The town is ideally situated in a most scenic valley at the junction of the Smoky and Peace Rivers which provide an unlimited supply of unpolluted water. The Town of Peace River has everything to offer the industrialist, tourist, sportsman and any commercial undertaking. Strategically located, the town services equally well communities to the north, south, east or west.
An average population increase of 7.5 percent per annum keeps pace with the vibrant growth of the town and enhances commercial development within the community.
To accommodate this growth, serviced subdivisions have been provided along with a reserve of land for future expansion. An industrial park area is provided with trackage for the developing service and industrial activities.
As the development has taken place, services to the people have kept pace including modern schools. Park facilities have also continually grown to accommodate the needs of the residents as well as attractive camping and mobile home sites for residents and tourists requiring them.
A full-time recreation director is employed by the town to co-ordinate and organize sporting and recreation activities and facilities. There are curling and skating rinks, both with artificial ice, as well as an active ski club with two rope tows ideally located on the hills overlooking town. For summer recreation there is a nine-hole golf course, outdoor swimming pool and two wading pools with playgrounds. Hobby, craft and little theater groups flourish.
Accommodation for tourists and travelers include two hotels, two motels and one motor hotel. These provide space for banquet and convention facilities and also include licensed dining and cocktail lounges.
Transport facilities are excellent with first class paved highways, Northern Alberta and Great Slave Lake Railways and both scheduled and charter air service. There are numerous trucking operations giving fast and efficient service to all points. The Coachways system of Greyhound lines provides bus service north, south, east and west.
Recent additions to the business and service community include a new RCMP Sub-Division Headquarters, Fish and Wildlife Office Building, 76-bed nursing home as well as several office and apartment buildings.
The trading centre includes 43 retail outlets providing a full range of merchandise plus 19 automotive supply and service centres and several wholesalers.
A fully modern general hospital, auxiliary hospital and nursing homes complex provide a total of 201 beds. Located in the town are six law firms and two firms of chartered accountants. Financial services are provided by five banks and three financial companies.
A large number of government offices, both federal and provincial, are located in Peace River to serve the needs of the people of the town and surrounding districts.
Manufacturing firms located in the town produce a number of fiberglass and steel-fabricated products consisting of holiday trailers, truck camper vans, railway speeder cabs, containovator containers, sleighs for Arctic oil explorations, and other allied products.
Churches of many denominations are represented in the town, as are fraternal and business organizations. There is a public library, daily postal service and a newspaper published weekly. The local radio station is CKYL and both CBC and CTV provide live television.
The natural resources of the country are many, both exploited and dormant. Agriculture is well established with soil varying from excellent to marginal for the area. Principal products are small seeds, legumes, coarse grains and cattle. The forestry potential is relatively untouched in the area.
Extensive oil and gas exploration has been carried out over the entire area, with major fields discovered in the Zama and Rainbow Lake areas from which crude oil and natural gas are carried by two completed pipelines to Edmonton. Gas wells near Peace River, Worsley, Tangent and Whitelaw supply requirements for a large part of the area with further drilling in progress. Tar sands surrounding the Peace River have proven potential and await suitable extraction methods.
Iron ore deposits have been discovered in the Clear Hills, Worsley and Manning areas. The ore is low grade with on-site refining indicated for production.
At the present there are no hydro dams or major irrigation projects in the area, but various proposals have been put forth and the potential is unlimited from the Peace and Smoky Rivers.
Large deposits of high-grade silica sand are located within seven miles of Peace River Town. There are extensive gravel deposits in close proximity to the town.
Climate-wise, the town is better than many others are. The winters are cold but dry and the long summer months are a boon for farmers, amateur gardeners, and sports enthusiasts. The summer days average 14.95 hours of daylight, giving a growing season of almost five months with an average rainfall of 12.7 inches.
The town’s strategic geographic position at the lower end of a rapidly expanding region and astride the major transportation routes to the north has proven to be more than sufficient as a substitute for close proximity to any one development. It is also probable that Peace River’s central location has enabled it to benefit from all new developments. We see no major change in the future in this regard. Peace River will continue to draw its growth from the further development of the primary trading areas as a whole.