Romancin’ in Canmore

I fell in love with Canmore last spring. The incredible beauty of the town, the people and the surrounding mountains is enough to steal anyone’s heart. Located just an hour from Calgary, and without the crowds of Banff, Canmore has become my favourite place for a weekend escape. When my boyfriend decided to embark on a boy’s trip to Europe for three weeks, I knew I wanted to steal him away for a romantic weekend before he left; naturally, we booked a room and set out for Canmore.

An adorable welcoming committee!

An adorable welcoming committee!

We arrived early afternoon on a bright sunny Friday to a welcoming committee of elk. It was too early to check-in to our hotel but early enough for a delicious lunch at the Georgetown Inn.

I ordered the Georgetown’s legendary Fish n’ Chips; unfortunately, I was a little too impressed with my meal to remember to take a picture beforehand but the remnants of my meal managed to make their way on to my camera.

Left overs from the Georgetown's Fish n' Chips.

Left overs from the Georgetown’s Fish n’ Chips.

Right from the oven shortbread.

Fresh-from-the-oven shortbread.

Just as we were about to leave, the chef came out of the kitchen with a plate of fresh-from-the-oven shortbread cookies that he let us devour.  This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

 

One-Bedroom Suite at Silver Creek Lodge.

One-Bedroom Suite at Silver Creek Lodge.

Looking for relaxation and romance, I booked a gorgeous one-bedroom suite at Silver Creek Lodge. We checked-in just in time to watch the sun set.

Initially, we had planned to go snowboarding, check out the shopping in down-town Canmore and explore the town; however, the temperature sat at an uncomfortable 30 below, colder if you included the wind chill. We decided to forgo our outdoor plans and relax in the room while debating which of Canmore’s many fantastic restaurants to have a romantic dinner at.

The large soaker tub in our room!

The large soaker tub in our room!

To kill some time before dinner, I took advantage of the room’s large soaker tub and kicked back with a glass of wine while my boyfriend took a nap. This was the perfect way to unwind and relax.

We decided on Sage Bistro for dinner and sat in the wine lounge. The service was fantastic and my boyfriend and I shared the Antipasto, which was incredible. We sat and laughed, had some fantastic wine and really enjoyed the ambience of the restaurant before walking back to Silver Creek, which was just across the road. Once we were back in our room, we lounged on the couch in front of the fire chatting late into the evening.

We awoke the next morning to a beautiful blue bird day and after a bit of sightseeing, we headed back to Calgary.

Sightseeing around Canmore.

Sightseeing around Canmore.

The only downside from our trip was the speeding ticket I received in the mail a few weeks later! Otherwise, it was the perfect little romantic escape and the beautiful suite, comfortable bed and delicious food really made the trip special. I would definitely recommend taking a weekend to experience some romancin’ in Canmore.

 

New Year’s Party On The Pond in Canmore

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Bundle up the kids, drag the partner out and meet the community of Canmore on the Pond for an amazing New Years Eve.

Picture this scene; skating around on a festive lit pond with holiday music and laughter filling the air. The night sky filled with snow capped mountains and the air cool and crisp with the smells of hot chocolate; doesn’t this sound delectable.

Every year the Town of Canmore holds their traditional New Year’s celebration and concludes it with not one, but two firework shows. What’s amazing is if you have youngsters, you can have them in bed before 10pm as the first firework show starts at the pond at 9:30pm. For the older crowds there is a second firework show just minutes away at Millennium Park at midnight.

To break-up the evening, I recommend making reservations at one of more than 70 restaurants here in Canmore, most have a fabulous New Years menu to try.

Definitely a magical night to start a near year!

The Triple Crown of Canmore – Open for Business

Thanks to the tireless efforts and generous contributions of many, most of the areas around Canmore and the Kananaskis region have been re-opened to the public.  This means that it is time to issue the Triple Crown of Canmore challenge to all Canmore visitors and residents. The Triple Crown challenges hikers to reach the summits of South Rundle, Ha Ling Peak, and Lady MacDonald within a single hiking season. To conquer the challenge, hikers need to receive a Punch Card from The Georgetown Inn, have a photo taken at each summit, post those photos to The Georgetown’s Facebook page, and bring in their Triple Crown Punch Card to be redeemed for their prizes. Conquerors win a beer mug that gets you discounts on refills at The Georgetown, a Triple Crown shirt, and a place on the Glory Board.

The Hikes

Mt. Rundle, South

A moderate three-hour hike leading you to the South Summit of Mt. Rundle. Several of the routes will require attention to footing as loose rocks and steep inclines may bring some unsteadiness. Just below the summit is a nearly level area at 2300 m (7544 ft) known as “The Bench”.  At this point, have a rest and a snack while taking in the incredible scenery; grab a photo to submit to The Georgetown’s Facebook page before heading back down.

