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Alberta Online Encyclopedia

The Community

Historic view of downtown St.Paul

Approximately 200 kilometres outside of Edmonton lies a small rural centre that is the heart of Alberta’s French community. More Franco-Albertans live in the St. Paul region than any other location in the province, with over 30 percent of the population claiming French as their first language. Less than half of the region’s residents live within the town of St. Paul itself. Of the over 12,000 people residing in the St. Paul area, most occupy surrounding farmland. Originally, the region was populated primarily by homesteaders mainly from Québec (and New England) as well as France and Belgium, attracted by the rich agricultural land of the region. While farming remains the primary activity of most residents, the area is also an important location for the oil and gas sectors and supports an active tourism and recreation industry. Expanding from humble beginnings as a small French Métis colony, the town of St. Paul is an important offshoot in the historical roots of Alberta’s Francophone community.

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            For more on the towns of St. Vincent and St. Paul, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.
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