Barrhead, Alta, incorporated as a town in 1946, population 4432 (2011c), 4209 (2006c). The Town of Barrhead is located 118 km northwest of Edmonton in the Paddle River valley. The town is near the historic fur-trading trail (built in 1825), which linked Edmonton and Fort Assinboine, over which hundreds of gold seekers passed during the Klondike Gold Rush.

Beginning in 1906, settlers reached the valley from diverse origins, chiefly Britain and the US, and cleared land for cereal crops, while numerous sawmills exploited the timber stands. Barrhead, named after Barrhead, Scotland, originally sprang up around the store, post office and community hall established by the Paddle River and District Co-operative Society (inc 1912) but was re-sited closer to the Pembina Valley Railway when it arrived in 1927.

Today the town is a service centre. It still retains a strong agricultural base and this has attracted related manufacturing.