News & Market Updates

Canmore maintains its small-town charm


As travel restrictions to U.S. destinations remain uncertain, local towns are becoming more popular with buyers looking for getaway homes.

A one-hour drive west of Calgary is Canmore, which is seeing increasing interest from this buyer group.

Canmore was a simple mining town, population 1,800, when John Borrowman first set up shop as a hippie potter in 1975. Now finishing his fourth and final term as the town’s mayor, he says Canmore has grown exponentially along with Calgary.

Borrowman says, despite Canmore’s current challenges caused by the post-1988 Olympic tourism crush, such as congestion, affordable housing for locals and protecting wildlife corridors, Canmore hasn’t lost its small-town charm.

“The shops are all locally owned and operated. It’s not a cookie-cutter resort municipality in that context. People know each other and are friendly. It’s still a beautiful setting,” he says.

Growth in Canmore has levelled out after a wild ride in the mid-2000s when the value of building permits skyrocketed to an unsustainable high of $250 million. After real estate values tanked in 2008, that number was down to $20 million.

Borrowman says it took years for development to start to pick up.

“We’re at a healthier level of development now. Somewhere around $100 million a year in building permits, which for a community our size is manageable. Our construction sector is healthy right now and doing well,” he says.

One of the most active areas in Canmore is Spring Creek Mountain Village, a 28-hectare (70 acre) mixed-use development that includes work/live units, small boutique retailers, condo residences, a hotel and a seniors’ community. Select residences in designated buildings are approved for short-term vacation rentals.

Sales representative Ann Ricord says Spring Creek is 50 percent completed with just 12 suites left to sell in the current phase. Those remaining units in the Tamarack and Jack Pine Lodge buildings are 868 sq. ft. to 2,300 sq. ft., priced from $529,000 to $1.359 million plus GST, with possessions slated for late 2022.

Sales have been steady, even during the lockdown days of COVID-19, because people eager to escape the city were seeking the security of a town with a smaller population, says Ricord.

“It’s so peaceful here, you don’t want to leave,” she says.

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Article by: The Chronicle Herald

Categories: Real Estate News, Local News

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Jordy Shepherd

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