To live in Canmore or JASPER?

Jul 3rd, 2005, 05:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1
To live in Canmore or JASPER?

We are a young family who wants to move in the Rockies to raise their kids. My husband and I are both working in restaurants industry. We want to know were is the best place to live. I thing that Canmore could be a good choice because it is nearby everything. We need your help...
KYLIAN is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2005, 09:21 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501

I don't know the answer to your question. One thing I can say from experience, though, is that visiting a place on vacation and LIVING there can be very different from each other. Another thing I can say from experience is that living in a place during your student years can be very different from living there as an adult, when you have children for whom your are responsible, children who need to access the health care system, the education system, etc. So the first thing I would caution you against is taking as gospel the opinions of people who have vacationed in these place and those who have had temporary jobs there during their student years.

We used to have Calgary acquaintances who had lived in Jasper. They had had a young family at the time. The husband / dad worked for a bank that had transferred him to Jasper. They said they'd enjoyed living in Jasper. The bank subsequently transferred him to Nanaimo, BC, and after a while we lost touch with them.

At various times I've briefly met people who lived in Canmore, but I don't really know anyone who lives there now. At the time that I met them, they seemed happy there. In each case, they'd made a conscious decision to live there. They certainly appeared to prefer Canmore to Calgary.

Here is a web site about living in Jasper that I found by doing a Google search:

Here is a web site that, while it is not specifically about living in Canmore, does touch on what it's like to live there:

In both cases I think there are e-mail links so that you'd be able to contact folks who actually live in Jasper and Canmore. For reasons I've already mentioned, those are the people whose opinions I believe would be most useful to you.

For what it's worth, here are my thoughts about the two communities.

Canmore has the advantage that it's only an hour's drive from Calgary if you want to access major shopping facilities, a major airport, and so on.

Canmore's disadvantage is that quite a substantial number of its houses are the second homes of well heeled Calgarians who go there on weekends. I rather doubt that those owners of second homes contribute to the fabric of Canmore society on an emotional level. Perhaps that's an unfair assumption to make, but that is what my guess would be. In fact the website to which I provided a link says something to that effect. It states, quote:

The influx of urban attitudes into the mountain town of Canmore has altered community dynamics significantly in the past 10 years, after the 1988 Winter Olympic cross country skiing events took place here. Most notably, high real estate prices, driven by wealthy outsiders who have bought vacation homes here, continues to make it in increasingly difficult for average workers, especially those in the tourist industry (hotels, restaurant, shops) to afford to live here. Many of those who stay - because of their love of the small town mountain life and the recreational opportunities, juggles two or three low paying jobs to meet their basic expenses. Longtime residents often feel forced to "keep up". Others leave, defeated.

Jasper is more remote from the amenities that a city affords. On the other hand I get the impression that Jasper does have something of a genuine community spirit. The web site about it states:

One of the most commonly heard comments about Jasper is that it feels like more like a friendly, small town than a tourist town.

Much of the reason for this comes from the fact that nearly one quarter of Jasper's population has no dependency on tourism. Canadian National, Canada's largest railroad, employes hundreds of people who call Jasper home. That influence is felt even in downtown Jasper. There is a real community in Jasper.

Swimming pools, meeting facilities (small and conventions), hockey and curling arenas, climbing wall, tennis courts and loads more at the Jasper Recreation Complex.

But a real tourist town it is as well. Makes for a unique living situation.

The web site does say, however, that housing in Jasper is in extremely short supply and is expensive.

I don't know if you have investigated the possibility of living in the Kootenay Rockies in British Columbia. I really don't know what it's like to live there, but it may be worthwhile doing some research and trying to do a comparison.

All the best in your decision. Although this couldn't have been of direct help to you, I hope it has helped indirectly.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jul 4th, 2005, 05:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,944
Housing is very difficult in Jasper, partly because it is in themiddle of a Canadian National Park.

Canmore, at least, is a real non-government community.

And Canmore, plus nearby Banff, plus nearby Calgary, has a lot more opportunities, although there are a lot more staff available, and a lot more competition for the good jobs.
BAK is offline  

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