Grande Prairie News 2001 - ARCHIVED features some of the news that changed Grande Prairie during the year 2001. The new Save-On-Foods opened along with Winners on the west side and a 2nd location of Dairy Queen opened on the south side of the city. Wayne Ayling was elected Mayor of Grande Prairie and in the Federal Election Grande Prairie-Wapiti Progressive Conservative Candidate Gord Gradon along with Grande Prairie-Smoky candidate Mel Knight were elected.
MORE: Grande Prairie NEWS - 2001 To Present VIEW

The QEll hospital became home a new MRI Unit (magnetic resonance imaging unit) that produces a magnetic field to see images rather than using radiation.
An expansion to Wild Rose Manor has been approved at a cost of $525,000. This senior complex was awarded funding for its 24 apartment addition located at 7015-Poplar Drive, Grande Prairie.
Two South Peace MLAs retire from politics. Grande Prairie-Wapiti MLA Wayne Jaques and Grande Prairie-Smoky MLA Walter Paszkowski both were long term Progressive Conservative MLAs in the area.
Extensive damage occurred from fire at the Weyerhauser sawmill just a few kms south of Grande Prairie. The damage was located in the sawmill module of Weyerhauser's large pulp, paper, and lumber plant. More than 70 firefighters fought the blaze. About 110 people work at the sawmill with another 90 working at the planer mill.
Everywhere you look in Grande Prairie, there is an abundance of new construction. The Best Western Hotel, located right next to Tony Roma's had their Grand Opening in early February 2001. Both are located on the Highway By-Pass, on 116 Avenue, Grande Prairie.
Lots of changes have been happening on the west side of Grande Prairie, Alberta, especially with the Gateway Power Centre. In the last couple of years many businesses have constructed free standing buildings in that area, including Totem, Visions, Staples, Wal-Mart, Peavey Mart, London Drugs, Save-on Foods, Gullivers Restaurant, Kelsey's Restaurant, and Burger King. Other businesses have also opened: Future Shop, Smitty's, Health Hut, Love Boutique, Gateway Mohawk, Subway, Mr. Sub, Gourmade, Glentel, Gateway Liquor Store, Petland, Mark's Work Wearhouse, Danelli's Menswear, Prairie Gold Jewelry, The Dollar Store, Payless Shoes, the new Cinemas plus many more.

The new Save-On-Foods opened just west of 108 Street and south of 107 Avenue Grande Prairie. (enlarge picture)

Gateway Phase III, is well under-way with Winners and Michael's, a Mississauga, Ontario based clothing retailer recently opening its doors in a strip mall just west of 108street. (enlarge picture)
Other changes in the last while include lots of development along the Highway Bypass. (116 Avenue/ Highway 43) For many years the only business along that road was Midwest Home Furnishings that was established in 1956. In the last year we saw, City Furniture build their own store along the Highway Bypass, also Kal-tire, Co-op Gas Bar, Micro-Computers Plus, Carpet Superstore, McGoverns RV, Sean Sargent Toyota, and most recently Tony Roma's Restaurant and the Best Western.
March 2001: Albertans head to the polls March 12 as Premier Ralph Klein will try to hold on to his seat.
March 2001: More than 20,000 people attended the 16th annual Peace Country Classic Agri-Show at Evergreen Park in early March. The event included many displays and farm machinery.

A new subdivision is well under way just north of these businesses called the Royal Oaks north of the Highway ByPass. Construction is in full swing and will have the capacity of more than a hundred family dwellings.
March 2001: Grande Prairie-Wapiti Progressive Conservative Candidate Gord Gradon won as well did Grande Prairie-Smoky candidate Mel Knight as each won the majority of the vote.
June 2001: Tom Thompson president of the Grande Prairie Regional College has decided to retire with his last day being August 6th. He started at the college back in 1986 as a business administration instructor and became president in 1997.
The Four-Mile Corner, where Highway 2 and Highway 43 intersect is under construction. A partial cloverleaf is being constructed to help speed up the traffic flow. The first phase is expected to be complete by the fall of 2002.

August 2001: St Joseph Catholic High School opens its doors after 2 years of construction. It cost $15.9 million and is 9,250 square metres.

October 2001: A new mayor, Wayne Ayling, was elected in mid October of 2001 defeating Dwight Logan for Mayor. Alderman elected were: Gerry Mazer, Helen Rice, Gladys Blackmore, Derek Taylor, Bill Given, John Croken, Carol-Lee Eckhardt, and Margaret Heath. Before the election outgoing mayor John Boyle said goodbye to public service and was set to move to southern Alberta.

October 2001: Safeway announced plans to purchase Coachman Village and build a grocery store on that location. The 137 mobile home owners were very concerned as to their future. The proposed new store would be located right next to Southview IGA.

November 2001: The new $7.8 million Smoky River bridge, east of Bezanson, has finally been completed mid November. Highway 43 is now a four-lane highway from the Four Mile Corner, near Grande Prairie, to Crooked Creek. The project is part of the twinning project from Gunn, near Edmonton, to the B.C. border.

Dairy Queen had its Grand Opening in August of 2001, of its second location at 9509-68 Avenue, in Country Club Estates, south part of Grande Prairie. Jim Mah along with his family are the owners of both locations. The first location was opened in 1981. (enlarge picture)

Two new fire halls officially opened in September of 2001. The new Pete Eagar fire Hall on the southside on resources road, and also the Salmond Fire Station, on the City's north side along the Highway Bypass. (enlarge picture)

More construction was under way across the street from Tony Roma's on the Highway-Bypass. The Centre 2000 Project is nestled on the banks of Bear Creek. It opened its doors on June 22, 2001 and will be a year round facility and the home to several community and regional organizations including the Chamber of Commerce. (enlarge picture)
Visitors will want to make this a stop for information about Grande Prairie and area. RV travellers can take advantage of the services provided that include fresh water and a dumping station.

Theodore Court located on Montrose Avenue, (around 98 Street and 101st Avenue) will be the location of the new City Hall. Many locations have been reviewed by city council over the past few years as possible candidates, but costs of moving to this location out-way building a brand new building. All leases at Theodore Court expire by December 31, 2003.

The Cineplex Theatre is now located at the Gateway Power Centre just west of 108th Street Grande Prairie. Home of the newest movie releases.(enlarge picture)

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