Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake, Alta, incorporated as a village in 1913 and as a town in 1946, population 12 327 (2011c), 10 250 (2006c). The Town of Sylvan Lake is located on the south shore of the lake of the same name in central Alberta approximately 20 km west of RED DEER.

Sylvan Lake
Sylvan Lake, Alta, incorporated as a village in 1913 and as a town in 1946, population 12 327 (2011c), 10 250 (2006c). The Town of Sylvan Lake is located on the south shore of the lake of the same name in central Alberta approximately 20 km west of RED DEER. The origin of the name is descriptive; the area was once heavily forested and the name is based on the Latin word for wooded or forested. The lake was known variously as Snake (by the Cree and Stoney), and Methy and Swan (by 19th-century explorers). In 1909 a local resident, Mrs Green, circulated a petition to change the lake's name to Sylvan Lake.

In the early 1880s settlers began to take up land in the Red Deer area and Sylvan Lake was used as a source of fish. In 1899 a sawmill was established and soon a hotel was built for visitors. The development of Sylvan Lake as a resort community was encouraged by the growth of automobile touring and camping in the 1920s and 1930s, which made it accessible to people from Edmonton and other cities, as well as Red Deer.

Sylvan Lake is now one of Alberta's major resort communities. In addition to the lake and water-based activities, other attractions include 2 provincial parks, one of which is within the town's boundaries. Businesses servicing the region's oil and natural gas industries also contribute to the town's economy.