History and Heritage

Heritage Finder

Open the Heritage Finder map in a new window

History and Heritage

Banff has a rich and vibrant cultural and natural history, recognized globally by the United Nations, which designated the area of the Canadian Rockies as a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in 1984.

As of April 2022:

  • 15 Municipal Historic Resources designated since 2001
  • 34 Statements of Significance created since 2016
  • 48 heritage plaques installed since 2000
  • 25 Landmarks and Legends published since 2008
  • 179 sites listed on the Inventory of Historic Resources, which was first approved by council in 2002

Explore our Heritage

  • Banff's Architectural Styles have changed over the years, but maintain a common theme that contributes to our unique character.
  • Landmarks and Legends celebrates some of Banff's landmark buildings and locations, as well as the legendary individuals that are part of our rich history.
  • Walking Through Banff's History is an excellent way to experience the roots of Banff's unique community character. Download a map or try an interactive tour.

Heritage Planning

  • Current Heritage Applications will be listed online while they're under review.
  • Designated Heritage Resources shows formally recognized and legally protected heritage resources of local significance.
  • The Municipal Heritage Inventory is a list of heritage resources determined to have heritage value for the community, prepared and reviewed by the Banff Heritage Corporation.
  • Financial Incentives are used to encourage the retention and restoration of heritage resources. There are two types of incentives available to resource owners: Conservation Incentives and Financial Incentives.
  • Banff Heritage Corporation works toward the protection, preservation, enhancement and promotion of Banff's built heritage. Meetings are open to the public.
  • Banff Heritage Resource Policy (PDF) provides a framework for identification, protection, preservation, commemoration and education activities related to heritage resources in Banff.
  • Backyard Cabins Inventory (PDF) Is a survey of historic backyard cabins in Banff conducted at the direction of the Banff Heritage Committee. The intent was to understand how many of these cabins remained in the town and where they might be located, in order to possibly save some of the cabins from demolition during future property redevelopments.
Postcard of Bow River Bridge