Bison Courtyard

Bison Courtyard
Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4 Photo 5

Bison Courtyard is an environmentally intelligent building, designed to fits its surroundings: a town within a World Heritage Site.

The mixed-use building blends 30,000 square feet (2800 square metres) of retail, residential and restaurant space. There are three levels plus an underground parkade that incorporates an interpretative groundwater well. It was completed in 2005.

Eye-catching public spaces invite exploration and make the Courtyard a place to revisit. The building’s design – a shell that wraps around a courtyard – ensures that all ground floor businesses have a street-front presence. The centerpiece of the Courtyard, the Old Crag Cabin is one of Banff’s original buildings.

Pedestrians enter the courtyard from Bear Street or through breezeways on the south and west sides. They often pause in the sheltered outdoor space to take part in community events, savour the smell of the outdoor fireplace and bake oven, or enjoy the gardens as they gradually take root.

Bison Courtyard was built to step lightly on the Earth, reduce operating and maintenance costs, take advantage of natural light and ensure healthy indoor air quality.

Bison Courtyard is also unique due to the "Triple Bottom Line Incentive Program" offered to the building's commercial tenants. Tenants are eligible for rebates on their rent for undertaking initiatives that:

  • reduce environmental impact;
  • improve environmental performance; and/or
  • contribute to culture and community.

Some of many practices tenants have adopted as a result of this Program include:

Wild Flour Bakery Cafe regularly donates fresh bread to the Bow Valley Food Bank.

Alpine Medical Clinic has switched to an electronic charting system, and is striving to become a paperless office.

Botega Salon & Gallery hosts monthly art shows, and offers its gallery space to emerging local artists. They also conserve water by using low-flow, high-velocity sinks.

The Bison Restaurant's menu and suppliers are predominantly local and/or organic. Their take out food containers are 100% biodegradable.

Several tenants have switched entirely to eco-friendly cleaning products. The Wild Flour alone has reduced the use of chemicals by over 60%.