The discovery of oil at Turner Valley in 1913 heralded the
beginnings of Alberta's oil industry. Further exploration began almost immediately but did not tremendously alter the
Oil reserves at Turner Valley were more modest than future discoveries and
the technology to adequately cultivate the resource was still being developed. Additionally, the
control of resources for the Prairie provinces remained in the hands of the federal government
until 1930. What is especially important about Turner Valley is that it sparked continued exploration
for oil and natural gas, including the historic discovery of the Leduc oil field on February 13,
1947. No other event in recent history has accomplished more to change the economic, political and
social climate of Alberta.
Jobs became plentiful in
both the oil industry and the large service sector that
emerged to support it. In contrast to the past, Alberta's cities and towns,
not rural areas, became the
destination of choice for immigrants. Although not all remained, a sizeable number of people
from the United States and other countries and provinces arrived to lend their expertise to the development
of the industry. The housing market boomed and, rich on resource revenues, the provincial government
undertook massive infrastructure programs, building and paving roads and bridges throughout the province.
This digital collection was
produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital
Collections initiative, Industry Canada.