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Simon Amting Moved Up from Woodville, ON

Updated: Jun 10


Relocation Story

Simon Amting, 29, moved up from Woodville, Ontario, in 2014. Today, he owns a farm in Birch Hills County and is the agricultural fieldman for the Municipal District of Spirit River No. 133.


What’s your story? How did you end up relocating to Northern Alberta?

Simon: I grew up near a small town called Woodville, ON. It’s located between farmland and cottage country. I worked on a local dairy farm throughout high school. After graduating from Fenelon Falls Secondary School, I started working for a construction company building houses.


When I was 19 or so, someone told me about the oil and gas industry in Alberta. I was shocked when I heard how much money you can make. That’s when the search begun for an opportunity to start a life in the wild west. Shortly after, I secured a job with a place to stay, and within three weeks, I was arriving at the Grande Prairie Airport.


What was your first impression?

My first impression was how beautiful the area is. Surrounded by endless wilderness anyone can use and miles and miles of some of the best farmland in Canada. It felt open and free with endless opportunity.


What surprised you the most?

I was blown away by the opportunities here. It gave me hope—hope to have a successful life without going to college or university for 10 years.


Compared to where you came from, how does Northwestern Alberta differ?

Northwestern Alberta is substantially different from Ontario. Ontario is a congested, expensive, low-income province, which makes is nearly impossible for people in their 20s and 30s to get ahead. Northwestern Alberta has affordable housing, high paying jobs with endless opportunity and is the complete opposite of congested.


I bought my first house in Grande Prairie at the age of 24, and then I purchased my 160-acre farm at the age of 27. I wouldn’t be in the same position as I am today if I had stayed in Ontario.


What would be your advice to anyone thinking of relocating here?

Do it! Northwestern Alberta does not disappoint and will welcome you with open arms. I am a firm believer you cannot grow without change. Making that decision 10 years ago was the greatest decision of my life.


How do you entertain out-of-town guests?

Alberta is known for its mountainous wilderness, which grabs a lot of attention from outdoor enthusiasts. I normally entertain family and friends by taking them sight seeing (Dunvegan, Tumbler Ridge, Kakwa Provincial Park and Jasper), kayaking in the nearby rivers and lakes, horseback riding, visiting a local rodeo and hiking throughout the Northwest wilderness.


One very popular outdoor activity that attracts out of town guests is hunting. Northwestern Alberta offers some of the best big game hunting in all of Canada. Many friends and family of mine had the dream to hunt their first elk or moose, and I helped them fulfill that dream.


If you are an outdoor enthusiast, Northwestern Alberta has unlimited potential for you—whether its hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, horseback riding—it has it all.



Have you had any interesting wildlife encounters?

Being an avid outdoor enthusiast and spending most of my life in the wilderness, I’ve had many wildlife encounters. From calling in moose and elk, to crossing paths with grizzlies and cougars, nature and wildlife is something I have always respected as this is their forever home.


What is your ideal Sunday now?

Anything outdoors—whether it’s saddling up a horse and exploring some backcountry, loading up a kayak to fish a nearby lake, or getting together with some friends for a day of quadding.


In your experience, what is unique about Northwestern Alberta?

Northwestern Alberta is unique to me because it has so much to offer! It has endless job opportunities, affordable housing and beautiful wilderness that offers the outdoor enthusiasts a chance to explore and try new things.


Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I see myself right where I am today except I’ll be growing and expanding within my career, my farm, within the community, my family and within the roots I’ve planted in Northwestern Alberta.


The North will always be my forever home.

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