Redwater, Alberta, incorporated as a town in 1950, population 1915 (2011c), 2202 (2006c). The Town of Redwater is located 55 km northeast of Edmonton. The town takes its name from the Redwater River. The river was originally called the Vermillion River but the name was changed (from French to English) to avoid duplication. Ochre beds give the water a distinctive colour. The Redwater area was surveyed in 1881-83 and registered in 1906. The first homesteads were taken by Ukrainian settlers in 1907, closely followed by British immigrants in 1908 and the French in 1909. The first post office was established in 1907 just east of the present town and relocated in 1919 when Redwater became a hamlet. It was incorporated as a village in 1949, and as a town in 1950.
Redwater was considered a farming area until Imperial Oil Ltd discovered oil on Hilton Cook's farm in October 1948. There was a boom in the economy and the population grew from 160 to over 4000 during the height of the boom. The original "Discovery Well" is now a landmark in the centre of the town, and the oil discovery is commemorated each August during Discovery Days. Almost 50 years after its discovery the Redwater field remains one of Canada's largest oilfields. The area is also a centre for petrochemical developments.