Turner Valley Gas Plant

Posted on: Aug 12, 2019

The Turner Valley Gas Plant

The Foothills of Alberta is home to countless treasures and historical stops which tell a story so great that they directly impact the Alberta that we call home today.

As we continue to explore the Foothills, we loved learning about the Turner Valley Gas Plant. With information from the Government of Alberta’s site for the Turner Valley Gas Plant National & Provincial Historic Site the following is a brief overview of the Turner Valley oilfields which had such a significant impact in shaping Alberta and Canada’s natural resources sector.

Before we take you on this journey, if you would like to experience this National Historic site for yourself, there are great tours available (schedule information outlined below) as well as an informative and fun tour provided by Eau Claire Distillery which includes a showcase of the time between the oil boom in 1914 and the start of prohibition in 1916.

Also, parts of the official sequel to the 1980s Ghostbuster movies were filmed at the Gas Plant (starring Paul Rudd, ahem). It doesn't get much more cool than that!!

History

According to the Government of Alberta site – Turner Valley Gas Plant National & Provincial Historic Site, in 1914, the wells at Turner Valley were known as Dingman No. 1 and Dingman No. 2, named after their discoverer, Archie Dingman. These early wells were both productive and led to the development of Western Canada’s first commercial oilfield.

Serving as a nod to times gone by, the Turner Valley Gas Plant National and Provincial Historic Site is the most significant surviving resource associated with the development of the Turner Valley oilfield. In May of 1914, the well struck petroleum and forever changed the industrial face of Canada and the Canadian West. Through three separate stages of development, between WWI and the late 40s, the Turner Valley Plant served as the largest natural gas processing plant in Canada’s largest oilfield.

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The Turner Valley Gas Plant continued to evolve and develop until a well at the site hit deep zone crude north of Longview. At its peak in 1942, the Turner Valley oilfield produced almost 10 million barrels of oil per year. 

The Plant was in use until 1985 – a near century-long resume of production. In 1989, the Turner Valley Gas Plant was designated a Provincial Historic Resource and in 1995 it was also named a National Historic Site.

The Turner Valley oilfield continues to produce oil and natural gas today.

Celebrate a proud part of Alberta’s history with a visit and a tour – information for a visit to the Turner Valley Gas Plant is outlined below.

Remember to check out foothillstourism.com and check out #ExploreFoothills on all of our social channels: Facebook.com/ExploreFoothills, Twitter.com/TourFoothills, Instagram - @ExploreFoothills.

 

Visitor Information

Hours / Days of Operation: 

Open Saturdays, Sundays, and Statutory Holidays from May 18 to Sept. 2, 2019

Light Plant Exhibit Display is open from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Guided tours of the Gas Plant historic site are offered four times daily at: 11:00 am | 12:30 pm | 2:00 pm | 3:30 pm

Get directions to Turner Valley Gas Plant.

Admission

  • Adults: $12
  • Seniors: $10
  • Youth 7-17: $6
  • Children 0-6: Free
  • Family (2 Adults + Youths to a maximum of 8 people): $30

Admission is free for:
  • Experience Alberta's History Annual Pass Holders
  • Canadian Military and Family (with CFOne Card)
  • Cultural Access Pass Holders

Cash only accepted for admissions. No cash machine onsite.

Special group tour rates also available.

Amenities
  • Public wheelchair accessible washrooms are available.
  • Free WiFi.
  • The nearest dining can be found in the Town of Turner Valley.

Schools
  • School groups are welcome to take a guided tour of the site during operating hours.
  • Group tours must be booked at least 2 weeks in advance.

Group Tours

Group Tour Bookings (weekend hours)
  • Pre-booked groups of 12 or more people will receive a 20% discount based on the regular adult admission of $12/adult.
  • To receive this 20% discount groups must book their tour a minimum of 48 hours in advance.
  • Only 1 cash payment for the entire group will be accepted to receive the discount.
  • Group tour bookings include access to the Light Plant Exhibit Gallery and guided tour of the historic site.

Group Tour Bookings (weekday hours)
  • Only pre-booked groups may access the site outside of regular hours of operation.
  • Pre-booked groups of 12 or more people will receive a 20% discount based on the regular adult admission of $12/adult.
  • Groups of less than 12 people must pay a base rate of $120.
  • These bookings must be made at least 2 weeks in advance and are subject to staff and site availability.
  • Only 1 cash payment for the entire group will be accepted to receive the discount.
  • Group tour bookings include access to the Light Plant Exhibit Gallery and guided tour of the historic site..

Discovery Well to Distillery Tour


Book a combined tour of Eau Claire Distillery and the Turner Valley Gas Plant.  Click here for more details and to book.

Accessibility

  • Walking paths may be difficult for wheelchairs, strollers, and other devices.
  • The surfaces are concrete, gravel, and grass and are uneven in several areas.
  • Pregnant and nursing women and any accompanying children under 6 years of age should be aware that there is the possibility of exposure to mercury on the site.

Pets

  • Pets are not allowed on site tour.

Visitor Tips

  • Closed-toe shoes required on site. 
  • Dress for the weather as most of the tour is outdoors.
  • Tours can last 1 - 1.5 hours.
  • Smoking is prohibited at the site.
  • Tours and services are in English.

Parking

  • Large free public parking is available, with turnaround and parking space for RVs (recreational vehicles) and buses.
  • No overnight parking. 


Related Places

Take a guided tour around the site, exhibit hall, and through some of the historic buildings and explore the birthplace of Alberta's petroleum industry.