City History

City History

Birth of the Swan City

Soon after the City of Grande Prairie received it's charter in 1958, it was declared the "Home of the Trumpeter Swan". In 1926, a visiting representative of the Canadian Wildlife Service discovered that the swans were nesting in the Grande Prairie area.

Since then, a combination of protective legislation, good wildlife management and co-operation between Canada and the United States has rescued the swan from the endangered list.

The Original City Hall

The original City Hall was shared between the City's Welfare Officer and the Peace Region Planning Commission. Council consisted of a mayor elected for a two-year term and six alderman. The building was destroyed by fire in February 1961 and soon replaced by a newer facility on June 6, 1962.

The Daily Newspaper

The Daily-Herald Tribune began production on April 6, 1964. It had been formerly known as the Grande Prairie Herald since 1913. The Herald amalgamated with it's rival, the Northern Tribune after a fire in 1939 to create the Grande Prairie Herald-Tribune.

Hub of the Peace

Since gaining the status of cityhood, Grande Prairie had been steadily developing as the major service centre in the Peace River country.

For over 15 years its economy had grown at twice the national average and the population had more than doubled between 1958 and 1975.

Discovery of the Elmworth Deep Basin Gas Field

When the discovery of the Elmworth Deep Basin Gas Field was announced in late 1977, Grande Prairie's already strong economy accelerated to "boom" status. Rents skyrocketed and a housing crisis fell upon the city in the fall of 1979. Construction increased dramatically as well as housing costs. The "boom" status lasted for about 5 years before the crash in 1981.A second boom in 2006 - 2007 attracted thousands of new residents to Grande Prairie in a very short period of time. The City moved quickly to adapt and mitigate issues presented by sudden rapid growth.

Moving Forward

Since then, Grande Prairie has experienced steady growth and strives to be a leader in innovation and resourcefulness. Major Initiatives such as the Community Knowledge Campus and the Eastlink Centre are shining examples of the City's ongoing dedication to leading the way into the future.

2014 marked the City's 100th anniversary.