Second dog park approved for Recreation Grounds
Council approved the creation of a second off-leash dog park in Banff in 2020, to be located in the Recreation Grounds. The 1-acre fenced park will be in an area currently occupied by a ball diamond, southeast of the skatepark parking lot. An off-leash dog park will remain in the Industrial District, and the second dog park will serve the numerous homes in central and south Banff with dogs. The new location will be a distance from the river, to protect the riparian way, and will be landscaped with tree cover in the area within the park. The cost of $85,000 to prepare the park and amenities is included in the Recreation Grounds Redevelopment Master Plan. An information meeting will be held in the spring to showcase all plans for the future Recreation Grounds Redevelopment.
Banff to move horse trail at Recreation Grounds
With redevelopment of the Banff Recreation Grounds proceeding in 2020, council approved a plan to relocate a horse trail from its current multi-use trail from the Warner Stables, travelling eastward along a trail near the Bow River, to a dedicated horse trail that runs parallel to Cave Avenue to Birch Street. The trail will connect to the current Cave & Basin Trail. The relocation will avoid potential conflict with other trail users in the Recreation Grounds and dogs being brought to the new dog park, and allow for redevelopment in the norther portion of the Recreation Grounds. The new route will require work to establish a 2.2-metre trail that maintains a distance from a creek that flows parallel to Cave Avenue and connects to the pond beside the sports field and track. The move will require an additional $182,000 on top of funding approved in the budget for the redevelopment plan, to be discussed in December during Service Review.
Banff Trail Riders, the commercial horseback trail riding business, will use the trail to move horses each day of their summer operation from the Sundance Road barns to the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel corrals. The movement of horses is required to service trail rides that operate out of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel area. The operator typically moves 15 - 30 horses each morning, and again in the evening, with four staff on horseback between May and October.
Banff expands eligibility for discount program
In an effort to improve affordability in Banff, council directed administration to add a second tier to the Banff Access Program so more people can access discounts and free programs. The new tier expands eligibility to join the program. Prior to the new tier, people in Banff whose income is up to 30% above the threshold that Statistics Canada defines as “low income” were eligible for free access to Town of Banff drop-in programs and a 50% discount on many registered programs and Roam Public Transit. Banff Access Program clients also receive discounts from many participating Banff businesses.
The new tier will allow people earning up to 50% more than the Statistics Canada low income cut-off to access free and discounted programs.
The current Tier 1 provides free access to some programs and a 50% discount in other programs for a 1-person home earning $32,939 or less; 2-person home with income of $41,007 or less; 3-person home with under $50,415; 4-person home with under $61,210 in income.
The new Tier 2 provides free access to drop-in sport programs and a 25% discount on other programs for a 1-person home earning less than $39,527; 2-person homes earning less than $49,209; 3-person homes with under $60,498; 4-person home under $73,452 in income.
Currently, there are more than 400 households – or 630 individuals – who are members of the program. Banff.ca/Access will be updated to provide cut-off income levels for all household sizes and free and discounted programs.
Affordable housing development to recognize heritage value
The Banff Housing Corporation development planned for 338/340 Banff Avenue will include recognition of the heritage value of the existing structures on the property, known as the Barrie Boarding House and Hindes Cabins.
Built in 1921, Barrie Boarding House is a two and one-half storey, wood-frame, Folk-style structure. The property includes two shingled, front-gabled cabins (Hindes Cabins) constructed in the vernacular style in 1927 and 1938, respectively. Barrie Boarding House remains one of the last examples of early boarding houses in the townsite, showing how development in the 1920s met the needs of increased tourism, due to the introduction of the automobile in the park.
When the Town seeks expressions of interest from construction firms to build the complex with for-purchase, price-restricted homes, proposals will be asked to include ways the heritage property could be commemorated. The Town of Banff will also seek to potentially relocate the structure to another property, in order to preserve the historic value.
2019 Melissa’s Road Race and Banff Marathon Report
Paul Regensburg, the event director for the Melissa’s Road Race and the Banff Marathon, provided council with a wrap-up report showing that the two events generated more than $18 million in economic impact in 2019 and provided over $72,000 in contributions to local charitable programs, while welcoming more than 37,000 people to the community. Council praised the organization for demonstrating leadership in environmental stewardship, which included purchasing and waste controls that prevented 90% of the waste generated in the marathon from going to landfill, and 93% in Melissa’s.
The Banff Marathon is known as the greenest marathon on Earth, and Melissa’s 40th anniversary event is considered the largest sporting event by participation in the Bow Valley.
Fast facts on the events include:
Banff Marathon June 16, 2019
- Total participants 2,250 with average of 2.4 accompanying visitors
- 11,783 total visitors, including visiting race volunteers and support businesses/services
- 31 countries, 11 provinces and territories, and 45 U.S. states represented
- $3.7M in direct local spending from all visitors
- $8.1 total economic impact from direct and indirect spending
- 52% said they learned something new about the park through the information and interpretive program
- $40K in donations to local programs
- Waste diversion 90.29%
- GHG offset 100%
- 100% green energy used
- 425 rides on Roam
Melissa’s Road Race, Sept. 28, 2019
- 4,500 participants
- 25,490 total visitors including participant friends/family, visiting volunteers and support businesses/services
- 8 countries and 12 provinces and territories represented
- 40% stayed in local hotels, 58% in regional hotels
- Over $8 million spent and over $10 million in economic impact from direct and indirect spending
- $32K in donations to local programs
- 93.2% waste diversion, up from 78% in 2018