Banff's development, controversial because of the fragility of its environment, has always been determined by the federal government, tourism and the railway. In 1885 the Banff Hot Springs Reserve was formed on 10 acres (4 ha) of land around the local hot springs, and in 1887 a major expansion of park land occurred with the formation of the Rocky Mountains Park, renamed BANFF NATIONAL PARK in 1930. The park, centered around Banff, was spurred by the single most significant event in the town's history, the opening of the Banff Springs Hotel, on 1 June 1888. Subsequent winter recreational developments and Banff's symbol as Canada's premiere all-season tourism destination encourages over 3 million individuals each year to visit the park.
Home to famous Albertans, such as explorer Mary Schaffer Warren, Walter J. PHILLIPS, Earle BIRNEY, artist Carl Rungius, as well as Dr Robert G. Brett, lieutenant-governor of Alberta (1915-1925) and owner of a sanitorium hotel, Banff also early established itself as one of Alberta's main cultural centres. This richness was further evidenced by the establishment of the BANFF CENTRE School of Fine Arts in 1933, and later the WHYTE MUSEUM OF THE CANADIAN ROCKIES.
Author FRITS PANNEKOEK
Links to Other Sites
This extensive multimedia website for the Town of Banff features information about natural landmarks, local heritage and history, community services, maps, and much more.
The website for the Banff Centre, a globally respected arts, cultural, and educational institution and conference facility. Features the latest news and information about current cultural programs and special events.
Banff National Park of Canada
This illustrated Parks Canada website describes the ecology, geography, and history of Banff National Park.
Cave and Basin
This illustrated Parks Canada website focuses on the Cave and Basin National Historic Site of Canada.
The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies
View an online collection of art and artifacts that represent the natural and cultural heritage of the Canadian Rockies and other mountains.
When Coal Was King
The multimedia website “When Coal was King: Coal Mining in Western Canada” explores the history of Alberta’s coal mining industry. Check out the glossary and educational activities. From the Alberta Online Encyclopedia.
Banff Lake Louise Tourism
The official visitor information website for the communities of Banff and Lake Louise in Banff National Park.
Banff Town Hall
This site offers an illustrated case study of the distinctive architectural features of Banff Town Hall. From the website for Terri Meyer Boake, School of Architecture University of Waterloo.
A review of exemplary building projects designed by the Calgary design firm Sturgess Architecture. Includes the elegant Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel in Japan, the Connaught Gardens residential project in Calgary, and the Banff Town Hall, a community landmark. Click on the links for more information and images of each project. From the Architecture.CA website.
Profiles of AlbertaFirst member communities provide important business, economic and lifestyle information to compliment the statistical information available for all communities.
A travel website for various scenic tours in and around Lake Louise, Banff, Lake Minnewanka, Jasper, and the Columbia Icefield. From Brewster Inc.
A tourist guide to major attractions in the Canadain Rockies. From concierge.com.
Eleanor Luxton Historical Foundation
The website for an organization dedicated to the preservation of the historic Luxton home and other distinctive heritage structures in Banff. Browse the website to find out more about the foundations programs and the history of the Luxton family. Also check out online images of their impressive collection of art works and artifacts.
The website for Jane’s Walk, a network of free walking tours that explore the quality and livability of local neighbourhoods based on ideas espoused by Jane Jacobs. Click on "The Community" to access the latest news and photos on their blog and more. Also, check out "Find Your Walk" for maps and descriptions of local walks throughout the country.