When a town is devastated by a natural event like a flood, many people never come back. Not so with High River. The 2011 Census counted 12,920 people calling High River home. Current population estimates have 12,919 people residing in High River. This means that; jobs are back, services are back, infrastructure is back and the High River economy is soon to be back. Also, as a regional centre, High River is a hub to over 60,000 people.
One Hundred Million Dollars was spent on flood mitigation and protection. High River is now ‘THE’ most flood protected community in Canada. These dollars do not include rebuilding of homes and businesses. There are a huge amount of dollars continuing to go into the community. In a time where economies in Alberta are floundering, High River is moving forward.
In High River there is no business tax. More than 1000 businesses call High River home. High River was recently named the 5th best place for business in Canada. Western Financial which has over 1800 employees is just one of the companies calling High River home. Cargill employs another 2200 people. As taxes continue to climb in Calgary and other centres, more businesses will be drawn to the positive business climate of High River.
Commercial development is always a precursor to an increase in residential prices. The reason why is that as money pours into a community more jobs are created, people move to the community which increases demand for housing thus dwindling supply. Supply goes down, demand goes up – so do home values.
Recent commercial activity includes; revitalization of downtown, a new Canadian Tire shopping complex, Foothills School Division head office additions, New Development permits for a shopping centre by Dream Developments (in Montrose near the Villas on Monteith) and more. More than 155,000 square feet of industrial/commercial space has been opened since 2013.
Spitzee Crossing is a Master Planned community that has been applied for in High River. This includes commercial development, services and housing for an additional 12,000 people over the next 25 years.
Building permits were issued in 2015 for construction values in excess of $60 million.
Insurance, Agri-Business, Education, Film & Tourism, Government and Health Sciences all form part of the economic diversity of High River.