Cochrane Information

Cochrane is a town full of Western Heritage and history, situated in the heart of a stunning valley. For those who appreciate the unexpected, Cochrane is full of pleasant surprises, from the stunning mountain views and majestic landscape, to the comfortable feel of the historic downtown. It's a feeling you have to experience to understand. It's both unexplainable and unmistakable!


Cochrane was established in 1881 as the Cochrane Ranche, after Matthew Henry Cochrane, a local rancher. It became a village in 1903[9] and it had a newspaper and volunteer fire department by 1909. Cochrane incorporated as a town in 1971.


Cochrane is situated at the base of Big Hill in the Bow River Valley. It sits at an elevation of 1,186 m (3,891 ft). The town is intersected by Highway 1A and Highway 22. Cochrane has a reputation for its western culture, which can easily be felt when one wanders the streets (particularly Main Street). The town is a popular destination for ice cream and coffee in its quaint western-oriented stores as well as for windsports, golfing, hiking and other adventure activities.

Cochrane is also a small industrial centre. Major industries include lumber, construction, retail, and agriculture (ranching). It is notable as being one of very few communities in Canada with no business tax.

The hill is also a popular training ground for cyclists from the area, who take advantage of its 7% grade and 3.5 km (2.2 mi) distance.


The following neighbourhoods are located within Cochrane.

  • Bow Meadows
  • Bow Ridge
  • Cochrane Heights
  • Downtown
  • East End
  • Fireside
  • Glenbow
  • GlenEagles
  • Greystone
  • Heartland
  • Heritage Hills
  • Jumping Pound Ridge
  • Precedence
  • Rivercrest
  • Riversong
  • Riviera
  • Riverview
  • Rolling Range Estates
  • Rolling Trails
  • Southbow Landing
  • Sunset Ridge
  • The Willows
  • West Pointe
  • West Terrace
  • West Valley


In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Cochrane recorded a population of 32,199 living in 12,096 of its 12,578 total private dwellings, a change of 24.5% from its 2016 population of 25,853. With a land area of 31.58 km2 (12.19 sq mi), it had a population density of 1,019.6/km2 (2,640.8/sq mi) in 2021.

The population of the Town of Cochrane according to its 2019 municipal census is 29,277, a change of 4.7% from its 2018 municipal census population of 27,960. At its current population, Cochrane is one of the largest towns in the province and is eligible for city status. According to Alberta's Municipal Government Act, a town is eligible for city status when it reaches 10,000 residents.

In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Cochrane recorded a population of 25,853 living in 9,757 of its 10,225 total private dwellings, a 47.1% change from its 2011 population of 17,580. With a land area of 29.83 km2 (11.52 sq mi), it had a population density of 866.7/km2 (2,244.7/sq mi) in 2016.

Arts and culture

Cochrane Ranche provided the corral setting for the 1954 National Film Board of Canada documentary Corral, by Colin Low, whose father had worked as a foreman at the ranch. This film played theatrically across Canada and was named Best Documentary at the Venice Film Festival.

Cochrane houses attractions such as Cochrane Ranche Historic Site and Bert Sheppard Stockmen's Foundation Library And Archives, located in the Cochrane Ranchehouse.

Cochrane is home to many annual events each year:

  • Chamber of Commerce Trade Fair: Early May
  • Canada Day (July 1)
  • Cochrane and Area Events Society, with support from the Town of Cochrane presents the Canada Day Community Celebration:Canada Day (July 1)
  • Labour Day Rodeo & Parade: Labour Day weekend, the parade grows every year. In 2019 the parade had over 80 floats participate.
  • Terry Fox Run: September
  • Christmas Lightup: Late November


  • Municipal politics

Cochrane has a town council consisting of an elected mayor and six councillors elected at-large. Councillors are elected by the eligible electors by voting for up to six candidates and the six receiving the largest number of votes being elected. The position of deputy mayor is rotated through the councillors over their term. Elections are held on the third Monday in October every fourth year.

As of October 19, 2021, the town council consists of mayor Jeff Genung and Councillors Susan Flowers, Patrick Wilson, Morgan Nagel, Marni Fedeyko, Tara McFadden, Alex Reed.

  • Provincial politics

Cochrane is located within the provincial electoral division of Airdrie-Cochrane. It has been represented in the Alberta Legislature by UCP MLA Peter Guthrie since the 2019 provincial election.

  • Federal politics

Cochrane is located in the federal electoral district of Banff-Airdrie and is represented by Blake Richards in the House of Commons. He also represented Cochrane from 2008-2015 as the MP for the federal electoral district of Wild Rose. He replaced long standing MP Myron Thompson, who was originally elected as a member of the Reform Party in 1993.


Cochrane is home to schools from the public Rocky View School Division No. 41, the separate Calgary Catholic School District, and the Greater Southern Alberta Catholic Francophone Region #4 (CSCFSA).

As of 2008, there were nine public and separate schools in operation within the town boundaries.

Rocky View School Division No. 41

  • Cochrane High School: Grades 9–12
  • Bow Valley High School: Grades 9–12
  • Rancheview School: Kindergarten, Grades 1-8
  • Elizabeth Barret Elementary School: Kindergarten, Grades 1–4
  • Glenbow Elementary School: Kindergarten, Grades 1–4
  • Mitford School: Grades 6-8
  • Manachaban School: Grades 6-8
  • Cochrane Christian Academy: Kindergarten, Grades 1-8
  • Fireside School: Kindergarten, Grades 1-7

Calgary Catholic School District

  • Holy Spirit: Kindergarten, Grades 1–6
  • St. Timothy: Grades 7–12
  • Nôtre Dame Des Vallées: Kindergarten, Grades 1–8 (French-Catholic school GSACFR#4 or CSCFSA)

In November 2006 the Rocky View School Division accepted a proposal by the Cochrane Christ-Centred Education Society to set up a Protestant Christian education program in Cochrane. The Cochrane Christian Academy opened its doors at Mitford Middle School in September 2007, offering kindergarten to grade 4. Approval for expansion to include grade 5 for the 2008–09 school year was given by the board of trustees in April 2008.

There are two trustees (one from each board) elected to represent Cochrane Schools at their respective boards.

The Greater Southern Alberta Catholic Francophone Region #4 has one trustee for the Region from Cochrane.

Cochrane is also home to the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary, the flagship seminary of the Canadian National Baptist Convention, the Canadian branch of the largest US Protestant denomination.

Notable people

  • Rob Cote, professional football player
  • Justin Dowling, professional ice hockey player
  • George Fox, musician
  • Ethan Gage, professional soccer player
  • Mason Raymond, professional ice hockey player
  • Dillon Dubé, professional ice hockey player
  • Paul Brandt, musician
  • John Hufnagel President And GM of Calgary Stampeders


On October 7, 2019 the town launched COLT (Cochrane On-Demand Local Transit). An app based local transportation service by bus to convey commuters throughout the community. After many years of debate of having a transit service that best suits the town, COLT was born out of the need for transit and the financial responsibility of app based service not unlike Uber. The service currently runs 6 a.m.-8 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays. The town plans to adjust the schedule only as needed. Currently there are over 100 stops located across Cochrane.

Information from Wikipedia.

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