13 things to know about living in Medicine Hat
- The unavoidable outdoors
Medicine Hat is known to be Canada’s sunniest city with an average of 330 days of sunshine. There are 115 kilometer’s of trails, with the app All Trails showcasing 24 of them. Medicine Hat has a sunshine state of mind and shares that mindset with anyone who passes the bricked “Welcome to Medicine Hat” sign. Be sure to spot cactus’ while on the trails.
- The best breweries
Medicine Hat is home to three breweries that hold history and extremely tasty home-brewed beer, Hell’s Basement, Medicine Hat Brew Co., and Travois Ale Works. The beer can be enjoyed inside the breweries or on their patios accompanied with a full menu and finger food. Most of the refreshing beers are found bottled, canned or on tap at locally owned bars and eateries in the city.
- The captivating history
What began as a town that homed the railway station, grew into a city of 65,000 people, while it still displays historic buildings from the 1900s. There is much to know about the city of Medicine Hat, and city archives can be found at The Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre located on First Street, or found on the website.
- The expressive mural fest
Medicine Hat Mural Festival began in 2019 as a passion project of local artist Jeff Goring. The art festival brings colour and creative visualizations to the outer walls of downtown Medicine Hat. Artists from all over Canada are given the freedom to design a mural that positively impacts the community. There’s a balance between local artists and out of town artists, so inspiration is built between the two. Goring says the festival hopes to spark influence for local artists and brighten perspectives for community members and visitors.
- The resilient music festivals
Tongue on the Post
Medicine Hat’s winter folk festival Tongue on the Post began in 2006 and was the first of its kind in Western Canada. Executive Director Rob Pape says it gathers musicians from all over the world to perform in various venues and cafes around Medicine Hat. In six days, there are over 50 performances and approximately 5,000 audience members. When facing gathering limits in 2021, Tongue on the Post streamed the six-day music festival where it reached 85,000 viewers, some as far as Portugal, Ecuador, Australia and England.
JazzFest began as a community event and has grown into a world-class recognized festival. Talent travels to perform and workshops take place to teach the history of jazz. For two decades, musicians have performed in venues from the classic downtown bus terminal parkade, to late-night clubs in Medicine Hat.
- The Historic Clay District
Medalta Potteries was built in 1913. Today, it offers pottery classes, workshops and tours for children and adults. It showcases artist residencies and a museum that can be found online. The historic venue can be rented for photography and events, such as summer markets and Tongue on the Post. The area is a spot Hatters appreciate the history of and are thankful for the people who continue to keep the space alive.
- The adventurous camping
A range of campgrounds surround Medicine Hat from in-city, to back country. All are either minutes or a few hours away. There is space, firewood and activities for those who use campers, RVs and tents. Cabins are found at nearby ranches and lakes for everyone to ride horses, drive ATV’s, hike, toboggan, roast marshmallows or sit lakeside.
- The fascinating nearby travel attractions
Lakes, mountains, rolling hills, natural areas and other city centres are no more than a three-hour drive from Medicine Hat, some as little as 45 minutes. It’s as simple as jumping in the car and driving in a direction for a much-needed experience. And it never gets old. When we remain in the moment, those spots are visited multiple times with gratitude and mindless enjoyment. Some local favourites are Red Rock Coulee, Elkwater and Writing on Stone Provincial Park.
- The entertaining wildlife
Oh, deer! It’s said by many Hatters while we drive in city and walk along paths. The deer, bunnies, moose, birds, geese, goats, elk and porcupines call Medicine Hat home as much as we do. At night, we hear coyotes howl, reminding us it’s time for bed. During daytime, all other wildlife reminds us to find comfort in the beauty of our surroundings.
- The inventive local subscription boxes
Businesses now offer subscription boxes so product is delivered right to the front doorsteps of people’s homes. It helps Hatters beat the lines and wait times. Medicine Hat has monthly and seasonally subscription boxes filled with local product, and local creators offer it on their products, like Daniel’s Dill Dip.
“People really love the convenience of things being brought to their house,” says Daniel Kapeta, founder of Daniel’s Dill Dip. “We thought a subscription would be perfect, and people really enjoy it.”
- The authentic coffee shops
Nothing calms us more than a coffee shop. The smell of freshly brewed beans, baked sweets, simmered soups and layered sandwiches. All cafés are owned by our neighbours who have the passion to serve the best tasting foods and beverages, along with genuine baristas that become friends. The unique scents and auras become familiar and uplifts us more each day we visit one of the many cafés.
- The fresh and inspiring greenhouses
Local greenhouses keep our recipes fresh, colourful and nutritious. With their tiny shops planted in Medicine Hat, there is convenience in stopping by. A day can be spent in our neighbouring town to walk along the River Valley Loop and then stop by one of their many greenhouses for fresh vegetables.
- The selection of diverse cuisine
We don’t drive far to enjoy foods that are enjoyed throughout the world. Authentic cuisine is rolled, simmered, boiled, baked and sautéed by the masters of the dish, using their authentic spices and recipes to feed Hatters.
Lula Abduljabar opened Fatuma’s Ethiopian Cafe downtown, which is where she prepares her late grandmother’s recipes.