Journey to "Tap Town"
by Dan Overes
Howard Armstrong owned Armstrong's Department and Variety Store in Nanton. He was the leader of a group of local businessmen who, in the 1950's, had the audacity to declare that the spring water which was piped to town from the nearby foothills was, "Canada's Finest Drinking Water." The title was never disputed and Howie's declaration led to Nanton acquiring the nickname 'Tap-Town' after he and his friends made the water available to passing motorists. Howie was a tireless promoter of the town and his efforts directed towards establishing 'The Tap' and being one of the trio of Nanton businessmen who purchased the Lancaster Bomber were but two of the many initiatives he took to champion the town he loved.
Nanton's water source continued to be the spring until the late 1970's when Nanton's growth, together with some years of reduced flow from the spring, combined to force the town to supplement the town's supply with water from a 'less-pure' source. This brought to an end Nanton's 'Tap-Town' years.
But that wasn't the end of the story as in 1979, Nanton Water Ltd. became one of the first companies in Canada to bottle and sell drinking water. It continues to market 'Nanton Spring Water' today.
Thanks to Dan Overes for becoming familiar with this history, making a visit to Nanton,
and producing this video that tells the story of 'Tap-Town'.