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Canmore is a town in Alberta, Canada, located in the Bow Valley with a permanent population of 12,005 (2008 municipal census). The non-permanent population is about 5,567 or 31.6% (combined population of 17,572). It is located just east of the world-famous Banff National Park, about 110 kilometres (70 mi) west of Calgary and immediately north of Kananaskis Country. The town lies in the Bow Valley, named so for the Bow River that passes through it.

Canmore was officially named in 1884 by Canadian Pacific Railway employee Donald A. Smith. In 1886, Queen Victoria granted a coal mining charter to the town, and the No. 1 mine was opened in 1887.
North West Mounted Police barrack

By the 1890s, a North West Mounted Police barrack had been instated on Main Street, but it was vacated in 1927. The building was restored in 1989 and it is under the care of the Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre.

The coal mining industry in Canmore boomed well into the 20th century. In 1965, with a population of 2,000, Canmore was incorporated as a town. By the 1970s the market for coal was diminished, and in 1979 Canmore Mines Ltd. ceased operations. As a result of safety and reclamation policies instigated by the province of Alberta, all but a few mining structures were demolished in the following year; only the lamp house and a few mine entrances remain today.

Canmore's economic future seemed dismal until the announcement in the early 1980s that Calgary, Alberta would be hosting the 1988 Winter Olympics, and that Canmore would play host to the Nordic events. This resulted in an increase in tourism, and Canmore began to develop into the recreational tourist destination it is today.

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