Discover Nanton, Alberta: A Blend of History and Tourism
Nanton, a town nestled in southern Alberta, Canada, is a place where history and tourism intertwine. Named after Sir Augustus Meredith Nanton, a Winnipeg native who financed farms and ranches throughout the west, Nanton is located south of Calgary at the junction of Highway 2 and Highway 533. Once known as "Tap Town" for its free water supply to passing motorists, Nanton has evolved from a farming and ranching community to a popular tourist destination.
Nanton, Alberta: A Snapshot of Demographics
In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Nanton, Alberta recorded a population of 2,167 living in 953 of its 1,004 total private dwellings. This represented a slight decrease of -0.6% from its 2016 population of 2,181. With a land area of 5.11 km2 (1.97 sq mi), Nanton had a population density of 424.1/km2 (1,098.3/sq mi) in 2021. The 2016 Census of Population initially recorded a population of 2,130, which was later amended to 2,181, reflecting a 2.3% increase from its 2011 population of 2,132.
Attractions in Nanton, Alberta
Nanton, Alberta is renowned for its unique attractions. The Bomber Command Museum of Canada, formerly known as the Nanton Lancaster Society Museum, is located in the town center. The museum houses a preserved Avro Lancaster bomber FM159 and other significant RAF Bomber Command era aircraft, including a Bristol Blenheim Mk IV.
Nanton's antique shops and galleries, organized around a downtown walk, contribute to its appeal as a tourist destination. The town also boasts two fully restored grain elevators on northbound Highway 2, which form part of the Canadian Grain Elevator Discovery Centre. This centre aims to educate visitors about Nanton's and Alberta's agricultural history.
Just east of Nanton, the Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage preserves and celebrates the diverse heritage central to the spirit of the west. The Centre, launched in June 2011, was gifted from the late Dr. Jim Coutts to the University of Lethbridge.
Arts and Culture in Nanton, Alberta
Nanton, Alberta is a hub of cultural activities. The Nanton Ag Society hosts a variety of events at Nanton's Agriculture Park, including Alberta High School Rodeos, TNT Roping and Barrel Racing, and the Nanton Nite Rodeo Series. In 2013, the park hosted the Canadian High School Rodeo Finals.
Nanton was selected as one of fifty host communities for Alberta Culture Days 2014. The town also hosts the Nanton Round Up Days, a series of community events culminating in a fireworks display, and the Shady Grove Bluegrass Festival, an annual music festival held in August. The Distinctly Nanton Market and Nanton Lights The Way are festival events traditionally held in the last week of November to mark the beginning of the Christmas season.
Parks and Recreation in Nanton, Alberta
Nanton, Alberta offers a variety of recreational facilities. The town has two parks, Centennial Park and Lions Park, both located alongside the southbound highway. Centennial Park features ball diamonds, a skate park, and a children's play area.
The Tom Hornecker Recreation Centre offers an outdoor heated pool, ice rink, curling sheets, gymnasium, and a racquetball court. The Nanton Golf Club is an 18-hole course with a campground adjacent to it and the Agricultural Park. The campground offers a large, coin-operated shower building with washrooms, water taps throughout, a camp kitchen, group camping, and treed sites.