Vulcan – Vulcan, Alberta - Atlas Obscura

Vulcan

Vulcan, Alberta

Live long and prosper in Vulcan, Alberta. 

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Dubbed “Canada’s Quirkiest Town,” Vulcan, Alberta, midway between the cities of Calgary and Lethbridge, has become a popular tourist destination because it shares a name with the homeworld of the Vulcans, characters from the Star Trek movies and television shows. But the town wasn’t named after the show.

Vulcan was named by a surveyor for the Canadian Pacific Railway back in 1915 for the Roman god of fire—all of the streets throughout the town were originally named for gods and goddesses. Located in the prairies of southern Alberta, Vulcan has a population under 2,000 who mostly work in farming. The town’s economy is agriculture-based—wheat, canola, barley—but the town’s people have no problem capitalizing on tourism dollars as well.

In addition to a Star Trek-themed tourist information center (the “Tourism and Trek Station”), attractions include Spock’s Bar, and the Scrapbook Cafe, which only serves food and beverages with Star Trek-themed names. A replica of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek V sits outside of the tourist center. The writing on the display’s pedestal is in alien languages from the television shows. Vulcan’s annual Star Trek convention (VulCON: Spock Days/Galaxyfest) attracts fans from all over the world.

Vulcan is also home to the last surviving building from the Frank Slide—Canada’s deadliest rock slide, which occurred on April 29, 1903. The hotel was closed and dismantled after the slide and moved to Vulcan. It is now called the Vulcan Hotel and features theme-decorated rooms such as the Star Trek room and the John Deere room. If you look closely in the Star Trek room, you might just find some Star Wars paraphernalia mixed in.

Know Before You Go

The town is located one hour south of Calgary by car.

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February 13, 2011

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