Moving to Grande Prairie?
Grande Prairie – where swans and dinosaurs collide. No, the city doesn’t have a Jurassic World-style park. But it does have a surprisingly large swan population and a lot of recent dinosaur bone finds, leading to the town’s unusual fame. Beyond the swans and dinosaurs, the city’s got some ups and downs. On the up side, Grande Prairie has an amazing landscape for those who love the outdoors. Spectacular views of the nearby Rocky Mountains, close to lakes and glacier parks. On the down side though, the city struggles with an increase in crime and drug use.
Who lives in Grande Prairie
Grande Prairie is almost two distinct communities, living in one city. There are the blue-collar families who established the oil and agricultural industries in the area; then there are the young folks flooding into the city. Most of this group are in their 20s or 30s and are single or married without kids. These are big dreamers, who work hard to achieve their goals, often working seasonally for the local oil and agriculture industries. While Grande Prairie isn’t particularly diverse, there are strong First Nations and growing Filipino communities. Grande Prairie is perfect for young go-getters and music lovers.
What’s Grande Prairie’s culture?
Grande Prairie is a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll. There’s a cool music scene and indie arts community, as well as some strong museums. In a few neighbourhoods, it’s hard to believe you aren’t in Toronto or Vancouver. But then there’s also a real small-town feel and agricultural focus in other parts of the city. Just be mindful of the high crime areas as rougher neighbourhoods are in the mix too. The highs and lows of the oil and gas industry have a big impact on the culture and feel of life in Grande Prairie too – when times are good, the money is easy and residents tend to feel happy. But when the industry tanks, so do the overall prosperity, mood and safety levels.
What is Grande Prairie’s housing market?
Grande Prairie has a solid housing market for renters, but like the culture, the rental market changes depending on the health of the local oil and gas industry. During peak years, rentals get snapped up quickly and prices skyrocket. When times are tough, there’s plenty of rental stock available and rents become much more affordable.
Tips for apartment hunting in Grande Prairie
Apartments to rent in Grande Prairie are on the rise. This is mainly due to the current economic climate with not as many oil field workers coming for work. Grand Prairie is a rental city because it offers a large variety of pricing options for both low and high income renters searching for houses and even historic homes to rent.
Something you should know:
Grande Prairie has an alarming crime rate as well as a rise in drug use. That’s not to say that the whole city is unsafe, but it’s an important trend to note. Moving here for work? Make sure you’re careful about the neighbourhood you choose. Check it out during the day and at night to make sure you feel safe there.
Getting around in Grande Prairie
The Grande Prairie Airport holds down the west end of the city, along with The Great Northern Casino and a giant Walmart. There are also a number of highways in the area. For green spaces, look at the middle of the city. Grande Prairie Public Library and the Towne Centre Mall are both in the downtown core. For more shopping, head over to Prairie Mall Shopping Centre. For a trip outside the city, head over to Bear Lake or Jasper National Park.
Grande Prairie points of interest:
- Grande Prairie Airport
- The Great Northern Casino
- Muskoseepi Park
- Saskatoon Island Provincial Park
- Grande Prairie Museum
- Eastlink Centre
- Art Gallery of Grande Prairie
- Heritage Discovery Centre
- Crystal Lake
- Nitehawk Adventure Park