Mt. Lady Macdonald

This hike is best attempted starting in April. The hike will take anywhere from four and a half to seven hours to reach the Shoulder at 2300 m (7544 ft); here you will have the opportunity to view the foundations and helipad of what would have been a tourist tea-house which was abandoned due to the noise-pollution it would have created for the town of Canmore. After another thirty minutes of trail, you will be able to see the neighbouring peaks as well as the Cougar Creek Canyon below.

Mt. Ha Ling Peak

Ha Ling has become one of the more popular trail-heads in Canmore due to less laborious inclines and can take anywhere from ninety minutes to four hours. The hike meanders through the forest and then leads to steeper territory. Once you reach the summit, you will gain a stunning bird’s eye view of Canmore and the Canadian Rockies.

Triple Crown of Canmore – Update

The Triple Crown of Canmore, hosted by The Georgetown Inn, dares hikers to reach the summits of South Rundle, Ha Ling Peak, and Lady MacDonald all in a single hiking season. To complete the challenge, hikers must receive a Punch Card from The Georgetown, have a photo taken on the top of each summit, post those photos to The Georgetown’s Facebook page and bring in their Triple Crown Punch Card to be redeemed for their prizes. Conquerors of the Triple Crown will win a beer mug that gets you discounts on refills at The Georgetown, a fantastic Triple Crown shirt, a place on the Glory Board and bragging rights amongst your friends.

Unfortunately, due to the recent flooding, many of the hiking trails around Canmore have been temporarily closed, Mt. Rundle among them; Lady Mac was also affected and the status of the trail is undetermined at this point. These trails are under repair but it is difficult to predict when they will reopen. With two of the three hikes closed, the Triple Crown has been forced to take a bit of a hiatus this year but not to worry, the following are a few fantastic hikes in the Canmore/Banff area that are open for adventurers.

Ha Ling Peak

Ha Ling has become one of the more popular trail-heads in Canmore due to less laborious inclines and can take anywhere from ninety minutes to four hours. The hike meanders through the forest and then leads to steeper territory. Once you reach the summit, you will gain a stunning bird’s eye view of Canmore and the Canadian Rockies.

Rockbound Lake

This moderate hike is approximately 17 km long and leads to Tower and Rockbound Lake. The hike will provide you with great views of Castle Mountain and the Bow Valley. The hike is well marked and just a short drive from Banff and Canmore.

Larch Valley-Sentinel Pass

Larch Valley-Sentinel Pass is a moderate to difficult hike averaging around six hours round trip. It is recommended that you travel with four or more people as Grizzly’s can frequent the area. The trail winds through a number of switchbacks before reaching the Larch Valley. Continuing down the trail, you will reach the summit of Sentinel Pass where you can gain some spectacular views of the Paradise Valley.

Make sure to check this site often as updates about the Triple Crown and hiking in Canmore will be posted as details become available.

For more information about the status of other hiking trails, and other attractions, in the Canmore area please check out the following link.

Our Quick Trip out to Canmore, AB for Relaxation, Visiting and a Great Game of Golf

Driving out to Canmore this past weekend was, as always, a mental memory postcard shot in time with so many green vistas and views to look at, as well as the changes from the floods to see for the first time. Our favourite hikes will be an all-new adventure this summer given the alterations to the terrain and contours of the trails caused by good old Mother Nature and the recent flooding in the area; I cannot wait to see all the changes.

Sunshine and blue skies.

Sunshine and blue skies.

We were welcomed to Canmore by the shining sun and were so happy to note all the signs of affirmation and positivity that Canmore and its residents were intact and thriving.

The boil water advisory had just been lifted and the town was thrilled; it just makes life so much easier.

 

We enjoyed a great game of golf at the Canmore Golf and Country Club; the course has never looked better. It was obvious that the staff worked very hard to protect and service the course as there was no visual damage to fairways or greens.

 

The town was beautiful and the golfing was superb; we will definitely be back soon.

Happy tee offs,

Nancy

Elevation Place: Just one more amazing thing Canmore has to offer!

Elevation Place officially opens its doors on Saturday, April 27, 2013.  With a free BBQ, live music and entertainment, fireworks and live demonstrations within the facility, the event is sure to be a great way to spend a Saturday night in Canmore.

Since the 15th of April, Elevation Place has allowed the public to use the facility pro bono; this was a great way to promote all the incredible amenities Elevation Place has to offer. The facility is continuing this promotion until the grand opening this weekend so, if you get a chance, head down to Elevation and check it out for yourself for free.

