Investing, Working and Living in the STEP Region

The STEP region ‘s boundary is the County of St. Paul, located 1.5 hours east of Edmonton. The County is very diversified with a strong agriculture industry complemented with tourism, oil/gas and manufacturing. The Town of St. Paul is the major business center in the County, which also includes the Town of Elk Point, and the Hamlets of Ashmont, Heinsburg, Mallaig, Lafond, Lindbergh, St. Lina and St. Vincent. The area is an ideal destination for the outdoorsman with its wealth of provincial and municipal campgrounds.


The STEP Region is well served with a network of quality transportation systems. The transportation infrastructure in the county is a major factor in supporting the primary industries in the region including the oil and gas industry, related oil and gas service industries, agriculture and tourism. Our integrated highway, rail and air systems allow for efficient delivery and transport of goods and people throughout the communities in the region. See the County of St. Paul Transportation Profile for more information.


The STEP Region is part of area known for the most fertile soil in the province. The region is home to many cattle, dairy, hog and poultry farms. The Towns of St. Paul and Elk Point support the agriculture industry with agriculture suppliers, including major farm equipment dealers and suppliers serving grains and livestock producers. The region’s agriculture sector remains strong in 2021: Over 670 farms produce coarse grains such as wheat, barley and canola. Pea field acreages exceeded 8,000, an increase of 35% over 2016. Gross Farm Receipts reached nearly $153 million and the value of Livestock & Poultry is an impressive $151 million. See the County of St. Paul Agriculture Profile for more information.


The Tourism sector is a growing industry in the region and offers excellent investment opportunities. The STEP region features numerous campsites, museums, major attractions, numerous events and family activities. A major part of Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail winds its way through the County providing breath-taking views. Some provincial historic sites include the Fort George-Buckingham House in the Elk Point area, and the Frog Lake Memorial Site in Frog Lake.


St. Paul and Elk Point are major service centres within the County of St. Paul. They offer a competitive infrastructure, skilled workforce and excellent quality of life for your employees. Services for your business in the region include transportation, communication, engineering, design, consulting, accounting, legal, marketing and computer services. The Town of St. Paul is served by a 40-plus member local detachment of the RCMP. St. Paul Municipal Airport and Elk Point Airport compliment the excellent highway transportation system.


The region offers broad educational opportunities. St. Paul Day Care Society, in the Town of St. Paul, serves up to 50 children [19 mths-6 yrs]. There is also the Boys & Girls Club, La garderie les petit oursons, and TLC Daycare in the Town of St. Paul; and Learn to Play in Elk Point.  Public schools include St. Paul [K-12], Elk Point [K-12], Ashmont [K-12], Heinsburg [K-12], and Mallaig [K-12]. French language education is available at St. Paul and Mallaig public schools. Post-secondary institutions include Portage College, and University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills. See the Alberta HUB Applied Research page for more information.

Health Care

The Northeastern Alberta Health Unit has offices in St. Paul and Elk Point. Also available are:

  • St. Therese Hospital in the Town of St. Paul has acute-care, long-term, and auxiliary beds, plus newborn bassinets.
  • Elk Point Municipal Hospital has acute-care and long-term beds. The hospital has professional staff including general practitioners.
  • The Associated Medical Centre in St. Paul has general practitioners offering diagnostic imaging, gynecology, obstetrics, and psychology.


The STEP region features many recreational opportunities:

  • Regional golf courses include the Elk Point Golf and Country Club and the St. Paul Golf Club.
  • Recreation Areas: Whitney Lakes Provincial Park, Kehewin Lakes Provincial Recreation Area, Mallaig Provincial Recreation Area, Lac Bellevue Municipal Recreation Area, Stoney Lake Municipal Recreation Area, Westcove Municipal Recreation Area, St. Paul Municipal Campground, St. Paul Skatepark, and the Floatingstone Lake Municipal Campground.
  • Local provincial historic sites include the Old St. Paul Rectory, Fort de L’Isle II [1799-1801], Fort George Buckingham House, and the Frog Lake Memorial Site.
  • Alberta’s Iron Horse Trail is the longest completed section of the Trans-Canada trail in the province.


The Elk Point Municipal Airport and St. Paul Municipal Airport are located in a very prolific, heavy oil and gas reserve field, amidst a diverse agricultural sector. The airports are excellent locations for opportunities in the gas and oil sector, agriculture and tourism industries, as well as UAV/BLVOS training and application into these industries. Both airports serve a trading area of 35,000, that is connected to High Load Highways 36 and 41 north/south through the County accessing U.S. markets to the south and the oil sands areas of the north. Highway 28, a main east/west highway, runs through the County connecting major development to suppliers.

There are many exciting regional opportunities to work with partners on projects and initiatives involving the airports, including with Indigenous Communities. The airports border on several First Nations and Metis Settlements that have proven experience and success in investment partnership opportunities.

See the St. Paul Airport Profile and the Elk Point Airport Profile for more information.