Discover our history at the Canmore Museum & Geoscience Centre
Who named the Three Sisters? What is the story behind Ha Ling Peak? Which are the oldest buildings in the Bow Valley? How long did the Canmore Coal Mines operate? How has Canmore changed since the coal mines shut down in 1979? The answers to all these questions and more are at the Canmore Museum & Geoscience Centre where we’re dedicated to telling the stories of our mountains and our communities to you.
The Canmore Museum & Geoscience Centre has been welcoming residents and visitors from around the world to our unique small town museum since 1984.
Our permanent exhibit, From Coal to Community, presents Canmore in a variety of perspectives: as an ancient way station for Indigenous cultures, as an integral part of the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Western expansion, as a 95-year historic coal-mining community, as an excellent venue to study and observe the geological history of the Earth, and as a modern and vibrant community that attracts artists and athletes from all over the world.
Our current temporary exhibit, Lime in the Bow Valley, introduces visitors to a century of limestone quarrying and industrial production in the Bow Valley. In addition to our exhibits, we offer a wide range of programs including mine history tours, special events, school programs and summer camps.
We are located in the heart of downtown, inside the Canmore Civic Centre, surrounded by plenty of free parking all around. We also manage one of Canmore’s oldest buildings, North West Mounted Police Barracks (built in 1893) located at 609 Main Street. Whether you live in town or are visiting Canmore, we hope you will take a few minutes to experience both the North-West Mounted Police Barracks and the Canmore Museum & Geoscience Centre!
In the new 3600 square foot home of the Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre be a witness to the days when long long ago Canmore was on the edge of warm shallow sea…..when coal later defined the economy and character of the community….. when music and outdoor sports like hockey and speed skating (on the Bow River) kept people active…
Lead: Built in 1893, the North-West Mounted Police Barracks was the home, lodging, and jail for police officers stationed in Canmore until 1929. The historic building is the oldest North-West Mounted Police detachment to still stand on its original location, Canmore’s third oldest remaining building, and was declared an Alberta Provincial Historical Resource in 1990s. It is now operated year-round as a historical site by the Canmore Museum & Geoscience Centre.