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Waterton Lakes National Park

A new visitor centre to better serve Canadians in Waterton Lakes National Park

The current Waterton Lakes visitor centre
Visitors enjoying the Visitor Centre
© Parks Canada

Parks Canada is investing in a new visitor centre in Waterton Lakes National Park. To meet the evolving needs of visitors and the community of Waterton, the new facility will be located within the townsite.

Parks Canada visitor centres are a primary service offered in our system of national parks. The current Waterton Lakes visitor centre and its present location can no longer support the over 400,000 visitors the park receives annually. The townsite location is the best site to celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of the park and ensure that Canadians and visitors from around the world have the best possible experience in Waterton Lakes National Park. The new location will also contribute to a vibrant and healthy community.

The decision to locate the visitor centre within the community of Waterton is founded in the Waterton Community Plan and the Waterton Lakes National Park Management Plan, both of which were approved by the Government of Canada and tabled in Parliament following extensive public consultations.

Parks Canada also engaged a range of stakeholders and leaseholders on the decision, including Improvement District #4, the Waterton Lakes Leaseholders Association, the Chamber of Commerce, the Waterton Park Community Association and individual cottage and commercial leaseholders.

Parks Canada manages national parks on behalf of all Canadians, and we welcome input from the community and visitors alike. We have heard a range of comments on the visitor centre, its purpose and its location. We are committed to working collaboratively with all interested Canadians in the planning of this important facility.

The location of the new visitor centre will allow Parks Canada to achieve key management plan and community plan objectives, and provide a better level of service and enhanced visitor experiences to Canadians, all while ensuring the best value for taxpayer money.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Contract awarded for new Waterton Lakes National Park Visitor Centre

Community engagement sessions

Updated June 21, 2016

Parks Canada held community engagement sessions on the new visitor centre on June 18 and 19, 2016.

On June 18, Parks Canada provided an electronic presentation which included an overview of the project, an explanation of the need for a new visitor centre, direction from guiding documents and how the location was chosen. The presentation also explained how the new visitor centre relates to its surroundings and is integrated with other investments in the townsite, such as new visitor parking and improved way-finding.

Parks Canada also engaged in discussions on how the community can shape the new visitor centre project moving forward, including input during the planning and design phases to address any concerns such as traffic congestion, improved way-finding and the overall vision for the new visitor centre.

On June 19, the sessions focused on strengthening the collaborative relationship between Parks Canada and the public in areas of common interest and identifying solutions that can move the new visitor centre project forward successfully.

Parks Canada is committed to working with interested Canadians to have a new visitor centre that will ensure the highest level of service to park visitors, while contributing to a vibrant community for decades to come.

Download the Parks Canada New Visitor Centre in Waterton Lakes National Park presentation (PDF, 5.72 MB).

A copy of the notes from the community engagement session are available upon request. Please send an email to: waterton.superintendent@pc.gc.ca