The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass is home to over 5,500 residents and is a thriving hub for recreational tourists, cultural and heritage tourists, and artisans.

The tourism sector is well established in the municipality and surrounding area, with numerous choices for accommodations, bed & breakfasts, restaurants and campgrounds.

The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass was created in 1979 by the amalgamation of five population centres - the towns of Blairmore and Coleman, the villages of Bellevue and Frank and the hamlet of Hillcrest. The specialized municipality designation (2008) allows for a combination of urban and rural areas to be governed by a single municipal entity.

Regional Industry SectorsSouthwest Alberta has three 

Download a detailed, printable, PDF version of the Invest In Crowsnest Pass Profile.

The Crowsnest Pass Competitive Edge

Crowsnest Pass is home to a large number of businesses, most of them small family-run enterprises. The Pass is located on the busy Alberta highway route to Fernie, British Columbia, which is a highly popular resort destination in both the summer and winter. There are many centrally located parcels of land ready for commercial development for real estate and other light or heavy industry. Joint Venture opportunities also exist in the financing of vacation properties for rent and sale.  

Interesting Features

The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass is a world renowned eagle migration site. Thousands of golden and bald eagles from across the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains converge on Crowsnest Pass in early spring for their migration up the Continental Divide to breeding grounds in Yukon and Alaska.

A Diversified Economy

Crowsnest Pass is situated in Southern Alberta’s prime farming and ranching areas. The local economy is primarily driven by natural resource development in energy and coal mining, as well as recreational and adventure sports. Arts, culture and tourism also generating significant revenue for the town. 

Major Employers

  • The Government of Alberta
  • Crowsnest Pass Health Centre
  • Crowsnest Pass School Division #63
  • Teck Coal

Market Accessibility

The small towns and villages that make up Crowsnest Pass lie along Highway 3, referred to as The Crowsnest Highway. It is the southernmost highway and rail route through the Canadian Rockies.  Highway 3 is a major east-west transportation corridor.  Highway 3 also intersects with Highway 4 at Lethbridge to connect to the CANAMEX corridor.

Nearby border crossings into the United States through the State of Montana include the Chief Mountain Border Crossing (126KM, 2 Hour Drive, only open part of the year) and the Roosville Border Crossing (139 KM, 1.5 Hour Drive, open year round).  

The Lethbridge Airport, located only 143 KM away is the nearest commercial airport that provides airfreight services. Calgary International airport is 2.5 hours northeast, and Cranbrook International airport is 2 hours west. The nearest seaports are located in Vancouver and Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Canadian Pacific Rail provides rail freight services for the local coal industry.    

Distance and times to major centres

Lethbridge Calgary Edmonton Red Deer Carway (US Land Crossing) Vancouver (Seaport)
143 km 226 km 517 km 366 km 126 km 1101 km
1.5 hours 2.5 hours 5 hours 3.5 hours 1.5 hour 11.5 hours

Interactive Map

Visit our interactive map to learn more about the different communities and their locations.

Industry Sectors

The Crowsnest Pass has historic roots in coal mining.  This industry is still one of the region’s most prevalent.  Retail trade and services support the primary industry sectors in the region.  More recently alternative natural resource development, manufacturing and tourism-related businesses have developed to expand Crowsnest’s economic base. 

Arts & Culture

Despite its small population, the Crowsnest Pass is home to over 100 artisans that create a variety of decorative arts, sculptures and crafts. These products are sold in community stores, museums and gallery gift shops in the Pass.

The Crowsnest Pass Public Art Gallery showcases exhibits of local, provincial and national art, with pieces rotated every month.

Crowsnest Pass is also home to a Symphony Orchestra, the longest operating in Canada, run by volunteer players and staff and funded by donations.

The Coal Industry

The Coal Industry is the primary non-tourism based economic driver in the Crowsnest Pass area. While there are no active coal mines in Crowsnest Pass, many individuals work at the Teck Coal mines across the provincial border in British Columbia, a half-hour away. There is great potential for the development of new mines in the Crowsnest Pass region, as significant coal and other natural resource deposits exist. Two large firms have publicly declared their intention to pursue coal-mining projects in the area, and if realized, these projects could create hundreds of new jobs in the area for primary and secondary industries. 

The Tourism Industry

Crowsnest Pass prides itself in offering a memorable tourism experience that keeps visitors coming back for more. With a focus on outdoor recreational activities, an abundance of heritage, and the timeless charm of small Bed & Breakfast lodges, there is something special awaiting every visitor. With many attractions within the ‘Pass’ and in the surrounding natural landscape, there are many activities and adventures available for all age groups.
Frank Slide Interpretive Centre

The Frank Slide Interpretive Centre and the surrounding community is a designated Provincial Heritage Site of Alberta. The Centre focuses on exhibits of the deadliest landslide in Canadian history – the Frank Slide of 1903, where 70-90 individuals perished when 90 million tons of limestone slid down Turtle Mountain. The Centre also showcases the best of what the Crowsnest Pass and Canadian Rockies has to offer. Open year-round, visitors will experience life in the town of Frank before and after the landslide. 

