Population: 20,047 (2016 Census)
Elevation: 921 m (3,022 ft)
Claims: More sunshine than anywhere else in British Columbia.
Cranbrook was built for the railway. With the development of the CPR’s Crowsnest Line, the city grew up around the tracks. Elegant homes were built to house the railroad elite, and fine commercial buildings were constructed in the downtown core. Self-guided City Heritage Tour maps are available at the Visitor Centre.Cranbrook’s strategic location makes it the commercial centre for the region. Cranbrook has a revitalized downtown with interesting shops and services bounded by beautiful heritage homes. This well-rounded community offers both arts and sports facilities. Enjoy the racquet / squash court or take a dip in the wave pool at the Recreation Centre. See a concert at the Key City Theatre or enjoy an intimate night of local theatre or live music at the Studio.
Also located downtown is the Cranbrook History Centre & Trains Deluxe. This superb museum has a National Historic designation. It preserves the glory days of the railroad, with elaborately restored passenger cars including the sole remaining set from Canadian Pacific 1929 ‘Trans Canada Limited’. You can tour these vintage cars and take afternoon tea in the Argyle; a richly inlaid dining car.
And, minutes east of Cranbrook is Fort Steele Heritage Town, treat yourself to the experience of life in Fort Steele during the late 1800’s. This unique attraction is open year round (weather permitting) with varying levels of programming in effect from season to season. Cranbrook’s major events include a Children’s Festival in May, Sam Steele Days in June, Canada Day celebrations in July and the Cranbrook Pro Rodeo in August.
The Cranbrook & District Arts Council also coordinates many events throughout the year. Cranbrook has a vibrant and diversified arts community, which encompasses visual, performing and indigenous arts. The Key City Theatre is a first-class performing arts, conference, cultural centre. And the Studio Stage Door is home to its Community Theatre.
Cranbrook Community Forest offers wonderful interpretive nature trails and birding opportunities. Self-guided tour maps are available for the Elizabeth Lake Wildlife Sanctuary. The TransCanada Trail includes Isadore Canyon, Rotary Way and the Northstar Rails to Trails – the former railway between Cranbrook and Kimberley. It’s a great place for a great holiday.
The village of Yahk is located 69 km south of Cranbrook. It offers the Yahk Soap & Candle Company. It’s well worth the visit to check out the homemade body products and candles, and of course the ‘stars of the show’, their goats!