Rainbow returns to Banff to celebrate Pride
A rainbow has proudly returned to the Town of Banff, providing a bright path for thousands of visitors and residents each day, while celebrating the community’s diversity.
“I am thrilled to celebrate our strong and vibrant community with this highly visible symbol of Banff’s commitment to ensuring a sense of belonging for everyone,” said Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen. “This rainbow route is an important way to show our pride and support for people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.”
The rainbow crosswalk had been installed in Banff since 2018, but was removed when reconstruction of Bear Street began earlier this year. Rather than returning the rainbow crosswalk to the commercial street, which will have pavers rather than asphalt, the new location will greet the many people who venture over the town’s pedestrian bridge.
“We have been working with Banff Pride to select a new location that has a high profile, is photogenic and will last a long time,” said Darren Enns, Director of Planning & Development. “We are very pleased that the location they have suggested will see up to 6,600 people per day cross the pride rainbow, at a location where they can capture fantastic photos with a backdrop of Cascade Mountain, and because this route is only for pedestrians and cyclists, this application is less susceptible to wear and tear and therefore will last much longer.”
The Banff Pedestrian Bridge sees close to 900,000 pedestrian crossings per year, and is an essential connection from downtown and the south side of the community. In peak visitor season, hundreds of visitors will cross the rainbow route every hour on their way to the iconic Bow Falls and for vistas of Mount Rundle and Mount Bourgeau. The bridge is also an essential route year-round for Banff residents, 48% of who commute to work by foot or by bicycle.
The cost of the thermoplastic rainbow application is funded from the Bear Street Reconstruction project, which includes replacing asphalt with road “tile” pavers that are not suitable for the permanent rainbow application.