One of the biggest challenges you’ll face when you start working in Banff or Lake Louise is to find lodging. In many cases, staff accommodation is the cheapest and most fun solution. Everything you need to know I’ve outlined for you in this post.
I still remember it very clearly, I arrived in Banff on April 24th on a Working Holiday visa after a long train journey that had started in Ottawa. My idea was to work there for two months and then move on.
Less than a week later I found a job in a gift shop, right on Banff Avenue. On the floor above, there were six staff apartments. One of those I could rent for a reasonable price.
On December 6, I reluctantly pulled the door shut for the last time. I was finally going to see more of Canada (and the United States) as intended, but I absolutely didn’t want to leave Banff. It meant leaving my “home”.
I had been lucky. Not everyone who arrives in Banff finds a job right away, let alone a job including staff accommodation. On the other hand it doesn’t have to be very difficult. There are many companies in Banff with staff housing. Let’s have a look at how and where to find them.
Table of Contents
How much Does Staff Accommodation Cost?
Those who find jobs with staff accommodation pay rent for that accommodation, just like with regular home rentals.
Staff accommodation in Banff and Lake Louise comes in many varieties. Depending on the size and facilities, the prices for accommodation can vary considerably. According to the Job Resource Centre Staff Housing Guide (2019), the average price for staff accommodation in Banff is about CAD 475 per month. The average price for Lake Louise staff housing is CAD 395.
During your application, ask if your potential employer has staff accommodation and how much it costs. Life in Banff is expensive. The more you pay for your staff accommodation, the less is left for your life outside of work, obviously.
You will be asked to pay a security deposit at the beginning of the rental period. This is usually between CAD 300 and CAD 600. You will get the money back at departure if you left the accommodation intact.
What to Consider when Renting Staff Accommodation?
If you have found a job with staff accommodation in Banff or Lake Louise, congratulations! However, there are several ifs and buts when renting such staff accommodation.
It is good to know that in most cases you will have to share your room, studio, or apartment with a roommate (who’s usually still unknown to you). The same goes for the kitchen and bathroom.
Furthermore, you can count on restrictions from your landlord regarding the possibilities with your accommodation. For example, not all employers will allow guests to spend the night in your accommodation.
Also, it’s not self-evident that your accommodation is at the same location as your work. Therefore, take a good look at how far your staff accommodation is from your work. Fortunately this is hardly a problem in most cases. The town of Banff is so compact that almost all distances between your work and your accommodation are easily covered on foot.
TIP: In case you’re a foreigner you also might want to check out the 6 handy tips to find a job in Banff as a foreigner.
What if You Want to Work as a Couple?
If you want to work as a couple in Banff, keep in mind that there may be no place (anymore) for your partner in case you find work. You have to be lucky that your employer allows you to stay in staff accommodation as a couple. Some employers do, but they are far outnumbered by employers who don’t.
If you both find work with the same employer, chances are that you will move into staff housing together. In Banff and Lake Louise, many employers have no problem with this. See the overview below.
Overview of Staff Accommodation
Here’s a handy overview of all Banff and Lake Louise employers that offer staff accommodation. It also indicates whether you can have guests stay over, whether you can get accommodation as a couple with the same employer, whether you can get accommodation as a couple if one of the two works somewhere else, whether children are allowed, and whether pets are allowed. This way you can determine in advance what would be a good employer for your situation.
