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North America > Canada > Prairies > Alberta > Peace River Country (Alberta) > Peace River (Alberta)

Peace River

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Peace River is a town of about 7,000 people (2016) in the Peace River Country region of Alberta.

Understand[edit]

The city sits on the banks of the Peace River, at its confluence with the Smoky River, the Heart River and Pat's Creek. The Peace River townsite is nearly 1,000 feet (300 m) below the relatively flat terrain surrounding it. There are various First Nations (Aboriginal) communities to the northeast, French-Canadian farming communities to the south and to the east, and Mennonite and Hutterite German-Canadian farming communities to the north and northwest of the town.

Aerial view of the Town of Peace River

The Government of Alberta is the largest employer in the town, with over 15 government departments within its municipal boundaries. It is followed in close second by resource extraction, principally forestry, agriculture, oil and gas and their support services.

The Town of Peace River is close to th Peace River Oil Sands, Alberta's 3rd largest oil sands deposit.

An ancient Beaver First Nation legend says: "Drink the water of the Peace River and you will return."

Climate[edit]

Peace River in winter

The Peace River area generally has low year-round precipitation. Its dry climate, which results in reduced humidity, causes the summer heat and winter cold feel less severe than in places with higher humidity.

Due to cold air drainage, the river valley is often completely filled with stratus and fog while outside the valley is clear. The fog usually clears in a few hours. Winds in town are channeled along the Peace River valley (towards the northeast or southwest) while winds outside the valley are quite variable.

Winters are often cold enough to see the formation of an ice cover on the Peace River from January to late March or early April. Summer frequently features thunderstorms that are preceded with persistent winds and occasionally produce small grain-sized hail. Tornadoes and severe winds are a rarity in the Peace River area.

Regardless of the season, when there is daylight out, Peace River will usually have sunny skies. There is on average 2,060 hours of sunshine every year.

Get in[edit]

Peace River is 486 km (302 mi) northwest of Edmonton, and 198 km (123 mi) northeast of Grande Prairie, along Highway 2. It is about five hours drive northwest of Edmonton and 2½ hours northeast of Grande Prairie.

Highway 35 comes in from Northwest Territories, and Highway 43 from British Columbia and Alaska.

  • 1 Peace River Regional Airport (YPE). Regular scheduled air service and charter service provided by Northern Air provides direct passenger flights between Peace River and Edmonton International Airport, Peace River and Calgary International Airport.

Northern Express offers bus service to Edmonton, Grande Prairie, and High Level.

Get around[edit]

Peace River no longer has public transit.

See[edit]

The NAR train station in the Town of Peace River.
  • Northern Alberta Railway (NAR) station (on 94 Avenue block of 100 Street next to the railway tracks that cross through Peace River). The station was built in 1916 by the Central Canada Railway. It served as a major hub of activity from 1916 to 1956 for passengers. The station was continued for use for freight and the station was closed in 1981. It houses the Peace River & District Chamber of Commerce and the Tourist Information Centre in Peace River.
  • Catholic St. Augustine Mission, Shaftesbury Trail on River Lot 22. Established in 1888 when the missionaries came to the Peace country to evangelize and educate the First Nations people. Alongside the mission is an old cemetery. This site is within the Peace River Provincial Correctional Centre which was built in 1968.
  • Third Mission Heritage Suites (at 100 Avenue block of 98 Street adjacent to Riverfront Park and across from the original Hudson’s Bay Factor’s House (1904)). The former priests’ house that was moved over the ice to Peace River in 1958 and functioned as residential apartments before being renovated into a hote.
The Anglican Church in Peace River
  • St. James Anglican Cathedral Church. Built in 1936.
  • 1 Fort Fork (in the Peace River Wildland Provincial Park). A National Historic Site. The fort was erected in 1792 by the North West Company. Alexander Mackenzie wintered at Fort Fork in 1792 as did David Thompson in 1802. The fort was abandoned in 1805 and has since been almost completed eroded by the Peace River. A flag planted at Fort Fork's former site is all that remains. Mackenzie Cairn was erected in 1929 to commemorate Fort Fork. Fort Fork (Q5471152) on Wikidata Fort Fork on Wikipedia
12 Foot Davis grave site on top of Grouard Hill
  • 12 Foot Davis grave site. A 12-feet (3.7-m) tall wooden statue stands at the Riverfront Park in Peace River to commemorate Henry Fuller Davis, one of the most famous figures in the Town of Peace River's history. His “Twelve Foot Davis” nickname stems from the twelve-foot land claim during the Cariboo Country gold rush in British Columbia which netted him almost $30,000 worth of gold. He took these profits and staked it all on a trading post close to where the Town of Peace River stands today. It is for this reason that the Town of Peace River is sometimes referred to as the Land of Twelve Foot Davis. Twelve Foot Davis' gravesite is designated a park on the top of Grouard Hill just east of the town.
  • Peace Players. Based at Athabasca Hall in Peace River, they have several productions every season from September to June, including a musical theatre, a children’s production theatre, an evening of One Acts and dinner & theatre.
  • Peace River Museum, Archives & Mackenzie Centre, 10302 99 St at 103rd Avenue, +1 780 624-4261, . M-Sa 10AM-5PM. The museum contains over 10,000 artifacts, a fur trade gallery, aboriginal artifacts, and the Peace River Gallery which documents the history of settlement in Peace River. The wheelshaft from the famous steamer D.A. Thomas is on the grounds. Gift shop.
  • Normand Boucher Community Aboretum, 9706 98 St on 70 Avenue block. The aboretum holds 140 trees and 42 shrubs, 60 of which are different tree and plant species from across Alberta, Canada and the world. The aboretum also features a gazebo.
  • Peace River Gold Cup Jet Boat Championship racing. Second weekend in July.

