St. Albert, Alberta, is a city northwest of Edmonton. It is a beautiful, snowy community with luscious greenery, parks, and trails. The St. Albert community, with its amenities and neighborhoods is well known for being an amazing place to start and raise a family.
If you are looking for a place to start your own family or just a place to enjoy the feeling of community without the noisy hustle and bustle of a big town, you should strongly consider moving to St. Albert.
Here are some pros and cons for you to consider before deciding if this is the right place for you.
1. Great Healthcare
St. Albert has its own hospital (Sturgeon Community Hospital), fully equipped with an intensive care unit, emergency room, coronary care unit, and other specialized units. The healthcare system in St. Albert is one of the best and gives you access to a wide range of healthcare services. St. Albert is covered by the Alberta Health Services, Canada’s first fully-integrated healthcare system that serves over 4 million residents of Alberta and some residents of Saskatchewan and other Northern territories.
Living in St. Albert and being serviced by the Alberta Health Services means that you have access to the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan, giving you full coverage for physician visits and even dental/oral healthcare. Your healthcare plan will cover you for so much more, of course.
In total, you have access to:
- 106 acute care hospitals
- 8,515 acute care beds
- 2,785 mental health and addiction beds
- 256 community palliative and hospice beds
- 27,774 continuing care bed spaces
2. Tons of outdoor activities
While the weather in St. Albert can be a definite con for people who do not enjoy freezing at all, it can be very fun for people who do not mind it. There are so many outdoor activities for people to enjoy. Some of them are:
St. Albert is also only about a three to four-hour drive to Jasper, Alberta, and a four to five-hour drive to Banff Alberta, where you have some of the best skiing in the world.
There are parks, playgrounds, trails, and tons of community programs for you to participate in. There is also a very popular farmer’s market that booms from June to October and attracts visitors from all over the region.
3. The land is green and beautiful
In St. Albert, there are trees and parks everywhere. It is a truly green community. The streets are lined with trees, and the community has a lot of paved walking trails, making it a truly picturesque place to live.
4. Best place to live and raise a family
St. Albert consistently ranks high as one of the best places to live in Canada. Maclean’s ranked it the number one community to live in Alberta in 2019. The St. Albert community is family-friendly and is an ideal place to raise kids and put down roots.
The community has a quiet, family-friendly vibe and is close enough to Edmonton that you get all the amenities and conveniences without any of the cons of living there.
5. It is an affordable place to live
Although property tax is on the high side, when you compare it to the rest of Canada, St. Albert is an affordable place to live. The home price average for Canada is 600k dollars, and 400k dollars in St. Albert. The cost of living here is also relatively stable, which contributes to its general affordability. The residents of St. Albert do not regularly see any sudden hikes in prices of their basic necessities and this contributes to its general affordability.
6. Great schools
St. Albert has a great educational system in place that serves the whole community. They have three school districts that have amazing programs and learning opportunities. Some of these school programs include francophone studies, french immersion, international baccalaureate, cogito, technology programs, and apprenticeship programs.
There are Catholic school systems, Protestant school systems, and of course, nondenominational school systems. The schools are fantastic, the programs are great, and the programs are amazing and educational.
St. Albert is also in close proximity to higher institutions like the University of Alberta, MacEwan University, and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
1. Long winters
The winters in St. Albert can be very long and very cold, even though they get a lot of sunlight. During the winter, the amount of sunshine is significantly reduced. The sun rises late and sets early.
Winter lasts for about four months between November and March, and the weather can be as cold as 6°F. During the winter, the weather is quite snowy, windy, dry, and freezing. While the snow and ice can translate into some fun activities like ice skating and skiing, it may not be your cup of tea.
2. High property taxes.
St. Albert has the third-highest property tax rate in Alberta. Residents of St. Albert are expected to pay about 1.1 percent in property tax every year. With the average home price as of December 2020 being four hundred thousand dollars, an average homeowner in St. Albert is expected to pay around 4400 dollars annually in property tax.
One of the causes of such a high tax rate is the fact that St. Albert is a primarily residential area and does not have a diverse tax base. Some other communities in the area have commercial and industrial bases that contribute to the community. St Albert does not have that.
Lots of petty crime
St. Albert is a relatively safe community and there is never any major crime. There is, however, a lot of petty crime. Petty crimes like people breaking into your car to steal your console, and breaking into your garage and home. What this means is that you are going to have to get used to locking your car and home doors. The harsh winters usually scare off the petty criminals and reduce these occurrences, but you can expect a rise during the warmer periods of summer and spring.