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Five Things You May Not Have Known About Banff

by K Gordon Schultz

Five Things You Might Not Have Known About Banff

Back in my youth, I wasn’t much in school. Only old George W. Bush could make me look the genius that I believe myself to be. However, there is one subject I have always excelled at my friends and that is Banff National Park, Banff Hotels, Banff activities, Banff restaurants. I even recently learned how to spell Banff correctly. Sure you guys know about the skiing, the hikes, the wildlife but I did a bit of digging around to bring you five interesting facts that you can brag to your friends about Banff.

1. The name Banff comes from Banffshire. Much of Canada was settled by Scottish immigrants who loved to name their new homes after their favorite places back home. Thank god their favorite place wasn’t Rottenville.

2. The town’s permanent population is about 5000 people (including Park Ranger) but explodes to about 30,000 in summer. This is why Park Ranger is always insisting you book your accommodations early. I have no more room on my floor!

3. Banff Springs Hotel is the biggest hotel in Banff but when it was built in 1888, it was the largest in the world. Built and decorated successfully to look like a Scottish castle (in Canada), it was built by a New York architect. If you can’t afford to stay here, it is still well worth a trip for a meal or tea at least.

4. Only about half the people who visit Banff are actually from Alberta. About 17% come from the USA while about 7% are European or Japanese. Quite the little melting pot up here!

5.  Castleguard Caves, northwest of Banff, is Canada’s longest and second deepest cave system.Unfortunately the cave is not open to the public (or even highly experienced Banff Park Rangers) as it is victim to unpredictable flooding in the spring and summer months. Still an interesting fact though, isn’t it?!

So there you have it, you are now more knowledgeable than you could ever have imagined. Please feel free to email Park Ranger with any questions about Banff that need answering. Everything from restaurants to hikesBanff Activitiesand hotels, I can share my vast depths of information. Just don’t ask me about anything outside the Canadian Rockies!

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