More than 63,000 people live in the city of Medicine Hat, which is located in the southeastern corner of the province. The city spans over 112 square kilometres near the communities of Dunmore, Irvine, Bullshead, and Redcliff. The South Saskatchewan River winds its way through the middle of Medicine Hat, as does the Trans-Canada Highway. Although a smaller city compared to Edmonton and Calgary, Medicine Hat has plenty of amenities such as restaurants, schools, retail stores, and parks to keep residents satisfied.
The average house prices in Medicine Hat range from $200,000 to $400,000, making the city an affordable place to own a home.
A mix of older and newer single-family homes, as well as newer condos, can be found in the northern section of the city. Vacant lots are also available in this section. Retail commercial space is available in Medicine Hat’s central section, along with single-family homes, condos, and vacant land. Many of the city’s larger homes can be found in the southern section, usually on larger lots and with double garages. Commercial space can also be found here.
Over the past several years, the vacancy rate in Medicine Hat has remained fairly steady, at around 2.5%. Vacancy rates are highest for bachelor and three-bedroom apartments in the city. The vacancy rate for three-bedroom apartment units, specifically, has increased significantly over the past several years. Average rent costs in Medicine Hat are around $610 for a bachelor apartment, $720 for a one-bedroom apartment, $830 for a two-bedroom apartment, and $930 for a three-bedroom (or more) apartment. The overall average rent in the city is about $790. Rent costs overall have increased slightly over the past several years, with three-bedroom apartment units seeing the highest rent increase.
Major industries in Medicine Hat include agriculture, solar energy, wind energy, natural gas, manufacturing, petrochemical processing, and craft malting. Chemical manufacturing in the city involves products such as methanol, nitrogen, and thermal carbon black, with major companies including Methanex, CF Industries, and Cancarb. Other manufacturing in the city includes metal fabrication and equipment manufacturing, particularly for agriculture, mining, and construction uses. Major agricultural products from the area include cattle, grains, and greenhouse vegetables such as cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes. Medicine Hat’s unemployment rate has remained fairly stable at around 7%, which is slightly higher than the national rate.
Public transportation in the city is operated by Medicine Hat Transit, which services about 10 routes with its fleet of accessible vehicles. Routes are divided into “peak service” (Monday to Friday) and “non-peak service” (evenings, weekends, and holidays). Paratransit services are also offered by the transit agency for those with a disability. Medicine Hat is also serviced by Greyhound buses and the Medicine Hat Airport, which has flights to and from Calgary via Air Canada Express, and flights to and from Edmonton via Integra Air.
The Medicine Hat School District No. 76 and Medicine Hat Catholic/Separate School District operate schools in the city, including Connaught School, Crestwood School, Elm Street School, Dr. Ken Sauer School, Medicine Hat Christian School, Herald School, George Davison School, Dr. Roy Wilson Learning Centre, Vincent Massey School, Riverside School, Southview School, River Heights School, Central High School, Medicine Hat High School, and Alexandra Middle School. Private school options are also available.
The main post-secondary option in Medicine Hat is Medicine Hat College, which offers programs in trades, healthcare, law, communications, arts, sciences, business, dentistry, social work, and education. Other post-secondary institutions in the city include Cypress College and Academy of Learning Career College.
The Esplanade is part art gallery, part museum, and part theatre. The art gallery presents various exhibitions of contemporary and historical art from near and far, as well as workshops, tours, and classes for people of all ages. The museum focuses on the history and culture of the local community, with artifacts including documents, natural specimens, photographs, and other objects. The theatre presents performances by musical acts, comedy acts, and theatre groups.
Police Point Park is located in the city’s eastern section and is bordered by the Medicine Hat Golf & Country Club and the South Saskatchewan River. The park spans about 98 hectares and has numerous walking trails winding through grassy and treed areas. The park is also home to a nature centre, which provides information about the area, tours of the park, and unique items at the onsite gift shop.