Lethbridge is a city in the province of Alberta, Canada, and the largest city in southern Alberta. It is Alberta's fourth-largest city by population after Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer, and the third-largest by land area after Calgary and Edmonton. The nearby Canadian Rockies contribute to the city's warm summers, mild winters, and windy climate. Lethbridge lies southeast of Calgary on the Oldman River.
The city's economy developed from drift mining for coal in the late 19th century and agriculture in the early 20th century. Half of the workforce is employed in the health, education, retail and hospitality sectors, and the top five employers are government-based. The only university in Alberta south of Calgary is in Lethbridge, and two of the three colleges in southern Alberta have campuses in the city. Cultural venues in the city include performing art theatres, museums and sports centres.
Lethbridge is southern Alberta's commercial, distribution, financial and industrial centre (although Medicine Hat plays a similar role in southeastern Alberta).
Lethbridge's economy has traditionally been agriculture-based however, it has diversified in recent years. Half of the workforce is employed in the health, education, retail and hospitality sectors, and the top five employers are government-based. Several national companies are based in Lethbridge. From its founding in 1935, Canadian Freightways based its head office there until moving operations to Calgary in 1948, though its call centre remains in Lethbridge. Taco Time Canada was based in the city from 1978–1995 before moving to Calgary. Minute Muffler, which began in 1969, is based in Lethbridge. International shipping company H & R Transport has been based in the city since 1955. Braman Furniture, which has locations in Manitoba and Ontario, was headquartered in Lethbridge from 1991–2008.
Lethbridge serves as a hub for commercial activity in the region by providing services and amenities. Many transport services, including Greyhound buses, four provincial highways, rail service and an airport, are concentrated in or near the city. In 2004, the police services of Lethbridge and Coaldale combined to form the Lethbridge Police Service. Lethbridge provides municipal water to Coaldale, Coalhurst, Diamond City, Iron Springs, Monarch, Shaughnessy and Turin.
Lethbridge has a semi-arid climate with an average maximum temperature of 12.3 °C (54.1 °F) and an average minimum temperature of −1.1 °C (30.0 °F). With precipitation averaging 365 mm (14.4 in)–386.3 mm (15.2 in), and 264 dry days on average, Lethbridge is the eleventh driest city in Canada. Mean relative humidity hovers between 69–78% in the morning throughout the year, but afternoon mean relative humidity is more uneven, ranging from 38% in August to 58% in January. On average, Lethbridge has 116 days with a wind speed of 40 km/h (24.9 mph) or higher, ranking it as the second city in Canada for such weather.blog comments powered by Disqus