Though very young by world history standards, Canmore’s past is still rich and exciting. A true frontier town, only the toughest were fit to set up homesteads in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Perhaps the only ones who were tougher than those who attempted to make a living on the frontier were those who attempted to maintain peace in these harsh conditions. Those people were the North-west Mounted Police and their original NWMP Barracks still stands in downtown Canmore to this day.
A town of coal miners and railroad workers, Canmore officials noted that imported liquor from the United States was becoming an increasing concern in the area. The solution was to build a permanent barracks, which was completed in 1893. Rebuilt and then expanded during the early 1900s, it contributed greatly to the stability of the town throughout its early development as its detachment maintained law and order by keeping bootlegged liquor out, making sure locals were safe and by monitoring general strikes.
The building itself is a classic illustration of early log cabin design, complete with characteristic rectangular shape and round-log dovetail notching. Even some of the evergreen trees are the same ones that were originally planted upon first construction! White stones have been re-set around the property to recreate a traditional feature of the barracks. The building is one of the oldest in Alberta, and one of only three that have remained standing since before Alberta was formed as a province.
The NWMP Barracks is located at 609 Main Street and is open to the public from 1pm to 4pm every day. For more information about the Barracks and about upcoming events, check out the Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre.
While you might be excited to visit a building that’s well over 100 years old, you’d probably want to spend a night in something a tad more modern. That’s where we at the Pocaterra Inn come in! Book a stylish, modern room with us today!