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Sylvan Lake

Trip Planner Canada  /  Alberta  /  Sylvan Lake
(3.3/5 based on 280+ reviews for 6 attractions)
Things to do: theme parks, parks, nightlife
Sylvan Lake is a town in central Alberta, Canada. It is located 25km west of the City of Red Deer along Highway 11 or Highway 11A. It is situated on the southeast edge of Sylvan Lake, a 15km long freshwater lake, in Red Deer County.The lake is a popular destination for tourists from around Alberta, with over 1.5 million visitors each year. Popular tourist activities include sunbathing, swimming, water-skiing, and visiting the local Wild Rapids Waterslides. Camp Woods in Sylvan Lake played to the 12th Canadian Scout Jamboree in July 2013.HistorySylvan Lake was originally settled by French speaking immigrants from Quebec and the United States. Arriving in 1898 from Michigan, Alexandre Loiselle and his family homesteaded the quarter section that later became the west side of today's Main (50th) Street and the businesses and homes immediately to the west. When the first settlers arrived at Sylvan Lake in 1899, the lake was named Snake Lake from the Indian name Kinabik, which referred to the numerous garter snakes in the area. The name was officially changed to Sylvan Lake in 1903 (Gaetz 1948). "Sylvan" is from the Latin sylvanus, which means "of a forest".In the early twentieth century, groups of Estonian and then Finnish settlers moved to homesteads to the south and west of the fledgling settlement at Sylvan Lake. With their arrival came the early business community, a general store, a blacksmith, a hardware store, post office, barber, and restaurants. The completion of the Canadian Northern line to Rocky Mountain House and Nordegg in 1912 and the parallel Canadian Pacific in 1914 opened the west country to settlement and resulted in the incorporation of Sylvan Lake in 1913 under Mayor E. S. Grimson, a local hardware store owner. The anniversary of the founding of the town is celebrated every year in Sylvan Lake as "1913 Days".
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