Masthead image

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.

Old coal car

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

Canmore ruins
An old coal car lays in the forest on the former mining property.
© Johnnie Bachusky
© Johnnie Bachusky
Mine structure
Mine entrance and lamp house
© Johnnie Bachusky
The former mine property's main developer has spent considerable resources in restoring some of the mine's structures.
© Johnnie Bachusky
A mine entrance and the lamp house above, as it appears today.
Lamp house
The old lamp house will be preserved.

The former mining lands were turned over to developers, and today hundreds of upscale residential and vacation homes belong to the former industrial landscape.

© Johnnie Bachusky

As the new millennium approaches, there are further plans to bulldoze the remaining mine properties for new homes, commercial venues and golf courses.