Airdrie was first established as a railway village in 1889 during the construction of the Calgary and Edmonton Railway, named for Airdrie, Scotland. Only railway buildings existed until 1901 when the first farmhouse and barn was built, followed by a post office and store in that same year. Today, Airdrie is a bedroom community and industrial centre.
Nose Creek, which runs through Airdrie, is the focal point of a number of city parks and green spaces including Nose Creek Park.
Recent annexation of land by Airdrie to the south, coupled with recent expansion of Calgary's city limits in July 2007, have placed the two cities' boundaries within only a few kilometres of each other.
The City of Airdrie's 2013 municipal census counted a population of 49,560, an 8.4% increase over its 2012 municipal census population of 45,711.
In the 2011 Census, the City of Airdrie had a population of 42,564 living in 15,024 of its 15,638 total dwellings, a 47.1% change from its 2006 population of 28,927. With a land area of 33.1 km2 (12.8 sq mi), it had a population density of 1,285.9/km2 (3,330.5/sq mi) in 2011. The 2011 census also indicated that Airdrie was ranked as the municipality with the eighth-highest population growth between 2006 and 2011. Following its 2011 annexation, Statistics Canada adjusted Airdrie's 2011 population by an additional 707 people to 43,271.
The 2006 census also indicated that Airdrie was ranked as the municipality with the fourth-highest population growth among municipalities in Canada with a population of 5,000 and over between 2001 and 2006.
Nose Creek Park hosts the annual Airdrie Festival of Lights in the Christmas season. Other annual festivals include the Canada Day Parade and the Airdrie Pro Rodeo. Airdrie's primary cultural venues include the Nose Creek Valley Museum and the Bert Church Live Theatre.
Due to its proximity to Calgary, Airdrie receives radio and television broadcasts from the city (see Media of Calgary). It at present has no local television broadcasters but has a radio station, Air 106.1 FM. The city has two local newspapers, the Airdrie City View and the Airdrie Echo. A community newsletter, Here's the Scoop, is also published weekly and delivered door to door as part of a larger flyer package throughout the city. A quarterly magazine, AirdrieLIFE, is also available, and a community internet portal, AirdrieOnLine. There is also a new website for the city's economic development agency at AirdrieNow. Airdrie is also in the local delivery area of the Calgary Herald and Calgary Sun.
Airdrie offers a full slate of resident services, with any services not available in the city easily obtainable in nearby Calgary.
The city is served by a number of strip-mall developments, including Tower Lane Mall (a former enclosed shopping centre converted to a strip mall in the late 2000s) and Yankee Valley Crossing. On the city's south end, the Sierra Springs area is seeing the ongoing development of big-box retail, including a Walmart Supercentre. The city's north end includes Real Canadian Superstore and Canadian Tire locations and other major grocery chains such as Sobeys, Canada Safeway and Calgary Co-op are also located in the city.
Airdrie is located immediately north of the hamlet of Balzac, which is the location of the major regional shopping mall CrossIron Mills, which opened in 2009, and its neighboring retail/business park development. In addition, north Calgary's numerous malls and retail areas are quickly accessible via Hwy. 2 and the recent extension of Calgary's Metis Trail into the Balzac/CrossIron Mills area.
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