NAME: Canmore mines
CLIMATE: Cold winters, warm summers
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Late spring, summer and early fall
COMMENTS: Although thousands of former mine lands are no longer in use, much of the land has been turned over to developers. Most of the old buildings and artifacts have disappeared but in recent years there have been substantive efforts to preserve and resotre the site's remaining sturctures and artifacts.
REMAINS: A few structures, including mine entrances and lamp house

When Canmore Mines Ltd. ceased coal production on July 13, 1979, it not only meant the loss of 120 jobs to the small Canadian Rocky Mountain community, but the end of an era that began nearly a century before. Since 1886, Canmore was a coal town and following the mine’s closure, there was was real concern it’s future would belong to the ghosts, like nearby Georgetown, Bankhead and Anthracite. But the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, hosted by Calgary 58 miles to the east, would change that as local, national and international entrepreneurs saw the potential for Canmore being turned into a world-class mountain resort. While nearby other nearby coal mining communities fell to the mountain ghosts decades later without any resurrection, Canmore has more than tripled its population of 3,000 residents in 1979 to more than 10,000 citizens today. However, past reminders that Canmore was a coal mining town have mostly disappeared. In fact, most of the buildings were turned into scrap a year after the mine closed in 1979. The former mining lands were turned over to developers, and today hundreds of upscale residential and vacation homes belong to the former industrial landscape. As the new millennium approaches, there are further plans to bulldoze the remaining mine properties for new homes, commercial venues and golf courses. Additionally, there is concern that neglect and vandalism will ultimately destroy the former mine property’s remaining links to Canmore’s historic mining past. Fortunately, the main developer, Three Sisters Resorts, has in the past few years spent considerable financial and human resources to preserve and restore former mine structures and artifacts. The company also conducts school and public tours, and has also donated resources to annual reunions of former employees and their families. The company has also spent millions of dollars in the preservation of nearby wildlife corridors.

Submitted by: Johnnie Bachusky

A miner's grave site at the old Canmore cemetery. In 1999, there has been a growing push by the community to better restore and preserve the century old graveyard. Photo by Johnnie Bachusky

Hundreds of acres of Canmore's old mine site have been bulldozed this past decade for residential and commercial development.
Photo by Johnnie Bachusky

The former mine property's main developer has spent considerable resources in restoring some of the mine's structures.
Photo by Johnnie Bachusky

A mine entrance and the lamp house above, as it appears today.
Photo by Johnnie Bachusky

The former mine's remaining lands are part of recently developed wildlife corridors to preserve the region's ecological integrity.
Photo by Johnnie Bachusky

Mine artifacts are still plentiful and visible on the former mining property.
Photo by Johnnie Bachusky

Although there are concerns remaining mine structures and artifacts have fallen victim to vandalism and neglect, there are ongoing measures taking place for their restoration and preservation.
Photo by Johnnie Bachusky

An old coal car lays in the forest on the former mining property.
Photo by Johnnie Bachusky

This old road in a forest was once the site of the coal line for cars carrying coal from the mine. The old rail ties can still be seen.
Photo by Johnnie Bachusky

The old lamp house will be preserved.
Photo by Johnnie Bachusky