The Interpretive Centre also screens award-winning short films on the history of the Crowsnest Pass, shown in a 70-seat theatre throughout the day. With interactive exhibits and presentations, there is something for both families and avid historians.

Bellevue Underground Mine

The Bellevue Coal Mine opened in 1903 and ceased operations in 1961. Three hundred meters of the underground mine was reopened in 1990 as a museum and historical exhibit. Visitors to the mine will don an authentic miner’s helmet and lamp while traversing the corridors of the mine. Knowledgeable interpreters will explain the history of the mine and the techniques used for coal extraction during that period of time.

Crowsnest Pass Golf and Country Club
The Crowsnest Pass Golf & Country Club is a beautiful 18 hole public course voted the Most Scenic Alberta Golf Course, with 4 sets of tees to cater to a broad variety of skill levels. Located centrally in the Crowsnest Pass, the course is surrounded by majestic mountain views on all sides. It is not unusual to encounter some of Canada’s native animals on the course, for example, thousands of Golden Eagles converge in this area every spring en route to their breeding grounds in Alaska.


Other popular tourism attractions and activities in the area include:
  • Crowsnest Museum and Archives (Coleman)
  • Crowsnest National Historic Site Archives (Coleman)
  • Allison Lake Cross Country Ski Trails (Coleman)
  • Pass Powderkeg Ski Hill
  • Pass Powderkeg Mountain Bike Trails
  • Crowsnest Pass Public Art Gallery
  • Leitch Collieries Historic Site
  • Hillcrest Mine Disaster Memorial Cemetery
  • Kananaskis Pro Rodeo
  • Doors Open & Heritage Festival
  • Sinister 7 Ultra
  • Camping, Hiking, Skiing, Mountain Biking, Fishing and Fly Fishing, Hunting, Caving, and Rock Climbing in the surrounding area
  • Over 1200 kms of Snowmobile & ATV trails are groomed, maintained, and mapped
  • Photography, bird watching, and nature walks

Current Capital Projects

The Province of Alberta is committed to the economic development and wellbeing of residents in Crowsnest Pass. There are currently infrastructure upgrades in the works for Crowsnest Pass' railway tracks and the York Creek Lodge Senior’s Home.
 
The Canadian Pacific Railway Track Repair and Replacement project involved replacing 32km of track as well as the replacement of timber rail crossings with concrete ones.
 
The Province, in conjunction with Crowsnest Pass, has announced the construction of 28 new housing units and the conversion of the 49 existing units into 24 larger ones at the York Creek Senior's Lodge.
 
More information about capital improvement projects can be found here.

Regional Industry Sectors

Southwest Alberta has three primary industrial sectors which drive its economic engine. For a detailed description of these industries click to learn more:
•    Agriculture
•    Tourism
•    Renewable Resources Energy

Demographics


English is the primary language in the community (90%), with 1.6% of the population declaring French as their first language and 8.4% declaring a non-official language. Crowsnest Pass has a highly skilled workforce, with 52% of the population attaining some form of post-secondary education. The labour force participation rate of Crowsnest Pass is 60.3%.
 
 A complete table of population statistics for Crowsnest Pass is provided by Statistics Canada
National Household Survey Profile Data for Crowsnest Pass can be found here
  • Population (2016): 5,589
  • Growth since 2011: 0.4%
  • Median age of the population (2011): 50.8
  • % of the population aged 15 and over (2011): 87.6 
  • Land area (square km): 371.44
  • Trading Area: 79,577 residents within its 100 kilometre Trading Area
  • Number of Businesses: 718
  • Major Employers:  Teck Coal; Government of Alberta
  • Labour force: 2,855 persons (2011 NHS)
  • Employment: 2,690 persons (2011 NHS)
 
  • Unemployment: 160 persons (2011 NHS)
  • Participation rate (%): 60.3(2011 NHS)
  • Unemployment rate (%): 5.6 (2011 NHS)
  • Employment rate (%): 56.8 (2011 NHS)
  • Average House Price (2012): $258,023.00
  • Key Economic Sectors: Tourism, mining, extreme sports
  • Utilities: Municipal power, water, sewage, garbage and recycling services; Electrical – Municipal and Enmax, Natural Gas - ATCO Gas; Telecommunications – Telus, Shaw Cable
  • Time Zone: Mountain Time (-7 UTC)

Taxation and Cost of Living

Alberta boasts one of the most competitive tax environments in North America. There are no capital or payroll taxes in the province. The only sales tax in Claresholm is the Federal GST (5%), as no provincial sales taxes are levied in Alberta.

