The first residents within the area called Red Deer, were the aboriginal tribes, comprising Plains Cree, Blackfoot, and Stoney. Throughout the late 18th century, European fur traders began to pass through the area. Among these first settlers, Reverend Leonard Gaetz, bought and after that gave half of his 1,240 acres to the Edmonton and Calgary Railway so as to develop a bridge over the river and town site. As a result, the very first train to Edmonton from Calgary went through Red Deer during 1891. Red Deer was incorporated as a town during 1901, and it developed mainly its agricultural service and distribution centre. It became more developed in the year 1907, when it was selected as the divisional point for the Canadian Pacific Railway. During the year 1911, two other railways joined Red Deer: Alberta Central Railway and the Canadian Northern Railway. Red Deer was incorporated as a city on the 25 th of March, 1913.
Waskasoo Park within the city of Red Deer, gives the city an alternate name of the "Park City." The more popular attractions and parks are the Collicutt Centre, Waskasoo Park, Recreation Centre, Canyon Ski an Recreation Centre, Westerner Exposition Grounds, Enmax Centrium, G.H. Dawe Community Centre, Greater Red Deer Visitor Centre, and Alberta Sports Hall of Fame. It is an eighty kilometer multi-use trails used for biking, rollerblading, walking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, horseback riding, and rollerblading. The park has is perfect for wildlife and bird watching, and it even has various attractions, like: Fort Normandeau, Heritage Ranch, Bower Ponds and Cronquist Heritage Centre, Great Chief (Maskepetoon) Park, Great Chief Athletic Park, Coronation Park, Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary, Kin Kanyon, Lions Campground, Three Mile Bend, Kiwanis Picnic Ground, Discovery Canyon, Great West Adventure Park and BMX track. The Collicutt Centre is a large, state of the art facility that consists of an indoor running track, swimming pools, field houses, a hockey rink, gymnastic centre, basketball courts, fitness and training rooms, climbing walls and lacrosse.
Within the city of Red Deer, there are numerous interpretive centres and museums consisting of the Red Deer & District Archives, Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery, Sunnybrook Farm Museum & Interpretive Centre, Tourism Red Deer, Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, Kerry Wood Nature Centre, and Fort Normandeau. Working to be able to create a more memorable experience for its tourists, the Red Deer Museum + Art aims to to help them understand the history, culture and people of Central Alberta. Sunnybrook Farm Museum celebrates the early days of Alberta farming. The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is a hands-on, interactive celebration of Alberta's sporting history. It even offers group activities, an education program, meeting room rentals and party/reception facility rental. The Kerry Wood Nature Centre is Red Deer's year-round home of entertaining nature exhibits, activities, and information-giving.
Red Deer City has a growing manufacturing industry, while still retaining a strong base in agriculture, oil, petrochemicals, retail and wholesale service and distribution business. Within the city of red Deer, the service and manufacturing industries are profitable, with metal fabrication being the largest sector, whilst machinery, wood cabinetry, and food processing are the second largest sectors within the manufacturing business. Distribution is also a strong component, as Red Deer's location makes it a perfect distribution centre for businesses within Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. The more reputable business under this particular industry is Daimler Chrysler Canada, which has consistently won efficiency awards under this category. Agriculture and food processing is likewise a profitable venture, with Olymel and Nossack Fine Meats leading the business. Tourism is also a highlighted sector, as Red Deer boasts of numerous hotels which differ in size and price ranges. Wholesale and retail services are likewise doing very well, and numerous new malls are opening, like: Michael's Arts & Crafts, Winners, Future Shop, Chapters and Wal-Mart (two locations) to Red Deer, as well as Home Depot and London Drugs.