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Lethbridge

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Southern Alberta : Lethbridge
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Lethbridge [1] is located in southern Alberta, Canada. The city is a commercial hub for the many smaller farming and ranching communities in the surrounding area. It is quiet and on the small side, but has a friendly population. Lethbridge has approximately 83 000 people, and that number is growing fast. The natural beauty of the area is in its starkness. The coulees are a valley formed by erosion. The Old Man River runs through this interesting landscape. This valley provides some shelter from the wind, which can be quite strong at almost any time of the year.

Understand[edit]

Before European settlement of Lethbridge the area was under the control of the Blackfoot tribe of Native Americans. As more and more European settlers came many Natives were forced into a new life and eventually the Natives signed over their control of the territory to Canada. Before the Canadian government established full control over the area a booming whiskey trade took root. It took the intervention of the NWMP (North-West Mounted Police) to stop these illegal activities. Soon after this a major coal mining operation started to develop in the coulee regions of Coalbanks. Coalbanks was renamed Lethbridge in 1885. Lethbridge received city status in 1906.

During World War II, many Japanese Canadians and German POW's were interned in Lethbridge. After the war many stayed having established a new life. As a result, you'll see some influences of Japanese and German culture blended with the surrounding Ukrainian, Dutch, Mormon, Native and Hutterite cultures.

Today Lethbridge is undergoing a strong economic boom and as a result many new businesses are cropping up. There is also a large population boom but many businesses are still looking for people to work because there are still so few people to work.

Get in[edit]

By Car[edit]

The roads coming in to and out of Lethbridge are Highway 3 (runs east-west, also known as Crowsnest Highway), Highway 4 (which leads south to the United States) and Highway 5 (taking you to Waterton).

If you are coming from the United States through the Coutts border crossing, you'll likely enter the city on Highway 4. As you enter the city, you can take a right on 43rd Street to connect to Highway 3. If you continue straight, the next large intersection is Highway 5 (Mayor Magrath Drive within Lethbridge). Left (or South) on Highway 5 will take you to most of the city's big box stores (Wal-Mart, Superstore, Costco, Home Depot, etc) and eventually the airport.

If you are coming into the city from Waterton, you'll enter on Highway. This will take you past the airport and the big box stores mentioned above. Highway 5 turns into Mayor Magrath Drive within the city, one of the city's main thoroughfares.

If you are coming from Medicine Hat or anywhere east of Lethbridge, you'll enter on Highway 3. Highway 3 becomes Crowsnest Trail and goes through the heart of Lethbridge.

If you are coming from the west (Crowsnest Pass, Pincher Creek, Fort Macleod) or north (Calgary, assuming you didn't miss the turn at Fort Macleod), you'll enter the city on Highway 3.

By Plane[edit]

Lethbridge is served by a regional airport just outside the city limits in Lethbridge County. The airport is located beside Highway 5 and south of Lethbridge. The airport is not an international airport, so only flights from somewhere in Canada can come into Lethbridge. The only exception is seasonal flights to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico during the winter. Air Canada and Integra Air operate flights in and out of Lethbridge.

By Bus[edit]

You can get into Lethbridge by bus via Greyhound [2]. The Greyhound station is located downtown at 411 5th Street South. The station is open:

  • Monday-Saturday: 7:30 am-6:00 pm
  • Sunday: 7:30 am-10:30 am, 1:30 pm-6:00 pm
  • Holidays: 7:30 am-10:30 am, 1:30 pm-6:00 pm

By Train[edit]

The closest city with intercity rail passenger service to Lethbridge is the Montana city of Cut Bank, (90 miles from Lethbridge) which is served by the Empire Builder passenger train which operates between Chicago and Seattle/Portland, stopping also in Shelby, Montana.

For information, call Amtrak at 1-800-872-7245 or at: www.amtrak.com

Get around[edit]

By Car[edit]

A car is probably the easiest way to get around Lethbridge. Every major attraction is easily reachable by car. Car Rentals:

  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car, 1106 3rd Avenue South, +1 403 327-5906, [3].
  • Hertz Rent A Car, 1021 3rd Avenue South, +1 403 320-5141, [4].
  • National Car Rental, 417 Stubb Ross Road, +1 403 328-3015, [5].

Watch out for yellow signs that say "30km/hour 7:30-4:30 School Days".

