This is the largest city in the eastern Kootenays, and lies at the junction of highway 93/95 (north-south) and Highway 3 (the east-west Crowsnest Highway).
The town has a rustic red brick downtown, with many shops and restaurants. To the north is the main drag, Cranbrook Street N, which has the city's largest mall and all the shopping, fast food and movies you'd expect in any city.
Navigating around Cranbrook is easy, with the downtown streets in a grid with Avenues running north-south, and Streets aligned east-west. Numbers increase moving east from Cranbrook Street. Baker Street is the north/south dividing line, with addresses and Streets north of Baker designated "north", and those south of Baker designated "south".
Cranbrook is located in a wide valley between two mountain ranges. The first people in this region were the Ktunaxa (Kinbasket) first nations who settled in the Columbia River and Kootenay River valleys. Famed explorer David Thompson arrive din the early 1800s, followed quickly by prospectors, fur traders and missionaries. In the 1860s gold was discovered in nearby Wildhorse Creek, near Fort Steele which brought many settlers and created tension with the area's first nations. Sam Steele was sent into the area in 1887 to resolve these disputes, which is commemorated with Sam Steele days each June.
Cranbrook grew up as a result of the railway, after lobbying by Colonel James Baker -- a local landowner and rancher, who became a member of the BC Legislature -- got the Crowsnest line of the Canadian Pacific to make Cranbrook a divisional point (with maintenance yards) instead of Fort Steele.
This community is serviced by an airport (halfway to Kimberley, to the north) with regular daily flights from both Calgary and Vancouver.
Kinsmen Trade Fair (May), Children's Festival (May), Rock'n in the Rockies (June), Sam Steele Days (June), Cranbrook Pro Rodeo (August)
Cranbrook is served by Cranbrook School District #5 (Southeast Kootenay). The city has 11 elementary schools, including one peanut-free, one French Immersion, a Private Catholic one, a First Nations school, and to Christian religions schools. There are two middle schools (Grades 7-9), one high school (10-12), and the city is served by the College of the Rockies which offers over 40 different programs plus continuing education.
Cranbrook's shopping is in two main areas: the old historical downtown clustered around the Clock Tower, and along Cranbrook Street, which has many big box stores, the Cranbrook mall, and most of the city's fast food.
Cranbook has both live theatre and a cinema multiplex. There are a number of parks and hiking trails close to town, and the ski hill at Kimberley is about 20 minutes away.
Cranbrook has a number of older homes near the downtown that date back to te turn of the 1900s. There are plenty of newer homes in this growing city. Hosing tends to run $200,000 to $3000.