Canmore was named in 1884 by Canadian Pacific Railway director Donald A. Smith. It was named after Malcolm III of Scotland who was also nicknamed Canmore. Canmore is Gaelic for "Big Head".
In 1886, Queen Victoria granted a coal mining charter to the town, and the No. 1 mine was opened in 1887.
By the 1890s, a North-West Mounted Police barrack was built on Main Street, but it was vacated in 1927. The building was restored in 1989 and it is under the care of the Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre.
The coal mining industry in Canmore boomed well into the 20th century. In 1965, with a population of 2,000, Canmore was incorporated as a town. By the 1970s the market for coal was diminished, and in 1979 Canmore Mines Ltd. ceased operations. As a result of safety and reclamation policies instigated by the province of Alberta, all but a few mining structures were demolished in the following year; only the lamp house and a few mine entrances remain today.
Canmore's economic future seemed dismal until the announcement in the early 1980s that Calgary would be hosting the 1988 Winter Olympics, and that Canmore would play host to the Nordic events. This resulted in an increase in tourism, and Canmore began to develop into the recreational tourist destination it is today.
From Calgary, take the Trans-Canada Highway (Route 1) West. From British Columbia, take Highway 1 East from Golden until you reach the East gate of Banff National Park. There are 3 exits into Canmore, the most popular being the second exit (when going to the town centre).
There are a number of airport shuttle providers from the Calgary Airport to Canmore it is about 1½ hr from the airport.
- Banff Airporter Inc. offers 10 shuttles daily or private charter shuttles in needed.
- Brewster Airporter & Resort Connector offers shuttle service from the Calgary & Edmonton airports.
- [dead link] Rider Express, toll-free: . Bus service from Calgary to Vancouver, daily, via Salmon Arm, Kamloops, Hope, Revelstoke, and Abbotsford (British Columbia); Lake Louise, and Banff (Alberta).
The Canmore town centre is small, and you can walk just about anywhere you want to go. Taxis within the city limits will range in price from around $5. Walking is quick, easy and allows for random adventures down to the Bow River, through the forests, up the mountains. All of Canmore's activities are within a 10-20 minute walking distance. Biking around town is popular too. There are several shops to rent bicycles if you are interested in either mountain biking, quick travel downtown, or trail riding to many locations. Canmore is filled with biking and hiking trails that take you through forested areas, along streams and waterfalls, and lead to incredible lake and mountain views.
The Canadian Rockies offer some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. It may seem a daunting task to try to see it all in a limited amount of time.
Fortunately there is a host of companies available that eliminate the hassle, giving you the opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the view. The friendly guides offer fun and informative sightseeing tours in and around the Banff area in comfortable vehicles.
Canmore is a Rocky Mountain playground. Golf, hike, dine, party, ski, snowshoe, dog sled, spa, a tour of main street, etc. — it's all here.
- 1 SilverTip Golf Resort, 1000 Silvertip Trail, toll-free: . $105-175/round, depending on date and time of day.
- 2 Stewart Creek Golf Club, 4100 Stewart Creek Drive, toll-free: , fax: . $85-195/round, depending on date and time of day.
- 3 Nordic Centre, 1988 Olympic Way, ☏ . Great for cross-country skiing.
- 4 Grassi Lakes Trail. Hike up to the lake from the car park just out of town, a famous and short hike in the region.
- 5 Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours, 104-602 Bow Valley Trail, toll-free: . Winter/summer. Summer tours: $35-90. Winter tours: starting at $149.
- 6 Canadian Rockies Rafting and Adventure Centre, 701 Bow Valley Trail, ☏ .
- Graykite Canmore, Lessons usually at Spray Lakes, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 08:00-20:00. Graykite Canmore is a snowkiting school offering lessons for beginners, advanced riders and children. $200-350 per day.
Enjoy strolling alongside locals and world-travellers as you discover a cosmopolitan collection of galleries, boutiques and cafés. Shops range from unique furniture, florists, gifts, to independently-owned establishments.
Canmore offers a wide variety of dining options within easy walking distance of each other. Main Street (8th Street) is the heart of downtown and has upscale dining rooms, corner cafes, brew pubs and casual bistros. Being small does have its advantages. You could restaurant hop and try appetizers in one, entrees in another, and finish the evening with dessert and after dinner drinks at a third.
- 1 Iron Goat Pub & Grill, 703 Benchlands Trail, ☏ .
- 2 Murrieta's Bar & Grill, 737 8 Street, ☏ .
- 3 The Grizzly Paw, 622 8 Street, ☏ .
- 4 Rose & Crown, 749 Railway Avenue, ☏ .
- 5 Stoney's Bar & Grill, 2000 Silvertip Trail, ☏ .
- 6 The Drake Pub, 909 Railway Avenue, ☏ .
- 7 The Wood, 838 8 Street, ☏ .
- 8 [dead link] The Canmore Hotel, 738 8 Street, ☏ .
Canmore also has a number of independent coffee shops.
- Beamer’s Coffee Bar, #129 300 Old Canmore Road, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 12 Blondies Cafe, 701 Bow Valley Trail, ☏ .
- 2 Holiday Inn Canmore, 1 Silvertip Trail, ☏ , toll-free: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Breathtaking view of the Rocky Mountains from every room.
- Banff Boundary Lodge, 1000 Harvie Heights Road, Harvie Heights, toll-free: . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Just outside the Banff Park Gates, it offers 1 and 2 bedroom chalets with gas fireplaces. $84-239.
- 3 Canadian Rockies Chalets, 1206 Bow Valley Trail, ☏ , toll-free: . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Condominium style accommodations. $89-279.
- 4 The Georgetown Inn, 1101 Bow Valley Trail, ☏ . Cozy hotel with extremely helpful staff. The fireplaces in the rooms are a great touch! The only downside is that it can be difficult to find the place in the dark as the sign is on the smaller side, on the ground, and not lit very well.
- 5 Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge, 1711 Bow Valley Trail, ☏ , toll-free: . Right next to "downtown" so you can leave your vehicle for the entire duration of the stay if you wish - everything is within the walking distance (for Nordic Centre you'd have to walk a bit longer though).
- 6 Fire Mountain Lodge, 121 Kananaskis Way, ☏ . Comes with full kitchens, living rooms, etc.
- 7 The Lodges at Canmore, 107 Montane Road, ☏ . Comes with full kitchens, living rooms, etc.
- 8 Mystic Springs Chalets & Hot Pools, 140 Kananaskis Way, ☏ . Comes with full kitchens, living rooms, etc.
- 9 Blackstone, 170 Kananaskis Way, ☏ . Comes with full kitchens, living rooms, etc.
- 10 [dead link] Copperstone Resort, 250 2nd Avenue, Dead Man's Flats, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Condo style suites, full kitchen, in suite laundry (washer/dryer), satellite television, balcony, hot tub, pet friendly rooms available
|Routes through Canmore|
|Kamloops ← Banff (in Banff NP) ←||W E||→ Jct S → Calgary → Medicine Hat|
|END ←||W E||→ Cochrane → Calgary|