Notes from the 2024 Banff Planning Forum

AMPPE joined stakeholders and First Nations at Parks Canada’s annual Banff Planning Forum. Superintendents Rasheed and Masse requested input for the Lake Louise Community Plan and provided updates on the 2020 Banff Park Management Plan and 2024 priorities.

Key highlights for members:


  • Overall, public transit usage rose by 56% compared to last year, with the Moraine Lake shuttle seeing a 63% increase. Parks Canada announced enhancements to transit services within and to the park, including collaborating with On it! Bus service will expand to routes from Calgary to Lake Louise. Additionally, Parks confirmed the reintroduction of park and ride service from Minnewanka on Canada Day in 2024.

Visitor Use Management

  • Parks Canada confirmed it is planning to implement new, site-specific visitor use management strategies. After developing plans for Lake Louise and Moraine Lake in 2023, Parks will turn its sites on Minnewanka and Sulphur Mountain Road in 2024.

Infrastructure Improvement

  • Work will begin this summer on the redevelopment of Caste Mountain Campground, phase 2 of the improvements to the east park gate, and the redevelopment of Lake Louise Drive.
  • Work on Lake Louise Road will also be starting this summer. Unfortunately, Parks Canada will not be including bike lanes in the newly developed road and has not identified when or if infrastructure for bike lanes is planned.

Lake Louise Area plan

  • In 2023, Parks moved forward on its plan to build an underpass in the Whitehorn Wildlife Corridor, expanded seasonal wildlife closures amid extremely high visitation, and continued its vegetation management to reduce the number of buffalo berry bushes around the village.
  • Plans for 2024 include monitoring and adaptive management of human use within the Fairview and Whitehorn Wildlife corridors and work on the Lake Louise Community plan.
  • Parks noted that the last updates to the Lake Louise Community plan were in 2003. The plan is aimed at long-range planning, ensuring the community stays relevant while retaining its special attributes.

Updates on other Management areas

  • Town of Banff – The 200 block in Banff has been saved for connecting to Canadians through the visitor centre. The lots will be ready for redevelopment soon. Parks has conducted a needs assessment and functional project review.
  • Initiated a pedestrian, cyclist and vehicular study in 2023. This continues into 2024.
  • The coming year will also see the release of the ‘What We Heard Report’. for the visitor centre and Parks Canada will continue design with public input

Minnewanka area plan

  • The coming year will see the completion of the first phase of public engagement; a final background and scoping report will be completed, and a draft plan outline will be completed.