By Bus[edit]

Lethbridge does have a public transport system [6]. Major service changes have recently been implemented and many routes have changed. There is now 30 minute service on all routes during the day and 40 minute service at night. You can now cross town in half an hour or so. The bus is reliable, usually on time, and not overly expensive; for adults it is $2.25 for one way.

On Foot/Bike[edit]

You can walk/bike around in certain stretches of the city, but trying to walk/bike from south Lethbridge to west Lethbridge is a daunting task as you will have to walk Whoop-Up Drive, which translates walking/biking down a hill, into the coulees and then walking/biking up a steep hill. However parts of Lethbridge are tailor-made for walking/biking around to explore, such as downtown Lethbridge and the actual coulees themselves. The parks around Henderson Lake and Nicholas Sheran Lake provide pleasant spaces for recreation.

See[edit][add listing]

Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden - Corner of 9th Avenue South & Mayor Magrath Drive[7]. Open from mid-May to mid-October, Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden is a beautiful example of a traditional Japanese garden nestled beside the equally beautiful Henderson Lake. Traditional Japanese architecture and flower design are abundant. Guided tours are available. Admission is: Adults - $7.00; Seniors (65+) - $5.00; Youth (6-17) - $4.00; Children (0-5) -

Galt Museum & Archives - West of 5th Avenue South[8]. Open year-round, The Galt Museum has numerous exhibits detailing the history of Lethbridge and Southern Alberta. The museum was originally a hospital, and it is rumored that the museum is now haunted! The museum is also the starting or ending point of many walking trails going in or out of the coulees. Admission is: Adults - $5.00; Seniors/Post-Secondary/IYH Members - $4.00; Youth (7-17) - $3.00; Children (0-6) - Free.

High Level Bridge - This trestle bridge goes across the coulees and can be viewed best when traversing Whoop-Up Drive. The High Level Bridge is the longest and highest bridge of its kind in the world reaching 5,327.625 feet long (1.6km) and 314 feet high (96 meters). It was built during 1908-1909, and still has trains pass over it everyday. It is one of Lethbridge's most well-known landmarks.

Fort Whoop-Up National Historic Site - Located in the coulees[9]. Open year-round (only open on Saturday & Sunday in the winter), Fort Whoop-Up is an near-exact replica of the original Fort Whoop-Up that served as a major center during the mid-1800's in the whiskey and firearms trade with the Blackfoot and First Nations cultures, and prompted the formation of the N.W.M.P. The Fort features a period fort, three galleries, and special events like carriage rides and reenactment weekends seasonally in the summer. Admission (year Round) is: Adults - $7.00; Seniors (65+) - $6.00; Students (6-18) - $5.00; Infants (0-5) - Free.

Helen Schuler Coulee Centre - Located in the coulees[10]. Open year-round, Helen Schuler Coulee Center is a great point to start your day in the coulees. It features many displays that highlight the delicate ecosystem in the coulees. Don't miss Pegleg, the talking crow! Guided walks through the coulees can be booked here. The centre also has many programs and displays dedicated especially for kids. Admission is free of charge.

Southern Alberta Art Gallery - 601 3rd Avenue South[11]. Open year-round, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery features exhibitions from many local contemporary artists. The exhibitions are constantly changing to give all the talented local artists a chance to shine. The SAAG is a respected Canadian art institution and is a great place to spend a day. The SAAG also has beautiful scenery surrounding the building, as it is located in Galt Gardens, a picturesque downtown park. Admission varies.

Brewery Gardens - 1 Avenue South (near Tourist Information Center). A constantly changing floral garden, the gardens are put into a display that represents the time of year or a special event that is happening in Lethbridge. You can't walk through the gardens. Unsurprisingly, the gardens are best viewed during the summer.

Do[edit][add listing]

Lethbridge has many things to do, espeically in the area of hiking and natural wildlife observation.

Trails[edit]

Lethbridge has numerous places for a good hike or leisurely walk. Some recommended walks/hikes include:

  • Coulees (starting at the Helen Schuler Coulee Centre)
  • Popson Park (down 10th Street West, past Paradise Canyon)
  • Alexander Wilderness Park (north of Stafford Drive North, near Hardieville)
  • Henderson Lake (South Parkside Drive, near Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens and the Exhibition Grounds)
  • Nicholas Sheran Park (just off McMaster Blvd. West).

