Alberta Parks

Sylvan Lake Provincial Park - Deregulation and Divestiture

Decision to Disestablish Sylvan Lake Provincial Park and Transfer the Land to the Town of Sylvan Lake

    Sylvan Lake Provincial Parksince its establishment in 1932, and the Town of Sylvan Lake have evolved into an urban waterfront resort destination. Alberta Parks has, for many years, shared management of the popular waterfront tourism and public recreation space at the town. Most of the property belongs to the town, but the narrow strip of beach-front property is provincially owned. The park no longer fits well with the conservation and nature-based recreation mandate of Alberta Parks. Managing the waterfront property under two different jurisdictions (Town and Province) has also created a number of complexities and challenges.

    The idea of the Town of Sylvan Lake assuming full responsibility for the provincial park land is not new and has been considered for a number of years. As a result, Alberta Parks and the town have been working closely together to ensure improvements to the waterfront reflect the town’s architectural and urban park standards, rather than applying two different standards. Historically speaking, the park has changed hands on two occasions since being created as a provincial park in 1932. The park was transferred to the town in the early 1960’s and then back to the province in 1980.

    Alberta Parks conducted public consultation from March 15 to May 15 of 2017. Based on the feedback received during public consultation and further assessment, Alberta Parks is proceeding with the disestablishment of Sylvan Lake Provincial Park and transfer to the Town of Sylvan Lake. While there was overall support for the proposal during the 60-day public consultation period, there was some objection to the transfer due to concerns about future commercial and/or residential shoreline land sales and development. The details of the divestiture and transfer are as follows:

    • At the town’s request, Alberta Parks will transfer ownership of the dry-land portion of the park to the town. The portion of the park that is lake bed and shore will remain under provincial ownership and will be managed under the Public Lands Act and Water Act.
    • The lands being transferred to the town would have a legally binding condition or caveat upon them that the lands must remain as public recreation property and cannot be sold or leased for an alternate use.
    • The land would be transferred to the town for a fee of $1 along with a one-time payment of $1.96 million from the province to the town to support the town’s transition to full ownership. The funds will be used to complete some outstanding landscape upgrades such as trails and tree plantings, contribute to a capital reserve fund for the eventual replacement of the washroom buildings and support the town with operational costs in the first few years they assume full responsibility for operation of the land and managing its use by the public.
    • The property locally known as the “pier” or “jetty” was built on “bed and shore” which belongs to the province. The pier must remain under provincial ownership, but it will be leased from the province to the town so it can manage the lands as a single unit under its authority.


    Alberta Parks would like to thank the Town of Sylvan Lake for supporting the project, and to thank everyone who participated in the public consultation.


    To learn more about the results of the public consultation please see the What We Heard document.

    What We Heard

    For details on the public input that was provided during the consultation process, please see the What We Heard document

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    Disclaimer: We thank you for providing your input. Those who submit feedback will not be contacted individually regarding their submission.

Updated: Jan 25, 2023