Do[edit]

  • Paddle the Peace. mid-Aug. Community paddling day. Meal included. Door prizes. $20.
  • PeaceFest, Twelve Foot Davis Ball Park. Second F and Sa in July. The Peace River region's biggest concert, coinciding with the Peace River Gold Cup jet boat racing and a fair at the Riverfront Park that includes street performers and interactive rides. A free pancake breakfast is provided at the Peace Country Co-op store. $75 each night.
  • Alberta Pond Hockey tournament. Early March. Pond Hockey is played by a team of four players competing against another team of four players with no goaltenders. The game is played on an natural outdoor ice surface that is approximately 150 feet by 75 feet or 75 per cent of a regulation ice surface. A game is 30 minutes in length with two 15-minute halves.
  • [dead link] Aboriginal Gathering & Pow Wow. First weekend in June. Authentic indigenous crafts made on Turtle Island. Grande Entries, celebration of Aboriginal graduates, Honor Dance. Indigenous food vendors: neckbones to bannock burgers.
  • Peace River Heritage Run. Second Sunday in June. 10 km, 5 km, half-marathon. $30.
  • Peace River Gay Pride. Second weekend in June. Parade on Main St., barbecue in Riverfront Park, parties through the weekend.
  • Pat’s Creek hiking trail. A 3-kilometre wilderness interpretive trail above the Pat’s Creek just north of town starting at Highway 2/Highway 744 overpass between Kauffman Hill and George Hill and heading up to the Peace River Agricultural Society Grounds in Northern Sunrise County. It used to be the old Highway 2 route into town. Cross country skiing is also popular at this trail during the winter months.
  • Multi-use trail system. There is an extensive multi-use trail system for pedestrians and bicycles throughout the town including the dykes within the river valley that form part of the northern leg of the Trans Canada Trail. The trail runs from Calgary and heads north through Edmonton to the Peace River area through Grouard. Between Grimshaw and the Town of Peace River is the 29-km Friendship Trail.

Buy[edit]

  • Riverdrive Mall, 10122 100 St.
  • Sagitawa Friendship Centre - Hide N Seek Handicrafts, 10108-100 Avenue, +1 780-624-2443. A place to buy Native art. There is a small museum with some early Native artifacts. The craft shop carries some similar items handcrafted locally: antler carvings, carvings of Bald Eagles, dream catchers, jewellery, talking sticks carved from local wood, salmon pendants carved from elk antler ivory.

Eat[edit]

  • Alexander's Restaurant, 9510-100th St (in the Sawridge Inn in downtown Peace River), +1 780-624-3621. 5:30AM-10PM. In the Sawridge Inn, it specializes in Canadian cuisine with a Northern touch. Start the day with their hearty breakfast fare. The extensive lunch & dinner menu features pizza to go, and many other dishes. A lunch buffet is served M-F. Meals $9-29.
  • Java Domain, 10107 100 Street, +1 780-624-5557. M-F 7:30AM-4PM, Sa 9AM-4PM.
  • Peace Garden Restaurant, 10016 100 St, +1 780-624-1048. 11AM-11PM. Chinese, Canadian. Combo dinner for one $10-15.

Drink[edit]

  • Sharks Billiard & Sports Lounge, 9510-100th St (in the Sawridge Inn in downtown Peace River), +1 780-624-3621. 11AM-2AM (open to midnight on Sundays). Casual dining such as chicken wings, burgers, fries, and Caesar salads. Enjoy your favourite cocktail or suds while watching your favorite sporting event. Meals $8-25.
  • Sternwheeler Gaming Lounge, 9510-100th St (in the Sawridge Inn in downtown Peace River). 10AM-2AM. Lounge around or play the night away in Sternwheeler's comfortable, Las Vegas-style atmosphere. Casual dining and light fare offered from 10AM-2AM daily. Enjoy any menu items from Alexander's restaurant, such as pizzas and burgers. Meals: $8-25.

Sleep[edit]

  • Peace Valley Guest Ranch, Grimshaw, Alberta, +1 780-332-7444, +1 780-617-4270. Check-out: 11AM. Working cattle ranch in valley on the Peace River, cabins with bedding and towels provided. Main cabin dining room serves T-bone steak with all the trimmings. Coffee, snacks, fresh cinnamon buns. Hot bisquits and cocoa around the camp fire at sunset, pancakes and sausages at breakfast. River cruises on a jet boat, equestrian trail rides.
  • Sawridge Inn, 9510-100th St, toll-free: +1-888-729-7343. Classic rooms with some kitchenettes and suites. From $110.
  • Chateau Nova, 10010 74 St, +1 708-624-3344, toll-free: +1-866-908-6682. Free high-speed Wi-Fi, pay-per-view movies, video-on-demand, air conditioning, microwave, mini-fridge, toaster, kettle. Fitness centre, restaurant & lounge, free parking, wheelchair accessible rooms, pet friendly rooms. From $110.
  • Nova Inn, 8010 100 Avenue. Free breakfast, free wireless Internet, free parking, wheelchair-accessible rooms, pet-friendly rooms, smoking/non-smoking rooms, air conditioning, microwave, mini-fridge, toaster, kettle. From $85.
  • Third Mission Heritage Suites, 10002 98 St., +1 780 624-3883, toll-free: +1 866-624-3883, . All suites have full kitchens with dishwasher, fridge, stove and microwave. No wheelchair access, No pets or smoking. From $155, long stay rates available.

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

Routes through Peace River
Grande PrairieGrimshaw  W Alberta Highway 2.svg E/S  → Jct W Alberta Highway 49.svg SSlave LakeEdmonton via Alberta Highway 2.svg or Alberta Highway 49.svg


This city travel guide to Peace River is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.