Hours + Admission

BARRACKS HOURS + ADMISSION

The Canmore NWMP Barracks Provincial Historic Site is closed to the general public for the winter season. It will reopen in June of 2024.

The Canmore Museum stewards this historic site on behalf of our community, and runs a number of programs and events at the Barracks throughout the year. Check out our events calendar for a listing of upcoming programs and special events.

A highlight during the summer is the Indigenous Stories Tipi Program, which runs most Saturdays from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm on a drop-in basis. Visit the tipi on the Barrack’s lawn to learn more about the history, living culture, language, and traditions of the Îyârhe Nakoda.

During the remainder of the year, educational programs for school groups are held at the Barracks.

Barracks Admission is by donation.

Visitor Services + Amenities + Location

VISITOR SERVICES

Barracks staff are on hand to help guide you as your explore the historic site.

For further information, please contact Visitor + Membership Services at (403) 678-2462 x 4 or by email.


VISITOR AMENITIES

  • Free public washrooms.
  • Free public WiFi.
  • Picnic facilities are located on the NWMP Barracks grounds.
  • A number of excellent coffee shops, restaurants, and shops are located nearby. Visit the Tourism Canmore + Kanaskis website to explore the variety of shopping, restaurants, accommodations and services that our community and region has to offer.

LOCATION + PARKING

The NWMP Barracks Historic Provincial Site is located on Main Street at 609 8th Street, Canmore, Alberta.  Paid street parking and surface lot parking are available nearby.

Need Assistance?

Need assistance planning your visit to Canmore? Have special needs? Please contact one of our friendly Visitor + Membership Services staff and they will be happy to assist you by providing recommendations for accommodation, restaurants, attractions and activities tailored to your needs and interests.

Sarah Fletcher | Visitor + Membership Services

(403) 678-2462 x 4

info@canmoremuseum.com

History

Built in 1893, the Canmore NWMP Barracks brings to life one of Canada’s oldest and most iconic stories – the story of the North-West Mounted Police.

Canmore was a mining town and mining was a difficult and dirty job.  With it came a “work hard, play hard” mentality and liquor and other vices were prominent as a result. The Canmore NWMP outpost was established to keep these in check for the benefit of both the mine companies and the local community.

In 1888, the president of the Canadian Anthracite Coal Company petitioned the Comptroller of the N.W.M.P. in Ottawa for more police to control the importation of liquor from the United States, which was causing problems with the miners and railway workers. One constable was stationed in the town in rented quarters, but by 1892 it became obvious that more permanent quarters were needed and the existing Canmore North West Mounted Police Barracks were constructed in 1893. Occupied by a one- or two-man detachment between 1893 and 1929, their duties included patrols, checking the trains for illegal liquor and maintaining law and order during the strikes that occurred in Canmore, particularly in 1911.

It was in operation until 1929, when it was decommissioned; the property reverted back to the Department of the Interior and became a private residence until the late 1980s. It was purchased by the Town of Canmore in 1989 and declared a Provincial Historic Site in 1990. The Canmore NWMP Barracks is one of the oldest surviving North West Mounted Police buildings in Alberta, one of only three remaining from before the creation of Alberta in 1905.