|Banff Aspen Lodge||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Banff Caribou Lodge & Spa||✗||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Banff High Country Inn||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✗||✗|
|Banff Hospitality Collective||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Banff International Hostel||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Banff Lodging Company||✗||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Banff Park Lodge||✓||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Banff Ptarmigan Inn||✗||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Banff Rocky Mountain Resort||✗||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Banff Royal Canadian Lodge (Marriott)||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Bear Street Tavern, the||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Boston Pizza – Banff||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Bow View Lodge||✓||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Buffalo Mountain Lodge||✓||✓||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗|
|Chili’s Grill & Bar||✗||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Dancing Sasquatch Nightclub||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Discover Banff Tours / Banff Trail Riders||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets||✓||✗||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗|
|Earl’s Kitchen + Bar||✓||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Eddie Burger + Bar||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Elk & Avenue Hotel||✓||✓||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗|
|El Patio – Magpie & Stump||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Fairmont Banff Springs||✗||✓||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗|
|Fox Hotels & Suites||✗||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|HI Banff Alpine Centre||✓||✓||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗|
|Hidden Ridge Resort||✗||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Inns of Banff||✗||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Irwin’s Mountain Inn||✓||✓||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗|
|Juniper Hotel & Bistro||✓||✓||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗|
|Keg Steakhouse and Bar, the||✗||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|King Edward Hotel||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Lake Minnewanka Cruise||✓||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Lux Cinema Banff||✗||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Magpie & Stump||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Maple Leaf Grill and Lounge, the||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Meatball Pizza & Pasta, the||✗||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Moose Hotels & Suites||✗||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Mount Royal Hotel||✓||✓||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗|
|Old Spaghetti Factory, the||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Park Distillery Restaurant + Bar||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Red Earth Spa||✗||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Rimrock Resort Hotel, the||✗||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Rocks & Gems Canada||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Rundlestone Lodge, the||✓||✓||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗|
|Sunshine Village Ski & Snowboard Resort||✓||✓||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗|
|Tim Hortons – Banff||✗||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Tony Roma’s Steakhouse Restaurant||✓||✓||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗|
|Tunnel Mountain Resort||✗||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Ultimate Ski & Ride||✗||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Wild Flour Bakery||✗||✗||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|YWCA Banff Hotel||✓||✗||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗|
|Baker Creek Mountain Resort||✓||✓||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗|
|Castle Mountain Chalets||✓||✓||✗||✗||✓||✗||✗|
|Fairmont Château Lake Louise||✓||✗||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗|
|HI Lake Louise Alpine Centre||✓||✗||✗||✗||✓||✗||✗|
|Javalanche Café / Lake Louise Husky||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Laggan’s Mountain Bakery & Delicatessen||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✗||✗|
|Lake Louise Inn||✓||✗||✓||✓||✓||✗||✗|
|Lake Louise Ski Resort||✓||✓||✓||✗||✓||✓||✗|
|Lake Louise Village Grill & Bar||✓||✓||✓||✓||✗||✓||✗|
|Moraine Lake Lodge||✓||✓||✓||✗||✓||✗||✗|
|Post Hotel & Spa, the||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✗||✗|
|Storm Mountain Lodge & Cabins||✓||✓||✓||✗||✗||✗||✓|
|Village Market, the||✓||✓||✗||✗||✓||✗||✗|
|Wilson Mountain Sports||✓||✗||✓||✓||✓||✗||✗|
PB: private bedroom
CR: ability to choose your roommate
CF1: couple friendly, if both partners work for the same employer
CF2: couple friendly, if the other partner is employed elsewhere
OG: overnight guests allowed
CF: children friendly
Advantages of Staff Accommodation
The advantage of staff accommodation in Banff and Lake Louise is how easy it is to meet new people. If you have to share your room, which is usually the case, you automatically get to meet new people.
Furthermore, in many cases, you sleep in a building with colleagues. As a result, you can get to know them better outside of the workplace and will soon have a companion to go out with or go hiking with.
Because your social circle often expands quickly through the people at your staff accommodation, you are more likely to be introduced to employees of other companies through a colleague. Everyone has their own network after all. Even if that network is small because you haven’t lived in Banff or Lake Louise for very long.
Disadvantages of Staff Accommodation
The size of your room, studio, or apartment is the biggest drawback of staff housing in Banff and Lake Louise. These lodgings are typically quite modest. Additionally, you typically have far less privacy than you are accustomed to because you are sharing a space with another person.
Additionally, the majority of positions in Banff pay so little that you must rely on staff housing to make ends meet. You’ll be confined to staff housing as long as you maintain your employment.
