Irma’s Beginning

The Village of Irma came into being in 1908 when the Grand Trunk Railway came through. Irma was later incorporated as a Village on May 30, 1912. A map of Irma dated 1915 shows, in addition to the Grand Trunk Railway Station, two elevators and almost thirty businesses catering to the needs of the farmers in the area. Records show three major fires in the downtown area. These broke out in 1911, 1931 and 1963. Most of the buildings on Main street were reconstructed after the 1931 fire.

In addition to the stores, and garages, Irma has been served by the Bank of Montreal and the Treasury Branch, a hotel, four grain elevators, and four machine agencies.

For utilities, Irma was first services by a privately owned lighting plant which was closed down when Calgary Power became available in 1928, and North Western Utilities in 1951, A.G.T. and a municipally owned water and sewer system.

There are two stories about how Irma got its name. The first is that it was named after one of the secretaries of a railway official, and the other is that it was named after the daughter of U. Wainwright, the second vice president of the Grant Trunk Railway.

Irma’s economic base is agriculture and oil and gas exploration. Its local resources are clay, oil, natural gas, agriculture and sand/gravel.