How to calculate property taxes:
ASSESSED PROPERTY VALUE X MILL RATE/1000 = TAXES OWED
TAXES OWED + ASFF + MCF = TOTAL TAXES TO BE PAID 
  Municipal Education Seniors Lodge Allowance for Non-Collection TOTAL MILL RATE
Residential/Farmland 6.3522 2.6308 0.302 0.2104 9.4954
Commercial (Non-Residential) 11.0894 3.7585 0.302 0.3007 15.4506
All non-charitable businesses operating in The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass must be registered and pay annual licensing fees, due January 31st of each year. The fee schedule breakdown is as follows: 
 
Business Use  Description License Cost Duration
General - Resident Business $100.00 /annum
General - Non-Resident Business $360.00 /annum
Home Occupation $100.00 /annum
Tourist Home $100.00 /annum
Festivals and Events (deferred until special events bylaw is created) $360.00 /annum
Day Rate (maximum 7 consecutive days) - resident $50.00 /day
Day Rate (maximum 7 consecutive days) – non-resident $100.00 /day
Hawkers/Peddlers/Mobile Vendors/push-cart Vendors - resident $125.00 /annum
Hawkers/Peddlers/Mobile Vendors/push-cart Vendors - non-resident $375.00 /annum
Transfer of License $25.00 One Time
Replacement of License Certificate $25.00 One Time
Business License - MMERI as per Alberta Southwest Regional Alliance $80.00 One Time
Craft Sales and Garage Sales (maximum of 4 per year with a duration of 2 consecutive days per event) EXEMPT
The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass provides water, sewer, garbage and recycling services for residential customers and the same services (with the exception of garbage removal) to commercial customers. All charges are billed as a flat-rate package on a bi-monthly basis. Service fees (Bylaw 917, 2015) are detailed below: 
 
Usage Type Pricing Billing Description
Residential $147.48 Bi-Monthly Residential properties only
W2, S2 Commercial $109.28 Bi-Monthly Banks, garages, clinics, library, confectioneries, offices, pharmacies, places of worship, exercise clubs, service stations, fast food services, small retail stores, funeral homes, theaters and lumber yards
W3, S3 Commercial $209.20 Bi-Monthly Fabrication, manufacturing, machining, welding shops, forestry office, large retail stores over 6000 sq.ft., meeting places, halls, provincial building and restaurants
W4, S4 Commercial $408.82 Bi-Monthly Campgrounds, recreation parks, car washes, coin laundry, Laundromats, places of entertainment/ Licensed areas and schools
W9, S9 Commercial Unit Pricing Bi-Monthly Hospitals, trailer parks, manufactured home parks, motels, hotels, nursing homes, apartment buildings and seniors lodge

Municipally Owned Commercial Lots For Sale

Click for information on the Crowsnest Crossing Commercial Development opportunity.

Please contact The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass at 1-(403)-562-8833 with questions regarding Property for Sale.

MLS Business & Commercial Listings

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The Crowsnest Pass Lifestyle

Situated close to the border of British Columbia, The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass is an ideal location for a population that enjoys regional outdoor recreation as well as travel.  Residents enjoy a quality standard of life with access to first-rate education, health care, social services, recreational facilities and community organizations. The average resale home price in Crowsnest Pass is $ $258,023 CAD (2012).  The low cost of utilities, land, and real property make the community a very affordable town to live in.

Recreation

Crowsnest Pass provides a variety of amenities for individuals and families seeking an active lifestyle. The Crowsnest Pass Golf & Country Club is a scenic 18 hole public course. Crowsnest Pass also has a 25m(6 lane) outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, skate park, climbing wall and an arena complex. The Pass Powderkeg Mountain Bike Trails and Ski Hill provide family-friendly fun all year round. The surrounding Rocky Mountains provide over 1200 kms of maintained trails for ATV’ing and Snowmobiling, a variety of campgrounds, world class fishing, hunting, hiking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities. There are a variety of shops, restaurants and cafes, museums and markets.  There is something for everyone.
 

Community Organizations

There are a number of churches in Crowsnest Pass serving a variety of denominations. Other community organizations include the Crowsnest Pass Chamber of Commerce, Lions Clubs, Royal Canadian Legions, various sports and youth clubs and the Crowsnest Agricultural Society. 

Education

Two elementary public schools (K-3 and grades 4-6) and one secondary (grades 7-12) public school serve the children of Crowsnest Pass. Notable post-secondary institutions serving the community include the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge College, SAIT, University of Calgary and the University of Alberta. There are also many other options for post-secondary education located in the cities of Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton. 
 

Healthcare

Crowsnest Pass’ Health Centre, located in the community of Blairmore offers both acute and continuing care services. The Health Centre provides 24-hour emergency services, houses an intensive care unit, and also provides obstetrical, palliative and surgical services. Three medical clinics are also available for routine care and patient check-ups. The services of dentists, optometrists, chiropractors and massage therapists are also available to Crowsnest Pass residents. There are three different assisted living options available for senior citizens who can no longer live in their own homes.

A full list of community groups, clubs and organizations can be found here

Online Business and Investment Resources

Contact Information

Town of Crowsnest Pass Administration Office

Civic Address 
8502 19 Avenue, Coleman 
Crowsnest Pass, AB, Canada 
T0K 0M0 

Mailing Address 
PO. Box 600
Crowsnest Pass, AB, Canada
T0K 0E0 
 
Office Hours
Monday - Friday  
8:30am - 4:30 PM 
Phone: 1-403-562-8833 
Fax: 1-403-563-5474
Email: info@crowsnestpass.com
Website: www.crowsnestpass.com

Chief Administrative Officer:
Sheldon Steinke
Phone: 1-403-562-8833
sheldon.steinke@crowsnestpass.com

Make An Enquiry