History & Heritage


Founded in 1913, Sylvan Lake originated as a summer resort town for vacationers from the cities, once known as 'Snake Lake'



Sylvan Lake's history and heritage is stored at the Archives Society through the stories volunteers, diaries, newspaper clipping, photos, and memorabilia. Through their dedication, the Archives manages and preserves the shared history and memories of Sylvan Lakers for future generations to learn and enjoy.





Use your super sleuth skills and head out to explore downtown on a clue solving adventure to decipher the mystery of "The Lost Regatta." 

Using the Mystery Towns app as your guide, solve each riddle to find the next clue. It's a super fun way to engage with the town, its history, culture, and some secret spots you might have missed before. 

Take breaks during the game to enjoy the food, shopping, views, and festivities along the way. Great for ages 10+ and adult groups. For extra fun, challenge a second group to a race against the clock!


Take a peek around town for plaques marking historical buildings and stories. Most plaques are located on Centennial Street and the Lakeshore Drive promenade.

Sylvan Lake Beachfront


There are two big groomed grass parks, Centennial Park and Lakefront Park, ideal for playing a game of catch, soccer, and picnicking. Families can find two large public washrooms facilities along the beach as well as picnic tables and picnic shelters in Centennial Park. Along the sidewalk and in public parks, many Adirondack chairs and benches lend places to stop for a rest.


Lakeshore Drive runs along the beach and has many drop-off zones to unload beach gear and family members before finding a parking spot. Dogs are permitted to walk on the sidewalk along the beach but are not permitted on grass areas. Lakeshore Drive has three large parking lots for visitor day parking.

Sylvan Lake Beachfront
Be sure to head across the street to Sylvan Lake’s iconic Lakeshore Drive for ice cream, restaurant patios, beach toys, and a bite to eat!

Consider Yourself Invited

Finding Roots in Sylvan Lake

A true-blue resort town, Sylvan Lake has always been home away from home to visitors from Alberta's biggest cities. Spending summers in cabins by the lake, fishing, swimming, and boating became favorite ways to waste away the summer days.

Founded in 1913, and once known as Methy, Swan, and even Snake Lake, Sylvan Lake revels in its unique history. Regattas, seasonal businesses, boarding houses, lodges, and most famously, dance halls all sprang up as the visitor population increased.

Sylvan Lake was renamed for the Latin word "sylvanus" meaning wooded, for the many trees in the area. Early logging and pulling stones from the lake helped build the first homes and cabins surrounded by vast agricultural land. A population of 900 resided in Sylvan Lake in 1946, when it officially achieved town status.

Original settlers to the area were French, Finnish, and relocating from the USA. Sylvan Lake is located on Treaty 6 Territory, and respects the histories, languages, and cultures of First Nations, Metis, Inuit, and all First Peoples of Canada, whose presence continues to enrich our vibrant community.

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