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Van Lifers in Canmore Getting Bad Rap for Mass Gathering

Canmore is a busy town during the summer with tourists, climbers, hikers and other outdoor users using the small town as a base.

This summer has seen a rise in people living in their vans and it’s starting to get on residents’ nerves.

Near downtown is a strip of land used as an un-assumed between the climbing gym and grocery store. And it’s on that strip of land that dozens of vans have parked for the summer.

Cari Griffiths of Canmore wrote this following letter to the Rocky Mountain Outlook about the problem. Have a read.

Editor: I write to express my disgust at the large collection of vehicles permanently parked in the strip of land between Elevation Place and Save on Foods.

The occupants who sleep in these vehicles overnight can be seen early each morning preparing breakfast or trudging into Elevation Place to perform their ablutions. This community of transients is clearly displaying a flagrant disregard for the bylaw signs posted in clear view prohibiting both overnight parking and ‘camping.’

However, equally shocking is the apparent indifference of the Town of Canmore to make any effort to remedy the situation.

In my view, this spectacle is a blemish on the charm and elegance of Canmore and it is unfortunate that the elected authority of the Town would appear not to share this view given its apparent reluctance to enforce the bylaws which the Town itself has enacted.

If this problem is allowed to stand, perhaps taxpayers would be better served by closure of the bylaw services department so at least taxpayers might enjoy some economic benefit, rather than continue to endure the frustration of funding an ineffective arm of local government.

Van lifers in Canmore