Chestermere is a town adjacent to the City of Calgary in the Province of Alberta, Canada within Rocky View County. It is largely a bedroom community of Calgary and is a member municipality of the Calgary Regional Partnership. The town surrounds Chestermere Lake.
Prior to the 20th century, the area around what is now Chestermere Lake was settled by only a few farmers. When the Canadian Pacific Railway was established in the 1880s, more and more people came to settle in the west. To make farming more productive, settlers began to determine ways to irrigate their land. As a natural wetland, Chestermere Lake was considered to be perfect for use as a balancing pool for the Western Irrigation Block. By 1907, a dam and canal system had been built, the wetland developed into a lake, and farmers began using the water for irrigation.
Following the irrigation development, the lake began to be used for recreation. People would lease land from the Western Irrigation District (WID) build cabins and stay on the lake during the summer months. In 1959, the Chestermere Cabin Owners Association (CCOA) was incorporated with approximately 50 members. The CCOA held events, bought a fire truck for the community, worked to reduce pollution in the lake, planted trees, and arranged for electricity and natural gas for the cabins.
As more people began to live around Chestermere Lake, residents wanted to secure long-term leases. In 1975, the CCOA bought the land from the WID and then transferred it to the residents. By 1977, the lake boasted 120 permanent homes and gained official status as the Summer Village of Chestermere Lake on April 1, 1977. As a summer village, the residents of Chestermere gained more political influence and were able to begin adding services and amenities or encouraging infrastructure and developments such as fire and protection services, improved roads, a community hall, street lights, a recreation centre, local businesses and a golf course.
By 1992, Chestermere’s population had increased to 1,043 permanent residents. On March 1, 1993, the Summer Village of Chestermere Lake officially changed its status and name to the Town of Chestermere. Becoming a town gave the residents more local and political authority. The town continued developing amenities and services for residents and its population has grown to 14,285 residents as recorded by its 2010 municipal census.
In 2006, according to Statistics Canada census data, Chestermere had a population of 9,564 living in 3,165 dwellings, a 148.0% increase from 2001. The town has a land area of 8.91 km2 (3.4 sq mi) and a population density of 1,073.4 /km2(2,780.1/sq mi).
The public schools in the town are Chestermere High School, Chestermere Lake Middle School, Prairie Waters Elementary School, and Rainbow Creek Elementary School. Public schools in the town are run by the Rocky View School Division, which includes several other communities surrounding Calgary.
Most educational needs beyond this (e.g. post-secondary education) are met within Calgary.
Although Chestermere is considered a separate municipality in its own right, its proximity to Calgary has led to occasional questions regarding possible future absorption by Calgary as it grows.
On August 1, 2007, the City of Calgary annexed an extensive tract of land from Rocky View County, which placed Calgary's eastern city limits one section (1.6 km or 1 mi) from the Chestermere's western town limits.
Meanwhile, the Town of Chestermere's March 2007 Growth Study proposed annexation of, among other areas, the intervening land between Chestermere and the newly expanded Calgary boundaries. On March 13, 2009, Chestermere's annexation was approved resulting in a shared municipal boundary with Calgary.