North West Mounted Police Barracks (1893)
The North West Mounted Police (NWMP) Barracks on Canmore’s Main Street was built in 1893. It served until 1929 as the lodgings, office, and jail for the police officers of Canmore. After a period of private ownership, the building was acquired by the Town of Canmore and restored by the Centennial Museum Society of Canmore (operating as the Canmore Museum & Geoscience Centre). This process took many years and included the removal of damaged materials, the creation of a proper foundation, and archeological digs around the property.
Much of the restoration work was done by volunteers. Today, volunteers continue to be an integral part of the success of the NWMP Barracks, helping to keep this historic site alive and running! The Barracks was declared an Alberta Provincial Historic Resource in 1990. It is the oldest NWMP site in Western Canada to still stand on its original location.
The NWMP Barracks currently reflects the time that Corporal Clarke, his wife Dora, and their five children lived in it (1917-1929). It was their family home, as well as the site of Canmore’s law enforcement. They added the lean-to extension in 1923 to give extra space for their family.
The NWMP Barracks is open year round. It is staffed by knowledgeable volunteer tour guides.