Rob Murray: Quarry Lake has been absolutely packed this summer and it’s led to some issues with congestion, garbage and parking, a variety of different things. I understand the Town of Canmore is going to be addressing this.

Mayor John Borrowman: I hear an awful lot from our residents who are concerned, unhappy and angry about what’s happening. We have made and will continue to be making a number of changes at Quarry Lake in the coming weeks.

There has been permanent No Parking signage installed on Highway 742. That took a long time because that’s a provincial highway and we’ve been asking for years for the province to take that step. It was only two weeks ago that we finally had the okay for the Town of Canmore to install the No Parking signs. We have put in place the variable message signs indicating once the parking lot is full the area is at capacity, and restricting RVs from parking there. We’ve increased the number of patrols from both Bylaw and RCMP, who I’m told will be issuing tickets for parking offenses and other infractions.

Administration has planned out some other improvements that they’ll be making to the parking lot that will help prevent cars from being blocked in and keep the driving lanes clear. There’s new garbage containers on the North Beach, which is the parking lot side. An additional evening garbage pickup has been scheduled, and porta potties have been added to the South Beach. Each week we worked to improve and adjust, and I know it’s not perfect.

Tanya Foubert: A lot of people have taken notice of one of the moves that the community of Chestermere has taken, making it that non-residents would have to pay a fee in order to recreate on one of their very popular public beaches. I think a lot of people feel like that might be an option worthy of consideration in Canmore.

JB: I heard through the elected grapevine that the province actually stepped in and offered additional resources to Chestermere Lake, and I think Alberta Beach and I think one other beach community, to allow them to manage their facilities in that way. It would be quite expensive to have fenced in facility and put in place staff that are monitoring and collecting fees. I hope we don’t have to go there in the Town of Canmore, but it’s a possibility.

TF: One other thing – the province is undertaking some work on that provincial highway at the intersection with Three Sisters Drive. So people can in the near future expect single lane alternating traffic there. Not going to add in any way to the nightmare that’s already occurring!

JB: Not only that, you just go a little bit further up Spray Lakes Road and you hit the pond at the forebay. It’s become incredibly busy. That land is owned by TransAlta and they’ll have to be managing what’s happening at their beach. I would hope and expect to see porta potties and facilities put in place by TransAlta and some control of the parking that’s happening adjacent to the pond. I don’t know what to expect there.

TF: You mean the pond that is half the source of our town’s drinking water that people recreate in?

JB: Yeah, that one. It’s not then many years ago that you would go up there on any warm summer day and see maybe a dozen people either canoeing or stand up paddleboarding. And now, holy cow, it’s swarming! We’ve got some issues.

Filed under: Canmore, Mayor John Borrowman, Mountain Insider, Quarry Lake