Banff Springs Hotel was designed by American architect Bruce Price in Scottish baronial style and opened to the public on 1 June 1888. It was commissioned by William Cornelius Van Horne, President of the Canadian Pacific Railway who recognised the tourism potential of the Canadian west as integral to the success of the Railway. ‘Since we can’t export the scenery,’ he said, ‘ we’ll have to import the tourists.’The iconic Banff Springs has welcomed international heads of state and celebrities for over 125 years. From the Royal Visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1901, to Princess Margaret visiting in 1958, the Castle in the Rockies has been a must visit stop on the itinerary of many prominent guests.Halfway up the internal staircase closest to the Bow Falls is a painting of William Davidson felling trees on the Miramichi River during colonial times. Davidson, who had grown up in Moray, close to Banff, Scotland, was the first European settler in this area of Canada and gave the name to the township and Park.The Hotel was designated a National Historic Site in 1992. As of 2016, there are 976 National Historic Sites in Canada , 171 of which are administered by Parks Canada.
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