Arts·Big Things

Drumheller, Alberta is home to the world's largest dinosaur replica, and you can climb in!

Find out all about the towering T-Rex in the first episode of Big Things Small Towns.

Find out all about the towering T-Rex in the first episode of Big Things Small Towns

If there's one thing Albertans do even better than huge trucks and grain elevators, it's making massive monuments for little places. Follow Tamarra Canu on her summer Albertan road trip as she travels her province to find out what these big things meant to the small towns that call them home.

In this episode, Tamarra heads to Drumheller to see the "World's Largest Dinosaur" and learn how it was made. It's one of Alberta's youngest monuments (created in 2001), but it may be the one that has given the most back to its community. 

In the first episode of Big Things Small Towns, Tamarra Canu visits Drumheller, Alberta to check out their 26m tall, 46m long giant dinosaur. 4:53

Step inside the badlands, take a walk through the inside of a T-Rex, and get some perspective on how the town's gigantic T-Rex compares to the ground shaking monster that took the top of the food chain so many years ago.

Big Things Small Towns filming inside the T-Rex's giant jaws. (Tamarra Canu)

Built: 2001
Height: 26m​​​​​​
Length: 46m
Material: steel and fibreglass
Fact: 4.5x larger than a real T-Rex
*She's a female!

What goes into the making of a true dinosaur replica? And does the World's Largest Dinosaur fit the mould of its real life Tyrannosaurus Rex ancestor? Tamarra visits dinosaur expert Frank Hadfield of Dinosaur Valley Studios — who is proposing to build an even bigger and more realistic dinosaur skeleton replica — to see some of the tools he uses and his process for creating dinosaur replicas and their giant, but very light, bones.

Tamarra lifts a giant — but surprisingly light! — dinosaur bone replica with Dinosaur Valley Studios' Frank Hadfield.

About Big Things Small Towns

At one time, the largest things spreading across the Canadian prairies were grain elevators and Ukrainian church domes, but in the 1990s, citizens of small towns began building their own roadside giants. Some relevant to the times, some questionably random and some still popping up today.

On Big Things Small Towns we visit six of Alberta's most legendary locations:

  • Drumheller! The "World's Largest Dinosaur" takes you back to prehistoric times. Plus, you can see how it and many other dinos are made.
  • Falher! You'll celebrate the "World's Largest Bee" in more ways than one (including witnessing Tamarra facing one of her biggest fears by participating in their annual bee beard spectacle).
  • Vegreville! You'll find out why the "World's Largest Pysanka" (or painted egg) is truly unique from creation to design.
  • Glendon! Tamarra's headed to take a bite out of its world-famous perogy and discover how the monument may have saved the town itself.
  • Donalda! The "World's Largest Oil Lamp" has been lighting the way for tourists to discover the beauty within the walls of the town.
  • Medicine Hat! This town celebrates Indigenous art and identity with the spectacular Saamis Tepee that celebrates culture, history and the legacy of the Calgary Olympics.

You get to see these objects and the diverse Alberta landscape through the lens of spectacular drone visuals while you learn about Alberta's rich history and, more importantly, start planning your own road trip. Check back for more Big Things Small Towns over the next few weeks.

Special thanks to The Kubasonics for their song Giants of the Prairies. Graphics and poster designed by Chris Brodt.

About the Author

Tamarra Canu is a freelance filmmaker, recently a grant recipient to produce her film The Act of Being Normal. She was Additional Camera and Production Assistant for Vital Bonds on CBC's The Nature of Things and Production Coordinator for CBC's Equus- Story of the Horse. She began her career at CBC News Edmonton as Associate Producer and is proud to be able to keep telling stories for the CBC.

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