Pros and cons of living in Red Deer, Alberta

Red Deer City, located in Central Alberta, bears the name of the surrounding Red Deer County and, according to a 2016 census, has a population of more than 100 thousand people.

The city is on record as being the third in Alberta to surpass the 100,000-population mark. In addition, Red Deer City has ranked the 12th best place to live in Canada according to a 2018 ranking by MoneySense Magazine.

Like every other place, however, the city has its pros and cons, which the rest of this article will reveal.


1. Business Opportunities

Red Deer is regarded as one of Canada’s most entrepreneurial cities and provides opportunities for different businesses from conception to groundbreaking, stabilization, and expansion.

The city is widely known for its retail and industrial-scale business operations and is competitive with other large cities in Alberta and the western half of Canada.

2.  Access to Major Routes

The location of Red Deer in Central Alberta which is close to the Queen Elizabeth II Highway (Highway II) provides easy access to the rest of the province and other parts of Canada.

The busiest highway in Canada gives Red Deer access to the rest of Alberta within a 2 hour drive.

This advantage is why business operations prefer to use Red Deer as a central location for warehousing and transportation.

3.  Market Access and Economy

Red Deer is a city in tune with entrepreneurship and, by extension, has a very diverse economy.

There are over 4000 businesses in the city that contribute more than 62,000 jobs to the city’s economy. Furthermore, the central location of the city in the most populated transport sector of Alberta and the most prosperous region in North America (this sector includes proximity to major cities like Prince Rupert, Edmonton, Calgary, and the Carway border crossing into the United States) has blessed its economy immensely.

The market access enjoyed by residents of Red Deer due to its important location makes it a perfect place for people looking to build their lives and test new business ideas.

Prospective residents looking to start their lives anew also have various employment and investment opportunities in healthcare and social services, retail trade, construction, mining, and rock quarries, oil and gas exploration and extraction, hospitality and food service industries, manufacturing, and provision of educational services.

4.  Affordable Cost of Living and Cheap Accommodation

Red Deer is one of the most affordable cities in Canada, with a cost of living index 2.89% lower than what obtains in Edmonton, Alberta’s capital city.

The city can also boast of low rents compared to other cities with its size and pedigree. Without calculating rent, the cost of living for an average family consisting of four members is $4,300 per month – a pretty low amount for an urban Centre as important as Red Deer.

Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city Centre costs between $800 to $1,200 per month, while a three-bedroom apartment costs between $1,000 and $1,550 per month.

Apartments known as family townhomes in the city’s suburban areas are rented for $1,000 or $1,800 per month, depending on how relaxed the area is.

5.  Plenty of Outdoor Activities

Red Deer has lots of outdoor activities to offer residents and tourists alike, especially in warmer weather. Residents can enjoy the trails along the Red Deer River and its tributaries, the Waskasoo and Piper Creeks.

The city also has several hot-spot community parks such as Kin Kanyon and Bower Ponds, where residents and tourists can get a lot of fishing done during the summer.

The hot spots are turned into ice-skating rinks during winter. Lovers of nature can enjoy about 300 acres of boardwalks, gardens, and pathways at the Gaetz Lakes Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

Sports lovers and enthusiasts are not left out as the Westerner Park in South Red Deer is open to groups and individuals keen on field sports.

Red Deer is home to the Red Deer Rebels Hockey team that plays in the Western Hockey League. The Centrium within Westerner Park is the largest indoor sports venue that doubles as a Centre for major events and music concerts. 

Other recreational centres include two multi-use facilities; Collicutt Centre and G.H. Dawe Community Centre that offer gymnasium activities and rock climbing and swimming facilities. 

6.  Quality Education

The curriculum in the public schools in Red Deer is designed to support and provide a workforce to its economy and industry.

The city has multiple post-secondary learning and career development options that support its key industries, including oil and gas, healthcare and social support services, manufacturing, and transportation.

The schools and colleges in Red Deer offer more than one hundred-degree, diploma, and professional trade programs in hospitality management, technology, accounting, and business.

For prospective residents, Red Deer offers an opportunity for educational and professional advancement.

7.  Welcoming to Immigrants

Red Deer is one of the most accommodating cities in Canada, with a steady population growth of 1.2% per annum since 2016.

The city welcomes immigrants from all parts of the globe, and this demographic makes up about 15% of the entire population of Red Deer.

Prospective residents are sure to receive support from the provincial government in settling down and assimilating with their communities.

Moving to a new city or country is one of the most life-changing decisions you can make.

Therefore, such a decision requires careful planning and calculation about the good and bad aspects of where you intend to move to. Red Deer, Alberta, is not an exception to this rule.

While the city has many advantages, this section of the article talks about the disadvantages or cons of living in Red Deer, Alberta.


1.  Weather

There is barely any city in Canada that does not suffer from weather extremes, and Red Deer is no different.

Although the city gets to experience long and warm summers, the heat can get to extremes, causing serious health problems for residents.

A potent example is a current heatwave sweeping through the country.

The city also has long, cold, and very dry winters that can become very lonely for residents and a death sentence for the homeless.

2.  Crime

According to a Red Deer Advocate Magazine, the city is one of the most dangerous places in Canada, with a rise in petty and violent crime. The city is ranked 10th in Canada regarding violent crimes, with an average Violent Crime Severity Index (VCSI) of 75.25%.

The city is also ranked as 37th in terms of homicides committed, 77th in sexual assaults, eight in offenses related to illegal possession of firearms, sixth in armed robbery, 24th in assault-related offenses, fourth in Burglary thefts, 21st in drug and cocaine sales, and trafficking, and number eight in fraud-related offenses.  

3. Property taxes

The city of Red Deer has a relatively high property tax rate for residential homeowners.

So far in this year, the average median price of homes is 360 000 and if you use an anticipated 0.98% as your percentage to calculate taxes per year on that amount, it would be around $3528 annually!

4. Hospital wait times

The Red Deer Regional Hospital is a Level 3 Trauma Center, and services all of Central Alberta. With so many people being transferred to the hospital or coming into town for other reasons too, it’s not uncommon to wait hours in the emergency room before seeing a doctor if you’re unlucky enough.

5. Homeless population

Homeless population can be an issue in Red Deer for some people. Now this isn’t just exclusive to the red deer region, but it mainly resides within downtown core with some spill over into Riverside Meadows neighbourhood; all because of where shelters are located if you’re living outside from that area and have never been affected by it- something which my friends haven’t either.

Is Red Deer a good place to live?

It’s a great place to live! There are many affordable and safe neighborhoods in Red Deer. And there are some great activities and events going on that people of all ages can enjoy.

There are also many good schools in Red Deer, so if you’re looking for a nice place to raise your kids.

Recent Posts