About Nanton

"The Town of Nanton is a dynamic community with an ideal environment for living, working and doing business. Home to more than two thousand residents and a lively tourism industry, Nanton is the town to invest in. With rolling prairie to the east, the Canadian Rockies to the west, easy access to major cities in the north and a stone’s throw away from the U.S. in the south, Nanton offers a small town lifestyle with global economic reach."  Alberta SouthWest Profile

Local Economy

Nanton is located in Southern Alberta’s prime farming and ranching areas. The economy is primarily driven by the agriculture and the agricultural services industries, with tourism also generating significant revenue for the town.  

Although Nanton traditionally has been a service centre for the surrounding farms and ranches, in recent years light industry has begun to move in, taking advantage of low land costs and utilizing the skills of the local labour force.  Current manufacturers include: beverage bottlers, cattle, poultry, food processing, concrete, livestock handling equipment, feed lots and saddlery.

Major Employers in Nanton are: Mountain Top Foods Ltd. (Food Processing); 2W Livestock Equipment Ltd. (Cattle/livestock handling equipment manufacturers); Silver Willow Lodge (Senior's Residence); J.T. Foster School/A.B. Daley School (Schools)

History and Visitor Economy

Pioneers first settled in the Mosquito Creek Community (Nanton area) in the late 1800s and early 1900s. On June 22, 1903, a village was formed and named Nanton, after the late Sir Augustus Naunton (1869-1925). Sir Augustus Naunton (pictured) was a partner in the financial firm Osler, Hammond and Nanton of Ontario. He was sent by the firm to the west to investigate investment in farm mortgages. Renowned for his sound judgment, he became the director for many companies, including the Canadian Pacific Railway, Hudson’s Bay Company, Great West Life, and Dominion Bank. He arranged financing of the Calgary and Edmonton Railway, sold subsequently to the Canadian Pacific Railway.
 Sir Augustus Nanton
It was his close association with these two companies that led the community to name the village Nanton and in the summer of 1907, the town was incorporated.

Nanton is home to unique attractions including the Bomber Command Museum of Canada, Nanton Candy Store, Antique and Art Walk of Alberta, The Canadian Grain Elevator Discovery Centre, Museum of Miniatures, and many more.   This concentration of retailers makes Nanton a choice destination for day-trippers out of Calgary and for individuals across Canada in search of unique treasures and collectibles.   

Other tourist attractions in and close to Nanton include Chain Lakes Provincial Park;  Porcupine Hills on the Cowboy Trail (at the intersection of Highway 533 from Nanton and Highway 22);  Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump (Fort Macleod); Local and regional rodeos; Western ranch vacations; Country bed & breakfast accommodation; Nanton Lions Club Campground (60 sites); Hiking, boating, canoeing and kayaking; Several annual regional festivals and events.

Proximity to Major Centres

Nanton is located just 40 minutes south of Calgary, along the well-maintained Highway 2/CANAMEX trade corridor, which is the major North/South route in North America. It is also only 2½ hours away from the nearest US/Canada border crossing, allowing for speedy imports and exports. Highway 533 is the major artery highway leading to the East/West transportation routes. 

The nearest airport is situated south of High River, just 20KM north of Nanton. It is an allweather facility, with hangar, refueling and maintenance services. For the nearest international airport with regularly scheduled flights, the Calgary International Airport (YYC) is just a 75-minute drive away.

Distances and Times to Major Centres 
 Lethbridge Calgary Edmonton Red Deer Carway 
(US Land Crossing)
 Vancouver (Seaport)
 121 km 92k m 383 km 231 km 168 km 1050 km
 1.5 hour 1 hour 4 hours 2.5 hours 2 hours 11 hours

Due to Nanton's unique location on the crossroads of Highways 2, 533 and 22, it is also a significant travel and haulage pit-stop for people travelling from and to  Southeast British Columbia via the Crowsnest Highway (BC HWY 3).

Distances and Times to Selected BC Communities
 Sparwood Fernie Cranbrook Creston Nelson Trail
 172 km 201 km 298 km 403 km528 km 526 km
2 hours 2.3 hours 3.5 hours 4.5 hours 7 hours 7 hours


The town boasts many facilities including: 

  • The Tom Hornecker Recreation Centre, home of the Nanton Palominos
    • The centre includes an indoor arena, racquetball court, gymnasium, curling rink, and a seasonal outdoor pool
  • The Nanton Golf Course
  • Nanton Agricultural Society Grounds, home of Nanton Nite Rodeo
  • Public library
  • Public campground
  • Seniors lodge
  • Two schools
    • A.B. Daley for kindergarten to grade six
    • J.T. Foster High School for grades seven to 12
Nanton has a community health clinic that provides physician and laboratory services. The nearest hospital is located in High River, only a short drive away. Nanton possesses a comprehensive selection of healthcare services including dental, optical, physical & massage therapy, chiropractic, a pharmacy and a veterinary clinic. 

Experience Authentic Alberta 

Sources:  Alberta Southwest Invest in Nanton  (https://www.albertasouthwest.com/assets/Uploads/Invest-in-Nanton-2020.pdf)