Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies
The downtown Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies (111 Bear St., 403/762-2291, daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m., adult $7, child free) houses the world’s premier collection of Canadian Rockies literature and art. Included in the archives are more than 4,000 volumes, oral tapes of early pioneers and outfitters, antique postcards, old cameras, manuscripts, and a large photography collection.
The highlight is the photography of Byron Harmon, whose black-and-white studies of mountain geography have shown people around the world the beauty of the Canadian Rockies. On the grounds are several heritage homes formerly occupied by local pioneers, including Bill Peyto, and a backcountry cabin used by wardens.
The Whyte Museum hosts town walking tours through summer. The most popular of these is the Historic Banff Walk, which departs from the museum daily at 2:30 p.m., taking around 90 minutes to traverse the historic parts of downtown; $8 per person.
The Heritage Homes Tour allows an opportunity for visitors to take a closer look at the historic residences located in the trees behind the museum, including that of Peter and Catharine Whyte. This tour departs in summer daily at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and also costs $8 per person.
Around 40 minutes is spent visiting the home of a prominent Banff family on the Luxton Home & Garden Tour. Departures are summer only, daily at 1 p.m.; $8.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition