Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen joined me on the show to talk about the newly released Community Social Assessment. This survey of over 700 Banff residents along with input from organizations and federal data provides an interesting snapshot of life in the community.  You can find the full report here – it’s a big read.  Here are some interesting summary points:

The top five strengths/assets themes:
• Small Town Community Feel
• Appreciation of Nature and Environmental Stewardship
• Quality and Variety of Services, Amenities and Programs
• Abundant Work Availability
• Population Diversity

Top five challenges:
• Cost of Living
• Living Where the World Visits
• Community Wellness
• Places and Spaces for Socialization and Recreation
• Shared Understanding

The Community Social Assessment included data from federal census and tax information. Key findings include:
• Banff’s median age is 35; Alberta’s median age is 41
• Banff has had very little population growth between 2011 and 2016, and the lowest growth out of 10 communities (for comparison: Banff grew by 3.5%; Canmore grew 13.9%; Cochrane grew 47.1%)
• 82% of Banff residents who filed taxes have an annual income below $60,000, compared to 65% in Canmore
• 20% of Banff residents are classified as low income, as compared to 14% for Alberta, 9% in Canmore
• Rental housing vacancy rate in Banff is 0.6%, and 11.7% in Alberta
• 11.6% of Banff residents live in what Statistic Canada classify as “unsuitable dwellings” based on crowding due to an insufficient number of bedrooms in a household for occupancy. This compares to 3% in Canmore, 4.5% in Alberta, and 5.7% in Jasper

Mayor Sorensen and I also spoke about the renewal of Banff’s popular solar rebate program and the public input sessions for the Bear Street Shared Street Redesign project, taking place in the Bear Street Mall foyer Thursday and Friday from noon to 5 PM and Saturday from 9 AM to noon.


Filed under: Banff, Banff Solar Incentive Program, Karen Sorensen