Ponoka is a town in central Alberta, Canada. It is located at the junction of Highway 2A and Highway 53, 59 kilometres (37 mi) north of Red Deer and 95 kilometres (59 mi) south of Edmonton.
The name Ponoka is Blackfoot for "elk", which is the animal depicted in the town flag. The town is the municipal seat for the surrounding Ponoka County.
Ponoka was founded on the land north of Fort Ostell in 1905 as a waypoint for the railway from Edmonton to Calgary.
In the 2011 Census, the Town of Ponoka had a population of 6,773 living in 2,785 of its 3,047 total dwellings, a 3% change from its 2006 population of 6,576. With a land area of 13.05 km2 (5.04 sq mi), it had a population density of 519.0/km2 (1,344.2/sq mi) in 2011. In 2012, Statistics Canada adjusted Ponoka's 2011 population by an additional 5 people to 6,778 to reflect its 2011 annexation.
In 2006, Ponoka had a population of 6,576 living in 2,771 dwellings, a 3.5% increase from 2001. The town had a land area of 13.05 km2 (5.04 sq mi) and a population density of 504.1 /km2 (1,306 /sq mi).
Industries are agriculture (grain and cattle production) and oil and gas production.
Arts and culture
Ponoka is home to the Ponoka Stampede, a seven-day rodeo held at the end of June or beginning of July, usually coinciding with the Canada Day long weekend. This annual event attracts rodeo competitors and fans, and features a midway and other activities.
The Wolf Creek Trail starts at the southern end of Ponoka near the Ponoka Community Golf Course and travels northwards along the Battle River for several kilometres. Informational signs are posted along the trail featuring descriptions of various local wild animals and historical facts. Several baseball diamonds, benches and picnic tables are also located along the trail.
Lions Centennial Park is a major park located along the west side of Highway 2A. It features a pond with a dock, several bathroom facilities, a stage, "The World's Largest Cowboy Riding a Horse Statue", the Centennial Time Capsule, several gazebos with picnic tables and the Fort Ostell Museum, as well as a splash park.
Health care facilities in Ponoka include the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre, the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury, the Northcott Care Centre, and the Rimoka Housing Facility. The Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre is responsible for general health care, while the Centennial Centre serves as a care and treatment facility for mental health and is known for its brain injury program (the Halvar Jonson Centre for Brain Injury). The Northcott Care Centre and Rimoka Housing Facility both care for the elderly, with the Northcott Care Centre focusing on care for handicapped individuals.
Fire service is provided by the Ponoka Volunteer Fire Department. Policing is the responsibility of the Ponoka Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Detachment. General bylaw enforcement is undertaken by the town's special constable in collaboration with the RCMP.
Information and Images Courtesy of Wikipedia.org
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