Known as the “oasis of the prairies,” Medicine Hat’s landscape is dominated by the South Saskatchewan River Valley with its unique clay cliffs. City planners capitalized on these features with a 115-kilometre pathway system that snakes through the valley.
Medicine Hat at a Glance
- Population: 65,441
- Median Family Income: $91,960
- Unemployment Rate: 10%
- Residential Vacancy Rate: 5%
- Life Stress: 20.2%
- Sense of Belonging: 72%
Source: Government of Alberta
With its 330 days of sunshine annually, Medicine Hat holds the distinction of the sunniest city in Canada and enables people to enjoy the pathway system, as well as a wide range of other outdoor activities.
“People who like those outdoor pursuits, you can begin your season here and stretch the season out at the end,” says Jace Anderson, executive director of Tourism Medicine Hat, adding that motorcycling and golfing are popular activities.
Complementing these outdoor offerings is a thriving food and beverage scene that’s influenced by the surrounding area.
Visitors can choose from a variety of restaurants, which often feature local ingredients from the numerous greenhouses and ranches nearby. The city’s historic downtown also features several independent coffee shops.
Medicine Hat’s arts and culture scene includes both annual food and music festivals, such as the Medicine Hat JazzFest – a city staple for about 25 years – and Tongue on the Post Folk Music Festival, which is Alberta’s first winter folk music festival.
“I am confident those who visit Medicine Hat will return,” says Anderson.