Editor’s note: The following is a press release from the Town of Canmore, Canada’s highest town that’s not in a National Park. It shares the Bow Valley with Banff and Lake Louise.
The Town of Canmore has declared a State of Local Emergency (SOLE) to take additional measures to protect the Canmore community. While the SOLE allows us to take additional action within the municipality, it does not allow us to close the highway, which is under provincial jurisdiction.
Love our mountains…later. We love our Calgary and area neighbours, but this is not the time to visit Canmore. We urge Calgary and area residents to stay home in their community where they have familiar support networks, and we look forward to welcoming them back to the mountains and wilderness when we are through this crisis.
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Banff emergency services are stopping vehicles at checkstops to discourage visitors from going into the townsite. Businesses are closed, only providing essential services for residents, and vehicle access is closed to national park trailheads. Travel creates too great a risk of coming in contact with, or spreading, COVID-19. Checkstops are providing public health information, such as this message from Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Medical Officer of Canada: “During important religious observances such as Easter, we need to not let down our guard. That means dinners and celebrations need to be restricted to your existing household members only. Make arrangements now for virtually connecting with others through phone and on-line methods.” Stay home, stay safe. #banff #townofbanff #banfftown #covid19
We are actively discouraging visitation by working closely with our destination marketing organizations and conducting media interviews with Calgary news outlets, while also strengthening the messaging on electronic signage at the entrances to the Town of Canmore. Our most important message to you is to please avoid all non-essential travel to help stop the spread. This also applies to local Canmore residents who need to follow social distancing guidelines and avoid trips outside of Canmore.
We encourage the safe and responsible use of our municipal trails and parking areas by residents. We are monitoring key trailhead parking lots, installing ‘no parking’ signs along adjacent roadways, and posting ‘local traffic only’ signs at the access to residential areas adjacent to key trailhead parking lots.
Finally, we are posting physical distancing reminders along main municipal trails and temporarily closing access to the boardwalk trail. Please respect closures and do not park in adjacent areas to access closed facilities. Vehicles will be ticketed for parking in areas near trailheads where there are ‘no parking’ signs
This is a stressful time for everyone, and it is important to show compassion and understanding of others. This is a time for community, for caring, and to show the Canmore spirit. Stay home and stay safe.