Bashaw is a small, picturesque town with a big heart for country charm and a warm, friendly atmosphere. Nestled in the valley near the shores of Buffalo Lake, at the crossroads of Highway 21 and 53, Bashaw is centrally located in Prairie Parkland Country.
Less than an hour’s drive from Red Deer, Stettler, Ponoka, Lacombe and Camrose makes Bashaw perfectly situated for those who desire access to larger centres but value the small town lifestyle.
Primarily a farming community, the area around Bashaw is known for productive croplands and a diverse livestock industry. Lakes, campgrounds and golf courses skirt the surrounding area for added activity and relaxation.
It also has a bit of mystery: you’ll take a walk through the past as you visit the museum located in Bashaw’s original jailhouse. Why not sit in the same cell where the notorious Robert Raymond Cook, last man to be hanged in Alberta, sat waiting for the authorities to take him to trial… maybe you can figure out, like many who still wonder, whether young Cook was guilty of his charges of murder. Stop by, check out the evidence and draw your own conclusion.
Bashaw offers beautiful nature trails, tennis courts, ball diamonds, a fitness park along with numerous other parks and playgrounds. Winter is not to be outdone as there’s hockey, figure skating and curling to enjoy in the local arena. For those who like the chill of the outdoors, there’s ample opportunity for ice fishing, cross country skiing and snowmobiling.
• Walk the peaceful Nature Trails of Bashaw. The trails have wide walking paths and gradual grades, with benches along the trail for rest spots, along with a gazebo for shade on those sunny days.
• The Bashaw Fire Hall, built in 1914, served many purposes over the years. In the early years, it hosted village council meetings. The village constable had small living quarters in the back of the building and kept the building heated. One room served as a provincial court house and the prison cells are still in their original state. Later, office space was occupied by RCMP. The public library was also housed in the building for many years, and a barber shop. Now it houses the Bashaw Fire Hall Museum and is worth a visit.
• A rural, wood frame “Boomtown” style of theatre, Bashaw’s Majestic Theatre was not the first to be built in Alberta but is now believed to be the last remaining theatre of its kind in western Canada. Built in 1915, the Majestic serves as one indicator of Alberta’s early settlement history and has been home to magic lantern shows, local theatre productions, silent movies and early “talkies.” After serving as Bashaw’s first Catholic Church for a time, the theatre resumed its role as a modern movie theatre in the 1940s when it was renamed the ‘Dixie.’
• The Bashaw Trout Pond, located at the east end of Bashaw, is open for public use and is stocked with 600 rainbow trout every spring.
• The Town of Bashaw hosts a campground located on the east end of Highway 53 within town limits. There are 16 un-serviced sites and a trailer dump station is available. A washroom (to the north of the ball diamonds) has flush toilets and running water. Wood is supplied.
Bashaw typically enjoys warm summers with a generally cold and temperate winter.
Driving: Travel time from Calgary to Bashaw is about 2 1/2 hours north via AB-2. From Red Deer, your drive is about an hour along AB-11 E and AB-21 N.