Ninety And Going Strong
Sexsmith is steeped in tradition with a flair for the modern day.
Here you’ll find a bustling community with many young families and contemporary amenities such as a trail that runs through the town and a newly completed water feature paying tribute to beloved former mayor, the late Claude Lagace.
A dog park is planned for 2020 and a physician recruitment program is underway to keep up with increased population growth.
Sexsmith marked 90 years as a village in 2019 and continues to grow as a regional community just north of Grande Prairie on Highway 2. It’s now more than 2,600 residents.
As you wander downtown on the historic 1920s-1930s main street, you will come across charming shops, stores and a vintage clock.
Perhaps you’ll stop to enjoy a coffee and cinnamon bun at Cowbella’s Café, a quaint eatery, known for its home-made goods and antique décor. Just around the corner is Asia’s Diner offering Western and Chinese cuisine providing another great dining choice.
Many visitors to downtown stop in for yarn at Hippy Strings, located in the old NAR Railway Station.
The train station is part of the nearby Sexsmith Museum, which also features a working blacksmith shop from 100 years ago, Paszkowski House, an example of a home from the 1930s, a recently donated Orthodox Church, a historical Anglican Church, and Anderson Hall, which houses the majority of the museum’s exhibits. You may wish to follow the historical walking trail with the Museum map full of interesting history.
Between 1939 and 1949, Sexsmith shipped more grain than any port in the Commonwealth, earning the title ‘Grain Capital of the British Empire’. At one time, there were nine grain elevators on Elevator Road. Today, the only grain elevator in the Peace Country that is eligible for restoration, is that last standing Prairie Giant gracing the skyline in Sexsmith.
Established in 1978, the Sexsmith & District Museum Society recently partnered with Alberta Historical Resources to restore the elevator roof in 2019. With grants, donations and raffles, they are continuing with painting of the building in 2020.
This will be followed with the interior cleaning and restoration. The vision is a functioning grain museum, for everyone to experience, focusing on the era of its use.
If visiting in June, plan to attend the large community event, Chautauqua Day, which kicks off with a pancake breakfast and includes a parade, midway, and a classic car show. There’s also bingo, a petting zoo, and a face painting booth for the young and the young at heart. The day also features a farmer’s market.
With a splash park, playgrounds, a skateboard park, and walking trails, there is something for the whole family.
Morningview Golf Course (9 holes) and River Stone Golf Course (18 holes) in nearby Teepee Creek have both received excellent reviews on Trip Advisor. Spruce Meadows, just five minutes north of Sexsmith delivers a par 71 championship course.
Heritage Park Campground is a popular spot for campers. If you enjoy fishing, you can start your day by catching your own breakfast in the fully stocked pond at the campground. Check to see which species are for catch and release only. The campground also has horseshoe pits and a mini golf course.
The Sexsmith farmers’ market is a great place to find treasures for you to take home. With an average of 35 vendors, you will find a wide range of handmade, homemade, and homegrown items.
Sexsmith is a hotbed of curling and has produced names such as Kurt Balderston and Kristine Moore. There are six outdoor skating rinks. Robust hockey, Tae kwon do and gymnastics programs round out the winter sports activities.
A Christmas Farmer’s Market is held for two days in late November.
Celebrating the Past, Embracing the Future
“We really take pride in our history while focusing on moving forward,” says Mayor Kate Potter. “We want to preserve that heritage and build a community for our young families.”