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Legal named Alberta's best small town

By: Stu Salkeld

  |  Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 06:00 am

TOP TOWN – The Grey Nuns mural is one of several in Legal. Painted by Karen Blanchet in 1999, it honours the contributions of the Grey Nuns to the settlement of Western Canada.
TOP TOWN – The Grey Nuns mural is one of several in Legal. Painted by Karen Blanchet in 1999, it honours the contributions of the Grey Nuns to the settlement of Western Canada.
FILE PHOTO/St. Albert Gazette

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Canada's Best Small Towns

You can find Robin Esrock’s complete list on his website, www.canadianbucketlist.com.

One of the smaller capital region communities is making a big name for itself in the travel and tourism world.

The town of Legal, founded as a francophone settlement in 1894, stands out for its French-themed murals along with its irrepressible character, according to an award-winning Canadian author and blogger.

Robin Esrock, best selling author of The Great Canadian Bucket List, host of the CityTV series Word Travels and an international travel journalist, recently posted to his website a new blog entry entitled, Canada’s Best Small Towns, and Legal beat out every other such community in Alberta.

“It's a blog post that really hit a nerve – in the last few days it's been read over 20,000 times,” said Esrock in an interview with the Gazette.

“I polled travel writers and locals around the country to gather my list. When the same name kept popping up, I took note.

“That was the case with Legal. It seems like a throwback to a more peaceful time – a nice place to live.

“Truthfully there were a lot of places that fit that bill, but Legal seemed to stick with people I spoke to.”

Esrock’s blog reads, “Just 50 kilometres north of Edmonton on Highway 651 is a satellite community so clean and peaceful you’d think you stepped into another era. Originally founded as a francophone settlement, Legal is still a bilingual town, with a population of just 1,225. Surrounded by farms and fertile land, the town serves the surrounding agricultural community, but is close enough to Edmonton that many if its inhabitants commute to the big city for work.

“Legal is known as the French Mural Capital of Canada, with 28 colourful murals decorating the town. Every July, it holds a festive event called the Fete Au Village, which brings the community together, and celebrates it French culture. Citadel Park, a 12-acre area, is the town’s main recreational area, with an indoor arena, curling rink, baseball diamonds and playgrounds. Low crime, clean streets, tight community spirit – no wonder Legal beat out 52 other rural communities in Alberta in a competition to host a large cultural festival.”


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