Festivals[edit]

Lethbridge annually hosts Whoop-Up Days [12], a carnival of sorts with rides, live performances, a rodeo, and exhibitions. In 2009 the fair and rodeo will be held from August 18-22 at the Exhibition Grounds (end of South Parkside Drive and next to Henderson Lake).

Sports[edit]

Lethbridge has numerous semi-professional sports teams, including:

  • The Lethbridge Hurricanes[13] (Western Hockey League). They play each year from October to March at the Enmax Centre (2510 Scenic Drive South).
  • The Lethbridge Bulls[14] (Western Major Baseball League). They play from the end of May to the end of July at Henderson Stadium (2425 North Parkside Drive South).

Learn[edit]

  • The University of Lethbridge [15]
  • Lethbridge College [16]

Buy[edit][add listing]

The main mall is Park Place Mall [17] and it is located north of Galt Gardens on 1st Avenue South. It has some big box stores like Sears, Staples, and Chapters. It also has numerous clothing shops, a food court, a movie theatre, and few locally owned art and craft stores. Lethbridge also has a Wal-Mart located near the airport at 3700 Mayor Magrath South and a Home Depot right beside the Wal-Mart. Downtown Lethbridge [18]is also a good place to spend a day shopping. Downtown has many locally owned shops selling items ranging from clothes to computers to stationary. Beware however that downtown businesses have higher prices than big box stores.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Cal's Calzone Zone is an Alberta calzone chain that uses local ingredients. Beer is available. Credit cards are not accepted, however the prices are reasonable.
  • The Cheescake Cafe - 904 2nd Ave. South, +1 403-394-2253 [19]. Wide range of menu options. (burned down 2012)
  • Ciao Mein - 680 Columbia Blvd. West, +1 403-331-3363. Italian & Chinese food. Take-out or delivery.
  • Coco Pazzo - 1264 3rd Ave. South, +1 403-329-8979. Italian.
  • Douros Pizza & Steak House - 2433 Fairway Plaza Rd. South, +1 403-327-3067 [20]. Mostly Italian.
  • Earls - 203 13th St. South, +1 403-320-7677. Wide range of menu options.
  • East Side Marios - 3720 Mayor Magrath Dr. South, +1 403-331-0123. Italian-American.
  • El Comal Mexican - 1020 Mayor Magrath Dr. South, +1 403-380-6836. Mexican.
  • Fire Chef's Creations - 860 Heritage Blvd. West, +1 403-320-9626. Exspensive.
  • Georgio's Contemporary Dining - 1520 3rd Ave. South, +1 403-328-0676. Italian.
  • Guesthouse Restaurant Ltd. - 110 W T Hill Blvd. South, +1 403-394-9333 [21]. Swiss/German.
  • Imperial China. - 1903 - 3 Ave South, +1 403-328-8770. Chinese. Come in for the daily lunch & supper buffet or try a new dish off the full menu.
  • The Keg Steakhouse & Bar - 1621 3rd Ave. South, +1 403-327-2727. Steak.
  • Lighthouse Japanese Restaurant - 708 3rd Ave. South, +1 403-328-4828. Japanese.
  • Luigi's Pizza & Steak House - 306 13 St. North, +1 403-327-2766. 1119 Mayor Magrath Dr. South, +1 403-329-8322. Mostly Italian.
  • Mandarin Restaurant - 1624 Mayor Magrath Dr. South, +1 403-327-8696. Chinese.
  • Mongolie Grill - 502 5th Ave. South, +1 403-394-3555. Mongolian.
  • Montana's Cookhouse - 20th Ave. & Mayor Magrath Dr. South, +1 403-381-7717. Steak & ribs.
  • Moxie's Classic Grill - 1st Ave. & Stafford Dr. South. Premium Steaks.
  • New Dynasty Restaurant -103 7th St. South, +1 403-328-1212. Chinese.
  • O-Sho Japanese Restaurant - 311 4th St. South, +1 403-327-8382. Japanese.
  • Thuan Hoa Vietnamese Restaurant - 1354 Mayor Magrath Drive South, +1 403-320-9947. Vietnamese.
  • Poly's Pizza & Steakhouse - 3205 8th Ave. North, +1 403-380-3314. Pizza & steak.
  • Regent Restaurant - 1255 3rd Ave. South, +1 403-328-7800. Chinese.
  • Ric's Grill - 103 Mayor Magrath Drive South (Lethbridge's old water tower), +1 403-317-7427 [22]. Steakhouse with a view of Lethbridge.
  • Saigonese Restaurant 1210 Mayor Magrath Dr. South, +1 403-327-7225. Vietnamese.
  • Shanghai Chop Suey - 610 3rd Ave. South, +1 403-327-3552. Chinese.
  • Song Thuan Vietnamese Restaurant - 265 13th St. North, +1 403-381-8838. Vietnamese.
  • Tony Roma's - 3716 Mayor Magrath Dr. South, +1 403-394-7427. Steak & ribs.
  • Tony's Diner - 3221 2nd Ave. North, +1 403-327-2665. Locally owned.
  • Spring Rolls Restaurant, 321-13th Street North, +1 403-328-1668. Vietnamese.  edit
  • Cafe Verde - 1503 Mayor Magrath S, +1 403 942 7374. Super affordable, fresh, and delicious Mexican Food. Huge portions, quick and easy.
  • Firestone Restuarant, 532 Mayor Magrath Drive South, (403) 329-3473, [23]. Casual bar and restaurants. Among the best restaurants in Lethbridge.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

