Rural Addressing FAQs
To scroll immediately down to a specific question, click on the underlined questions listed here.
- What is it and why do we need it?
- What are the benefits of using Rural Addresses over a legal land location?
- How are Rural Addresses created?
- Is the Rural Address the same as a Mailing Address?
- I already have a Rural Address. Will it change?
- How do I get my Rural Address?
- Is Rural Addressing new to Alberta?
- How are subdivisions addressed?
- What is the difference between a Rural Address, 911 Address, and Emergency Address?
- What is the difference between Urban Addressing and Rural Addressing?
- Who assigns the Rural Addresses?
- What do I do with my new Rural Address once I get it?
- Is there a fee involved?
- Do we have to pay each year?
- Once I get my Rural Address, whom do I have to inform?
- Who is getting a Rural Address?
- I have more than one house on my parcel. Should I have more than one address?
- If I live on a private road, will this affect me?
- What information do I need to get a Rural Address or to confirm an existing one?
- Do I have to post my Rural Address?
- Are there standards for signs and standards for placement of signs?
- Who is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the Rural Address Signs?
- What if I have other questions?
What is it and why do we need it?
Rural Addressing is a standardized system to identify and locate rural properties. This system helps emergency response personnel, such as fire, ambulance, and police, find your property quickly during an emergency.
What are the benefits of using Rural Addresses over a legal land location?
A legal land location identifies where a property is located on a specific quarter. A Rural Address pinpoints the access to the property from a Range Road or Township Road. The addressing system is easy to use and understand. The Rural Address provides emergency personnel with an effective tool to reduce response times in emergencies.
How are Rural Addresses created?
The County assigns Rural Addresses. A typical urban or city address is based on the street and avenue road network. Similarly, a Rural Address is based on the access point into a property from the township road and range road network. For example, from the address 722020 Rge Rd 85, we can tell that the access point to the property is on the west side of Range Road 85 and is 400 metres (20 intervals by 40 metres) from Township Road 722. See Rural Addressing Guide [PDF - 5.9 MB] for further details.
Is the Rural Address the same as a Mailing Address?
Unless Canada Post has advised you that your current mailing address is changing, then your rural address is used for emergency services only and your current mailing address is still applicable.
I already have a Rural Address. Will it change?
No. The Rural Addressing program is designed to provide addresses for rural properties. If you live in a hamlet, Wedgewood, Carriage Lane, Maple Ridge Estates, Taylor Estates, or have an existing street address, your address is not affected.
How do I get my Rural Address?
Once development begins and an approach into the property has been constructed, an address will be assigned and a sign installed. The fee for Rural Addressing is included with your development application. With multi-parcel subdivisions, the developer will be changed the Rural Address fee for each lot being developed.
Is Rural Addressing new to Alberta?
No. Many Alberta rural municipalities have implemented Rural Addressing. Among them are the MD of Rocky View, MD of Greenview, Brazeau County, Lacombe County, Yellowhead County, Clearwater County, Beaver County, Sturgeon County, Strathcona County, Cypress County, and Red Deer County to name a few. More and more municipalities are implementing Rural Addressing each year.
How are subdivisions addressed?
Rural addresses are based off the access point off of a township road or range road. In the case of a multi-lot subdivision, the address will denote the access to the subdivision, with each lot assigned a preceding "unit" number.
Starting at the subdivision entrance, lots are numbered in a clockwise direction, with even lot numbers on the north and west side of the road, and odd lot numbers on the south and east side of the road. A typical subdivision rural address might look like this: 6 85060 Twp Rd 722. See the Rural Addressing Guide [PDF - 5.9 MB] for further details.
What is the difference between a Rural Address, 911 Address, and Emergency Address?
In the County of Grande Prairie, these three terms mean the same thing. The primary reason for implementing Rural Addressing is for emergency response purposes. Your Rural Address, 911 Address, or Emergency Address are one in the same.
What is the difference between Urban Addressing and Rural Addressing?
Urban Addressing and Rural Addressing follow a similar principle - that addresses are based on an access point on a grid pattern. In Urban Addressing, an address is typically formed from the street and avenue road pattern. This applies in cities, towns, villages, and hamlets. A Rural Address is based off the Range Road and Township Road grid pattern.
In the County, hamlets use the Urban Address style, with the 911 or emergency address being the same as the one used for postal service. If you do not live in a town, village or hamlet, you use the Rural Address when calling 911.
Who assigns the Rural Addresses?
Rural Addressing information is assigned and maintained by the County's GIS Department. It maintains all current addresses in a computer system and assigns new addresses as required by development. Addressing information is shared with Telus for use with 911 systems.
For a new development, the owner or developer must request a Rural Address from the Planning and Development Department. This is a standard step in the development process.
What do I do with my new Rural Address once I get it?
Rural Addresses are primarily for emergency response. Try to memorize the number of your Rural Address or keep it near every telephone. That way, if you need to call 911, you can provide the address to the dispatcher.
Be sure to teach your children about your Rural Address, what it is for, and how it should be used in the event of an emergency.
Is there a fee involved?
All developed parcels require a Rural Address. All signage for new subdivisions and new developments is paid for by the landowner or developer. The County will supplies and installs the signs for a set fee, included with the development permit. All maintenance and replacement costs are the responsibility of the landowner.
Do we have to pay each year?
No. There is no annual fee for Rural Addressing.
Once I get my Rural Address, who do I have to inform?
It is not necessary to inform anyone. This is not a postal address change where you would have to inform people or companies that send you mail. Your Rural Address, once assigned by the County, will be provided to Telus for recording in the 911-dispatch database. This way, 911 always has up-to-date information on all Rural Addresses in the County on an on-going basis. You may, however, give your Rural Address to family, friends, and relatives to help them easily find your house.
Who is getting a Rural Address?
Every developed parcel in the municipal jurisdiction of the County of Grande Prairie has a Rural Address (or urban address for hamlets) assigned to it. This includes every parcel that has a residential, commercial or industrial development.
I have more than one house on my parcel. Should I have more than one address?
Yes. Each dwelling should have a unique Rural Address.
If I live on a private road. How does Rural Addressing affect me?
Rural Addressing is assigned to every developed parcel in the County, regardless of whether you live on a public or private road.
What information do I need to get a Rural Address or to confirm an existing one?
The more information you can provide about where you live, the better. To help describe your location, you can use the legal land description, lot-block-plan, and tax roll number. We will need to know if it is a residential, commercial or industrial lot, and whether it is a multi-lot subdivision. Because Rural Addressing is based on access points, we will need to know where the road access or approach is to the property. Until the approach is built, we cannot provide a Rural Address. We also need to know if there will be more than one residence or business on the property, particularly if they share the same road access.
Do I have to post my Rural Address?
Yes. All existing properties must have a Rural Address sign. It is also required for all new developments and subdivisions, and is included as part of the development process. The requirement is based on our mandate to ensure the same level of service for all residences and businesses in the County. Rural Address signage is a crucial element for efficient emergency response. It is in the best interest of the property owner or resident to ensure the address sign is displayed in the proper location.
Are there standards for signs and standards for placement of signs?
Yes. You can learn more about sign standards in the County by consulting the Rural Addressing By-law [PDF - 2.5 MB]. Sign standards are listed as an appendix.
Who is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the Rural Address Signs?
The property owner is responsible for all maintenance and upkeep of the sign.
What if I have other questions?
If you have questions not listed here, view a guide [PDF - 5.9 MB] that fully explains the Rural Addressing System and how addresses are formed.
For further information, contact Lynda Caron, Rural Addressing Coordinator at 780-933-4123 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org