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Three Sisters Canmore Development Most Recent Update (2024)

three sisters canmore development map 2024

In Canmore and in many cases, across Canada, people are watching for updates on the contentious Three Sisters development in Canmore. Also known as Three Sisters Mountain Village (TSMV), this development and area has a long history in our beloved mountain town.

Three Sisters was initially the location of the coal industry in Canmore. Yes, the wildlife corridor was a bustling coal mine from the mid 1880s, until its eventual closure in 1979. Even the beloved Quarry Lake and Canmore Nordic Centre areas were strip coal mines once upon a time!

Considering the history of our Valley over time can really help put things into perspective – especially when it comes to development choices and changes echoing through time. The story of Three Sisters from a real estate development perspective has been going on since the 1990s, with the lands changing hands and changing plans many, many times.

So what does the most recent announcement of Phase 1 of Three Sisters Mountain Village mean? What will the potential end result look like in this area? One thing I want to keep in context in this article is the timescale of this project. A lot of residents and others have opinions and stakes in what will happen in this area. But as we can see with the history of this area so far – nothing happens over night. And over the course of decades, much can happen.

In this article, let’s explore:

  • The Full Scope of the Three Sisters Mountain Village Plan
  • What will the First Phase bring?
  • What will this mean for the future of Canmore?

As always, feel free to reach out to me if you have questions about Three Sisters, Canmore real estate, or moving to our area. No questions is to small and I’m happy to help!

one of the three sisters mountains in canmore alberta, above the new development

How Big is the Three Sisters Canmore Development Expected to Be?

This is a question that many of my clients and curious folks are wondering about. Just how big could the Three Sisters Canmore development be? We will discuss what the potential impacts and subtleties of this are, but in this section let’s just break down some of the information we have so far.

Three Sisters Mountain Village is Expected to consist of:

  • 700-1,075 residential units in Phase 1
  • 30% Open Space in Phase 1
  • 10%, and possibly up to 20%, affordable housing in Phase 1
  • 6 Phases Total Planned
  • 3000-5000 residential units in total
  • “No Single Family Homes”
  • Up to 15,000 more residents in Canmore once fully realized (more on this below)

What Will the First Phase fo Three Sisters Bring?

According to a planner with the developer, all but two of the land use districts will be two-to-three storey buildings, with the others being three to five storeys.

With all of this in mind, I would expect this first phase (and the phases beyond) to be very similar to what we’ve seen in Stewart Creek. This means stacked condos (like The Slopes), apartment style condos (like Lookout Ridge), and smaller townhomes (like The Meadows).

Many locals will be familiar with the area as it currently stands – mainly that it is essentially a few large piles of dirt near a defunct golf course. Due to the nature of the area, thankfully it is more treed and hopefully will result in a less “rubble-pile” feel compared to Stewart Creek, with its rocky substrate.

There will also be a widening of Three Sisters Parkway (Highway 742) to accommodate a new traffic circle to enter the area. Representatives for the development also say that the area will not be built to “accommodate 100% of all trips being made by cars.” A focus will be on the ability to walk and bike to downtown, along with utilizing public transit options.

three sisters mountain village phase 1 and buildout plan for canmore development

What Will This Mean for the Future of Canmore?

Now we come to the polarizing part!

Simply walking around Canmore – and oddly – within the existing Three Sisters area itself, you would have seen “Stop TSMV” signs on many (expensive…) properties. From some perspectives, the addition of TSMV to Canmore will be the death knell for not only wildlife populations, but also to the spirit and dream that is life in Canmore as it currently exists. An overnight doubling of the population, choking out exactly what makes Canmore special. The end. This perspective led Town Council to push against TSMV ownership for a long time – and regrettably, causing a $161 Million lawsuit to ensue.

Depending on who you speak with though, the Three Sisters development potential will give Canmore exactly what it is crying out for: more housing. In our constrained and finite valley, room to grow as been scarce – and this could be the life preserver of land that is so desperately needed.

At the very least, it should help to alleviate some of the constrained supply that continues to push housing prices up – and often out of reach – for so many young locals. I’m personally of the opinion that Canmore is such a wonderful place that we should be welcoming newcomers and trying to grow. All but a few residents of Canmore were born here; everyone arrived at some point. A balance between development and conservation has to be struck – but ultimately without growth, any place will stagnate.

Will Canmore’s Population Double Overnight with the Three Sisters Development?

The answer is NO. One thing everyone can agree on is that this project will take decades to come to fruition. The first homes in phase one could be ready for occupancy by 2026 in a best case scenario. What are your personal plans for 2046?

Considering the roadblocks the development still faces, including further legal challenges, my opinion is that this is far from a closed book. One only has to look at the myriad of problems facing all development in Canada, coming economic headwinds, and continued local opposition to the project for a glimpse at where things could head. It could stall again, change, or be a smash success. It’s impossible to know.

Even looking at where this land stood just a few decades ago can give you an idea as to where it could be in the decades to come. Canmore-wide, the same thing is true. As a real estate professional, I always caution my clients to think with a long-term perspective and to consider the implications of time with any investment in property.

Please don’t hesitate to connect with me directly via text, email or call if you have questions about new properties in Three Sisters, Canmore, or any listings you’re seeing in our area. I’m always happy to chat!