Harmony being located just west of Calgary has its advantages for those who crave quick Mountain getaways, spontaneous day trips, and beyond. With the TransCanada directly accessible, Harmony residents certainly get a significant head start over those having to navigate through city traffic to even begin their journey.
Harmony is only 50 minutes to the centre of Canmore, a town that’s seeing a vibrant new energy in all things foodie, arts, events, and shops. For those seeking the great outdoors, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, walking, biking, and paddling at all levels of skill and experience. Here are just a few summer suggestions…
With over 70 food experiences – from casual cafes to fine dining – Canmore has come into its own. We can’t possibly cover them all, but here is a taste of what to look for in our next door neighbour mountain town.
Communitea Café specializes in breakfast and lunch menus with a mantra of “keeping Canmore fresh, healthy, and vibrant” — and it does so from an airy, inviting “rustic-yet-modern” environment. Weekend lunch lines have been known to happen, but if you are up for the wait, you’ll find the food feeds the stomach and the soul, satisfying the shopper, the daytripper, and the serious mountaineer. And, it’s kid-friendly. From apple berry crumble with house made granola, free range egg paninis with all the fixings, savoury salmon pesto wraps, and gluten free options, the morning breakfasts are a great way to start the day. The lunch menu runs the rest of the day with flavourful internationally-inspired rice, quinoa, and noodle bowls. Fresh-made soups, salads, sandwiches, veggie burgers, and an extensive sidebar of unique extras and dressings allow you to mix it up. Don’t forget to consider one of the many teas. The café also hosts live music events in the evening.
For more information: thecommunitea.com
A landmark in Canmore, Grizzly Paw is definitely worth a pint and a hand-made burger on the patio. Or fish and chips, shaved prime rib, salads, or anything on its “not your ordinary Pub Grub” menu. Any way you slice it, you will be overlooking spectacular views of the Three Sisters in an awe-inspiring environment. Grizzly Paw is proud of its own locally brewed craft beers and happy to make pairing suggestions, but also offers its six Grizzly Paw-made sodas, including Root Beer, Orange Cream Soda, and Black Cherry Cola. Pre-book a tour of the Grizzly Paw Brewing Company’s production facility to see where all the brewing magic happens.
For more information: thegrizzlypaw.com
Another long-time fixture in the community is award-winning Crazyweed. If you are looking for fine dining food, without the need to dress up, this could be your place. Open for lunch, happy hour, and dinner – the prices are a bit higher, but one receives a selection of more eclectic, irreverent, “cheffy,” dishes with accoutrements like “roast tomato jam,” “truffle aioli,” and “basil tapenade.” Still, there’s a mix of solid succulent offerings – both Rocky Mountain and International in inspiration. Grass fed rib-eyes, rosemary lamb sirloin, Vietnamese meatballs, crispy calamari, wood-fired mushroom pizzas, vegetarian and gluten-free options of course, a carefully managed wine list, and a short but impactful dessert and cheese menu. For more information: crazyweed.ca
Rocky Mountain Flatbread’s founders had a vision to create a family restaurant that might just “change the world one slice of pizza at a time.” Reason enough to visit Canmore and put the slice to the test. They created a flatbread menu using sustainably produced local food that connects the farm, family and community. It features organic produce, free range organic meats, and Ocean Wise seafood. And of course, “everything is handcrafted daily in house with love.” All flatbread pizzas, pastas, soups, and desserts are available gluten free. While they have expanded to Banff and Vancouver, the crispy Canmore flatbread specialties include Bacon and Blue Cheese, Fig and Brie, and Salmon and Capers. All available with local craft beers and wine.
For more information: rockymountainflatbread.ca
For over 20 years, the Canmore Mountain Market has been a summer tradition, showcasing a variety of locally and regionally grown, produced, or made items. Seasonal fruits and vegetables, elk meat, fresh poultry, jams, baked goods, and more are all up for offer. The Market also features crafts, clothing, and jewelry. Sip a coffee, leisurely peruse the vendors, and enjoy live local music with a beautiful mountain backdrop.
For more information: https://www.facebook.com/canmoremarket
Whether you are looking for an approachable family-friendly trek or you’re a more advanced adventurer, there’s a hike, bike, or paddle for you in the Canmore area. All with the reward of spectacular views.
For the beginner, try hiking the Grassi Lakes Trail or Grotto Canyon. If you’re seeking more of a scrambling experience to the summit, Ha Ling Peak or Lady MacDonald are great choices.
Remember to always check weather and trail reports, let someone know where you are going, be safety-conscious, and many websites recommend carrying bear spray in certain areas.
For more research, both official and via a first hand personal blog:
Despite the word “Nordic” this isn’t a just a place for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, skating, and fat biking. It’s packed with summer activities including exploring over 100 kilometres of trails for hiking or mountain biking, orienteering courses, roller skiing, 18-hole disc golf, and skills parks. There are mountain bike rentals available on-site. For more information: canmorenordiccentre.ca
Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail offers cyclists, walkers, in-line skaters and other users a new 4.5 km link from Canmore to the Banff Park East Gate. You can then enjoy over 20km of continuous scenic paved pathway connecting the communities of Banff and Canmore. If you are thinking about doing a round trip on bikes, it could take three or more hours. Plan a break in Banff and “re-fuel” before heading back.
For more information: https://canmore.ca/residents/getting-around/bike-walking-trails
A family-friendly (and dog-friendly) favourite in the Canmore area is Quarry Lake. Reclaimed from an old mining area, the lake is over 100 metres deep in some areas, fed by an underground mountain spring, but manageable in size. Surrounded by gentle grass lawns, picnic tables, a sandy beach, walking trails, and off-leash dog park, Quarry Lake is an inviting spot for swimming in July and August, paddle boarding, and on quieter days, even fishing.
For more information: www.quarrylakecanmore.ca
From photography to painting, sculpture to glassworks, jewelry to film festivals, Canmore is awash in studios, galleries, Alberta-inspired and international art. Plan a day visit specifically focused on gallery hopping. Explore Canmore’s community Arts Centre “artsPlace” for workshops, camps, and exhibits. Treat yourself to The Improv Comedy Festival, or one of the other dozen or so festivals happening this summer.
For the full story on all the activities Canmore and the Kananaskis area have to offer: tourismcanmore.com