The City of Lethbridge has been an active member of planning and assembling land since the 1940's. The foresight of that era in our city's land development brought about key changes that would come to define Lethbridge in several ways. The first being a vision for a coulee top scenic drive, the second establishing an industrial park in the north east (to compensate for our prevailing winds), and third founding a community west of the Old Man River.
We have seen these ideas come to fruition since that time, along with many other changes in our city. Lethbridge is home to many new private land development companies and residential, commercial and industrial development in our city has stretched our borders, our population and our economic strength.
Our role as a land developer has continued to evolve as our city has grown. In fact, since the late 1990's, we have become increasingly competitive in the marketplace and have made organizational changes which allow us to operate much like our competitors. Our ties to the City are manifest in what we do, and, much like private firms, we are given direction from a board of directors; in our case, City Council. The most important of these is our resolute commitment to community development in Lethbridge. We are proud to be a socially conscious developer driven not by financial gain but rather by creating vibrant, sustainable communities within our city.
While our story began more than 60 years ago, it has occurred in chapters. Some of these chapters are longer than others, but all of them have played an important part of our storyline and who we are today.
+ 1890-1960 Early Lethbridge
• Industrial Park began with the purchase of around 30 acres in the vicinity of the first municipal airport around 1925.
• When the airport moved to its present location in 1939, the 110 acres was added to the industrial area.
• In 1942 the military obtained about 700 acres of land north or the current 5th Ave. North and east of 28th Street North for use as an internment camp for P.O.W.s.
• In the late 1950s the City acquired approximately 600 acres of the internment camp area for industrial purposes
+ 1961 – 1983 Post-War Boom
• In January of 1970, approximately eight-and-a-half square miles of land annexed in west Lethbridge. The area was subdivided into three 640-acre residential districts, which became Varsity Village, Indian Battle Heights and Mountain Heights. The City played a major role in the servicing and selling of these areas.
• The City participated in a partnership with the private sector to develop Ridgewood Heights section of west Lethbridge.
• 1971 saw the beginning of major commercial expansion in the City, with the land assembly of approximately 20 acres between 5th Street South and Scenic Drive from approximately 5th Ave. to 3rd Ave. This led to the development of several new buildings, including Lethbridge Centre, the Provincial Government Buildings and the Lethbridge Lodge Hotel.
• In 1981, the Urban Parks for the Future program allowed the City to begin the process of acquiring 3,750 acres for a conservation park development in the river valley and coulee running through the city along the Oldman River.