Rural addressing is a standardized system of identifying and locating rural properties. Athabasca County assigns addresses adhering to the standards set by Alberta Municipal Affairs, which are widely used by rural municipalities throughout Alberta.
Athabasca County Council approved moving forward with rural addressing as part of its 2014 Budget. The system will aid Emergency Medical Services, Fire, Police, utility companies, couriers and other visitors in finding your residence or business quicker.
Athabasca County Policy #5355 guides the assignment of rural addresses.
Reading rural addresses
There are standards for the way rural addressing signs are to be placed in the County. This is being done to ensure emergency services can easily find the main entrance to your property from the roadway when they are called.
The signs can only be installed by Athabasca County Public Works Staff, or contractors conducting this work on behalf of the County. Each rural property will receive signage that will be placed according to Bylaw 3-2014, Schedule A – Sign Placement.
How does it work?
Rural addresses are based on the location of the primary access to a residence or business along a road allowance.
Each mile of road is divided into intervals of 40 metres, with numbers increasing from South to north and East to West. Even number addresses are placed along the North and West sides of a road allowance and odd number addresses are placed along the South and East side of a road allowance.
Reference the road to the east if the Primary Access is off a Township Road or to the south if the Primary Access is off a Range Road. For the purposes of addressing, virtual township roads exist between all sections, whether an actual road allowance exists or not.
Example #1: 643008 RGE RD 213 – The access is along the West side of RGE RD 213. It is located in address interval 8. 643 is the intersecting TWP RD number to the South.
Example #2: 213033 TWP RD 644 – When there are multiple accesses, the primary access is used. In this case, the access is along the South side of TWP RD 644. 213 is the intersecting RGE RD to the East, and 33 is the interval the primary access is in.
Example #3: 643032 RGE RD 213 – When there are multiple accesses along the same side of a road allowance, the primary access, interval 32, is determined.
Example #4: 643072 RGE RD 213 – When there is one access along a TWP RD, one access along a RGE RD, and no clear primary access, the access along the RGE RD is typically chosen.
Example #5: 643009A & 643009B RGE RD 214 – When there are multiple residences located off the same primary access, the first building off the access is designated “A”, the second building is designated “B”, and so forth.
Example #6: 643047(5, 12, 16 & 21) RGE RD 214 – Subdivision addresses are also based on the location of the primary access on a road allowance. Each parcel within a subdivision will be assigned a unique number. The lots are numbered clockwise using an increment of 4, with odd numbers along the East and South, and even along the West and North. The lot number is to be used along with the six-digit rural address for your full address.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get a Rural Address? Where a rural address has not previously been assigned or where an approach application is approved for a new approach or multi-lot subdivision, the address will be determined and assigned when a development permit is issued or when a subdivision is approved.
What are the benefits of using Rural Addresses over a Legal Land Location? A legal land location will identify where a property is located on a specific quarter section whereas a Rural Address will pinpoint the access to the property off of a road allowance.
Is the Rural Address the same as a Mailing Address? No, they are two different addresses. Your current Canada Post mailing address will not change, so please continue using your existing mailing address to send and receive parcels and letters.
Who assigns Rural Addresses and who will have access to my address? Rural Addressing information is assigned and maintained by Athabasca County. Rural Addresses are shared with TELUS Communications to link to TELUS 911, 911 Dispatch and Emergency Responders.
What do I do with my new Rural Address once I get it? You don’t need to do anything with with your new rural address, other then memorize it! Your new Rural Address is primarily for emergency response. If you ever need to call 911, you can give the 911 dispatcher this address. We recommend posting your Rural Address near every phone in your house. Also be sure to educate your children as to what your Rural Address is, what it is for, and how it should be used in the event of an emergency.
Is it mandatory? Yes, all developed rural properties with an inhabited residence or business will require a Rural Address and proper signage.