The Summer Village of Birch Cove and Lac la Nonne – Our History

The Summer Village of Birch Cove is approximately 99 km northwest of Edmonton, Alberta between Highway 33 and Lac la Nonne. In 2013, there were 45 full-time residents and 60 dwellings. The village has a land area of 2.9 km2. The village was officially established on December 31, 1988.

Lac la Nonne

Lac la Nonne is fairly large (11.8 km2) and deep (maximum depth 19.8 m) lake located about 90 km northwest of Edmonton in the counties of Barrhead and Lac Ste. Anne. This is a highly developed and popular recreational lake. The closest large population centre is the town of Barrhead, 20 km to the north. The name of the lake, “the nun” in French, has an uncertain origin. In 1827, Edward Ermatinger recorded the lake’s name in his journal as Lac La Nane. It has been suggested that the name comes from the White-winged Scoter, a duck with features similar to ducks in England known as “the nun”.

The Hudsons’s Bay Company established a trading post at the lake in the early 1800s; by the 1830s, there were many Métis, and by the 1870s, a Catholic mission had been established. In the 1890s, several families had settled around the lake, and by 1912 most of the available land had been homesteaded.

Killdeer Beach Resort and Elksbeach Campground are the two commercial facilities at the lake. No commercial fisheries exist on the lake, although sport fishery, with the main catches being walleye and northern pike, is very popular in the summer.

Land acquisition around this lake and cottage development on the shoreline increased through to the 1970s until most of the shoreline became privately owned. Many cottages have been winterized and general lake use has intensified over the last half of the 1900s. Due to concerns about the quality of the lake, further development around the lake was halted through regulations enforced by Alberta Environment.”

Sammy Majeau was the first Métis President at the Lac la Nonne Local.