What a theme! It used to be "the Spirit of Youth". Both are unquestionably appropriate. Okotoks is one of the youngest communities demographically in Alberta. We are slowly growing older as few of us wish to leave the community voluntarily. A recent census had 80% of Okotoks population under the age of 45 and growing in size at an astounding rate.
Each new year brings over 400 new homes in Okotoks alone and an abundance of small subdivisions in the surrounding area that still call Okotoks home. Why? Well, we are nestled in the Sheep River Valley just 10 minutes south of Calgary. That means every amenity offered in Calgary is right on our doorstep. It’s a beautiful commute with spectacular mountain views along the way to sooth your nerves before or after work. Just ten minutes of highway driving instead of the bumper to bumper, light after light traffic within the city. Okotoks even has a bus service daily to Calgary for those who wish to relax and let someone else do the driving.
Chatelaine magazine named Okotoks as one of the top ten communities in Canada way back in 1992, and things are even better now. Many of their comments centered on safety and "peace of mind" issues. Today we still feel that way. We feel safe walking around the community, even early mornings or lat into the evening. Yes, there is still some vandalism but not much relative to what the city experiences. There are a few "bad apples" in every basket, at least in Okotoks we know who they are.
Economically, Okotoks has the best of both worlds. While about 60% of employed adults still commute to Calgary, the percentage is dropping as more and more people find employment at the many new business’ racing to be part of this community. Okotoks has been recognized by the large chains and franchises as a place to be and the trend shows no sign of changing. Wal-Mart, Staples, Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Costco, Starbuck's and Tim Hortons are all presently operating here. Small business still appears to thrive here due to the "shop at home" attitude promoted by the Okotoks Chamber of Commerce and the lack of business taxes. Many other Southern Albertans now shop in Okotoks rather than go all the way to Calgary.