Fort McKay (formerly Fort MacKay) is a small First Nations (Aboriginal) village in Wood Buffalo with a population 740 in 2016. Like Fort McMurray 60 km to the south, the hamlet of Fort MacKay is part of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
This page covers a large but sparsely-populated rural area on the Athabasca River north of Fort McMurray, Alberta.
Most of this territory is First Nations reserve land which belongs to the Fort McKay First Nation. Its members are of Cree and Dene heritage.
The economy is centred on the development of the Athabasca oil sands to the immediate south and north. Motorists travelling north on Highway 63 pass through oil sands developments en route to the community.
The community was named in 1912 after Dr. Williams Morrison MacKay, the first president of the Northern Alberta Medical Association. At the request of the Fort McKay Métis Community, the name of the hamlet was changed to Fort McKay in 2018.
Fort McKay hosted 5000 evacuees from the 2016 Fort McMurray Wildfire but itself was put under an evacuation notice due to the northward advance of the flames toward the community.
The only road access is Highway 63, which runs south through Fort McMurray ending at Highway 55 between Athabasca and Lac La Biche. Services on much of this road are limited. To the north, this highway reaches a dead end without passing through any other villages. There is no all-season road north to Fort Chipewyan.
- 1 Fort MacKay/Horizon Airport (HZP IATA) (22 km (14 mi) north-northwest of Fort McKay). It is a private airfield built to service the Horizon Oil Sands project of Canadian Natural Resources. Canadian North charter from Edmonton
- RMWB Rural Transit. Weekly bus from Fort McMurray.
See and doEdit
Fort McKay is a town full of services for the oil and gas industry. It's not a place to be looking for a lot of things to see or do. It's a working town.
- [formerly dead link] Fort McKay Treaty Days. Mid-June, two days. Fiddling contest, hand games, children’s activities, slo-pitch tournament, live entertainment.
- Fort McKay Store, ☏ +1 780-828-2388. A gas station and grocery store in the community.
- There is a Tim Horton's directly north of the Fort McKay hamlet.
- Fort McMurray has more dining options.
There are three lodges which, while nominally open to the public, tend to be rather basic as they target primarily workers in the nearby oil sands camps:
- Barge Landing Lodge, Barge Landing Road (between Hwy 63 and the Athabasca River), ☏ +1 780-743-2579, toll-free: +1-844-256-3437, fax: +1 780-743-9713. Basic lodging with exercise room, business centre, on-site dining room and small commissary.
- Creeburn Lake Lodge, Hwy 63 north of Barge Landing Road. Wi-fi, queen-sized beds and 27" LCD TVs. Lunch room with take-out, dining room with booth seating, selection of world cuisines and market-style dining options. Fitness centre, commissary. Kingfisher Lounge with draft beer, evening bar service.
- Grey Wolf Lodge, East Athabasca Highway (9km E of Hwy 63), toll-free: +1-877-234-8983. Triple-stack property with 750 rooms, bathrooms en suite. Limited number of executive and private rooms. The lodge contains a recreation room, gym, meeting room, powered parking stalls, and the rooms include free internet and satellite TV.
|Routes through Fort McKay|
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