Interesting Facts about Banff
1. Interesting fact: Banff was always planned as a tourist town with the main drag, Banff Avenue, lined up with perfect views of Cascade Mountain. As the saying goes, "if you can't bring the mountains to the people, bring the people to the mountains."
2. Weird fact: Often during the months of April and May, you could go skiing in the morning and rock climbing in the afternoon.
3. Random fact: The famous Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel was actually built backwards by accident. Renovations were made to put the front desk on the appropriate side...eventually.
4. Fun fact: In the fall, you can hear (and see) elk rutting in the treed areas that surround the town and sometimes right in Central Park.
5. Interesting fact: Where does "Banff" come from? The name is derived from Banffshire, Scotland, the birthplace of two of the town's founders.
6. Cool fact: The waters of the Bow River in Banff eventually run all the way to the Hudson Bay.
7. Surprising fact: Castleguard Caves in Banff National Park are the longest cave system in Canada.
8. Neat fact: Banff is the highest town in Canada at about 4500 feet above sea level.
9. Geek fact: Banff was the first national park established in Canada and the third established in the world.
10. Random fact: Banff National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
11. Weird fact: Banff has a special law called the 'need to reside' clause which states that in order to live in the national park one has to have full time employment in Banff National Park.
12. Fun Fact: You can go scuba diving at Lake Minnewanka in Banff and visit an underwater abandoned town.
Things to See in Banff
Banff Upper Hot Springs
The Banff Centre
Originally inhabited by First Nations, such as the Kootenay, Cree, Sarcee, and Blackfoot tribes, the Canadian Rockies became a tourist destination in the late nineteenth century because the Canadian Pacific Railway built through the Rogers Pass in the 1880s. During construction of the railway, three workers discovered the hot springs at the Cave and Basin National Historic Site
, near the modern day Banff townsite. The Federal government designated the area around the hot springs as Canada's first national park, Rocky Mountains Park. In order to facilitate tourist traffic, the Railway built the Banff Springs Hotel and Chateau Lake Louise to draw people westward. Banff quickly gained a reputation for its luxury and revitalizing mineral pools.
In 1962, the Federal government build the Trans-Canada Highway, which opened up the park even more. The Sunshine Village and Lake Louise ski areas joined Mount Norquay as destinations, and the popularity of down hill skiing soared. Banff became a thriving resort destination, full of world-class restaurants, hotels, and shops, and it is now one of Canada's top tourist attractions.