Canmore is the least affordable place to live in Alberta and amongst the most expensive in Canada. Situated between Banff National Park and the City of Calgary, our accessibility, scenery, abundant recreational opportunities, clean air and water, and wildlife make our town not just an attractive place to live, but also to own a recreational property. The demand for second homes has driven house prices and rents beyond the reach of most workers and their families. Tragically, around 30% of Canmore houses sit dark and unoccupied while many of the people who work, shop and go to school struggle for a place to live.
Several initiatives attempt to address this issue but they have been woefully inadequate. The Town of Canmore set a goal of 1,000 affordable units back in 2005 and only has 260 units 15 years later. We need a radical new approach if we are to avoid the fate of similar towns with similar pressures. TSMV lands are our last chance to get it right and that includes making up for a longstanding, community-wide affordable housing shortfall. 10% or even 20% is not enough; 50% is what’s required. Innovative funding and partnership models could get us there. But doing so is going to require courage and vision.
Learn the Lessons
Research affordable housing lessons from other resort town jurisdictions