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LETTER: Knowing identity vital for downtown Canmore redevelopment plan

LETTER: Before we even talk about town revitalization, we need to address the headwinds coming our way for the downtown Canmore core.


Before we even talk about town revitalization, we need to address the headwinds coming our way for the downtown Canmore core.

1 – The character of downtown is changing dramatically. Long-time permanent residents are moving out of the downtown core, part-time residents are moving in.

2 – The Three Sisters development is building a second commercial area close to our original downtown, which is competing in size and variety of businesses. It also has a huge visibility from the Trans-Canada Highway. We could be known as Old Town and New Town.

3 – Calgary is only an hour away from Canmore by way of the Trans-Canada Highway. Business can be gained or lost – an advantage or disadvantage – depending on the way you play it. Do you want chain stores and restaurants or unique locally-owned stores and restaurants? How do you want to attract visitors and tourists to downtown? As a resort holiday centre style with a younger party crowd? As a Fifth Avenue upscale draw with a more affluent clientele? Or something in between that represents the town’s historical mountain heritage.

4 – The Look & Feel. Overall, do you want to fit in with our mountain setting maintaining its authentic small-town character or go with a more modern urban town?

5 – When development comes calling, does it complement the town or compromise it? Alternative retail development has been scattered around town. The town is beginning to feel displaced, which can result in a poor impression and a deteriorating Main Street.

6 – Many people are moving out of town because of affordability and even professionals like teachers and doctors with permanent positions finding it hard to move into Canmore. The permanent population could decrease.

7 – Do you want to slow down growth by restricting development or do you want a never-ending expansion with more visitors, more infrastructure and more population?

8 – Do you think concerns for ecological integrity should override the demands for tourism?

Communities know they are in trouble when new development shapes the character of the community instead of the character of the community shaping the development.

Linda Evans,


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