Olds, Alta, incorporated as a town in 1905, population 8235 (2011c), 7253 (2006c). The Town of Olds is situated in a transition zone between prairie grassland and partially wooded parkland 89 km north of Calgary. Just to the northeast, the Lone Pine stopping house once marked the early cart trail that the McDougalls of the Morley Methodist Mission cleared along an established north-south Indigenous and fur-trade route in 1873. Upon construction of the Calgary-Edmonton Railway in 1891, Canadian Pacific Railway officials named a new townsite after George Olds, longtime general traffic manager.
Homesteading began in the parkland environment to the north, filling in the Olds vicinity after 1900. Ranching developed to the east. While Olds has since World War II become a regional centre for servicing oil and natural gas exploration and production, agriculture still predominates. Olds College (fd 1913), a public college with a range of programs, specializes in agricultural courses.