When Banff or Lake Louise is your home, you are awarded the
The Banff townsite covers 3.93 square kilometres (2.5 square miles) and has an elevation of 1,383 metres (4,537 feet) making it the highest town in Canada. Banff’s townsite boundaries are fixed by federal law. The municipality may not expand its land base.
The Town of Banff is located inside Banff National Park, Canada’s first and the world’s third national park, established in 1885. The park itself is 6,641 square kilometres (2,564 square miles); 96 percent of the park is wilderness.
Banff National Park is one of four adjacent national parks designated as the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site. Banff National National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
Yes, there is always work of some sort available in Banff National Park. There’s an old saying in Banff that if you want to put your PhD to work, learn how to flip burgers! The hospitality industry is always hiring—with millions of tourists arriving annually and the city of Calgary close by, demand is high, even during the slower seasons of spring and fall. Winter sees a shift in employment opportunities to the park’s three ski resorts, which have to train and adjust to peak times and Mother Nature.
Banff’s quasi-permanent population (workers who make Banff their home for a season or two) is truly international. Every year the Canadian government issues thousands of work visas to foreigners, many of whom gravitate to Banff National Park for its lively atmosphere and outdoor recreation—and almost all are able to quickly find employment. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to spend a day at any of the park’s ski resorts and not to hear ‘G’day from an employee.
The Town of Banff has 9,386 residents: 8,421 permanent and 965 temporary (employed a minimum of 30 days) according to the latest municipal census.
Living in Banff is a privilege and we all know how lucky we are to be part of this community inside a national park. Our Way of Life is more than just skiing and hiking (but there is a lot of that), it’s also taking care of this special community and respecting our surroundings. Everyone that lives in Banff must meet
a “need to reside” requirement regulated by the federal government.
GOVERMENT & ECONOMY
The Town of Banff is governed by a mayor and six
councillors under The Municipal Government Act of
the Province of Alberta. A municipal election is held
every four years.
Tourism is the town’s economic driver. More than
three million people visit Banff National Park every
year, and almost all of them visit the Town of Banff.
The federal government limits the amount of space available for commercial development in national parks. Commercial space in the Town of Banff is capped at 353,000 square metres (3.8 million square feet), or about 10% of the total area of the townsite. Learn how the Town of Banff manages commercial growth. Commercial activities must be consistent with the purposes of the town as set out in the Banff Incorporation Agreement. Find out more about opening a business in Banff.