The facility features:

  • An aquatics centre with a 25 metre pool, water-slides, a leisure pool simulating a beach, steam room, lazy river, a 25-person hot tub, as well as viewing areas and an on-deck  multi-purpose room.
  • A climbing gym offering 10,000 square feet of climbing surface, 1,500 square feet of bouldering, a cave area connecting the climbing walls, and a speed wall.
  • A cardio and weight room.
  • Child care facilities.
  • Community art gallery celebrating local artisans.
  • Quiet spaces which can be used for relaxing or performing.
  • Various multi-purpose rooms.
  • The Canmore public library.

Photo Credits to Luke Raymond with Tourism Canmore Kananaskis.

When Elevation officially opens, it will offer the public a huge range of classes from swimming to juggling lessons and parenting courses to circus day camps; check out their website for a listing of all their classes. The centre has designed a variety of membership and admission pricing packages to accommodate all types of users. To top it all off, Elevation has, and will continue, to implement and abide by various sustainability programs and procedures.

Photo Credits to Luke Raymond with Tourism Canmore Kananaskis.

Overall, Elevation Place is a great new addition to Canmore and will be an excellent facility for visitors and the Canmore public.

 

Canmore State of Mind

My first real trip to Canmore took place on a clear and sunny Monday morning; I had driven through the town numerous times on my way to Banff or BC but had never taken the time to stop and explore. Although I was excited to actually see some of the town, this trip was work related and I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to get the full Canmore experience this time around either.

Driving into the mountains from Calgary has always been a form of therapy for me. Even if it’s just a day trip, the act driving towards the Rockies is like letting go of the city life and getting ready to delve into nature and serenity.

As we pulled into Canmore, I was introduced to the surrounding mountain range by my guide/boss. He pointed out some of the best places to hike, the three sisters, the directions of the closest lakes, and named and described just about every mountain within sight.  It was at this point that I started to understand the local pride that Canmore has towards their environment and the important role that these mountains play not just in tourism, business, and resources but in shaping the identity of this town.

We drove through the residential areas and I admired the rustic, cabin feel of the architecture. All the neighbourhoods were so quiet, beautiful, and well kept that I started to think about how I could fit a vacation home in Canmore into my budget. As we pulled into down-town I realized that Canmore truly had something for everyone; with the surrounding majestic mountains, the peaceful residential areas, and a bustling down-town offering everything you could possibly want or need, I couldn’t figure out why I hadn’t come here before.

The purpose of the trip was a lunch meeting which we held at The Georgetown Inn. I instantly fell in love with the welcoming atmosphere of The Georgetown. The hotel and restaurant are adorned with tales of local heroes and the rich history of Canmore. I spent much of the lunch scanning the pub and reading about all the incredible artefacts.  After tasting my lunch, I was hooked. I have gone back to The Georgetown a few times now, always bringing new people to show the restaurant off to and I boast about its charm and delicious food to anyone who will listen.

Our final stop was at the Silver Creek Lodge. I have stayed in lots of beautiful hotels in my time and the Silver Creek Lodge could compete with the best of them. From the gorgeous water fountain in the front entrance and the smiling and friendly staff, the lodge makes an impressive first impression. I toured the lodge’s variety of rooms from hotel style to two bedroom suites; each room was luxurious and inviting. I also got to tour the hotel’s fantastic Bodhi Tree spa and the three open air hot pools.

Before we left I spent a moment sitting at the hot pools by myself. I looked over the steam rising from the pools onto the snow covered peaks in the distance and took a deep breath of the crisp mountain air. In that moment I thought two things to myself. First, my job rocks and second, this was only a taste of the Canmore experience and I knew I would be back for more.

Movember Man Up Party!

November can get dark, cold and you can get caught up waiting and just dreaming of ski season being in full swing. While you’re waiting to hit the slopes there are some important and fun things going on in November. What are we talking about? Well, it started in Australia, under their November summer sun. It’s called Movember and it was started to raise awarness about men’s health and prostate cancer. There’s a high chance of surviving this cancer if it’s caught early enough. Trouble is, a lot of men opt out of going to the doctor for ‘just a check up’.

The Georgetown Inn is throwing a bash in support of men’s health. In fact, all the Waymarker Men shaved their faces and volunteered to grow a moustache in support of this great cause!

Steam Whistle will be donating a dollar for every pint sold. Other Canmore locals have donated Heli Tours, Dog Sled Tours and other Gift Certificates to be won. Canmore Cabs has donated Free Taxi Rides home.

Head down to The Georgetown Inn Movember 30th to chat about moustaches, mens health and the Grey Cup game with other Mo Brothers like yourself.

A Great Canmore Travel Deal – YYC, YEG

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-A Two-Night Stay for Two, Sundays through Thursdays ($215) or Fridays and Saturdays ($265), in a Victoria Room
-Daily Breakfast
-One Tea Tray During Stay

Valid for travel September 3, 2012 through February 9, 2013
Limited availability so hurry up!!
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Living Social Deal