Banff, Alberta

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Banff
Town
Town of Banff
View of Banff
View of Banff
Flag of Banff
Flag
Official logo of Banff
Logo
Banff is located in Alberta
Banff
Banff
Location of Banff in Alberta
Coordinates: 51°10′41″N 115°34′19″W / 51.17806°N 115.57194°W / 51.17806; -115.57194Coordinates: 51°10′41″N 115°34′19″W / 51.17806°N 115.57194°W / 51.17806; -115.57194
Country  Canada
Province Alberta
Region Alberta's Rockies
Census division 15
Founded 1885
Government[1]
 • Mayor Karen Sorensen
 • Governing body
 • Manager Robert Earl
 • MP Blake Richards
 • MLA Ron Casey
Area (2011)[2]
 • Total 4.88 km2 (1.88 sq mi)
Elevation[3] 1,400 m (4,600 ft)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 7,584
 • Density 1,555.0/km2 (4,027/sq mi)
 • Demonym Banffite
Time zone MST (UTC−7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC−6)
Postal code span T1L
Area code(s) +1-403
Website Official website

Banff /ˈbæmf/ is a town within Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. It is located in Alberta's Rockies along the Trans-Canada Highway, approximately 126 km (78 mi) west of Calgary and 58 km (36 mi) east of Lake Louise. At an elevation of 1,400 m (4,600 ft) to 1,630 m (5,350 ft),[3] Banff is the community with the second highest elevation in Alberta after Lake Louise.

The Town of Banff was the first municipality to incorporate within a Canadian national park. The town is a member of the Calgary Regional Partnership.

Banff is a resort town and one of Canada's most popular tourist destinations, known for its mountainous surroundings and hot springs. It is a destination for outdoor sports and features extensive hiking, biking, scrambling and skiing areas within the area. Sunshine Village, Ski Norquay and Lake Louise Mountain Resort are the three nearby ski resorts located within the national park.

History[edit]

The Banff townsite wraps around Tunnel Mountain
King Edward Hotel

Banff was first settled in the 1880s, after the transcontinental railway was built through the Bow Valley. In 1883, three Canadian Pacific Railway workers stumbled upon a series of natural hot springs on the side of Sulphur Mountain. In 1885, Canada established a federal reserve of 26 km2 (10 sq mi) around the Cave and Basin hot springs, and began promoting the area as an international resort and spa as a way to support the new railway.[4] In 1887, the reserve area was increased to 673 km2 (260 sq mi) and named "Rocky Mountain Park." This was the beginning of Canada's National Park system.

The area was named Banff in 1884 by George Stephen, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, recalling his birthplace in Banff, Scotland. The Canadian Pacific built a series of grand hotels along the rail line and advertised the Banff Springs Hotel as an international tourist resort.

The Banff townsite was developed near the railway station as a service centre for tourists visiting the park. It was administered by the Government of Canada's national parks system until 1990 when the Town of Banff became the only incorporated municipality within a Canadian national park.

In 1985, the United Nations declared Banff National Park, as one of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, a World Heritage Site. Banff remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in Canada.

One of the most notable figures of Banff was Norman Luxton, who was known as "Mr. Banff". He published the Crag and Canyon newspaper, built the King Edward Hotel and the Lux Theatre, and founded the Sign of the Goat Curio Shop, which led to the development of the Luxton Museum of Plains Indians, now the Buffalo Nations Museum.[5] He and his family helped organize the Banff Indian Days and the Banff Winter Carnival.

In 1976, the International Astronomical Union's Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (IAU/WGPSN) officially adopted the name Banff for a crater on Mars, after the town in Alberta. The crater is at latitude 17.7° north and longitude 30.8° west. Its diameter is 5 km (3.1 mi).[6]

Geography[edit]

It is surrounded by mountains, notably Mount Rundle, Sulphur Mountain, Mount Norquay, and Cascade Mountain. The town is situated above Bow Falls near the confluence of the Bow River and Spray River.

Climate[edit]

Banff experiences a subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dfc) that borders on a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb). Winter temperatures range from an average low of −13.3 °C (8.1 °F) to an average high of −0.2 °C (31.6 °F). Summer temperatures in the warmest month are pleasant with an average high of 21.6 °C (70.9 °F) and an average low of 7.3 °C (45.1 °F). Snow has been recorded in all months of the year. The annual snowfall averages 191.0 cm (75.2 in).[7]

Demographics[edit]

Bow River
Northern lights over Banff

The population of the Town of Banff according to its 2014 municipal census is 8,421, a 16.1% change from its 2011 municipal census population of 7,251.[8] This does not include the town's shadow population (non-permanent residents). In addition to 8,421 permanent residents, the municipal census counted 965 non-permanent residents for a combined population of 9,386.[8]

