Windermere BC is a beautiful little community just a 5-minute drive south from Invermere on highway 93/95. For such a tiny spot on the map, Windermere has a very large history.
Gilbert Malcolm Sproat, a Scottish-born businessman, office holder, and author who spent time in the East Kootenay, named it in 1883, along with the lake upon whose shores it sits. Windermere was home to settlers from Europe and elsewhere, who came to farm the land, pan it for gold or raise cattle. Eventually, the logging industry became the main source of livelihood and today, the community is a must-visit place for historians, art lovers and those who come to relax away from the stresses of life in a big city.
If you are a history buff, you will love the many original Windermere buildings that still stand as a reminder of those first settlers. The Stolen Church, for instance, tells a beautiful love story we shall leave you to discover for yourself.
Today, many of the community’s residents are part-timers who have built their “home-away-from-home” on the shores of Lake Windermere. They are attracted here by the boating, swimming, fishing, board sailing, hang-gliding and golf at the many golf courses within a few minutes’ drive. The evenings are pleasantly cool and there is nothing more uplifting than watching the sunsets over the Purcell Mountains. The beauty of the area, with the Rocky Mountains to the east and the Purcell range to the west, has inspired many artists and artisans to settle in the Windermere area and they are usually happy to welcome visitors to their surroundings.
You can pick your own fresh vegetables in the summer months at the local market gardens. The Windermere Fall Fair and Scarecrow Festival in September each year is a huge attraction, drawing attendees from all over the valley. Oftentimes, visitors from outside the province will arrange to be here especially for the event. A couple of times each year, the Lake Windermere Players present a stage play for valley residents. These live theatre productions are wildly popular, superbly showing off the local talent.
Windermere has a lively and thriving community spirit, too, and its neighborly residents work and play together as often as possible.
We hope you will enjoy your visit to Windermere BC and that you will find a wealth of reasons for returning again and again.