March 28, 2023

Banff’s Need to Reside Clause

The Banff sign is a prime selfie location.

What is a national Park?

Government set aside land that is preserved.

Encyclopedia Britannica defines a national park as ‘an area set aside by a national government for the preservation of the natural environment.’ Originally established as a hot springs reserve in 1885, Banff was Canada’s first official national park. It is one of the most scenic places in Canada with its steep sloping mountains and vibrant turquoise blue lakes and rivers. People come from far and wide to bask in the park’s natural beauty. Just 1.5 hours west of Calgary airport, its accessibility and proximity to an international airport makes Banff a prime spot to visit or to live.

Why we need to minimize out imprint!

We all have a part to play in protecting the nationals park

Cave and Basin National Historic Site.

Being first recognized as a hot spring reserve, Banff’s original hot spring, The Cave and Basin, was declared a national historic site. In 1992 they close it to closed to public swimming and it is now one of Banff’s educational tourist attractions. They closed the site due to the discovery of the Banff Springs Snail. Which was listed as an endangered species in 2000. The introduction of the public into such unique environments created major depreciation in the flora and fauna of the park. Today Parks Canada has added many rules and regulations around infrastructure and tourism in the park to preserve its natural environment. The distinctive habitat of Banff National Park needs to be safeguarded not only for future generations to appreciate, but also for ensuring the protection of the ecosystem that thrives there. Hence, the right to reside clause.

What does the right to reside clause mean?

If you want to live in Banff you must work there.

In layman’s terms, to live in Banff you must work in Banff. The aim of a need to reside is to minimize the amount of vacation homes in the park and ensure housing is available for the community. You must be an eligible resident to live there. What is an eligible resident?

  1. an individual whose primary employment is in the National Park;
  2. an individual who operates a business in the National Park and whose presence at the place of business is necessary for the day-to-day operation of the business;
  3. a retired individual who resides in the National Park and who, for 5 consecutive years immediately prior to retirement was either:
    • employed primarily in the National Park; or
    • operated a business in the National Park and whose presence at the place of business was necessary for the day-to-day operation of the business
  4. a retired individual who resided in the National Park at the time of the individual’s retirement and who resided in the National Park on July 30, 1981
  5. an individual who is a student in full time attendance at an educational institution that is located within the National Park and registered under the Income Tax Act or applicable provincial legislation relating to education
  6. an individual who is a lessee of public lands in the National Park and who
    • was the lessee of those public lands prior to May 19, 1911, or
    • is a descendant, by blood or adoption, of an individual who was the lessee of those public lands prior to May 19, 1911
    • the spouse or a dependant of an individual referred to in any paragraphs #1 – #6

More information on this can be found the Banff National Park website.

How is the need to reside regulated?

Park's Canada are the enforcing body.

Parks Canada is the governing body that regulates the need to reside. There are 3 main ways that they keep it regulated:

  1. A declaration from all lessees when acquiring a mortgage.
  2. A declaration when any complaints or investigations are made.
  3. A declaration when from lessees on behalf of their tenants.

In saying this, there are people who live in Banff and do not work there, who have slipped under the radar of parks Canada, although this is not recommended and frowned upon. It is a criminal offence to make a false declaration to Park’s Canada.

Main Street Banff

Parks Canada’s goal is to sustain the national park and keep the natural ecosystems as pure as possible, while still giving public the opportunity to enjoy its picturesque beauty. As visitors and residents in Banff National Park it is our responsibility to live within the regulations and rules. We need to respect and take ownership in maintaining the environment. We are all part of the continuing preservation of Banff National Park.

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