Lethbridge is a beautiful city with tremendous community pride. Our small city charm, friendly people and warm Chinook winds are second only to our spectacular High Level Bridge.
Fast Facts About Lethbridge
- Lethbridge enjoys more than 320 days of sunshine per year.
- Lethbridge became a city on May 9, 1906.
- The height of the CP Rail High Level Bridge is 95.7 metres.
- Lethbridge is one of only a few cities its size with two post-secondary institutions - Lethbridge College and University of Lethbridge.
- Agriculture is the main industry in southern Alberta and plays an important role in the city’s retail, wholesale and service sectors.
- Lethbridge provides a central location from which to see some of the most spectacular attractions and scenery that Alberta has to offer: www.exploresouthwestalberta.ca.
- Lethbridge offers more than 130 parks, 240 km of walking and running trails, playgrounds and sports fields throughout the city.
Many of these fun facts, and other tidbits, are available in the free, printable Lethbridge ABC Coloring Book, created by the Lethbridge Historical Society and the City of Lethbridge.
What is Lethbridge’s climate like?
Lethbridge has a moderate continental climate with warm summers and mild winters due to Chinook winds. Lethbridge and southwest Alberta also receive one of the highest amounts of sunshine in the country. A steady westerly breeze keeps the air fresh and the sky clear. Contrary to popular belief, Lethbridge is not the windiest city in Canada. According to Environment Canada, Lethbridge ranks eighth overall for windiest city. Temperatures in Lethbridge can fluctuate quite dramatically with the effects of the Chinook winds.
Lethbridge is not all dry prairie, we get just enough moisture to green the coulees (the Oldman River Valley) and allow for thick urban forests of poplar, elm and birch to grow.
Average Annual Snowfall = 130.5 cm (51.4 inches)
Average Annual Rainfall = 271.1 mm (10.7 inches)
Average Annual hours of bright sunshine = 2,506 (1971-2000 period)
Lethbridge is intersected by the Oldman River and unique coulee formations, the valley of which has been turned into one of the largest urban park systems in North America at 755 hectares (1,865 acres) of protected land.
Elevation = 914 m or 2998 ft
Latitude = 49.7 degrees north
Longitude = -112.8 degrees east
Land Area = 124.3 km2
What is a Coulee?
A coulee is a steep-sided v-shaped valley or ravine. The name “coulee” was first used by early French Canadian voyageurs crossing the Great Plains. The word coulee comes from the French word “couler,” meaning “to flow.” The coulees are distinct formations, some of which have been created by glacial erosion after the last ice age, and others from continued water and wind erosion.
What is a Chinook?
A “Chinook” is a warm west wind that pre-dominates the weather patterns of southwest Alberta. It is the result of westerly winds from the Pacific Ocean losing their moisture over the Rocky Mountains and descending as warm, dry, gusty winds onto the prairies. “Chinook” is a Blackfoot word that means “Snow Eater”, and it is known for increasing temperatures by several degrees in minutes.
What is a Viaduct?
The Lethbridge High Level Bridge, called a viaduct by Canadian Pacific Railway engineers, is the longest-highest bridge of its type in the world. When the bridge was completed in 1909, it was described as one of the “wonders of the world”.