The origin of our community is not unique. We began as a post office on the Canadian Pacific Railway Line at the turn of the last century. Fur traders passing through became farmers who stayed, persuaded by the promise of land, freedom, and economic opportunity. We will continue to build on our 100 year history of great social interaction and mutual respect with our Saddle Lake Cree Nation neighbours so we may grow closer, and more successful, together. Officially, Two Hills acquired its name in 1913, but for over 200 years, fur traders and farmers alike knew they were home when the saw the ‘les deux grosse buttes’ – the two hills.
Immigration is always how we have grown. Newcomers recognize the opportunities our region and our community present. Whether from central and eastern Europe or from Mexico, jobs in food production and in manufacturing have attracted those seeking new opportunities and new freedom. However, people also are drawn to our region because they recognize the quality of life they can experience in our community. A neighbourhood feel with quality educational supports, great healthcare, economic opportunity, and freedom to be themselves and celebrate their culture is what appeals to those who come looking for a new home.
We recognize we have strengths today that are the envy of other communities. We have a hard working population with excellent trade skills, quality services and amenities families want, abundant natural resources with access to important trade corridors, and a culture of perseverance and innovation. Mixing those ingredients together will attract families, businesses, and industry that will secure a prosperous future for Two Hills. Seeing those two hills meant you were home to fur traders 200 years ago, and to farmers moving grain 100 years ago. Forever, Two Hills will mean to residents and newcomers alike that you have arrived - home.
A prosperous community driven by growing manufacturing and agriculture sectors, and quality family-focused amenities.
Develop strategic partnerships that attract investments in businesses and industries, and attract new families by building on our unique advantages.
WHAT WE VALUE
Partnerships/Cooperation – Our Mennonite population, our Saddle Lake Cree Nation neighbours, and the County of Two Hills are essential to our growth. We also value partnerships with private sector and community organizations, evidenced by initiatives that built a dentist’s office, doctor’s office and pharmacy, and supported our skating rink and recreation facilities.
Industrial and Agricultural Growth Opportunities – manufacturing and agriculture drive our economy today, and will drive our growth in the future. Business and industry looking for locations with the resources, transportation connections, a skilled labour pool, and lower costs of operations will look to us first.
Quality of Life/Recreation – strategic investments will continue to ensure our current, and our new, citizens enjoy a quality of life with the amenities and services their families desire. Combining those services with walkability, excellent healthcare resources, and diverse education options in a friendly community with a growing economy makes us the ideal location for young families and newcomers.
PRIORITY ACTIONS AND PERFORMANCE MILESTONES
Economic Development Preparedness:
• Regional Labour Force Assessment – completed 2022
• Energy and Water Resources Costing Data – completed 2022
• Land Bank Data – completed 2022
• Manufacturing Attraction Initiative – target specific businesses – one new commitment by 2022, three by 2024
• Community Wide Plan – visualization of what community will look like 15 years from now regarding downtown core, housing, businesses, and beautification initiatives. – completed 2023
• Business Assessment and Plans – identify 3 small business opportunities complete with business plans, and then seek out potential owners and investors. – completed 2022
Marketing Strategy: marketing to key demographic populations, businesses, and agriculture and manufacturing industries through face to face encounters, targeted local media and social media campaigns, and opportunity leveraging. - ongoing implementation
Enduring Relationships Strategy: Two Hills County, new immigrant populations, Saddle Lake First Nations, the business community, and citizens are critically important partners in growing our community. – ongoing implementation
High Speed Internet: high speed connectivity will compliment our rail and road connectivity and be leveraged into economic opportunity to attract families, businesses, and industries ready for the future.
• Transportation – access North and South with the ‘high, heavy, wide’ corridor and part of Ports-to-Plains Corridor, Airport (2900 ft), including direct access to Ft McMurray
• Water – ample raw and treated water sources for agriculture, value added agriculture, manufacturing, and processing, and housing growth
• Land – agriculture land (no land bank), bare lots, housing lots, industrial/commercial lots - 40 acres unserviced and 30 acres (10 lots) serviced
• Natural Gas Asset
• Food Production – innovative agricultural practices and young agriculture producers
• Manufacturing – existing manufacturing enterprises (prime mover and economies of scale)
• Proximity to Trades College (Myrnam)
• Labour Force – existing population of hard working people available for, and desiring, trades and labour jobs
• Social and Quality of Life Factors – community and neighbourhood feel, non-traditional restaurants, safety and security, walkability, cultural diversity
• Recreation – lake, golf course, gym, river, regional recreation facility, camping, baseball diamonds, tennis courts
• Saddle Lake First Nations – a 100 year history of great social interactions and mutual respect