Biggest Employers with Staff Accommodation
In Banff and Lake Louise there are several large employers. Because they hire many temporary workers each peak season, they also provide staff accommodation.
Biggest Employers in Banff with Staff Accommodation
|EMPLOYER||ADDRESS||JOBS HIGH SEASON||JOBS LOW SEASON|
|Fairmont Banff Springs||405 Spray Avenue||1350||1050|
|Banff Lodging Company||229 Bear Street (third floor)||1100||1000|
|Sunshine Village Resort||1 Sunshine Access Road||750||350|
|Pursuit Collection||100 Gopher Street||700||300|
|Banff Hospitality Collective||128 Eagle Crescent||625||500|
|Banff Centre||107 Tunnel Mountain Drive||618||598|
Biggest Employers in Lake Louise with Staff Accommodation
|EMPLOYER||ADDRESS||JOBS HIGH SEASON||JOBS LOW SEASON|
|Fairmont Château Lake Louise||111 Lake Louise Drive||820||580|
|Lake Louise Ski Resort||1 Whitehorn Road||700||280|
|Post Hotel & Spa||200 Pipestone Road||150||130|
|Lake Louise Inn||210 Village Road||150||115|
Termination of Staff Accommodation
You can end your rental agreement early if your work is terminated. You do this with a written statement. It must:
1. Mention which accommodation it is (the exact address)
2. Be signed by you
3. Include the reason(s) for termination
4. Contain the date on which the rental agreement ends
Note: These rules also apply to the landlord (your employer).
Now you may be wondering how much notice your boss must give for terminating your lease (for whatever reason). In many cases, this is subject to the notice period required by law to terminate a tenant’s employment contract. In other cases, it may be the notice period agreed upon between the landlord and you. If the above does not apply to your situation, the notice period is one week.
Alternatives to Staff Accommodation in Banff
Of course you may find a job in Banff that does not provide staff accommodation. In that case, you have two concrete options. You can rent an apartment or house together with other (temporary) workers in Banff, or you rent an apartment or place on your own.
In both cases, you usually pay more for your accommodation than in the case of finding a job with staff accommodation. In the second case you are guaranteed to it being (much) more expensive. To give you an indication: The average price of a studio apartment starts at about CAD 1100. A one-bedroom apartment will cost you about CAD 1500. If you rent a three-bedroom apartment, you’ll pay about CAD 2500.
You also have the option of staying in a hostel or hotel. This option is also costly. In many cases, you will spend most of your income on rent. If so, you will need to have a lot of savings to live and work in Banff for a long time.
Where To Go in Case of a Dispute?
In the unlikely event that you have a dispute with your landlord that requires mediation, you can turn to the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS). The RTDRS is a quick, inexpensive and less formal way to resolve disputes.
The service provides you with support to resolve the dispute without court intervention. Should you need the services of the RTDRS, you can register your case on the website of this service. This will cost you CAD 75.
If you cannot afford this, you can apply for a waiver. You can download a waiver form from the RTDRS website. To do so, you must submit proof of income. Salary slips or a printout of your bank account of the last three months will suffice.
If you want to know more, go to this website.
Phone: +1 780 – 644 3000
4 thoughts on “Ultimate Guide to Staff Accommodation in Banff and Lake Louise”
thanks for this article, it was really useful 🙂
Great to hear! You’re welcome!
Do you think it’s better to live and work in Banff town or at one of the resorts like Lake Louise? I’m torn because Banff town sounds like so much fun, but the resort pays for your season pass!
That’s a difficult one. In Banff you have much more opportunities regarding night life, shops, restaurants, etc. And Banff sure is a lot of fun. However, I can imagine that the atmosphere among co-workers is very good at the resorts (don’t know for sure as I never worked at one of the three ski resorts). And a free season pass sounds good! Ultimately, if your job pays enough, I’d go for Banff. It’s a very fun town to live. Lake Louise Village really doesn’t have much apart from the Samson Mall (which is basically just a strip mall). Good luck!