Canmore Lawyer, Jamie Stewart can practice in Alberta and BC
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Banff National Park Properties:



 Buying a Property in Banff is basically the same as buying a Property in Canmore, however there are TWO very significant differences:




        A somewhat controversial Regulation of the of the Canadian Government authorized under the Canada National Parks Act (the "Act") is what is commonly known as the "need to reside" rule and officially contained in the National Parks of Canada Lease and Licence of Occupation Regulations  (the "Regulation").

        A Buyer of Property in Banff National Park must meet the "need to reside" requirements of the Regulation and sign a Statutory Declaration confirming that they do.  It is NOT a prohibition against Non-Residents buying a Property in Banff as some people believe.

        You can read the Regulation in its entirety, however, there are two main points respecting a person looking to buy a recreational Property in Banff and satisfy the "need to reside" which are:

        1.  Section 4(1)(a)(i) of the Regulation states that "A lease of public land may only be granted to an "eligible resident"; and

        2.  Section 2(1) which defines "eligible resident" as follows:

"eligible resident", in respect of a park, means

(a) an individual whose primary employment is in the park,

(b) an individual who operates a business in the park and whose presence at the place of business is necessary for the day-to-day operation of the business,

(c) a retired individual who resides in the park and who, for five consecutive years immediately prior to retirement,

(i) was employed primarily in that park, or

(ii) operated a business in that park and whose presence at the place of business was necessary for the day-to-day operation of the business,

(d) a retired individual who resided in the park at the time of the individual's retirement and who resided in that park on July 30, 1981,

(e) an individual who is a student in full-time attendance at an educational institution that is located within the park and registered under the Income Tax Act or applicable provincial legislation relating to education,

(f) an individual who is a lessee of public lands in the park and who

(i) was the lessee of those public lands prior to May 19, 1911, or

(ii) is a descendant, by blood or adoption, of an individual who was the lessee of those public lands prior to May 19, 1911, or

(g) the spouse or common-law partner or a dependant of an individual referred to in any of paragraphs (a) to (f); (résident admissible)

        So, the only real Buyers for Banff Properties are those people who are going to be primarily employed or operating a business in Banff National Park or an Investor who buys the Property and rents it out to Tenants who are eligible residents.  For this reason, most Buyers of recreational properties are compelled to purchase outside Banff National Park if they want to use the Property for their own recreational purposes only.


        Properties in Banff are not owned in "Fee Simple", which is the highest form of Property ownership.  When you "buy" in Banff National Park, what you are really doing is purchasing a "Leasehold" interest in the Property.  The "Owners" of all of the Properties in Banff National Park are Tenants pursuant to the terms of their own individual Lease with the Her Majesty the Queen (Canadian Federal Government) being the Landlord.  For an example of a Lease, Click Here.  All of these Leases are for a term of 42 years with a right to renew.  You should not be concerned with buying in Banff National Park just because it is leasehold title; everyone does it and it works just fine.

        Additional information respecting Banff leases can be obtained by calling the Parks Canada Office in Banff at 1-403-762-1513. 

        Your Legal Fees will be higher when buying a Property in Banff National Park because of the additional step of having to get the existing Lease transferred.


"Delirium Dive" at Sunshine Ski Resort 


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