What is the project about?

    Parks Canada is advancing work on an ideal first envisioned almost 25 years ago to develop facilities in downtown Banff (on the Banff Avenue 200-block) to support visitor reception, enjoyment and connection with the rest of the park, and to foster understanding of the challenges faced by protected areas like Banff.

    Why has it taken so long?

    This has been a part of the long-term vision for Banff National Park for decades. Parks Canada needed to acquire the necessary lots through the appropriate process. After more than two and a half decades of work, it is anticipated that by September 30, 2024, Parks Canada will have acquired 10 adjacent lots on Banff Avenue enabling Parks Canada to proceed with the next steps

    When will there be a new building on the ground? What will it look like?

    It’s too soon to say. We are in the very early stages of our planning. where our work will be focused on 1) obtaining a thorough understanding of the site through specific studies (so we know what is and is not possible), and 2) identifying the principles, considerations, constraints, needs and aspirations for redevelopment. The results of these activities will then be used to create redevelopment options for the site. We anticipate this planning stage will take about two and a half years and we will be asking for feedback from Indigenous communities, stakeholders and the public throughout this part of the process.

    Why is Parks Canada doing this? Why not leave the block as it is?

    National Parks exist with the ongoing grace and support of Canadians. An investment in helping them enjoy and connect to the park, and in understanding the challenges for its protection, is an investment in the park’s future.

    How much will the project cost?

    The costs of redeveloping the site are not known at this point, as there is not yet a final design. This part of the project is limited to planning, engagement and creation of redevelopment options.  

    How can I learn more and get involved?

    Advice and feedback from Indigenous communities, stakeholders and the public throughout the scoping process is essential to ensuring design options and a final product that will meet the needs of future park visitors, support park objectives, and fit within the community.