Grand Centre, Alta, population 13 714 (2011c), 11 855 (2006c). Grand Centre was a town (incorporated in 1958) until 3 September 1996 when it was amalgamated with the town of COLD LAKE and Medley (the residential area for the Canadian Forces Base 4 Wing Cold Lake) to form a new town called Cold Lake (a city since 2000). Grand Centre in northeast Alberta, 290 km northeast of Edmonton, close to the Alberta-Saskatchewan border.
Grand Centre was originally called Pineault Crossing but changed its name in 1937 at the suggestion of its founding father, Ralph Bailey. Bailey had originally approached the community of Cold Lake for a site for his creamery. When Cold Lake officials stalled, Bailey established his own town. Other businesses soon followed. Nevertheless, the history of Grand Centre is inextricably bound up with that of Cold Lake.
In 1952 an Royal Canadian Air Force base was established and Grand Centre changed dramatically with the influx of military personnel. This facility is now the largest jet fighter base in Canada. Other economic activities in the area include oil and natural gas, farming and tourism. Grand Centre is the main commercial centre for the city (incorporated 2000) of Cold Lake.