How does one choose a retirement community and what is it that makes a community the best retirement place to live? In 2006 Canmore, Alberta was voted as the best place to retire in Canada for people who love the great outdoors. The first thing that attracts to people to Canmore is the proximity to Banff National Park and Kananaskis Provincial Park. Canmore has evolved from an old mining town to a focal point for Nordic skiers.
In preparation for the 1988 Winter Olympics 60 kilometers of Nordic Ski trails were upgraded. Four nearby alpine ski resorts, hundreds of kilometres of hiding and biking trails add to the attraction of the area. The Bow River is a favourite of flyfishers and kayakers. Canmore’s proximity to Calgary, only an hour away it makes it easy to access city amenities. Alberta, and especially rural Alberta is one of Canada’s most friendly places and perhaps makes adjustment to a new place easier.
On the edge of town there is a popular hike up to Chinaman’s Peak – a climb of 2,407 metres. It was first named Chinaman’s Peak after a local Chinese cook who summited the peak in only 10 hours. In 1997, the name of the peak was changed to Ha Ling Peak at the request of the Chinese community.
The area is spectacular mountain views and upscale mountain view homes are not necessarily the right place for retirees seeking a economical retirement home. The Three Sisters Mountain Village features house up to 6,500 square feet. Homes in Canmore range from $300,000 to $3,250,000. $300,000 puts you into older parts of town and probably close to noisy heavily travelled train tracks.
It isn’t surprising that Canmore’s population has doubled over the past decade. The popularity of the area escalated following the Olympics and as property prices in Calgary’s buoyant economy escalate rapidly the surrounding areas are also increased. It is still by most standards a small rural community with 14,000 permanent resident and about 4,000 vacation homes. Land in nearby Banff is squelched by the limitations of the Banff National Park. This results in increasing number of people who work in Banff living in Canmore. Canmore’s land is also limited because it borders Banff National Park to the west. In fact, already some of Canmore’s newest upscale subdivisions, the Three Sisters Mountain Village is built atop old mining shafts.
Beyond the appeal of the natural outdoors, arts and culture are above average for a small community. The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra on the driving and at Stuart Creek Golf Course and Mozart on the Mountain add the appeal of the arts. The proximity to Banff offers year round arts and cultural events. If that isn’t enough, with Calgary only an hour away, the options are plentiful.
Useful Canmore links:
- Official Town of Canmore Website
- Tourism Canmore
- Canmore Community Housing Corporation
- The Calgary Philharmonic
- Banff National Park