The legal drinking age in Alberta is 18.

  • Average Joe's Sports Bar - 518 5th Street South, +1 403-394-9337.
  • Backstreet Pub & Pizza - 1810 3rd Avenue South, +1 403-394-7119.
  • Backstreet Pub & Pizza - 407 Laval Boulevard West, +1 403-380-2811.
  • Blarney Stone Pub - 1917 Mayor Magrath Drive South, +1 403-331-2337.
  • Bo'diddly's Pub & Grill - 425 21A Street North, +1 403-328-0066.
  • Bully's Sport & Entertainment Centre - 3401 Parkside Drive South, +1 403-380-1905.
  • Corner Pocket Billiards and Lounge - 241 Stafford Drive North, +1 403-394-2100.
  • Honkers Pub & Eatery - 2808 5th Avenue North, +1 403-327-9405.
  • Ice Taps & Grill - Heritage Heights Plaza West, +1 403-320-7191.
  • O'Rileys Pub & The Attic Grill - 411 3rd Avenue South, +1 403-328-6116.
  • Scores Thirst & Grill - 1025 Mayor Magrath Drive South, +1 403-328-2255.
  • Shotz Billiard Club & Lounge - 1120 2nd Avenue South, +1 403-394-7727.
  • Studio 54 - 202 5 Street South, +1 403-328-6099.
  • The Duke Of Wellington - 132 Columbia Boulevard West, +1 403-381-1455.
  • The Front Row Pub - 2012 Mayor Magrath Drive South, +1 403-328-0423.
  • The Roadhouse - 420 6th Street South, +1 403-380-4210.
  • The Tankhouse Neighbourhood Pub & Grill - 1814 Mayor Magrath Drive South, +1 403-328-9000.
  • Top Hat Strip Club - 1216 1st Avenue South, +1 403-327-8667.
  • Yoyo Crepe's, 102 5 St.South (just south of the mall main entrance), 403-320-9667. Crepe's and Italian Ice cream.  edit


Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

Hostels[edit]

  • Lethbridge Community College Residences - +1 403-329-7218 - 3000 College Drive South - Open from May to August 15.

Campgrounds[edit]

  • Bridgeview RV Resort - +1 403-381-2357 - 1501 2nd Avenue West

Bed & Breakfasts[edit]

  • Enid's Bed and Breakfast Lethbridge - Rates $60/single, $85/double - +1 403-329-3893 - 3204 Lakehill Cres. South
  • B & B in Paradise Canyon Lethbridge - +1 403-381-7508 - 402 Canyon Blvd. West
  • Heritage House B&B Lethbridge - +1 403-328-3824 - 1115 - 8th Ave. South
  • A CouleeView Getaway B&B Lethbridge - +1 403-315-3530 - 1604 Scenic Heights South
  • Chellsea House B&B Lethbridge - +1 403-381-1325 - 9 Dalhousie Rd. West

Hotels[edit]

