Suffield, Alberta

Suffield is a hamlet in southern Alberta, Canada within Cypress County.[3] It is located on the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) approximately 32 km (20 mi) northwest of Medicine Hat, and just south of CFB Suffield.

Location of Suffield in Alberta
Coordinates: 50°13′06″N 111°09′40″W
Country Canada
Province Alberta
RegionSouthern Alberta
Census division1
Municipal districtCypress County
  Total0.86 km2 (0.33 sq mi)
Elevation755 m (2,477 ft)
  Density296.5/km2 (768/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-7 (MST)
Postal code span
Area code(s)+1-403


Established by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in 1884, Suffield was named after Charles Harbord, 5th Baron Suffield who married in 1854, Cecilia Annetta, the sister of Edward Baring, 1st Baron Revelstoke, who assisted in financing the railway.[4]

Near the beginning of the 20th century, Suffield experienced rapid growth arising from the construction of the CPR. One of the larger building in the area at the time, the 32 room Alamo Hotel was constructed in 1910 by W.R. Martin, superintendent of CPR oil and gas exploration, A.M. Grace, chief engineer of the Southern Alberta Land Company, and A.P. Phillips at a cost of $30,000.[5] A reporter from the Medicine Hat News wrote on Oct 20, 1910, "The most beautiful hotel alongside the CPR from Winnipeg to Calgary, stands on the prairie within a stone's throw of one of the biggest gas wells in the Medicine Hat district in what promises to be, in the near future, the city of Suffield".[6] The hotel hosted a 40-foot stand-up bar and was reported to be one of the finest in the country. Hard times hit with the First World War and with the introduction of Prohibition in 1915. In 1926, the hotel was sold to the Calgary Brewing and Malting Company and moved to Sylvan Lake in 1927 to replace a hotel that burnt down.


In 1913, a branch line of the CPR was constructed between Suffield and Retlaw. In 1914, the Suffield-Retlaw was extended to Lomond, completing the 84 mile branch.[7] The Suffield-Lomond line was extended to Arrowwood in 1925. In 1930, the line was extended to Eltham on the Kipp-Aldersyde line near Blackie. The stops on the line were Suffield, Agatha, Hlingworth, Ronolane, Cecil, Armelgra, Scope, Grantham, Vauxhall, Retlaw, Enchant, Travers, Lomond, Armada, Pageant, Milo, Qeenstown, Shouldice and Arrowwood. The coach fare in 1948 was $3.75.[8] The line has since been abandoned and the rails removed.


Suffield experiences a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk) with long, cold, dry winters and short but very warm summers. Precipitation is low, with an annual average of 318 mm, and is concentrated in the warmer months.


As a designated place in the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Suffield recorded a population of 255 living in 113 of its 127 total private dwellings, a change of -3.4% from its 2011 population of 264. With a land area of 0.86 km2 (0.33 sq mi), it had a population density of 296.5/km2 (768.0/sq mi) in 2016.[1]

As a designated place in the 2011 Census, Suffield had a population of 264 living in 113 of its 119 total dwellings, a 17.9% change from its 2006 population of 224. With a land area of 0.88 km2 (0.34 sq mi), it had a population density of 300.0/km2 (777/sq mi) in 2011.[10]

See also


  1. "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and designated places, 2016 and 2011 censuses – 100% data (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. 8 February 2017. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  2. "Alberta Private Sewage Systems 2009 Standard of Practice Handbook: Appendix A.3 Alberta Design Data (A.3.A. Alberta Climate Design Data by Town)" (PDF) (PDF). Safety Codes Council. January 2012. pp. 212–215 (PDF pages 226–229). Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  3. Alberta Municipal Affairs (1 April 2010). "Specialized and Rural Municipalities and Their Communities" (PDF). Retrieved 22 June 2010.
  4. Geographic Board of Canada, Place-Names of Alberta, published for the Geographic Board by the Department of the Interior, 1928
  5. D.C. Jones, Empire Of Dust, University of Calgary Press, 2002
  6. J. Schmidt, Growing up in the oil patch, Dundurn Press Ltd, 1989
  7. J.Blue,"Alberta Past and Present: historical and biographical", 1924
  8. Waghorn's Guide, May 1948
  9. "Suffield A, Alberta". Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000 (in English and French). Environment Canada. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  10. "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and designated places, 2011 and 2006 censuses (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2012.

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