Spirit River, Alberta
Located just 64 km north of Grande Prairie and 8 km west of Rycroft , Alberta, is the Town of Spirit River, one of the oldest towns in the Central Peace Region. Spirit River has a population of 849 (2021 statistics) with 378 occupied dwellings. in 2016 the population was
995 a decrease of 2.9% from the 1025 of 2011. Spirit River has a major trading area of around 10,000 and is located in the Municipal District of Spirit River No. 133. The economy of Spirit River revolves mostly around Agriculture but also is active in the oil and gas industry. Spirit River was home of the well known country singer Aaron Goodvin.

Spirit River Sign - more info

RCMP Detachment - more info

Centennial Hall - more info

Campground - more info
The population of Spirit River has decreased by more than 10% from the 2006 to the 2011 census. Life expectancy for Spirit River is 80 years old (2015), family income $95,570 (2013).

Spirit River Hospital - more info

GPREMS - more info

Clinic (old-new) - more info

Schools - more info


The original town sight was the old mission located between Rycroft and Spirit River and 3 km south. The town sight was situated by the river which was known by some as Ghost River, (Chepi-Sepe) and also later as the Spirit River. In 1891, a trading post became the original settlement along the banks of the Spirit River.

Because the railroad missed this location, those early settlers decided to move and it split into two communities, one to the west (Now Spirit River) and one to the east. (Now Rycroft). Rycroft became the railroad centre of the area. In the early 1900's (around 1920) 3 settlers by the names of Doc Calkin, R.H. Rycroft and Bill English put their last names in a hat and Rycroft was the winner. Spirit River took its name after the Spirit River that ran by the original town sight.

The Old Mission Cemetery is administered by the St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church of Rycroft. This cemetery was started by local natives in the early 1900's and was later served by priests from Dunvegan until that mission closed in 1903. the Spirit River/Rycroft Mission was then established at this site. The church was moved to Spirit River in 1941 and now the cemetery continues to serve the Rycroft parish.

The first MacLeods opened in 1958 and operated in a number of different locations until it closed in 1988.
Dave Ross Equipment was located downtown along 47 Avenue (east of the Hotel) for many years: Archived photo

LOCAL NEWSPAPER: The Central Peace Signal was located in Rycroft for many years but is now located in Spirit River at 4926-46 Avenue. Website: https://www.thecentralpeacesignal.ca

Royal Canadian Legion - Spirit River: view photo

More recent photo of the Spirit River Museum Click Here

The Spirit River Settlement Museum. 48 Street and 44 Avenue. Includes 11 historical buildings of the area. Reed House was built in 1918, Whinchel Cabin from 1914, The Flour mill from 1800, Charlie Orformis Cabin built in 1934, the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church from 1930, Bronco Creek School from 1920 (area northeast of Spirit River), Spirit Valley Hall from 1932 (area northwest of Spirit River) and also the Blacksmith shop built in 1919 from the Devale area near Spirit River. (780) 864-2180.

Residential area on the west side of Spirit RIver.

Town of Spirit River (780) 864-3998. Town of Spirit River website
Municipal District of Spirit River No. 133. Located at 4202-50 Street. (780) 864-3500. website

Saddle Hills County office, moved west of Spirit River to a new building along Highway 49 and junction Highway 725, Moonshine Lake turnoff. (780) 864-3760. Website

The Grande Spirit Foundation and MLA Todd Loewen announced (March 6, 2020) that a new seniors facility would be built in Spirit River. The 92-unit Spirit River Lodge project will replace the 60 year old Pleasant View Lodge. The cost of the project is estimated at $24.8 million and construction is scheduled to start in 2022 and completed by the spring of 2024. The GRAND OPENING of the Lodge took place June 1, 2024: VIEW PHOTOS

Museum School - more info

Museum - Hall - more info

St Eilas Church - more info

St Andrews Church - more info

Spirit River has its own Mall featuring a grocery store plus a variety of other small business near the entrance of the town.

Spirit River Events: Chepi Sepe Days (formerly June Jamboree) is held early August of each year at the Centennial Hall and arena. Also includes Trade Show, Slow Pitch Tournament and a Parade with dozens of floats. Knights of Columbus Valentines Dance is held every year. Mid-November the Christmas Crafts Show and Sale is held each year.

SPIRIT DAYS: Photos of the Spirit River Parade (archived June 2023) VIEW PHOTOS

NOW POSTED Events of the Peace Country

The Town of Spirit River is surrounded by fields as the area is strong in agricultural. In the spring you will see many tractors on the field preparing them for seed and in the fall many combines work the fields to bring in the harvest.

Spirit River Arena - more info

Spirit RIver Rangers - more info

Curling Rink - more info

Town Office - more info
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