January 4, 2021 • Mountain Living
In The Neighbourhood: River Valley
By Kate Barker
The town of Canmore was once a mining town that struggled to attract people to its harsh landscapes and relative isolation. Now firmly committed to tourism, the town has stretched farther and wider, both down the valley and up the sides of the surrounding mountains. The River Valley remains the original source of this mountain town, and its neighbourhoods hold the keys to the town’s heritage and growth.
Larch is one of Canmore’s smaller neighbourhoods that’s comprised of a series of cul-de-sacs backing onto green spaces including the Bow River and Larch Island. The area is connected with wilderness trails to neighbouring Lion’s Park and downtown. This neighbourhood features houses from the 1970’s to modern builds and has a variety of manufactured and single-family homes. This neighbourhood is also home to the Canmore Collegiate High School, the Canmore Recreation Centre and the Canmore Golf and Curling Club.
Just west of Main Street is the well-established family neighbourhood of Lion’s Park. Named after the large park in its centre, which boasts playing fields, outdoor tennis courts and equipment for kids of all ages, this neighbourhood has family-friendly homes and caters to the full-time residents of Canmore. It’s close to downtown with a quiet, residential feel. The homes range from new builds to homes built in the 1960’s. Amenities include the closeness to downtown, trails along the Bow River, close to schools and shopping, and the pond, a popular spot for family skating in the winter.
One of the oldest neighbourhoods in Canmore is undergoing a redevelopment of sorts. This area has homes dating from the 1940’s with lots of areas zoned for multiplex development. There are great starter homes for first-time buyers in this area alongside development opportunities for the savvy investor. This neighbourhood is alongside Bow Valley Trail and has access to the restaurants and shopping that line that thoroughfare. It also houses the hospital and is a short walk to Elevation Place and Canmore’s downtown.
This flat neighbourhood on the east side of Main Street attracts everyone from locals to weekenders, vacationers and empty-nesters. It’s easy to walk or bike everywhere from this neighbourhood, making it an accessible spot to escape from city life. It’s home to Lawrence Grassi Middle School, a pre-school, and Centennial and Millennial Parks. The area has everything from 100-year-old mining cabins to brand new multiplex buildings. This neighbourhood has a mixture of town homes, duplexes, multiplexes and luxury single family homes.
The River Valley is also home to the growing mountain community of Spring Creek.