Environment Sustainability The Crossing at Ghost River

The Crossing at Ghost River, Our History

With 2020 soon becoming history, we thought it was the perfect time to share some of ours!

The Crossing at Ghost River has had an adventurous history. Even in the earliest days, this land has always been a venue for connecting it’s visitors with its serene environment and natural beauty.

Environment Sustainability The Crossing at Ghost River

The Name

The land’s earliest history has been traced to stories of the first peoples indigenous to the region. The stories tell how they would utilize a low point in the river as a ‘crossing’. In the years to come, it would serve the same purpose for the early explorers, traders and settlers alike. This crossing would have been an integral part for hunting, trade and exploring the territory.

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Many believe that our name comes from this river crossing and while that may be in fact case, there are other local legends of our name’s origin. Some claim that this area was a fierce battleground and that there may still be spirits wandering the land, awaiting their own crossing to another side. Other stories share tales of the early indigenous peoples sending their departed loved ones into the river to disappear into the deep. Perhaps the less haunting and more likely history of our name is as local folklore suggests, that there is a section of the river that goes underground, thus making a portion appear to be ‘ghost-like’. The Cochrane and Area Historical Society’s book, Big Hill Country; Cochrane and Area, also refers to this stretch of river becoming a “ghost of itself” after the Ghost Dam was built and mighty Bow River was diverted.1

While there may be some mystery around our name’s origin, there is no mystery that the river is one of the core draws for every guest at The Crossing.

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The Owners Over Time

The Crossing at Ghost River has changed hands many times over the years, including being owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway and George W. Pocaterra.

Pocaterra was one of the famous early explorers who came to the Alberta Foothills from Italy in 1903. He was one of the first non-Natives to explore much of Kananaskis Country and he developed close friendships with members of the Stoney Nation. Pocaterra was known for his early explorations, fur trapping in the Kananaskis Valley, establishing The Buffalo Head Ranch and mining exploration. In 1933, Pocaterra returned to Italy and fell in love and married Norma Piper, a talented young opera singer from Calgary 2. When World War II forced them to return to Canada in 1939, the Pocaterras settled down on the ranch which is now The Crossing at Ghost River. Norma continued her music career with concerts, teaching singing at Mount Royal College and eventually had her own studio and became one of Calgary’s most loved music teachers 2.

The Pocaterra’s were two remarkable individuals, both together and individually and their legacy lives on, learn more about their incredible lives in the book The Diva & The Rancher: The Story of Norma Piper and George Pocaterra by Jennifer Hamblin and David Finch.

The Journey Continues

The Crossing officially began its journey as a conference and learning centre in the late 1970’s. Since then we have been growing, evolving and adapting our services to best suit our clientele. We specialized for many years as a retreat and conference centre and have hosted countless corporate meetings, events and weddings. Most recently, we have opened our doors to individual travelers for our bed & breakfast packages. We are excited to continue to welcome individuals and groups alike to our one-of-a-kind facility.

This unique property will continue to be a place for exchanging of ideas, sharing experiences and a stop in a journey to pause and connect. Plan a visit and come experience for yourself all that The Crossing at Ghost River has to offer!

The Crossing At Ghost River Your Stay

1 Cochrane and Area Historical Society. (1977). Big Hill Country: Cochrane and Area. Cochrane and Area Historical Society.

2 Hamblin, J., & Finch, D. (2006). The Diva & the Rancher: The Story of Norma Piper and George Pocaterra. Rocky Mountain Books.

The Crossing At Ghost River Your Stay

Tour of The Crossing at Ghost River

Welcome to The Crossing at Ghost River, we’d love to show you around! Experience all that The Crossing has to offer and read on to explore our unique indoor and outdoor spaces.

Crossing Map


Let’s start our tour with the Remington House, a colonial style building with an inviting atmosphere, two wood burning fireplaces and home to the central common areas here at The Crossing. On the main floor of Remington you will find the dining room, living room and our lovely sun room. Our bright dining room is the main area for all our meals, from delicious breakfasts for our bed & breakfast guests to the meals we serve our meeting and event attendees. On the second floor of The Remington House we have 17 bedrooms that are charmingly furnished with antiques, comfortable quilts and special touches. All of our bedrooms have their own unique views and private ensuites. Our bedrooms at The Crossing are purposely designed without phones and televisions for our guests to able to unwind, relax and recharge.

Remington House


Adjacent to the Remington House and connected by expansive decks is the Deere House. The Deere House hosts our main meeting and conference room as well as 10 more guest rooms. These guest rooms follow the same aesthetic as the rest of the property and feature unique antiquities in every room. The flexible meeting space in this building boasts big windows, a cozy fireplace and has everything you need to hold your meeting, training workshop or retreat. Next to the meeting space is our lounge area with pool table, ping pong table, darts and couches. This is a great spot for guests to comfortably connect post-meeting, outside the boardroom or after an evening event or wedding reception.

deere house event venue

deere house event venue

Accommodations & Bedrooms at The Crossing at Ghost River


Across the expansive lawn from Remington House is the Pine Loft. Originally built as a barn, it is now a flexible meeting space that offers an inspirational environment for your special event, meeting or retreat. The upstairs loft space is the primary meeting area with wood panelled walls, soaring ceilings, large windows, and sliding glass doors that lead to a large deck. The main level is an inviting environment for breakouts with plenty of natural light, a wood burning stove and comfortable seating. In-room catering is available in the Pine Loft and it is a rustic, charming and functional venue for hosting everything from weddings to workshops.

pine loft events weddings venue

pine loft events weddings venue

pine loft events weddings venue

pine loft events weddings venue


A few minutes walk from the Pine Loft is the River House, our seasonal screened pavilion that overlooks the banks of the Ghost River. With its screened in sides and natural river rock fireplace, it’s a versatile event space designed to bring the outside in. Perfect for group work, brainstorming sessions, weddings, BBQ’s and outdoor activities, our River House is a favourite for so many reasons. Hosting an event in this one-of-a-kind space can help increase productivity and reinvigorate attendees. Embrace this versatile space for your next event and we know you will be thrilled.

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River House - Meeting and wedding venue calgary & Cochrane AB


The expansive decks here at The Crossing are one of the unique features that we love sharing  with guests. We have multiple decks around the Remington House, including the second floor, and also around Deere House and at our Pine Loft. Use our decks for coffee breaks during your meetings or brainstorming sessions outdoors and reap the benefits of fresh air and a change of scenery for your attendees.

Facilities Deere House

Remington House

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Our sprawling lawns are the perfect spot for your retreat activities, team building exercises and wedding ceremonies. Take advantage of our open spaces and use them as part of your next meeting or event.

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Situated on 145 scenic acres, we have plenty of outdoor spaces for you to enjoy. Come take in the views and fresh air on a walk down to the river and be rejuvenated by the tranquillity of our natural environment.

Our fire pit down by the river is the perfect accompaniment to a corporate meeting or retreat. A circle of chairs around the crackling fire is a wonderful change of pace from your typical meeting or work day. Explore all our outdoor gathering places and come experience all the ways The Crossing is a truly unique venue.

We would love to talk to you about the endless meeting, event and wedding possibilities at The Crossing, give us a call or send us a note here!