Lloydminster is a Canadian city which has the unusual geographic distinction of straddling the provincial border between Alberta and Saskatchewan. Unlike most such cases (such as Texarkana and Kansas City), Lloydminster is not a pair of twin cities on opposite sides of a border which merely share the same name, but is actually incorporated as a single city with a single municipal administration.
Intended to be an exclusively British Utopian settlement centred on the idea of sobriety, the town was founded in 1903 by the Barr Colonists, who came directly from the United Kingdom. At a time when the area was still part of the Northwest Territories, the town was located astride the Fourth Meridian of the Dominion Land Survey. This meridian was intended to coincide with 110° west longitude although the imperfect surveying methods of the time led to the meridian being placed a few hundred meters west of this longitude.
The town was named for George Lloyd (Anglican Bishop of Saskatchewan), a strong opponent of non-British immigration to Canada. During a nearly disastrous immigration journey, which was badly planned and conducted, he distinguished himself with the colonists and replaced the Barr Colony's leader and namesake Isaac Montgomery Barr during the colonists' journey to the eventual townsite.
The town developed rapidly: by 1904 there was a telegraph office as well as a log church; in 1905 the Lloydminster Daily Times started publication and the first train arrived on July 28.
While provincehood of some sort was seen as inevitable by 1903, it had been widely expected that only one province would eventually be created instead of two. The colonists were not aware of the federal government's deep-rooted opposition to the creation of a single province and thus had no way of knowing that the Fourth Meridian was under consideration as a future provincial boundary. Had they known, it is very unlikely they would have sited the new settlement on the future border.
When the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were created in 1905, the Fourth Meridian was selected as the border, bisecting the town. Caught by surprise, Lloydminster residents petitioned for the new border to be revised so as to encompass the entire town within Saskatchewan, without success.
For the next quarter century, Lloydminster remained two separate towns with two separate municipal administrations. Finally, in 1930 the provincial governments agreed to amalgamate the towns into a single town under shared jurisdiction. The provinces, again jointly, reincorporated Lloydminster as a city in 1958.
Commemorating Lloydminster's distinctive bi-provincial status, a monument consisting of four 100-foot survey markers was erected in 1994 near the city's downtown core.
Although the majority of Lloydminster's population once lived in Saskatchewan, that ratio has long since been reversed; in the Canada 2011 Census, nearly two-thirds of the city's population lived in Alberta. In 2000, the city hall and municipal offices were re-located from Saskatchewan to Alberta.
Since Lloydminster's founders were attempting to create a utopian, temperate society, alcohol was not available in Lloydminster for the first few years after its founding.