Invermere BC Accommodations, Tours, Dining and Weather
Invermere is located at the north end of Lake Windermere in the Columbia Valley, which divides the Canadian Rockies and the Purcell Mountain ranges. Lake Windermere and the waters that feed it make up the headwaters for the mighty Columbia River - the third longest river system in North America.
Invermere is the commercial center for the Valley and the gateway to Panorama Mountain Village. Located in the heart of the Columbia Valley, the town of Invermere has its own charm and character. The downtown area is a mixture of interesting shops and boutiques, decent restaurants (it is not Banff), and all the services you'll need on your vacation and generally can't find in other areas of the valley. New condo developments in Invermere have been popping up at a tremendous pace as an increasing number of people are being lured by the valley's endless recreational attractions. The Windermere area, adjacent to Invermere, is cottage country with a majority of the population flowing in from Calgary and Edmonton during the warm summer months.
Summer in the Invermere / Lake Windermere region is bustling with activity as visitors enjoy the warm waters of Lake Windermere, the rugged backcountry of the Purcell Mountains, and the lush green fairways of the valley's superb golf courses. Within Invermere, Eagle Ranch and the newest addition to the valley, Copper Point Golf Club, are two of BC's finest layouts. A short drive away, golfing nuts will also want to be sure to challenge the escarpments of the Springs at Radium Resort and the cliffs and rolling fairways of Grey Wolf Golf Course in Panorama. Invermere accomodations.
Touring Invermere, BCDuring the winter months, Invermere is an ideal base for skiing and snowmobiling adventures. Invermere is often used as an economic alternative to staying in Panorama Mountain Village, a winding 30-minute drive back into the Purcell Mountains. A little over an hour's drive away, visitors to Invermere can also split the difference between Kicking Horse Resort to the north, and Kimberley Ski Resort to the south, if variety is part of your vacation plans.
Visitors expecting world-class hotel accommodation will not find it in the Invermere area. Modest hotels and motels, a respectable collection of quality bed and breakfast inns, and a growing supply of condos are well suited to couples and small families. For larger families and groups, the region is blessed with a tremendous variety of cottages and homes. Be sure to book early however, as many homes (especially along Lake Windermere) are not offered to renters or are booked over a year in advance.
Invermere was originally claimed by a pioneer farmer named Edmund T. Johnston, who in 1890 called it Copper City, hoping that the wealth of copper in the nearby mountains would result in the growth of a city. Ten years later, the land was purchased by the Canterbury Company and the name changed to Canterbury Townsite. The name Invermere came nine years later when the site was again sold, this time to the Columbia Valley Irrigated Fruit Lands Company. The name is derived from 'inver', which means at the mouth and 'mere' which means lake.
In May 1951, Invermere was incorporated as a village, and by 1982, after several boundary expansions to include Athalmer and the Westside Improvement Districts, it had grown enough to receive the status of a district. The 2001 census has the permanent population of Invermere at 2,858. Of course, like most of the valley communities, that number fluctuates upward when second homeowners make their way to the valley for the summer months and holidays.
Windermere, a picturesque hamlet of 450 is one of the few places in the Columbia Valley to retain its original name. Christened in 1883 by Gilbert Malcolm Sproat, who also named Lake Windermere, it was not until 1887, four years later, that government buildings were erected by A.C. Vowell, Windermere's government agent. That same year, mail began to make its way to the new settlement by way of horse, and in 1888, George Stark built the Windermere Hotel.
The Columbia Lumber Company brought many loggers to the valley in the early part of the century, and the town-site, one of the first in the valley, began to grow. People came to Windermere to farm, raise cattle, pan for gold or transport goods and supplies from Sandpoint, ID. to the store in Windermere.
Though the land had little agricultural potential, settlers persisted in attempting to grow crops to make a living. Many of the settlers were from England, but a variety of backgrounds made up the population of early Windermere. The board of trade was established in 1956, and the Windermere Historical Society was formed in 1958.
Several of the original buildings still stand today, including the Northwest Mounted Police barracks, the White House, St. Peter's Church and Pitts Family Store, some of which house many of the artisans who call Windermere home. The Artisans' Corner is a popular tour stop for tourists during the spring to fall lake season.
Windermere, 10 km from Invermere, also features a variety of dining establishments and the White House Hotel remains open as one of the valley's more popular tour watering holes. The community is also serviced by a grocery store / postal outlet and along the highway there are gasoline outlets and even a bowling alley.
Windermere, a part of Regional District of East Kootenay Area F, also has a large shadow population of second homeowners, so the number of residents can swell greatly in the summer months. Roughly 65% of all the homes along the east side of Lake Windermere are second homes.
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