In 2018 and early 2019, Parks Canada made progress on the new Waterton Lakes National Park Visitor Centre. This project represents a major investment in Waterton’s future.

Current project status:

Project design

The visitor centre’s design has progressed from concept to a final product, with architectural and engineering considerations being finalized in January 2019.

One year prior, Parks Canada announced the selection of the Town Plaza design concept following public consultation, a community open house, and the careful review and consideration of three design options.

The Town Plaza design relates directly to the environment of Waterton through its uncomplicated building forms and its use of natural materials, reflective of the craftsman style typical of Parks Canada buildings.

Building code reviews and an environmental impact assessment have been completed to ensure the new visitor centre will meet all relevant legislation and regulations.

Interpretive design

Work continues on the visitor centre’s interpretive design using the theme of Convergence: “a meeting place”.

This theme highlights what makes Waterton so unique and includes programming and information that will encourage visitors to experience local Indigenous culture, history, and their connection to this special place.

Interpretive elements are being designed with input from local Blackfoot communities, which have been actively involved in the project. Indigenous stories, songs, graphics, symbols and exhibits are being incorporated into the visitor centre. More information on the visitor centre’s interpretive design can be found here: Interpretive exhibit.

Playground relocation

In fall 2018, the community playground and splash park were relocated to their new setting near the Waterton Community Centre. They are scheduled to be ready for July 2019. Multi-use courts and washroom facilities will be constructed and available in summer 2019.

Parks Canada is working closely with the Waterton Park Community Association, which is managing the relocation project.

Next steps

Parks Canada has finalized the engineering drawings and has proceeded with a competitive public tender for construction. Following the successful awarding of a contract, construction is expected to begin in May 2019.

For further information on construction impacts and mitigations, visit the Infrastructure projects page.

Parks Canada maintains and restores ecological integrity in Canada’s national parks while providing visitors with opportunities to discover and enjoy them.

The new Waterton Lakes National Park Visitor Centre will welcome Canadians and visitors from around the world, providing them with opportunities to learn about the park’s cultural and environmental significance.