17 reasons millennials (and you) are moving to the town of Okotoks

by • November 17, 2015 • Community, Economy

By Shari Fenn, Content Contributor

As Canada’s baby boomer population retires, more and more cities and towns are competing to attract new business growth.

The town of Okotoks is finding success in attracting this business growth from the new workforce generation: the millennials.


Why Okotoks?

town of Okotoks millennial - fair

According to Luke Woolridge, a millennial and Co-founder of Six Corners Brew Works, “This millennial generation is looking for all the comforts of a big city with the convenience of short commutes to work, and close, easy access to local amenities. Okotoks has all of this.”

“We decided on Okotoks for two essential reasons, we felt it was a great place to raise our family, and we believe there are great opportunities for business growth here,” explains Luke. “Okotoks has a small town feel and is a close-knit community with lots of young families and extracurricular options for the kids with all the amenities right here.”

“From a business perspective, we’re minutes from the big city and Okotoks is a gateway for most of the region south of Calgary,” says Luke.

“Okotoks has what it takes to make people stop and take notice,” adds Luke.


Okotoks is popular for both work and play

town of Okotoks millennial - musician

Another local business owner, Del Paquette, Founder and Creative Director, Solve Studio, moved to Okotoks after 20 years in Toronto.

“Moving to Okotoks was a better option for my family. It has a thriving business community with a small town feel. Okotoks has everything you need to work and play.”

Del loves the fact that he is never caught in rush hour traffic. “I don’t have long commutes. I literally am at work in 20 seconds,” says Del. “I work from my home office. There are lots of others who do this in Okotoks every day. It a quality of life choice I have made.”


Collaborative work environment with the town and private sector

“The business community in the town of Okotoks is very collaborate and works together to make Okotoks a special place to work and live,” explains Del.

“The Okotoks Economic Development was amazing to work with when I set-up my business. There is no red tape and the support I have received from the town has been incredible,” says Del.

While there are no precise dates when the millennials generation starts and ends; most researchers and commentators use the years ranging from the early 1980s to early 2000s.

Here are 17 reasons why Okotoks is attracting the millennial generation to Okotoks:


1. Available commercial and industrial land

town of Okotoks - industrial land

Okotoks has approximately 210 acres of land ready for development. There’s also the expansion of the Southbank Business Park and Okotoks Business Park.


2. Excellent location

Okotoks provides the perfect location to do business by being only 15 minutes to the city limits of Calgary and just under 40 minutes to the international airport.


3. Young population

town of Okotoks millennial - kids

With a population of just over 28,000 people, Okotoks is the one of the youngest communities in Alberta; the average age of the population is 34 years old.


4. Strong growth

Okotoks is going through an annexation process and expected to grow  to approximately 80,000 people over the next several decades.


5. Regional hub of commercial activity

Cool Little Towns - Okotoks

The regional trade area for industrial, tourism, selected retail and professional services caters to approximately 250,000 people, reaching
the southeast including:

  • High River
  • Vulcan
  • Black Diamond
  • Turner Valley
  • Municipal District of Foothills
  • Communities south of Calgary as far as the southeast region of B.C.


6. Favourable tax advantage

Alberta’s favourable tax environment allows Okotoks to be a competitive option for business and head office relocations, branch offices and new facilities.


7. No tax for businesses

The Town of Okotoks doesn’t charge a business tax for the majority of businesses, allowing them to operate in an affordable environment while being located in a sustainable community.


8. Highly educated workforce

Okotoks also has one of the highest educated and skilled population in the Calgary Region.


9. Varied employment base

town of Okotoks millennial - worker

Okotoks offers a varied employment base including:

  • agriculture
  • education
  • construction
  • transportation and logistics
  • professional services
  • retail and
  • home-based business


10. Business growth plan

town of Okotoks - business park

Okotoks has a growth plan for the following sectors:

  • Technology and innovation
  • Professional and technical services
  • Industrial businesses (e.g. warehouses, manufacturing)
  • Tourism marketing and product development
  • Green building products and environmental services
  • Value-added agricultural businesses
  • Food processing and alternative energy
  • Light and non-polluting industrial development


11. Thriving cultural community

town of Okotoks millennial - community

Okotoks has art galleries, a performing arts centre and a museum. The town offers restaurants, unique shopping experiences, recreation and cultural experiences for residents and visitors alike.


12. Healthy living with pathway system

Okotoks offers over 50 km of pathway system for walking, running, biking and an off-leash dog park. The paths run along the picturesque Sheep River Valley.


13. Excellent education system

Okotoks schools are some of the best in Alberta. The town also has a post-secondary campus (Bow Valley College) and a Public Library.


14. Amazing recreation opportunities

town of Okotoks - kids water

The town has:


15. Weekend tourist destination

The town offers boutique style shopping and a variety of restaurants that cater to every taste and budget.

There are also four hotels, including one full-service hotel and three B&B’s.


16. Popular special events

Light up Okotoks

Photo credit: The Eagle 100.9

Okotoks hosts events throughout the year including Buskers-Fest, Taste of Okotoks, Chili-Fest, Light Up Okotoks and Show and Shine.


17. Magnificent rocky mountain views

Okotoks is surrounded by magnificent Rocky Mountain views and bountiful rolling hills.


How about you? Do you live in Okotoks? Planning to move there? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
Shari Fenn is a Canadian storyteller, inbound content writer and owner of Cross Communications Inc.


10 Responses

  1. Chrisanna Fagan says:

    This sounds like a great place to live. I think young families are looking for more of a “family oriented” place to raise their children and also, not have to spend half their day commuting to their jobs. if they need the city, it’s not far to go !!!!!

  2. F W Lynn Gallant says:

    I have spent a few days at different times in Okotoks and have found the people to be great
    and town is modern and very clean . Lots of places to eat and you are only a few minutes
    before your in the rolling hills of Alberta. When and if I move again we would put Okotoks
    at the top of our list as a place to live. Great photos!

  3. Myriam Norman says:

    “The Town of Okotoks doesn’t charge a business tax for the majority of businesses” … That’s a very worthwhile tidbit of information that I’ll be sharing….

  4. Mary Lee Leach says:

    Great place for a young family. Seems to be lots going on for fun and entertainment.
    It is so helpful for parents to work close to home so they can be there for the children.
    Looks like a wonderful community and a beautiful location.

  5. Karen says:

    This is really great timing that I found this. I am looking for a long term place to live and was thinking it would be nice to be outside Calgary.
    Honestly I thought Okotoks was a retirement and farmer type of community and didn’t even consider looking at it. It sure has changed , and for the better it seems over the last 30 years. I am going to take a drive out there this weekend. you have certainly done your job on this promotional piece.

    • CRPadmin says:

      Thank you for the comment Karen. Many people haven’t been to Okotoks or haven’t been in a while. It’s definitely a vibrant community with lots of things going on.

  6. Kelly-Ann says:

    I was recently out in Okotoks for the Christmas Craft sale earlier this month and was actually taken back by what a beautiful, cultural town it is. We actually spent more time on the old okotoks strip wandering in wonderful and unique stores and having a latte at an adorable little shop. I had no idea of all that was out there. I will definitely go back now since reading your article there is obviously even more to this charming little place.

    • CRPadmin says:

      Glad you found the article useful Kelly-Ann. Okotoks definitely has lots of things happening that many people aren’t aware of.

  7. Yes! This article is spot-on, and highlights all of the wonderful reasons for moving to Okotoks, and why we are actively building a luxury, acreage homes community-Green Haven Estates at Okotoks.
    It is a beautiful town.


  8. Kimberly Lake says:

    That looks like an amazing town and the photos are marvelous.

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