Located 82 km south south-west of Red Deer, Carstairs began as a station on the Calgary – Edmonton line in 1891-1893 and was named after Carstairs, Lanarkshire, Scotland. The early settlers were of Scottish descent, and the town that began as a ranching centre evolved into dairy farming and grain growing as well. In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Carstairs had a population of 4,898.
Carstairs is home to an 18-hole golf course, a Memorial Complex with abundant parks and playgrounds, and Tourist Information Center. Carstairs has historically been an agricultural community, as it once had seven grain elevators. It celebrates each year with the CARA Rodeo in July, Beef & Barley Days, the High School Rodeo in September, 4-H Calf Show and Sale, Bull-A-Rama, Horticultural Show, and Pumpkin Festival. There are seven churches in the town, including the Carstairs Church of God, St. Agnes Catholic Church, and the Carstairs Bancroft United Church. One of the churches is being used as a museum that often has religious services.
The Carstairs Cemetery and Columbarium are located west of town beside the Carstairs Fire Hall. They are managed and maintained by the Town of Carstairs. As of 2023, the Town of Carstairs is working on a cemetery expansion. The expansion will be to the north of the existing cemetery. Two more columbarium towers were added to expand the available columbarium niches. The commissioning of the original columbarium towers were completed with the generous aid of IODE, the Carstairs Elks Club, the Lions Club, and KW Welding.