Choosing Between Canmore and Banff

Banff or CanmoreBanff or Canmore?

Both featuring plenty to do, breathtaking scenery, and an abundance of attractions drawing tourists from aroudn the world, Banff and Canmore are two of the top destinations for people looking for a new property to buy. 

Whether you are looking for a gorgeous place to retire, an ideal vacation home setting, or a new home to blend your remote job and love for outdoor recreation, either Banff or Canmore may be the right choice. 

If you feel a bit stuck, keep reading. And as always, contact us any time to learn more about this area and where you should buy your next property. 


Located inside Banff National Park, Banff is one of the most picturesque mountain towns you can imagine, with a population of about 8,000. There are many strict regulations in place in Banff, serving to protect the natural beauty of the state park. 

Banff is the hub of tourism for the Canadian Rockies and can be quite buys during peak months. There are a few chain restaurants, grocery stores, and a hospital in town for convenience, but it is not a major city by any means. In spite of being one of the most popular tourist destinations in Canada, Banff remains a rural mountain town with wildlife sightings of bear, elk, and deer all on a regular basis. 


A bit lesser known than Banff, Canmore is located just outside the gates of Banff National Park and is home to about 14,000 people. Surrounded by stunning mountains, Canmore is nestled in the Bow Valley and features a charming and walkable downtown area. 

Canmore was once a mining town, and after mining stopped it became a sort of overflow for when Banff was full. Then, in 1988 when the Calgary Olympics took place, the Nordic Center was built in Canmore and brought attention to the town as a destination of its own. 

How will you use the property?

If you are looking for a primary residence, both Banff and Canmore may be the right location. However, many of our clients are in search of a property they can enjoy as a vacation home, while utilizing it as a source of passive income when they are not using it personally.

Monetizing your investment in this way is a great idea, and many people are able to make the property pay for itself, or more! However, if this is your plan you should keep in mind that you will be limited to buying in Canmore. 

In order to preserve the natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies and limit the effects of having a town in the protected area, the town of Banff has strict regulations in place, like requiring a pass to the park to enter town. One of these regulations forbids using your home as a vacation rental. 

How do you feel about crowds?

Banff is more popular than Canmore, with more worldwide recognition and an extremely busy tourism season. The more people visit Banff National Park and share about it, the more people are adding it to their travel bucket lists. 

While both Banff and Canmore can become crowded during the summer months, Banff is the more crowded of the two. If you are looking for a peaceful mountain setting, Canmore may be a better choice for you. If you don't mind crowds and crave immediate access to Banff National Park, then a home in Banff will be perfect. 

Still have more questions? We would love to help. Contact us any time to begin the search for your ideal property. 

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