• November, 1800: Furtrader and explorer David Thompson climbs Loder Peak and looks out over the Bow Valley, describing the mountains as “waves of the ocean during a wintry storm”.
  • Sept. 15, 1845: Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, a Jesuit priest, ascended White Man Pass – located south west of Spray Lakes along the the B.C.-Alberta border and headed east towards the Bow Valley. He was captivated by the Spray Valley and its “enameled meads (meadows), magnificent forests, and lakes–in which the salmon-trout so abound”, and where the “natural pyramids of the Rocky mountains seem to deride the artificial skill of man; they serve as a resting place for the clouds that come hither to seek repose, and to encircle their giant brows.”
  • Oct. 17, 1883: The Canadian Pacific Railway establishes Canmore as Siding 27. The siding is later upgraded to a divisional point, or depot, and given the name of Canmore.

    An early wood-burning locomotive stops at the Canmore station, built 1884. © Canmore Museum & Geoscience Centre

  • 1884: The CPR replaces the boxcar used as a station with a permanent station, located on the north side of the tracks, that included a freight shed, office and a two-bedroom apartment for the station agent on the second floor.
  • 1884: Prospectors William McCardell and Frank McCabe (two of the three men who stumbled upon the Banff hot springs) stake a claim to a coal seam in Whiteman’s Creek (now Canmore Creek) that would become the No. 1 Mine.
  • Oct 28, 1886: After buying the coal seam from McCardell and McCabe, the Canadian Anthracite Coal Co. receives a charter from Queen Victoria giving the company permission to mine coal and develop the lands.
  • 1907: H.W. McNeill Co. opens the No. 2 Mine on the south bank of the Bow River downstream from the area of Canmore known as Mineside.

About Rob Alexander

I am a writer, photographer and historian and the author of The History of Canmore, published by Summerthought Publishing of Banff, AB.
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