Strathcona County is located in the heart of Alberta and is renowned for being a giant in Canada’s petroleum industry and Agricultural business ventures. The county is a special municipality that incorporates a large urban Centre with a significant rural population. The county government manages people with different cultures and beliefs under a single administration and has managed to meet the needs of these diverse groups of people. If you plan to move to Strathcona County, Alberta, this article provides a list of pros and cons you should consider before moving to the county.
1. A Commercially Viable County
Strathcona County has a vibrant economy and is home to more than 11,000 businesses and a market area population of 1.4 million people resulting in general spending power of $5.6 billion. The county also has a highly educated workforce with over 15,000 highly skilled college graduates. An estimated 94% of the population hold either a diploma, skill acquisition certificate, a degree or all three. In collaboration with the very influential business community, the county government provides resources to support the growth of businesses through seminars, conferences, and provision of support. As a result, prospective residents with a passion for entrepreneurship would thrive in this county.
2. An Industrial Giant
Strathcona County is a global giant in the petroleum industry and a major player in Canada’s oil and gas sector. The county has over $12 billion worth of major industrial projects in its territory, with a concentration of crude oil refineries at Sherwood Park. Refinery Row, as this concentration is known, includes the largest industrial facilities in Canada, such as the Imperial Strathcona and Suncor’s Edmonton Refineries. Furthermore, the city is self-sufficient when It comes to its energy needs.
3. Ecologically Friendly Environment
Strathcona County is known for its environmentally friendly policies and ecological integrity. The County government has worked hard to preserve the cultural and agricultural heritage of its rural and urban sectors. To this end, the county invests heavily in the training of public officials to deliver quality service, infrastructure, and cultural and recreational programs as a means of preserving its natural ecosystem. These investments provide employment as well as recreational opportunities for old and prospective residents.
4. Warm and Welcoming Environment
The county is known for being welcoming to immigrants from all parts of the world. It is also known to be a great place to settle and raise a family with a strong sense of belonging to the community. According to a 2019 survey, about 92.5% of the population believe that Strathcona County is a great place to raise children. They also think that it is a great place to begin a career.
5. Great Food, Art and Music
Strathcona County hosts annual events such as the Savour Strathcona County Festival to celebrate the local food, art, and culture. There’s live music, and local restaurants, food trucks, and local artists get to display their talent and skill. The county also has a rich heritage of Aboriginal presence, which it strives hard to preserve and pass down to coming generations. The local food industry also serves international cuisines from Italy, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, India, and other parts. So for prospective settlers in this county, you can always have a taste of home and experience other people’s food culture without leaving their environment.
6. Great Quality of Life
Most residents of Strathcona County say they are proud of the quality of life the county has to offer. Furthermore, a 2019 poll revealed that 87.5% of the population believe that the county is a great place to live and settle down. 91% also think that the county is a good place to retire because it is relatively safer than most counties in Canada. It has the right mix of people to guarantee a basketful of amazing life experiences.
7. Fast Internet Service
Strathcona County and the surrounding areas have access to 5G internet service courtesy of TELUS, one of the fastest internet service providers in the world. The network is famous for having download speeds on its 4G LTE, clocking at 75.8mbps, much higher than South Korea’s 5G network speed of 59 Mbps. TELUS 5G network provides a download speed of 1.7 Gbps meaning that residents, businesses, schools, public and private organizations have access to information at their fingertips.
8. The county has Two Airports.
Strathcona County is blessed with two public airports. One of the airports (The Cooking Lake Airport) is the first airport in Canada and serves as a condo board, and is used by at least 87% of the county’s population. The airport also hosts international flights under the Canada Border Services Agency Program (CANPASS). The other airport (the Josephburg Airport) serves the needs of just 13% of the public. These airports serve as a strategic transportation hub for immigrants, goods, and services for the county and Canada. It also serves as a source of mass employment of a specialized and skilled workforce to help with the value chain of the aeronautical industry.
Strathcona County has great reviews from residents and outsiders. Still, some believe that the county is not all that great, and the government is capable of making several improvements to the status quo. This section of the article details some of the negative aspects of living in Strathcona county.
1. Poor Maintenance Culture
Some residents believe that the county government lacks a culture of maintenance of public infrastructure. At least 13.6% of the population stated in a 2019 survey that they were not satisfied with the level of care on streets and other public roads within the urban centres. Another 11.5% said they were not happy with roadside mowing and brushing in the rural areas. However, the county government has defended its maintenance culture, by saying that the weather is to blame for the few shortcomings regarding the maintenance of public roads.
2. Issues of Taxation
Some county residents, especially in the rural areas, have complained of not getting value for the amount of taxes they pay. In addition, the rural residents complain of being neglected by the government, which favours the residents of Sherwood more than the hamlets. Due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, however, the city did raise taxes for the 2021 fiscal year.
Is Strathcona County a good place to live?
Strathcona County may not be the best place to live if you want a fast-paced, urban lifestyle, but it’s great for people who value stability and small communities over material power. Strathcona County has all the amenities of a modern county without any congestion or large housing developments.