medicine Hat, Alberta. 

The province of Alberta is located in the western part of Canada. The area is known for its beautiful and picturesque landscape which includes mountains, coniferous forests, and prairies.

Alberta is home to some of the most prominent Canadian cities including Edmonton, Calgary, and St. Albert.  Medicine Hat is a charming city in the southeast of the province. 

The city started as a quaint railway town and has since grown to 112.04 km2 in size with a population of about 63,260.

The city is historically significant and has been mentioned by great writers such as Rudyard Kipling. Dubbed as “The Gas City” due to its numerous natural gas fields Medicine Hat has become a renowned city of Alberta. 


1. Low cost of living

The living cost is probably the most important factor that one considers when moving to a different city. Fortunately, Medicine Hat is an extremely affordable city with a relatively lower cost of living when compared to some other cities in Alberta.

Food items and other amenities are well within the budget of even those earning a minimum wage. The low cost of living does not mean that the city is lacking in any way. Medicine Hat has modern infrastructure and the best amenities providing anyone who lives here with a high quality of life. 

2. Housing 

High housing rates are a growing issue in Canada especially in bigger cities such as Toronto and Vancouver. It is becoming increasingly difficult for people with low income to afford to house and pay high mortgages.

However, in Medicine Hat, this aspect is not an issue because the city has affordable housing options. You can get reasonable homes starting from approximately $300,000. Moreover, rent in the city is also inexpensive even for families.

You can easily rent a three-bedroom house at as low as $1300 per month with apartments costing even less. 

3. Picturesque town

Living in Medicine Hat, Alberta you will never get tired of the natural beauty. If that is something you prioritize then this place is ideal for you.

The most prominent landmark in the area is the South Saskatchewan River and valley. Moreover, the city has a number of beautiful creeks as well.

All of these natural features make the South Saskatchewan River valley a popular tourist attraction.

The natural beauty of Medicine Hat also makes it an ideal location for lots of outdoor activities. 

4. Good Schooling 

In terms of schooling, Medicine Hat is comparable to the bigger cities of Canada. It has a comprehensive public school system comprising of five trustees.

The city has 3 secondary schools, 12 elementary schools, a special needs school, an alternative school program, and a college.

You can rest assured that your children will receive the best public education living in Medicine Hat.

This feature also makes the town ideal for families because not only does it have a low cost of living and housing but also a formidable public school system. 

5. Low crime rate 

Overall, the crime rate in the city of Medicine Hat is quite low. So even if you are traveling or living alone in the city you can be sure of your safety.

The city has a strong law enforcement system as well. The lack of hard crimes in the city also makes it more attractive for older people. The city is considered to be a great retirement destination.


1. Extreme weather

A popular feature of Canada is its cool and temperate climate in the summers.  However, in Medicine Hat, the weather can get quite hot in the summers and below freezing in the winters.

In the summertime, the average temperature can go above 33 degrees while in the winters the temperature drops to -20 degrees.

Overall, the city receives less precipitation than the Canadian average and the climate remains arid and dry.

If this extreme weather and lack of rainfall is something that concerns you then Medicine Hat may not be the most ideal place. 

2. Economy 

Medicine Hat is a town whose economy is primarily comprised of exploiting natural resources. The city is rich in natural gas, coal, and farmland.

The issue with this type of economy is that it is completely dependent on one sector and when that takes a hit the entire city experiences it as well.

In the last few years, the natural resources industry in Medicine Hat has suffered to due infrastructural issues.

There is a lack of equipment and pipelines which has adversely affected the economy of Medicine Hat as a whole. 

3. Jobs 

As the natural resources industry forms the majority of Medicine Hat’s economy, it also leads to a lack of diversity in the job market.

Most jobs are in the agriculture sector or involving mining and extraction. Due to this, there is a lack of investment in other prospective avenues.

It also means that only a certain type of skill is marketable in Medicine Hat. Other than the oil and gas industry jobs exist in the service industry however that usually includes minimum wage employment.

Is Medicine Hat a good place to live?

Medicine Hat may be one of the smaller cities in the province of Alberta, but it has definitely become a unique city with a rich history and distinctive personality.

The beautiful and picturesque landscape that the city provides is like none other. It is ideal for families and the elderly with its low cost of living, affordable housing, and good school system.

While the warm summer weather and lack of diverse jobs in the city may not be suited to everyone, overall there are many credible features of Medicine Hat that make it a great place to live. 

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