The land around Brooks, Alberta has been traditionally used by members of the Blackfoot and Crow communities for hunting purposes. Following the signing of Treaty 7 in 1887, homesteaders began arriving in the area to take advantage of the fertile soil. The arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway brought more people to Brooks, leading to its incorporation as a village on July 14, 1910. The village of Brooks was named for Noel Edgell Brooks, a Canadian Pacific Railway Divisional Engineer. On September 8, 1911 the Village of Brooks became the Town of Brooks and became heavily involved in dryland farming and ranching.
Farming in the area continued to prosper due to the construction of the two-mile long Brooks Aqueduct completed by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1915. The aqueduct was built in two and a half years and it provided crucial irrigation during the drought of the 1920s.
Following the Second World War, deposits of oil and gas were discovered in the area around Brooks. Increased activity in the oil and gas sector caused the town’s population to rise from about 5,000 to about 8,000 by the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, real estate development was temporarily curbed in the early 1980s due to a national economic recession. Brooks recovered and witnessed increase real estate development in the 1990s. In 1996, Brooks’ population exceeded 10,000. The establishment of the Lakeside IBP meat plant became the town’s largest employer. With a population in excess of 10,000, Brooks became the largest town in Alberta. It was not incorporated as a city until September 1, 2005, when its population reached about 13,000. Because Brooks became a city on the year of Alberta’s centennial, Brooks was officially called the City of Brooks " Alberta's Centennial City™".
Brooks is continuing to grow at a rapid pace as oil and agricultural industries continue to expand in the area. Located at the epicenter of a triangle formed by Calgary, Medicine Hat, and Lethbridge, Brooks is the smallest of these cities, but one of the fastest growing. In the 2000s, Brooks annual building permit amounts have hovered around the 20 million to 30 million dollar mark, peaking at $36,482,400 in 2006. New subdivisions are being built in Brooks all the time, including Meadowbrooks, Southshore, Pleasant Park, and Greystone Close. Brooks’ affordably priced houses also make it an attractive place to live. New businesses, particularly in oil and gas and retail industries, are setting up in Brooks. 2007 was a record year for new businesses. Brooks is home to more than 200 production service companies for the oil and gas industry, and there are about 26,000 wells in the area. The Lakeside IBP meat plant run by Tyson Foods is Brooks’ most important industry, employing 2,500 in the city and with a production capacity of 4,700 head per day.
Brooks also has a prominent tourism industry. There is considerable fishing and hunting in the area. There area also several historical sites including the Brooks Aqueduct, the Brooks and District Museum, and nearby Dinosaur Provincial Park. Brooks is also home to Lake Newell, one of the country’s largest man made lakes.
Based on its economy, Brooks has a prosperous real estate industry. The city is home to several realties and realty branches including Magnuson Realty, Coldwell Banker Realty, Remax Main Street Realty, Royal Lepage Community Realty, and Pro Real Estate. Brooks is the headquarters for the REALTORS® Association of South Central Alberta.
Brooks-Alberta.com. “Brooks Alberta Canada Information.” Retrieved February 24, 2009 from http://www.brooks-alberta.com/
Brooks Direct Info. “About Brooks.” Retrieved February 24, 2009 from http://www.brooksdirect.info/about_brooks/
City of Brooks, Alberta’s Centennial City. “Business.” Retrieved February 24, 2009 from http://www.brooks.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=207&Itemid=61
City of Brooks, Alberta’s Centennial City. “City of Brooks Local Economic Indicators, 2007.” Retrieved February 24, 2009 from
City of Brooks, Alberta’s Centennial City. “History of Brooks.” Retrieved February 24, 2009 from http://www.brooks.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=54&Itemid=88