Hello everyone, and three cheers for the summer weather!  There are a few general news items today, plus the highlights of what's coming to council on Monday.


Borrowing Bylaw:  Council has been asked to borrow up to $2 million in order to build an additional group of dressing rooms and similar program space while the new recreation centre facilities are being built.  This additional space would be largely for the use of the Banff Hockey Academy, but would also be used by visiting NHL teams, the summer hockey school, etc.  The hope is that additional ice rentals by these teams would pay back the cost of borrowing over 20 years.  This bylaw has been advertized for comment, but no comments had been received as of yesterday.  I voted against first reading of this bylaw -- while I very much appreciate the contributions of the BHA to our high school and our community, I think that the payback plan (which depends on a substantial growth in size of the BHA program) could easily lead to the Banff taxpayer being on the hook for this debt.  You may agree, or you may want to support the borrowing bylaw -- whatever your point of view, you can provide input to council by sending an email to municipal.clerk@banff.ca and stating that you want it presented to the council meeting on Monday.

Land Use Bylaw:  The town planners will have some ideas about residential density ready for your input by mid-June.  If you belong to a group or a neighbourhood that would like to have a special presentation/feedback meeting, they would be happy to oblige.  Check in with senior planner Darren Enns to arrange this:  darren.enns@banff.ca


The BCHS grad class is having a flea market tomorrow, Saturday May 23, in the high school gym from 9 am to 4 pm.  Bike auction at 1 pm.  This is an important fundraiser for the grad class, so please consider doing a little bargain-hunting!


You can see the whole council package at


Two borrowing bylaws

Council will be deciding on the proposed borrowing described above, and also on another borrowing bylaw for $300,000 for mechanical systems for the new fleet shop.  This second borrow is an odd one -- it is at 0% interest and allows us to access a further $300,000 in grants.  It's all part of the Green Municipal Fund.  You can see the report by clicking on the link to the council package (above) and scrolling down to page 19.

Request for street vending

Council is being asked to allow a hot-dog vendor to operate in the downtown this summer.  This is presently not allowed under the Town's policies, although Parks Canada has allowed street vendors to operate in their Banff Avenue parkette for the past couple of summers.  You can see the proponent's letter in the council package (page 11).

Sidewalk cafe pilot program

Planning staff is recommending that the town allow some sidewalk seating on a pilot basis in the coming summer (page 41 of the package).  I love the idea of outdoor seating, but our new sidewalks already seem so full of people that I'm concerned about creating pedestrian congestion.  What do you think?


You will have heard about the water main break at Banff and Wolf a few weeks ago -- this happened because the Banff Refreshing contractors did not close off an unused portion of old water line properly.  They are responsible for all costs related to the repair.  Unfortunately, the repair work will cause some disruption.

The waterline repair and water shutdown to adjacent properties will take place on Tuesday, May 26 from 10 pm to 5 am.  Because the crosswalk will need to be replaced, there will be an extended traffic shutdown of both northbound lanes of Banff Avenue while the new pavement cures, from May 25 to June 8.  Traffic will be rerouted, with one lane running in each direction.

Hello everyone, and happy Mothers' Day to all you moms and grandmoms out there.

Here are a few highlights from what's coming to council tomorrow.  You can see the entire council package at:


On-street parking on the west side of Bow Avenue 

Council will be asked to make the west side of Bow Avenue part of the town's parking supply on a permanent basis -- you can see the report starting on page 39 of the council package.  There are pros and cons to this, the pro being that it encourages some people to use the riverside trail and takes pressure off the downtown parking, the cons being that it creates a car-oriented atmosphere on Bow Avenue, something the town once hoped to avoid.  I've heard from two people who are opposed to this parking proposal and one who is adamantly in favour.  I'm still undecided, because I am anxious to prevent additional pressure for another parkade, but I like the idea of Bow Avenue being a more peaceful setting.  I'm going to listen to the discussion tomorrow and then decide.

Recreation Centre update

As I explained in my last update, we've been in a bit of a tough spot because of unexpected changes in the province's MSI funding.  However, we now have an indication that the funding will be 75% of what was expected.  With this in mind, the staff has gone back through the capital budget (see below) and moved things around in order to make it possible to do the recreation centre work without having to pay back the debt from our Banff tax base. 

If you go to the rec centre report on page 65 of the council package, you can see the drawings of the site and the building, plus renderings of how it will look in place.

Capital budget update

Starting on page 84 of the council package, you can see the report on how the capital program will change to accommodate the lower funding from the province.  I think that the staff have come up with a very solid approach to this problem.  Here are the changes:

  • Because water conservation measures have slowed the rate of increase in water demand, we're not building an additional water well - we're acquiring a complete set of backup parts for the existing wells instead.
  • Spray Avenue reconstruction has been delayed by two years.
  • St Julien's new sidewalk and storm sewers will still be built on schedule, and the road will be resurfaced, but the deep work (water and sewer lines) has been pushed back by 10 years.  When the water and sewer are redone in the future, the sidewalk and storm drainage will not be affected.
  • The condition of the system that carries sewage under the river toward the waste water treatment plant has been thoroughly checked, and work on it can be delayed for 10 years.
  • The order in which we replace existing large equipment such as the grader and the Zamboni has been changed to replace the highest-repair-cost items earlier.