  • Parkside Inn Lethbridge - Rates $40+ - +1 403-328-2366 - 1009 Mayor Magrath Dr. South
  • Howard Johnson Express Inn Lethbridge - Rates $40-$80 - +1 403-327-4576 - 1026 Mayor Magrath Dr. South
  • Peppertree Inn Lethbridge - Rates $40-$80 - +1 403-328-4436 - 1142 Mayor Magrath Dr. South
  • Travelodge Lethbridge Hotel & Convention Centre - Rates $40-$100 - +1 403-327-5701 - 526 Mayor Magrath Dr. South
  • Thriftlodge Lethbridge - Rates $50-$70 - +1 403-329-0100 - 1142 Mayor Magrath Dr. South
  • Econo Lodge & Suites Lethbridge [24] - Rates $50-$80 - +1 403-328-5591 - 1124 Mayor Magrath Dr. South
  • Lethbridge Village Inn - Rates $60-$90 - +1 403-327-2104 - Scenic Dr. & 4th Ave. South

Mid-Range[edit]

  • Days Inn Lethbridge Hotel [25] - Rates $50-$120 - +1 403-327-6000 - Scenic Dr. & 3rd Ave. South - Home of Canada's largest indoor mural.
  • Comfort Inn Lethbridge Hotel [26] - Rates $70-$140 - +1 403-320-8874 - 3226 Fairway Plaza Rd. South
  • Sandman Hotel Lethbridge - Rates $70-$150 - +1 403-328-1111 - 421 Mayor Magrath Dr. South - Denny's restaurant attached.
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Lethbridge - Rates $70-$160 - +1 403-394-9292 - 120 Stafford Dr. South
  • Ramada Hotel & Suites Lethbridge - Rates $80-$220 - +1 403-380-5050 - 2375 Mayor Magrath Dr. South
  • Lethbridge Lodge Hotel - Rates $110-$160 - +1 403-328-1123 - 320 Scenic Dr South
  • Premier Inn & Suites Lethbridge - +1 403-380-6677 - 2225 Mayor Magrath Dr. South
  • Heidelberg Inn Lethbridge [27] - +1 403-329-0555 - 1303 Mayor Magrath Dr. South - HI restaurant attached.

Stay Safe[edit]

Violent crime is extremely rare in Lethbridge. Lethbridge is a very safe city and the probability of a crime being committed against you is very low. That being said, there are probably a few places you should avoid at night for fear of being hassled for money or robbed. Those are Galt Gardens in the downtown, Stafford Drive between 1st and 2nd Ave North (near the homeless shelter) and between 1st and 5th Avenue North on 13th St.

Cope[edit]

Climate[edit]

Super Windy! Prepare to have your hair messed up. Lethbridge is also one of the sunniest parts of Canada.

Summers are hot and dry. Winters are cold and also pretty dry. Because of a warm westerly wind (the "Chinook"), snow usually doesn't stick around for long. Spring and fall are moderate and usually the best time to visit.

Library[edit]

  • Lethbridge Public Library - Main Branch - 810 5th Avenue South, +1 403-380-7310 [28]. Open from: Mon-Fri 9:30AM - 9:00PM, Sat 9:30AM - 5:30PM, Sun 1:30PM - 5:30PM.
  • Lethbridge Public Library - The Crossings Branch - 255 Britannia Blvd West, +1 403-320-4037 [29]. Open from: Mon-Thur 9:30AM - 9:00PM, Fri-Sat 9:30AM - 5:30PM, Sun 1:30PM - 5:30PM.

Get out[edit]

  • Waterton Lakes National Park - A beautiful national park that is about an hour drive away southwest from Lethbridge. The park is also a UNESCO World Heritage site and attracts tourists from all over the world.
  • Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump - A UNESCO World Heritage Site near Fort Macleod, about a 30-45 minute drive west of Lethbridge. Head-Smashed-In displays how Native Americans lived before and after they came into contact with the European settlers; and it shows how the Native Americans used buffalo jumps to kill the buffalo for food, protection, and shelter.
  • Calgary - About a 2 hour drive north, Calgary offers world-class attractions and shopping. Calgary also is home to numerous professional sport organizations and is home to over 1 000 000 people.
  • Montana - Is approximately 45 minutes south. The nearest American city is Great Falls which is about 2 hours.
  • Edmonton - 5 hours away and is the capital city of Alberta. It is the second largest city with 1.1 mill people. It is popular for it's numerous festivals, amazing river valley, West Edmonton Mall, Edmonton Oilers, a growing arts community, and the University of Alberta.


Routes through Lethbridge
CranbrookFort Macleod  W noframe E  TaberMedicine Hat
END  N noframe S  → becomes I-15.pngShelbyGreat Falls


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