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Banff/Vancouver for summer work.

Belfast, United...
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Banff/Vancouver for summer work.


Recently posted on Vancouver forum, about living and working there for summer. We are 4 Irish friends (age 21/22) wanting to come out at the start of May to live and work in Canada.

Was told about option of Banff, and its something ive definitely warmed to, but friends are still unconvinced and think vancouver would be better.

What would peopl advise?

Obviously good nightlife/party vibe is very important - (friends werent convinced banff had enough bars/clubs)

Job market - Ease of getting a good servers job in vancouver ( i know itll be relatively easy in banff)

Things to do during day - (Friends were worried Banff is too small and we'd end up bored if we were there for 11/12 weeks)

Weather - they think being in rockies, the weather wont be as good as in vancouver.

Any help anyone could provide would be much appreciated. Basically im all for banff, but friends need more convincing on its party-credentials

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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1. Re: Banff/Vancouver for summer work.

Well, in my mind, a party is all about who you are with and not so much the "where" of it. When I was your ages, I spent three summers in Lake Louise, which is MUCH smaller than Banff, and then moved up here to Jasper, which is a little more than half the size of Banff, and I still managed to get in enough partying to last me for a lifetime. ;->

If you pick Vancouver, you will probably find that once you have checked out a few bars, you will keep going back to just a few favourites anyway. The other complication about partying in cities is transportation logistics, which will likely be the main thing you will consider when choosing where to go out. Banff is small enough to walk everywhere.

Banff, like Jasper, is a very casual town. If you are wanting to go to "clubs", where you get all gussied up, then I would pick Vancouver for that.... not much of that here in the Rockies.

Banff is a logical choice if you are into outdoor pursuits like hiking - but there is also lots available in and around Vancouver. It's true, the weather in the Rockies will not likely be as nice as Vancouver - but the weather in the Rockies generally comes in from the west, so if the Rockies are having a cool, grey summer (like we had last summer), Vancouver likely will be having one too (which they did, too, last summer). Banff and the Rockies *can* get heat waves where we have weather into the 30s (C) for a few weeks.

Vancouver does have beaches; there are a few lakes in the Rockies that are "swimmable" temperatures later in the summer, but only after a spell of hot weather and usually only for a few short weeks, so that's another consideration.

It will be probably be difficult for you to find accommodation in Banff, and if you do, it will likely be expensive... but so will Vancouver. The Town of Banff website has information for people like you; including a section on Working in Banff, and this section on housing:


In my opinion, what it really comes down to is whether you and your friends want to be in a big Canadian city (in which case, Vancouver is an excellent choice), or a small town (in which case, Banff is an excellent choice).

P.S. Do you all have your working visas lined up?

Banff, Canada
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for Banff, Banff National Park
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2. Re: Banff/Vancouver for summer work.

Maybe this TripAdvisor page on nightlife in Banff:


will help you convince your friends, although it sounds as if maybe they should read this page as well:


(you may have to paste that latter link into your browser).

Edited: 08 January 2012, 16:48
Banff, Canada
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for Banff, Lake Louise
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3. Re: Banff/Vancouver for summer work.

Welcome to the message boards COnall.

I think your decision comes down to what are your interested in doing during your time off. Banff has lots of job opportunties in the summer and great outdoor activities such as hiking, whitewater rafting, cycling, canoeing, horseback riding plus good nightlife for a town of 8,500 (3 nightclubs, lots of great bars). The benefit of being in Banff as well is that many other people who work here are also from other countries such as Ireland, the UK and Australia so you will be able to meet lots of other people on working holiday visas who are here to have fun.

If you are looking for work in Banff you should definitely find out if any jobs have staff accommodation as finding work is easier in summer but finding a place to live can be very difficult.

As far as weather is concerned, summer takes a little bit longer to arrive in the Rockies but once it does it can be amazing.

This link gives you an idea about average temperatures and precipitation in Banff area. pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/banff/visit/visit10.aspx

This link has information about weather, temperatures and precipitation in Vancouver area. …weatheroffice.gc.ca/climate_normals/…

Vancouver would probably have a climate similar to the UK and Ireland.

With Banff you would have the opportunity to live in a UNESCO World Heritage Site and explore the Canadian Rockies. Plus you will only be 90 minute drive from Calgary, a city of about 1 million, and home to the Calgary Stampede, which is 10 days of celebrations along with the rodeo.

Whatever you decide, you should take some time to explore the country. Enjoy!


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4. Re: Banff/Vancouver for summer work.

Hi, C0nall. We just got back from 5 days in Banff. Here's my take, for what it's worth.

If you are geared up for a party scene, then I'd recommend Vancouver. Overall, I loved Banff and hated to leave. But it was the skiing, hiking and scenery that was so awesome. We did a few circuits of the bars in town, and found them to be pretty disappointing. They mostly had a "reaturanty" vibe to them. There were no cool hole in the wall places or funky music bars. They all felt pretty generic, with little to no character.

We're a bit long in the tooth for the clubs, so admittedly I can't speak to that scene. And it's true that the town seemed to be almost entirely populated by 20-something Aussies and Kiwis, with the odd Brit thrown in for good measure. But as someone who regularly hits the bars at home and away, I'd have to say that the nightlife in Banff is kinda lame. Or at least the non-dance club night life. I think it would get old pretty fast.

Again, this is no disparagement of Banff in general --- it's a wonderful spot. I just wouldn't make that my base of operations if the aim was to party it up.

Note that being in Vancouver you'd also be close to some other amazing mountain venues (like Whistler) and be within striking distance of Seattle, which might make your visit here a bit more fun as well.

Just sayin'....

5. Re: Banff/Vancouver for summer work.

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