Calgary and Banff
“The largest city in the Province of Alberta, Canada. It is located in the south of the province, in an area of foothills and prairie, approximately 80 km (50 mi) east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. The city is located in the Grassland region of Alberta. In 2006, the City of Calgary had a population of 988,193 making it the third-largest municipality in the country and largest in Alberta. The entire metropolitan area had a 2006 population of 1,079,310, making it the fifth-largest census metropolitan area (CMA) in Canada. In 2009, Calgary's metropolitan population was estimated at 1,230,248, raising its rank to fourth-largest CMA in Canada. Calgary is well-known as a destination for winter sports and ecotourism with a number of major mountain resorts near the city and metropolitan area. Economic activity in Calgary is mostly centered on the petroleum industry. Agriculture, tourism and high-tech industries also contribute to the city's economic growth. In 1988, Calgary became the first Canadian city to host the Olympic Winter Games.” Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calgary [accessed June 30, 2010].
“Set in the heart of Banff National Park and snugly embraced by Alberta's Rocky Mountains, the little town of Banff boasts a big, worldwide reputation. Its charming streets are abuzz year round due to an annual influx of millions of visitors, and this famous mountain resort town caters accordingly with world-class shopping, dining and accommodation. At first sight it's apparent why the world is in love with Banff. From the ever-watchful Cascade Mountain to the picturesque Bow River, the community is blessed with a spectacular natural setting, woven with parks, woods and trails. Winter turns the area into a snow sport enthusiast's dream; the Sunshine Village Ski Resort and Norquay attract a global deluge of skiers and snowboarders, while cross-country skiers, snowshoers and ice climbers explore numerous local trails. Banff is an ideal base for hiking and wildlife viewing excursions into surrounding park areas during summer and provides a popular weekend retreat throughout the year with excellent restaurants, day spas and the Banff Upper Hot Springs. Located only 144 km (90 mi) from Calgary and close to Kananaskis Country, Canmore and Lake Louise, Banff is a convenient and much-loved mountain paradise.” Source: http://www.discoverbanff.com/ [accessed June 30, 2010].
About Banff National Park
“Banff is Canada's oldest national park, its fabulous and dramatic landscapes the first, best argument that Canada's abundant, spectacular wilderness was worthy of federal protection. Its 6,641 sq. km (2,564 sq. miles) of incredibly dramatic mountain landscape, glaciers, high moraine lakes, and rushing rivers make it clear no argument was to be made at all; this is one of the most gorgeous places on earth. If there's a downside, it's that everybody knows it. In the towns of Banff and nearby Lake Louise (though much less so in Louise), a walk on main street can have the odd sensation of walking in midtown New York at rush hour, and it's not because if the urbane sophistication the towns have cultivated; it's crowded, and the sidewalks can be shoulder to shoulder. Happily, the wilderness offers respite from the crowds and congestion. Banff Park is blessed with many great outfitters who make it easy to get on a raft, bike, or horse and find a little solitude. Alternatively, consider visiting the park off-season, when prices are lower, the locals are friendlier, and the scenery is just as stunning. For more information on the park, contact Banff National Park, P.O. Box 900, Banff, AB T1L 1K2 (tel. 403/762-1550; www.pc.gc.ca). Source: http://www.frommers.com/destinations/banffnationalpark/0113010001.html [accessed June 30, 2010].
About the Weather
Banff is all about mountains, wilderness, and changeable weather; it is fairly well sheltered and on average winter temperatures range from highs of 1ºC (32ºF) to lows of -8ºC (18ºF). Chinook winds often make for mild winters in Banff, and summer as well as winter conditions can be found during a single week. In November, downhill ski resorts will be open but probably making rather than measuring snow. For current conditions go to the Environment Canada site for Banff.
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