Banff is on a lake?

With all the environmental pressures in today’s corporate world, it is difficult to develop tourism assets such as a ski hill, for instance.

Dubai has created a way to extend its waterfront by pushing fill in to the ocean and creating new islands or peninsulas. They are so good at it they can even create pretty shaped islands. 

It was with some scepticism that I read last week’s article in several news outlets stating that Kelowna and indeed Osoyoos were ranked among the top lakefront resorts in Canada.

They were alongside some pretty lofty competition, such as Niagara on the Lake and Banff. 

Wait a minute,. Banff?

I guess Banff tourism officials may have visited Dubai and decided it was not a bad idea to create some custom islands in the Bow River, or perhaps, even consider creating a dam on the Bow River.

Perhaps the Bow Valley has changed since I had lived there 17 years ago. Indeed, it must have.


I started to consider how it was even possible in a national park to create lakefront property let alone turn a mountain town into an award-winning Canadian lakefront resort town.

Then, it dawned on me that two viable options existed:

  • Dredge the Vermilion Lakes, which might in turn restore some natural habitat for an almost extinct rare toad or such like. After all, Vermilion Lakes as I recall were close enough to Banff to qualify it as a lakefront resort town. 
  • Remove the dam at Lake Minnetonka, in turn restoring the valley to its former natural glory, flood the Bow River and benefit from some form of newly created lake in the Banff townsite. 

I have done my research and both options were not pursued. 

Instead,I went to Trip Advisor directly and looked at the award in detail. 

As it turns out, there is a small geographic error in the selection. Banff is a lakefront community award winner, yet conveniently keeps its lake in Lake Louise. 

If you have not been there, Lake Louise is, in fact, a separate town (and perhaps justifiably the winner) separated by a mere 57 kilometres.

According to the judging criteria, this may mean that Merritt, our cousins to the west, could be nominated as Canada’s true lakefront resort community by virtue of the fact that it is not really very far away from Nicola Lake, just a short car drive really.

Kind of silly to leave it in the awards article wasn’t it. I suppose the criteria was a little loose, but it is also extremely misleading for the world’s largest travel advisory site to include it as a lakefront resort town.


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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

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