Banff is the premier resort town of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Nestled on the leeward side of the Continental Divide, it became a popular tourist destination in the early 20th century when the Canadian Pacific Railroad first laid tracks and built tourist resorts in and around Banff.
Today’s Banff is much larger than the Banff I remember visiting as a boy a half century ago. It still has great historic alpine charm and is in a magnificent natural setting, but during the summer the place is crowded with tourists –mostly Asian tourists (Japanese especially) but with lots of Europeans (Germans mostly). People who live in Alberta value and respect their visitors but tend to avoid the Banff townsite during the summer months, spending their time instead exploring their beloved mountains or in the nearby town of Canmore (situated just south of the Banff National Park border). “Leave it for the tourists” is a common sentiment; Albertans return to Banff during the shoulder seasons.
I did stroll through Banff late last summer and, as I’m prone to do, collected this assortment of signs:
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge and begin slideshow)