Common menu bar links

Mountain National Parks Careers

Living in Banff National Park of Canada

 Cascade Mountain and the Town of Banff 
Cascade Mountain and the Town of Banff

© Parks Canada

About the park
The Lifestyle with the job
Facts About Banff
Learn more

About the park

Welcome to the birthplace of Canada’s national parks system. The idea of a Canada-wide family of national parks and national historic sites took root in the Rockies more than a century ago, with the establishment of Banff National Park in 1885. Today this system of protected areas continues to expand and commemorate the people, places and events that define Canada.

National parks and national historic sites are special places, and represent the power of Canada’s landscape and the vitality of its culture. Each national park is a gateway to nature and culture, offering individuals opportunities to experience a personal relationship with the wild. Each national historic site is a valuable source of information, a living history adventure, and an experience of what Canada was and is today.

Banff National Park is the first national park in Canada and third oldest in the world. It is also one of the most visited places in the country with more then 4 million visits each year. Large numbers of elk, bighorn sheep, mule deer and other large animals make Banff one of the great protected ecosystems remaining in the Rocky Mountains. This vast wilderness is one of the few remaining places in southern Canada that is home to a full range of carnivores, including grizzly bears, wolves, black bears and coyotes. Banff National Park is also home to 844 plant species.

Banff national park is also a source of cultural heritage. There are two national historic sites within the park, telling of Canada’s past. The first one is the Banff Park Museum Historic Site of Canada, this museum is about natural and cultural history. The Cave and Basin National Historic Site of Canada on the other hand commemorates the birthplace of Canada's National Park system.

The Lifestyle with the job

Skiing Skiing
© Parks Canada

From the great outdoors to a vibrant town experience, Banff National Park offers experiences for everyone. Whether your hobby is snowboarding or you simply enjoy the view from your front porch, Banff is a dynamic place to work and play. Many come to visit and decide to stay. They simply can’t resist the charm and adventures.

The park is home to a renowned golf course, a natural hot spring, three world-class downhill ski and snowboarding areas, 60 panoramic hiking trails, more than 1000 breath-taking glaciers, countless magnificent views and much more. Pampering is no stranger to this part of the country neither is shopping. With more than 10 elegant day spas and 250 retail outlets you definitely can’t get bored even on rainy days.

Located in the heart of Banff National Park, the Town of Banff is also about culture and art. The population is very much diverse. The town offers a variety of cuisine, for example you can experience French, Korean or Indian food without leaving downtown Banff. Banff is home to more than 150 restaurants. With 25 bars, pubs and lounges, nightlife in this town is something to experience.

The Town of Banff is one hour away from Calgary, 20 minutes from Canmore and is part of the Bow Valley. The town also offers all the necessary amenities such as hospital, medical clinics, dental clinics, public library, postal office, banks, grocery stores, shopping centres, schools, daycares, arena and recreation grounds to name a few. However, like most resort towns, affordable accommodation is not easy to find in Banff. Prices are higher than the Canadian average rate for renting or buying a house.

Living in Banff will give you access to 13 art galleries, 1 movie theatre and 2 museums; art lovers will not be disappointed. The Banff Centre, an internationally renown arts and culture centre, and conference facility, offers live performances and events featuring dance, music, theatre, opera, films, new media, and literary readings throughout the year.

Facts About Banff …

The Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site is a United Nations designation which includes Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho national parks, plus adjacent B.C. provincial parks: Hamber, Mount Robson and Mount Assiniboine.

Bighorn Sheep Bighorn Sheep
© Parks Canada / Sophie Lauro

Banff National Park is 6641 sq. km (2564 sq. miles) in area.

Banff Townsite, the highest town in Canada, 1383 m (4537 feet).

Banff (pronounced “Banph”) is named after Banffshire, Scotland, the birthplace of two of the original Canadian Pacific Railway directors.

Highest mountain totally within Banff: Mt. Forbes, 3612 m (11,850 feet).

Age of mountains: 120 million - 45 million years old (“middle aged” by world standards).

Rufous Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
© Parks Canada / Amar Athwal

Main river: Bow River, headwaters at Bow Glacier/Bow Lake, flows to Hudson Bay.

Largest and deepest lake: Lake Minnewanka (dammed).

Canadian Heritage River: North Saskatchewan.

Common trees: lodgepole pine, white spruce, trembling aspen, balsam poplar, Douglas fir, limber pine, Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, alpine larch, whitebark pine. Average elevation of treeline: 2100 m (7000 feet).

Banff National Park maintains 1500 km (972 miles) of trails, and 53 backcountry and 13 frontcountry campgrounds.

Most people don’t want to leave.

Learn more

To learn more about life in Banff please visit the following websites: