MOVING TO AND LIVING IN CANMORE, ALBERTA
Moving to a new town is an exciting endeavour – it’s oftentimes a new chapter in life where you can begin fresh. If you’re thinking of moving to and living in Canmore, Alberta, you should know that it is one of the nicest places in the country. The stunning mountain ranges and epic landscapes you’ll encounter as you begin your life here will be worth moving to.
Canmore is one of the top places to live in Canada and is one of the best mountain towns in North America. From its various parks and outdoor activities like hiking and biking to its aesthetically pleasing downtown core, Canmore is a wonderful place to raise a family or make a life for yourself.
You may be wondering what to expect moving to a city like Canmore, but don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with today’s article about moving to and living in Canmore, Alberta.
Let’s get into it!
Population & Demographics
In 2020, Canmore had a population of 14,798 people, making it a rather small town by any standards. It’s more of a scenic, sister community that neighbours the larger city of Calgary but has retained some of its small-town charm and low population density.
The age group from 35 to 39 years old is the most numerous in Canmore, while the least populous is 80 to 84 years old. This reflects the fact that Canmore is a popular moving destination for younger people seeking a more outdoorsy lifestyle. Still, Canmore is a great place for people of all ages who are looking for a quaint mountain town with plenty to do.
Cost of Living
Due to the incredible beauty of Canmore, the cost of living here is higher than in many other places in Canada. The cost of living in Canmore is roughly 2% higher than the national average, so be aware of this as you begin to look for housing and other amenities.
Furthermore, Canmore has some of the highest average home prices in all of Alberta, at approximately $1,100,000 as of 2021. Depending on your personal budget and where you are in life, this may be a deal-breaker for you. However, keep in mind that you can still find houses for less than the average price. In fact, it’s not unheard of to find a house in Canmore that costs less than $1 million, especially as you move away from the core of downtown.
Of course, renting in Canmore is an option as well. However, Canmore’s rental prices are also higher than average at around $1,700 per month for a two-bedroom apartment. Again, prices can go down for specific housing options, but it’s important you know that the average cost of living in Canmore is higher than in many other parts of Canada. If you plan to move to Canmore on a budget, then be sure to factor this into your planning.
Schools & Colleges
If you’re moving to Canmore, Alberta, then you’ll be happy to know that the town has some great schools for youth. In addition to Canadian Rockies Public Schools, there are also a couple of other options, like Catholic education. To learn more about the elementary schools and high schools available, click here to read our other article!
In terms of post-secondary education, the Bow Valley College campus in Banff is the closest university around. Other than that, Calgary is the closest city boasting several post-secondary institutions. We wrote another article about the great schools in Calgary, which you can read here.
Climate & Weather
When considering moving to and living in Canmore, you’ll want to learn more about its climate and weather. The weather in the Canadian Rockies and Canmore is highly variable owing to high altitude and mountainous terrains.
Summers are warm and sunny in Canmore, with a July-August average high temperature of 21º C (70º F) and a low of 7º C (45º F). Fall months are cooler but are nowhere near freezing during the day.
Winter in Canmore brings snow and cold temperatures – but you’ll also get winter’s most beautiful sights and scenery, thanks to the many forested areas and ample sunlight. The average winter temperatures in Canmore are a chilly -12º C (6º F), which isn’t too stifling for many Canadians and visitors. Relatively pleasant winter days in Canmore are attributed to Chinook winds, which rapidly warm the town throughout the colder months.
In the spring, things begin to warm up in Canmore and the landscape becomes green again. Still, hikers trekking in the higher mountain trails will usually encounter snow until mid-summer.
No matter where you land in Canmore, one thing is certain: you will always feel close to everything. The town isn’t too expansive, so wherever you decide to live, it won’t be difficult to get around with your daily commute.
Canmore is home to many wonderful neighbourhoods, ready for couples, families, retirees and everyone in between. Some popular neighbourhoods include Cougar Creek, Eagle Terrace, and Hospital Hill. The cost of living in certain neighbourhoods can be slightly higher than in others, but you’ll also get the most bang for your buck.
You can learn more about the neighbourhoods in Canmore here.
Proximity to Other Towns & Cities
Proximity to other places is something that you’ll want to acknowledge if moving to Canmore is part of your plan. Since the town is just half an hour from Calgary, the bigger city definitely provides some perks.
Having Calgary nearby allows you to take advantage of more job opportunities, convenience stores, dining options, grocery stores, entertainment choices and more. Even though a lot goes on in Canmore itself – it doesn’t have as many amenities as its big sister city, Calgary. When living in Canmore, you can have access to a secluded lifestyle while also having access to the luxuries of a larger city – it’s a win-win!
Since the town sits in a very touristy part of Alberta, Canmore has many opportunities for employment in the hospitality industry. Restaurants and food services are very common positions, in addition to retail. Working at any of the surrounding parks is also a popular choice, especially amongst nature enthusiasts.
Whatever your career choice is, Canmore is a fantastic place to live and work. Although it isn’t unheard of for some residents to commute to Banff or Calgary to work, there are various jobs to be had right here. Check out online job websites like Indeed to get a sense of the available positions here.
Things to Do
Moving to Canmore grants you access to some of the most breathtaking views in Western Canada. Consequently, outdoor activities are abundant. Nearby trails for hiking, biking or skiing are accessible in just about every direction you look.
There is also a variety of year-round activities to enjoy within Canmore itself. Museums such as the Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre offer exhibitions on local flora and fauna. Meanwhile, the Canmore Civic Centre features a swimming pool for those who do not feel inclined to venture outside.
Downtown Canmore also has a wide variety of shops and restaurants that might interest newcomers. Lastly, various events and festivals happen throughout the year, so there is always something happening in town.
Pros & Cons of Moving to Canmore
Ultimately, here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect if you’re considering a move to Canmore, Alberta.
- Laidback atmosphere – Once you’ve settled in, you’ll probably see that it’s a pretty relaxed place to live.
- Stunning landscapes – The Bow Valley is a gorgeous place to experience, and being surrounded by it daily will give you plenty of inspiration for your next painting or photograph.
- Amazing recreational activities – Canmore is well-known as a hub for outdoor activities. So, odds are good that you’ll find something you like.
- Limited employment opportunities – Canmore is a small town, and so there’s more competition for high-paying jobs.
- Expensive living – Houses can break the bank in Canmore, and rent is expensive compared to other towns in Alberta.
- Limited amenities – If you’re used to a big city with endless restaurants, shopping malls, cinemas, etc., don’t expect it to be the same in Canmore.
Overall, Canmore is a great place to live in if the outdoors are your thing. It’s not necessarily the easiest town to settle into, but if you can find full-time work there it will be worth it in the long term. Just be sure to have enough savings for the initial transition period.
To put it simply, moving to and living in Canmore is an adventure. Residents enjoy living in a community that is not only rich with nature but also rich with life.
Canmore is great for those who love being surrounded by the stunning scenery, but it might not be so great for those used to a city with unlimited amenities. In sum, Canmore is a town that is best suited for those looking for an outdoor lifestyle without sacrificing too much in terms of community life and excitement.
We hope you enjoyed our article about moving to Canmore!