Pat and Hilda Slavin

Written by Canmore Museum

Our arrival in Canmore in December, 1993, fulfilled a need to wonder at the beauty of these Rocky Mountains and to once more enjoy what we call a real winter. Pat and I were born in Montreal and spent most of our years there. When we married we moved to the foothills of the Laurentian Mountains. We raised our six children there and had a wonderful lifestyle, skiing, curling, tennis and swimming. A wonderful place to raise a young family. We left our beloved province in 1978, not by choice, but at that time the political climate was such that we felt our children had a better chance at life outside of Quebec. It was a sad time for all.

We moved to Toronto, Ontario, where we started over again. Toronto was a vibrant city, with a lot to offer our children and ourselves. We lived there for twelve years and, during that time, we did not give Ontario a chance. We were still grieving for Quebec without recognizing it.

We then moved to rural Ontario to a farming village called Keene, a wonderful community which we loved. Our children were scattered all over this great country of ours. Our daughters ended up in the province of Alberta. We came to visit many times, most of our visits in the winter. On one of our visits we decided to retire in Canmore, although we had built our retirement home in Keene, Ontario.

December tenth, 1993, was the big arrival date. The first thing we noticed was that trains were still running here, on a regular basis. Great surprise! Then just outside of Cochrane on the 1A, we saw a cowboy driving a herd of cattle. We knew we were in the wild west then.

The people of Canmore welcomed us and made us feel at home. We often remark that the mining community have seen their town develop and change both in population and lifestyle and yet they are always so gracious to newcomers.

The mountains, the people, the snow, and even the cold, have made us move forward and, although we will always remember our roots with affection and wonderful memories, we can truthfully say with pride and love that Canmore is home.


In Canmore Seniors at the Summit, ed. Canmore Seniors Association, 2000, p. 266.

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Canmore Museum