Fort Mackay

Fort MacKay, or Fort McKay, is a hamlet in northern Alberta, Canada within the Regional Municipality (R.M.) of Wood Buffalo.

It is located on the western shore of the Athabasca River. It is 6 km (3.7 mi) from Highway 63, approximately 54 km (34 mi) north of Fort McMurray, and has an elevation of 260 m (850 ft).

The hamlet is located in census division No. 16 and in the federal riding of Fort McMurray-Athabasca.


The hamlet was named in 1912 after Dr. Williams Morrison McKay, the first president of the Northern Alberta Medical Association. Despite this, the official spelling of the hamlet's name is Fort MacKay according to the R.M. of Wood Buffalo and Alberta Municipal Affairs. The community's name is spelled Fort McKay by the Fort McKay First Nation.


The economy is centered around the development of the Athabasca oil sands to the immediate south and north of Fort MacKay. Motorists traveling north on Highway 63 pass through oil sands developments en route to the hamlet.


The population of Fort MacKay according to the R.M. of Wood Buffalo's 2007 municipal census is 737. The subsequent 2008 municipal census recorded a population of 862. However, with the overall 2008 municipal census result for the R.M. of Wood Buffalo not being accepted by Alberta Municipal Affairs due to the use of extrapolation, Fort MacKay's 2008 population may be more of an estimate compared to its 2007 figure.

Statistics Canada has not recently published a population for Fort MacKay.

However, Industry Canada shows that Fort MacKay's greater rural area had a total population of 437 living in 149 dwellings in 2001. With a land area of 8.2 km2 (3.2 sq mi), its greater rural area has a population density of 16.0 /km2 (41 /sq mi).


Fort MacKay is served by the Fort MacKay/Horizon Airport (IATA: N/A, ICAO: CYNR).