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Incorporation Agreement
Banff Avenue in SummerThe Town of Banff is an incorporated municipality located inside a national park. National parks are under the jurisdiction of the Government of Canada, so there is a unique overlap of responsibility and authority between the local government, the Province of Alberta, and the federal government.

At Banff’s incorporation a special agreement was made to determine which powers would be transferred to the town and which powers would stay with the federal government. This is called The Town of Banff Incorporation Agreement. 

The Town of Banff Incorporation Agreement (PDF)

Purposes of the Town
The Incorporation Agreement sets out the purposes of the Town of Banff as follows: 

  1. To maintain the townsite as part of a World Heritage Site;
  2. To serve, as its primary function, as a centre for visitors to the Park and to provide such visitors with accommodation and other goods and services;
  3. To provide the widest possible range of interpretive and orientation services to Park visitors;
  4. To maintain a community character which is consistent with and reflects the surrounding environment; and
  5. To provide a comfortable living community for those persons who need to reside in the townsite in order to achieve its primary function.

Other Highlights from the Incorporation Agreement
  • The Town of Banff leases from the federal government all land used for municipal operations and services. The lease costs the Town $550,000 per year.
  • Property owners in Banff must lease their land from the federal government.
  • Town boundaries are set by federal “Orders in Council.” Currently the town’s boundary is set at 3.93 square kilometres;
  • The federal government has final authority over Banff’s land use planning, development, and environmental regulations.