Four Canadian Golf Towns to Call Home

Downtown Canmore Alberta (Image:

Set in the shadow of the Rundle Mountain range, downtown Canmore is just minutes from five renowned alpine courses. (Image:

Like me, do you daydream about leaving the big city behind and starting fresh in a picturesque Canadian town where golf is king? From seaside in New Brunswick to the mountains of Alberta, four golf towns I’d love to call home.

(Last updated December 2022.)

My friends joke that every time I visit an especially appealing golf destination I return home ready to uproot my life and move there lock, stock and Callaways.

Well, I’m not the first golfer to daydream about living in an enchanted place like St. Andrews or Pinehurst where the game is knitted into the fabric and soul of the community. Though I’m not getting any younger, I like to think there’s still time to make it happen.

And more often these days, with the troubles bedeviling the world, my thoughts turn to potential golf retreats right here in Canada. Why leave home when all my desires can be fulfilled in one of the world’s most dramatically beautiful and civilized nations?

Yes, I really think I’m ready to give life in a golf town a try. Someplace with a charming main street, friendly folks, a couple of good restaurants and, most essential of all, at least one superior—and affordable—golf course.

Described here are four Canadian golf towns on my shortlist. Now to pick one and then somehow convince my wife that this is all a good idea.

St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick

Celebrated as one of Canada’s most sophisticated resort towns, St. Andrews by-the-Sea is home to hundreds of lovingly preserved historic buildings, several noteworthy restaurants, and the famous Algonquin Resort.

But for me and other golfers the irresistible draw is the Algonquin Golf Course, which relaunched to acclaim in 2018 following a redesign by Canadian architect Rod Whitman. If I start seriously planning right now, I just might get there sometime during the 2023 season.

Baddeck, Nova Scotia

Carved through woodlands within bicycling distance of Baddeck’s main drag, Bell Bay Golf Club is a marvelously scenic Tom McBroom design on the eastern shore of the Bras d’Or Lakes in Cape Breton. Looming on a hilltop across the bay is Beinn Bhreagh (Gaelic for “beautiful mountain”), the mansion where telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell spent the last 37 summers of his life.

No less beguiling are the shops, cafes and inns decorating a quaint downtown where the top attraction is a museum dedicated to Bell’s life and work—just the place for me to profitably spend my hours between rounds.

Bracebridge, Ontario

Smack in the heart of Ontario’s Muskoka Lakes tourist district is the town of Bracebridge, one of the relatively few Canadian communities that has managed to keep its downtown almost entirely unchanged. Anchored by the iconic Silver Bridge and Bracebridge Falls, the downtown is home to historic red brick buildings and leafy side streets lined with century-old houses.

Best of all, Bracebridge boasts not one, but two excellent and affordable golf courses. Heathland-style Muskoka Highlands is just off a main highway into town. And South Muskoka Golf and Curling Club, a Robbie Robinson design that twists like a Massasauga rattlesnake through the rugged Canadian Shield landscape, is no more than a 10-minute walk from the beating heart of downtown. I’ve already got my eye on a bungalow overlooking the 18th fairway.

Canmore, Alberta

Ideally located just outside the gates of Banff National Park, Canmore is home to a lively main street lined with pubs, coffee shops, boutiques and art galleries. Towering over a community said to be home to more Olympic athletes than any other place in the world are the magnificent peaks of the Rundle Mountain range.

Renowned mountain courses Stewart Creek, Silvertip, Kananaskis Country Golf Course and Stanley Thompson’s Banff Springs are all a short drive away. And right in town is Canmore Golf and Curling Club, an older, classically designed layout offering many of the same thrilling mountain golf experiences at about half the cost. The waiting time to become a member is about two years. I checked again just yesterday.

St-Andrews-by-the-Sea (Image:

St. Andrews-by-the-Sea is home to hundreds of lovingly preserved historic buildings and the Algonquin Golf Course. (Image: