Lethbridge, Alberta - is the largest city in southern Alberta and Alberta's fourth-largest city by population after Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer. The nearby Canadian Rockies contribute to the city's cool summers, mild winters, and windy climate. Lethbridge lies southeast of Calgary on the Oldman River. Lethbridge is the commercial, financial, transportation and industrial centre of southern Alberta. The city's economy developed from drift mining for coal opened by
Nicholas Sheran in 1874 and the
North Western Coal and Navigation Company in 1882 as well as agriculture in the early 20th century. North Western's president was
William Lethbridge, from whom the city derives its name. Half of the workforce is employed in the health, education, retail and hospitality sectors, and the top five employers are government-based. The only university in Alberta south of Calgary is in
Lethbridge. Cultural venues in the city include performing art theatres, museums and sports centres.