Alberta's own Blue Lagoon? Nordik Spa comes to the Foothills

Rockies backdrop and man-made lake a perfect backdrop for thermal spa ritual.

Rockies backdrop and man-made lake a perfect backdrop for thermal spa ritual

A supplied photo from Groupe Nordik's spa in Chelsea, Que., shows a natural-looking hot pool. (Groupe Nordik)

If there's no volcanic rock ready to heat healing pools, Groupe Nordik owner Martin Paquette says why not build it?

A 10-acre thermal cycle spa is coming to Harmony, a community west of Calgary right beside the Springbank Airport. And, it will utilize an existing man-made lake as part of the spa.

"I've been travelling all over the world seeing things that are impossible to reproduce," Paquette said. "To shape a lake around our infrastructure so that the spa experience is optimized? This is a once in a lifetime opportunity — so we couldn't say no to that." 

The vision includes maximizing and sculpting the water features to complement the natural surroundings of the Rockies -- to highlight the sunset and prairie skyline.

Nordik's flagship spa is in Chelsea, Quebec — just outside of Ottawa — and that spa has more than 200,000 visitors a year. Paquette said with their market research, he expects Alberta to be a bigger market, but is estimating the same volume for the Springbank spa to start. 

Paquette said this being the company's fourth spa, it will build on all the learnings and missed opportunities for a unique and optimized experience.

A 'good news' economy story

Bordeaux Developments CEO Birol Fisekci said the goal has always been to create a village unparalleled to any other Canadian living experience. And, this spa will be a tourist destination, another reason for travellers to choose Alberta for their travels.

"You know, confidence is built in slow increments over time ... we really need good news, and when we hear good news, we need to celebrate it," Fisekci said.

The facility will be an anchor for a commercial village at the heart of Harmony. The spa itself will employ more than 400 people with a $45-million capital investment into the Municipal District of Rockyview County. 

The spa is expected to open in 2022.

Pictured is a map of the Harmony Village indicating where the Groupe Nordik Spa is planned. (Harmony and Groupe Nordik)

And it's expected that 4,000 daily visitors will flow through the community.

"While the numbers seem large, it's spread out over the entire day," Fisekci said. "Residents in the community won't feel that kind of morning and evening traffic, but rather it's just a trickle of traffic that continues throughout the day."

The spa will rival the nearby Kananaskis Nordic Spa. But Paquette said both businesses believe the market is big enough for both facilities.

"This will be slightly bigger, and probably offer a different experience," Paquette said. "But at the end of the day, we both have a similar goal then is to bring wellness and wellbeing to people."


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Account Holder

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?