Canal Flats: From Sawmill Town To High-Tech Hub

Canal Flats is a scenic small town in the Canadian Rockies, between the Kootenay River and Columbia Lake.

Founded some 150 years ago and incorporated only as late as 2004, Canal Flats has always been a town in transition. From transport hub to farmland, to timber processing center - and now perhaps the biggest change yet is coming to Canal Flats as they make the transition to high-tech business.


The backstory is that in 1928 the Canadian Pacific Rail company moved a sawmill to Canal Flats. In 2015, the sawmill closed operation, placing a big question mark over the destiny of this small town for which lumber and wood processing was a big business and an important employer.

Then, investors bought a large tract of land at the southeast corner of the town - the former site of the aforementioned sawmill - and proposed to build the Columbia Lake Technology Center.

Officially launched in the middle of 2018, the technology center is host to the operations of Podtech, a company providing cryptocurrency support and mobile data centres. Further developments will come in conjunction with opportunities provided by local industries, including agriculture and metal fabrication.

The centre is expected to create jobs and bring both incomes and added activity to the town.


So, what does all this mean for Canal Flats’ real estate market?

Some might see this shift as part of wider changes in the distribution of tech entrepreneurship brought about by the recent move towards working-from-home as the dominant model of high-tech employment.

Of course, Canal Flats’ began a few years before the current revolution, but it’s clear that they are now inextricably linked.

For a start, the increasing numbers of people working from home has prompted many to rethink their living situation. For young professionals, home is no longer just the place where they sleep, store their things, and occasionally cook. Now it incorporates both their office space and their space for entertainment and relaxation.

This kind of attitude change has caused increased interest in remodeling and looking for larger more flexible spaces. The latter makes places like Canal Flats desirable - as there are ample opportunities for securing a space of one’s own or even constructing custom spaces from scratch.

Lower interest rates and the lower cost of living associated with places outside of traditional tech hubs (like Toronto or Vancouver) make this package even more enticing.

The trend is already underway in many places. First, the disruptions to daily life put a chill on the real estate market, but now opportunities are opening up that are actually proving to be a boon for the property market as a whole.

In short, people are moving out of the large cities and tech centres; exchanging long commutes, crowds, and high costs for smaller towns and communities that offer both quality of life and savings.

Nestled as it is within the beautiful Canadian Rockies, and surrounded by rugged beauty, opportunities for adventurous activities, and resort-style facilities at every turn, Canal Flats is one such place that offers a vastly improved quality of life for all who move here.


These changes are also gaining support from governments both local and federal. The Canadian government is making a concerted push towards fostering tech centers in a variety of locations across the country, and the government of Canal Flats itself is committed to making it easy to live and work in their town with various incentive programs and housing innovations.

In all, the real estate market in Canal Flats has exciting times ahead, a time of transition as potential homebuyers move in while others move out.

While time will tell regarding the long-term implications and consistency of these changes, there is sure to be a lot of activity in the short term.

Explore Exciting Real Estate Opportunities In Canal Flats. Ready To Make Your Move? Contact Us To Get Started Today!

Posted by Scott Sauermann on
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