| NAME: Minnewanka
PROVINCE: Southern Alberta
CLIMATE: Mild in Summer, cold in winter
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Summer
In Banff National Park.(Lake Minnewanka
and Bankhead were less than 3 miles apart from oneanother.) and only a 10
min. drive from Banff, inside Banff National Park.
REMAINS: Many original remains.
Lake Minnewanka from the coal tailings in Upper Bankhead. Bankhead was a coal mining community during the first world war. Before its demise, it was larger than the township of Banff which is only a 10 minute drive away. The Town of Minnewanka was a bustling place for the wealthy, The town WAS on the original shore of Lake Minnewanka before it was partially flooded in 1912 by a Hydro Dam. In the late 1930's, the Canadian Government wanted a new source of power for Calgary and imposed the War Measures Act. This act allowed industrial development in a National Park during possible threat of war, which at any other time would have been denied approval. The town was to be fully flooded over by this NEW dam, which to date is still the main road to Lake Minnwanka, which was built in 1941. The purpose at that time was to flood the valley 60-70 feet above the current level in 1912. This would provide more water for a new Hydro-Plant, which was wired to Calgary to provide a surplus of electricity "if it was needed" by industry. The original town-site, along with the first Hydro Dam built in 1912, can only be seen by Scuba-divers now . It still exists, along with numerous house foundations, road beds, timber bridge supports, fence lines. One item divers often mention is the Potbelly stove in the middle of the lake at the old town-site. ( I have seen it myself ) The most interesting item of this lake, is that the town which is almost a third of the way across the enitre 25km distance of the lake is a sprawl of history at 60 feet under water. All foundations are still present, along with rail road tracks, power towers, the original wharf of the 1st lake shore in 1912-1941. This lake is currently 488' deep at its deepest and 25 km in length. According to Parks Canada it is the second deepest mountain lake. At an altitude of roughly 4500' above sea level. Divers from around the province of Alberta, and the world frequent this dive site for its history and points of interest in the water. In total there are 16 items to view. From fence lines, to the Original Hyro Structure which is 45' in height. At this point I only have a pic of the lake as it is today....I do however have a book of all historical details of the town and its rich history of Fortune Seekers.