Parks Canada enforces requirements that individuals must meet in order to reside in the town, in order "to ensure that a broad supply of housing types are available for those who work and raise families in the community".[9] In the 2011 Census, the Town of Banff had a population of 7,584 living in 2,565 of its 2,850 total dwellings, a 13.2% change from its 2006 population of 6,700. With a land area of 4.88 km2 (1.88 sq mi), it had a population density of 1,554.1/km2 (4,025.1/sq mi) in 2011.[2]

According to the Canada 2006 Census:[10]

* Population: 6,700 (−6.1% from 2001)
* Land area: 4.85 km2 (1.87 sq mi)
* Population density: 1,381.7 /km2 (3,579 /sq mi) 1,381.7 people/km² (3,578.6/sq mi)
* National population rank (Out of 5,008): Ranked 544th
* Median age: 32.1 (males: 32.5, females: 31.6)
* Total private dwellings: 2,844
* Dwellings occupied by usual residents: 2,568
* Median household income: $55,017

Attractions[edit]

Banff Park Museum (Alberta)

There are a number of popular mountains located immediately adjacent to the townsite which include Mount Rundle (2,949 m or 9,675 ft); Cascade Mountain (2,998 m or 9,836 ft); and Mount Norquay (2,134 m or 7,001 ft). Mount Norquay has a ski slope as well as mountain biking trails on the Stoney Squaw portion. A popular tourist attraction, the Banff Gondola, is available to ascend Sulphur Mountain (2,281 m or 7,484 ft) where a boardwalk (Banff Skywalk) beginning from the upper terminal takes visitors to Sanson Peak. Sulphur Mountain is also the location of one of Banff's most popular attractions, the Banff Upper Hot Springs.

Lake Minnewanka located 6 minutes north of the townsite is a very popular day use area with a variety of activities. Mountain biking, hiking and fishing are all activities allowed in this part of the park. There is a very popular Lake Cruise and motor boat rentals and a small food concession available at the marina.

Tunnel Mountain (formerly known as Sleeping Buffalo Mountain) (1,690 m or 5,545 ft) is situated within the townsite and is very popular for quick hikes; one can reach the summit in less than half an hour. It was named Tunnel Mountain because surveyors initially wanted to make a tunnel for the Canadian Pacific Railway right through the mountain, instead of following the Bow River Valley.

Banff is home to the well-known Banff World Television Festival, Banff Mountain Film Festival, Rocky Mountain Music Festival and Bike Fest. The city is also the starting point of the 4,417 km (2,745 mi) Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, which terminates at Antelope Wells, New Mexico in the United States.

Each Roam bus is decorated with different images of the National Park
Banff trail

Sports[edit]

Banff and nearby Canmore played host to the 2014 Alberta Winter Games.

Banff also hosted the 1991 Winter Deaflympics

Infrastructure[edit]

Transportation[edit]

In June 2008, the Banff council launched a local bus system called Roam, with three routes connecting the town, Tunnel Mountain, the Banff Springs Hotel, and the Banff Gondola.[11] The service is operated using four hybrid Nova buses, each decorated with scenes from the National Park.[12] There are three separate routes, Route 1 which goes to Sulphur Mountain and Route 2 which goes to Tunnel Mountain, and Route 3 which goes from Banff, to nearby Canmore. Many bus stops along the routes have screens which tell exactly how many minutes before the next two buses arrive. In December 2012, the bus system was expanded to include the Route 3 hourly service between Banff and Canmore.[13]

Via Rail's long-distance trains no longer serve Banff, but the Banff railway station remains in use by the Rocky Mountaineer and Royal Canadian Pacific tour trains.

The nearest airport to Banff with major service is the Calgary International Airport in Calgary.

Health care[edit]

Acute health care is provided at the Banff – Mineral Springs Hospital.

Media[edit]

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Municipal Officials Search". Alberta Municipal Affairs. August 10, 2014. Retrieved August 10, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2011 and 2006 censuses (Alberta)". Statistics Canada. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  3. ^ a b "Alberta Private Sewage Systems 2009 Standard of Practice Handbook: Appendix A.3 Alberta Design Data (A.3.A. Alberta Climate Design Data by Town)" (PDF). Safety Codes Council. January 2012. pp. 212–215 (PDF pages 226–229). Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ History of the Town of Banff
  5. ^ "The History of Norman Luxton – Founder of the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum". Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum. Archived from the original on 2010-04-12. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  6. ^ "USGS Astro: Planetary Nomenclature: Feature Data Search Results:". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  7. ^ a b c "Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010". Environment Canada. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  8. ^ a b "Town Council Agenda Briefing: 2014 Municipal Census Update" (PDF). Town of Banff. August 18, 2014. pp. 200–201. Retrieved August 16, 2014. 
  9. ^ http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/banff/plan/reglements-regulations/resident-residency.aspx
  10. ^ Statistics Canada (Census 2006). "Banff – Community Profile". Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  11. ^ "Roam". Town of Banff. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  12. ^ "Roam in Banff,". Bow Valley Regional Transit Services Commission. 
  13. ^ "Roam". Town of Banff. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 

External links[edit]