Understanding Canmore Zoning

Aside from the great beauty of the natural surroundings and the differing styles of properties here in Canmore, there is one other aspect of the local real estate market that is important for people to know when beginning their search: the different types of property zoning. In addition to the "normal" residentially zoned properties, those which are intended for full-time living, there are a few other options that exist within Canmore real estate, each with certain attributes that can better cater to one buyer over another. Below is a list of the different types of property zoning* here in Canmore, as well the neighbourhoods where these types of properties can be found:

RESIDENTIAL

For those who wish to own and live in their home year-round, with no restrictions on personal use, and can also be rented out on a long-term basis should the home owner so choose. This is, as you would expect, the most common form of zoning found throughout Canmore, as seen in the list below and available for typical conventional residential mortgage financing at the most competitive interest rates.

Neighbourhoods: Silvertip, Eagle Terrace, Benchlands, Cougar Creek, Avens/Canyon Close, Canyon RidgeRiverstone, Palliser, Teepee TownSpring Creek, South Canmore, Lions Park, Larch, Town Centre/Railway, Hospital Hill, Rundleview, ProspectHomesteadsPeaks of Grassi, Quarry Pines, Three Sisters

TOURIST

Perhaps the most flexible zoning (though the smallest) within Canmore real estate,  Tourist-zoned homes not only permit full-time living, but also long- and short-term rental (nightly or weekly), whether it be owner managed or by a professional management company. It should be noted that these properties are taxed at a higher rate than residentially zoned homes and lower than Visitor Acoomadation zoned homes, but owners can apply to the Town of Canmore to be taxed at the residential rate if the property is declared as their primary residence, which makes for a significant difference in annual property taxes. This zoning combined with a front desk and or rental pool have made typical financing very challanging making cash purchases required unless there is no front desk and or rental pool then typical financing could be available. 

Neighbourhoods:  Bow Valley TrailSpring CreekTown Centre/RailwaySilvertip

VISITOR ACCOMMODATION

The third major zoning type found in Canmore, Visitor Accommodation provide an attractive price point for entry to the market for those that are only looking for semi-regular use. Almost all visitor accommodation units in Canmore allow for year-round personal use, with stays of up to 30 days at a time. When not being personally used, owners can choose to leave the units vacant until their next use, or they can place the unit in a professionally managed rental pool to generate income until their next visit, which can help offset the cost of ownership, such as property taxes, condo fees, and utilities. Most purchases are Cash purchases as no typical mortgage financing is available but a newer option is a commercial loan at an interest rate a bit higher than residential mortgage interest rates. (1-2% higher)

Neighbourhood: Bow Valley Trail

EMPLOYEE HOUSING

While these are essentially residential units, there a few buildings in Canmore that restrict ownership to either those that work a minimum of 20 hours in the Bow Valley, or have their own  or other's employees as tenants that meet the same work criteria. 

Neighbourhood: Bow Valley Trail

If you have seen a property through your private search website or elsewhere online and are curious to where it fits within these zoning categories, please don't hesitate to give us a call and let us help!

*Note that these descriptions are guidelines only, and are subject  to variations within each category. Please click here to read the current Town definitions of each zoning