Big Head


At the end of Main St, half-buried in gravel by the Bow River, sits the impressive sculpture known as the Big Head (for reasons that will quickly become obvious). Created by the artist Al Henderson, the sculpture was inspired by Canmore’s name – the original town of Canmore in northwest Scotland was called ceann mór, a Gaelic word meaning 'great head' or 'chief.'

The sculpture has become a much-loved landmark, and the head’s shiny pate is sometimes adorned to mark town festivities. It occasionally even gets its very own woolly toque in winter.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Canmore attractions

1. North West Mounted Police Barracks

0.04 MILES

The oldest surviving barracks in western Canada was built in 1893 and used by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) until 1929. Today, this itty-bitty…

2. Canmore Museum & Geoscience Centre

0.21 MILES

Exhibits at this small museum cover the region's coal-mining past and the community's survival following the mine closure in 1979. Check out the 160…

3. Banff Gondola

9.59 MILES

In summer or winter, you can summit a peak near Banff thanks to the Banff Gondola, with four-person enclosed cars that glide up to the top of Sulphur…

4. Upper Hot Springs Pool

9.83 MILES

Banff quite literally wouldn’t be Banff if it weren’t for its hot springs, which gush out from 2.5km beneath Sulphur Mountain at a constant temperature of…

5. Fairmont Banff Springs

10.34 MILES

Looming up beside the Bow River, the Banff Springs is a local landmark in more ways than one. Originally built in 1888, and remodeled in 1928 to resemble…

6. Surprise Corner Viewpoint

10.39 MILES

About 1.2km east of Banff Town, the Surprise Corner viewpoint looks out over the rushing white water of Bow Falls.

7. Bow Falls

10.42 MILES

About 500m south of town, just before the junction with Spray River, the Bow River plunges into a churning melee of white water at Bow Falls. Though the…

8. Tunnel Mountain

10.56 MILES

It might be Banff’s smallest mountain at 1692m, but Tunnel Mountain is still one of the town’s most recognizable landmarks. The mountain’s distinctive…