Camrose is about 90 km southeast of Edmonton, in a transitory region of Alberta, between prairie and boreal forest, known as aspen parkland. It's a major economic centre for many small farming communities in the surrounding area. The Stoney Creek runs through the city and flows into the Battle River, south of the city.
The area around Camrose was first settled by Europeans in around 1900. At that time the nearby settlement of Wetaskiwin was a major centre for pioneers; typically, it was the last stopping-off point before they set out in search of nearby land. The site that was to be Camrose was about a day's journey from Wetaskiwin along the railroad, which made it a popular place on the route of pioneers. Soon businessmen and other settlers arrived to stay. The settlers came primarily from Scandinavian countries, such as Norway and Sweden, and many settlers also came from the United States. At that time the settlement was known as the hamlet of Stoney Creek. In 1904, Stoney Creek began receiving mail service, its first businesses began to open, and its first RCMP officer (Constable "Blue" Smith) arrived.
On May 4, 1905, the settlement was incorporated as the Village of Sparling, named for Reverend Dr. Sparling of Winnipeg; however, because the name was often confused with Sperling and Stirling, in 1906 the Village Council renamed the settlement to Camrose. There is no factual evidence about the reason for the choice of the name Camrose, but it is generally thought that it was named after the Village of Camrose in Pembrokeshire, South Wales. In December 1906, Camrose was incorporated as a town.
From 1905 to 1914, there was a great deal of railway construction in the Camrose area. Camrose became a bit of a railway hub, sitting on railways that connected to Edmonton and Calgary, and to many of the smaller towns in central Alberta, such as Vegreville, Stettler, Drumheller, and Wetaskiwin. By 1914, 12 passenger trains came through Camrose daily. In those days the growth of Camrose was strongly linked with the railway.
In 1912, the first building of the Camrose Lutheran College (known as Augustana University College from 1991 to 2004) was opened. Today the campus continues as the Augustana Faculty of the University of Alberta.
Highway 13 passes through the city. Edmonton is 90 km northwest, via Highway 21, which intersects Highway 13 about 6 km west of Camrose.
The Camrose Connector bus service travels to Edmonton on weekdays.
- Mirror Lake Taxi, ☏ .
- Lakeside Taxi, ☏ .
- Rose City Taxi, ☏ .
- 1 Bailey Theatre, 5041 50 Street, ☏ . Alberta's oldest vaudeville theatre.
- 2 [dead link] Camrose & District Centennial Museum, 4522 53 Street, ☏ . Home of thousands of artefacts with one main building and twelve outside buildings. No admission; by donation.
- 3 Camrose Railway Museum & Park, 4407 47 Avenue, ☏ . 1911 Canadian Northern Railway depot with unique displays of local railway heritage, the White Elephant gift shop, self-serve refreshments in the Tea Room, as well as the Canadian Northern Society’s archives and library.
- 4 University of Alberta Augustana Campus, 4901 46 Avenue, ☏ .
- 1 Big Valley Jamboree, 4250 Exhibition Drive (Camrose Regional Exhibition), ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Canada's largest country music festival, the first week of August.
- 2 Cross Country Skiing at the Camrose Ski Club, 39 Avenue & 53 Street, ✉ email@example.com. 16 km of cross-country trails throughout Camrose.
- Hotel Camrose Resort and Casino, 3201 48 Avenue, toll-free: .
- 3 Ice skating at Mirror Lake, 5402 48 Avenue. winter.
- 4 Camrose Golf Course, 5106 66 Street, ☏ . Established in 1922 and is an 18-hole public course that offers all amenities required by both the recreational golfer and the golfer seeking additional challenges to their game.
- 5 Silver Creek Gold & RV Resort, 45314 Highway 21; New Norway, AB (24 km southwest of Camrose on Hwy 21 near New Norway), ☏ .
- Downtown Camrose. There are over 280 businesses within the Business Revitalization Zone. It is here that you will find the majority of professional services and a very strong retail sector.
- 1 The Lefse House, 5210 51 Avenue, ☏ . M-F 9:30AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-4PM, closed long weekends and holidays. A Scandinavian specialty bakery with a coffee shop and gift gallery.
- 2 Skyway Restaurant, 4941 50 Street, ☏ . M-Sa 11AM-9PM, Su 4-9PM. Chinese and Thai Take-out and dine-in.
- 3 Browns Socialhouse, 6805 48 Avenue, ☏ . M-W 11AM-10PM, Th 11AM-11PM, Sa 10AM-midnighr, Su 10AM-10PM.
- 4 [dead link] Sacred Arts, 5006 50 Street, ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-5:30PM. Plant-based natural foods and drinks, and yogic diets.
- 1 Canalta Hotels, 4710 73 Street, ☏ . Indoor pool, hot tub and fitness centre. Free continental breakfast, pet-friendly hotel, and kids 17 and under stay free with an adult. From $110.
- 2 Hotel Camrose Resort and Casino (Best Western Premier), 3201 48 Avenue, toll-free: . Free parking, pool, fitness centre, free breakfast, on-site casino, kids stay free, pets allowed. From $112.
- 3 Norsemen Inn, 6505 48 Avenue, ☏ , toll-free: . Golf course, restaurant, bar and microbrewery on site. Pets allowed, business centre. From $99.
- 4 R & R Inn & Suites, ☏ . Accessible room. Pets allowed. From $98.
- 5 Ramada, 4702 73 Street. Indoor pool, waterslide, hot tub, free breakfast, fitness centre. From $106.
- 6 Motel 6 Camrose (formerly Traveller’s Inn), 6216 48 Avenue, ☏ . Pets and children stay free. From $95.
- 1 Bill Fowler Centre (Camrose Visitor Information Centre), 5402 48 Avenue, ☏ . Summer (May long-weekend to Sept long-weekend): M-F 8:30 AM-7PM, Sa-Su 10AM-5:30PM; Winter: M-F 8:30AM-4:30PM. The Bill Fowler Centre is home to the Visitor Information Centre as well as the Camrose Chamber of Commerce. It is home to Ole Uffda, the Scandinavian mascot of Camrose, and the Viking Longship. The Bill Fowler Centre sits on the south shore of Mirror Lake Park, a focal point in Camrose’s urban park system. The centre is stocked with extensive information on Camrose, Camrose County, and the Boomtown Trail.
- 2 Camrose Public Library, 4710 50 Avenue, ☏ . M-Th 10AM-8PM; F 10AM-6PM; Sa 11AM-5PM; Su 1-5PM.
|Routes through Camrose|
|Pigeon Lake ← Wetaskiwin ←||W E||→ becomes → Biggar → Saskatoon|
|Edmonton ← Sherwood Park ←||N S||→ Jct W E → Three Hills → Strathmore|
|END ←||N S||→ Stettler → Drumheller|