Sylvan Lake

Where the lake is right downtown

Sylvan Lake celebrates its centennial in fine style

by Stephanie Warner
View of waterslide a distance overlooking the lake.
Sylvan Lake, Alberta Wild Rapids — Photo courtesy Joanne Gaudet for the Town of Sylvan Lake

With a beautiful lakeshore right in the downtown area, Sylvan Lake, Alberta, is an excellent summer destination. That’s even more the case this year, as the town celebrates its 100th anniversary, with plenty of centennial events scheduled throughout the summer of 2013.
If you’re camping in the area with children or grandchildren, Betty Osmond, chief administrative officer for the Town of Sylvan Lake, suggests the following Top 3 can’t-miss activities: the lake and Centennial Park for swimming and picnicking; the Wild Rapids outdoor waterslides; and the local skateboard park. (The waterslides open June 29 for the 2013 season.)
“For  my grandkids, a trip to Big Moo, Sylvan Lake’s famous ice cream parlour, is also an essential part of every visit to the lakeshore,” she said..
Osmond said there are several elements that make Sylvan Lake a special destination choice for visitors.
“Sylvan Lake has a beautiful lakeshore area right in the downtown area,” she said. “There is a small provincial park with great spots for playing volleyball, fishing off the pier, and just lounging on the grassy banks while you watch the boats out on the water. With the clearest water in central Alberta, the lake is also a great attraction for swimmers.”
Osmond is also enthusiastic about the newly redeveloped Centennial Park, where the picnic shelters and community firepit can be booked for family gatherings and other events.
“This beautiful park is a great place for casual fun with an open grassed area and a large playground,” Osmond said. “The many Muskoka chairs along the promenade get rave reviews from residents and visitors. Lake watching from one of these chairs as the sun sets on the lake can be the perfect summertime moment.”
Lake watchers might even catch a glimpse of members of the Sylvan Lake Sailing Club who, according to the Tourism Sylvan Lake website, race every Wednesday throughout the summer.
Osmond said that for the visitor who wants a little more action, there are shops, restaurants, pubs, three golf courses and a farmers market.
“Kids and adults alike love the outdoor waterslides, minigolf and go-carts located near the local marina,” she said. “If you want to get out on the lake, there are lake cruises, a boat launch site and rental outlet for boats and Sea-Doos.”
Osmond said the community also gets many families visiting because of the Sylvan Lake Hockey Camp.
“The camp is well known across Canada,” she said. “While the kids get to develop their skills on the ice, they also get lots of outdoor fun as the camp includes time for the lake and the waterslides.”
If you run into some less-than-perfect weather days, you can still enjoy some indoor water fun at Sylvan Lake’s aquatic centre. The town’s website says that this impressive facility features a six-lane pool with an attached child and tot pool, and a hot tub with seating for 37. All pools are wheelchair accessible.
The little ones will especially enjoy the umbrella water feature in the tot pool—water cascades off the dome creating a waterfall effect. There is also a four-foot by six-foot area featuring bubble jets for more water fun.
In the children’s area, an anchor mists water into the pool, and there is a small slide for kids six years old and younger.
If your grandkids are a little older, they might enjoy the 10-foot-high climbing wall at the deep end of the main pool. Basketball and volleyball nets are also set up during public and family swim times.

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