Banff Upper Hot Springs

History

Pre-1880’s Canada’s Native people were the first to soak in the hot springs. These were sacred waters – a place to cure illness and maintain health.

1882 Canadian Pacific Railway workers discover the Cave and Basin Hot Springs at the foot of Sulphur Mountain. The discovery captures the attention of the nation and leads to the creation of Canada's first national park, Banff National Park.

1884 Europeans visit the Upper Hot Springs for the first time.

1886 Construction of the first log shack and the Grand View Villa and bathhouse, later known as the Grand View Hotel.

1901 Grand View Villa is destroyed by fire and rebuilt.

1904 Construction of the first government facility at the Upper Hot Springs, on the site of today's Rimrock Resort. The facility offers two cement plunge basins, several bath tubs and a 7.2 m x 7.2 m swimming basin.

1915 The Upper Hot Springs road opens to motorists.

1931 The Grand View Villa burns again. The federal government acquires the lease for the property and begins work on the Upper Hot Springs bathhouse.

Banff Upper Hot Springs pool and bathers circa 1932 Banff Upper Hot Springs pool and bathers circa 1932
© Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies / V488(52)D, circa 1932

1932 On July 1, the Upper Hot Springs bathhouse opens, complete with sulphur water swimming pool, plunge baths, steam rooms, tubs, showers and dressing rooms. It’s splendour rivals the famous spas of Europe.

1961 The pool is reconstructed and the interior of the bathhouse modified.

1995 Restoration of the bathhouse to its 1932 appearance occurs. The restored bathhouse opened in August 1996 with a new spa, restaurant and gift shop as added services.

2001 Pleiades Massage and Spa expands space within the bathhouse and offers a greater range of services to visitors.