Resort Town RootsCamping and cottages have a long history in Sylvan Lake. In fact, they’re just the stuff the community was built on and one of the things that makes Sylvan Lake so unique!
Arriving at almost the same time as homesteaders, summer visitors quickly made Sylvan Lake known as a “resort town” for summer getaways. Recognizing the beauty of the lake and surroundings, settlers chose the name “Sylvan Lake” meaning “wooded” to reflect the many trees in the area. Sylvan was quickly gaining a reputation as a summer destination!
Building homes and cabins along the shores of the lake, visitors would arrive with their families throughout the summer, commuting back and forth to Red Deer for work. Regattas, seasonal businesses, boarding houses, lodges, and famous dance halls sprang up as the visitor population increased.
In 1913, Sylvan Lake became a village. By 1946, a population of approximately 900, warranted it gaining the status of a “town.” Surrounding the lake are also four of Alberta’s 51 remaining summer villages, a status of resort areas that was active until 1995.
The Lake has continued to be a mainstay for summer vacationers from Red Deer, Calgary, Edmonton, and surrounding areas. Visitors come for the lake, but they stay for the community and memories they make, and Sylvan Lake’s vibrant energy.
Sylvan Lake’s cottages and campgrounds create that same atmosphere to connect with nature, spend time together, and take in that summery “cabin by the lake” feeling.