Exshaw | The next Dead Man's Flats?


Exshaw, Alberta is one of those small towns that comes up as an unexpected surprise when driving along a scenic back road. Personally, I had never heard of it until one summer day when I was trying to avoid weekend traffic on the TransCanada Highway heading west out of Calgary. The alternate route 1A offered a bit of reprieve from the seemingly endless line of cars headed to the mountains for some summer fun and the spectacular scenery winding along through the foothills and past the Bow River wasn't bad either. Exshaw emerges along the route as a mix of industrial and residential buildings nestled up against the base of Exshaw Mountain and a 2021 population of 449 people according to StatCan. 

Those who venture off the highway will find a charming mix of single-family, detached homes constructed in every decade going back at least until the 1940's. Some of the original properties have no doubt been removed to make way for new, mountain modern structures but many of the older homes still exist. A townhome development at the west edge of the residential area was constructed in 2005 and is the only multi-family housing in the hamlet. 

That may all about to be changed though as an exciting new development has been making its way through the approval process. According to MLS sales data, a parcel of approximately 85 acres of land was listed for sale in 2018 by a private owner with around 11 acres within Exshaw and the remainder in the M.D. of Bighorn, at the base of the mountain. A sale was finalized on the land by the end of 2018. According to news articles online, the plans for the parcel include a mix of single family building lots, duplexes and 2 multi-family complexes. The plan has the potential to add 130 residents to the area which, would be a near 30% increase. The developer: Exshaw Mountain Gateway likens it to the River's Bend development in Dead Man's Flats where new construction homes have transformed the area into a thriving, family oriented mountain haven. 

When I reached out to the developer I was advised that buyers could be able to start building their mountain home in late 2024 if final approvals are achieved this summer. With real estate prices in Canmore becoming more out of reach for the average family, I really think this development could be an incredible addition to the Bow Valley. Homes for sale in Exshaw will suddenly appeal to buyers who are either priced out of other mountain markets, or for those who wish to avoid the busy tourist activity. The new development could potentially lead to other opportunities as well in terms of amenities useful to Exshaw residents. The image below is a rough illustration indicating where the new development area:

Exshaw New Development Homes For Sale

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