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In pictures: The peculiar tale of Banff's 204 Wolf St.

Proposal to fill in the 'little canyon' in the town's core illustrates the challenges of building in a resort town

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In downtown Banff, a little building at 204 Wolf St. harkens back to the earlier days of the popular Alberta resort, before a redevelopment boom in the 1990s changed the look of the town’s downtown from humble one-storey frame buildings to upscale mountain resort architecture.

Town of Banff

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Shown here in February, 2000, this small piece of land and its existing building have remained in a time warp. While the rest of Wolf Street was redeveloped, a disagreement between the land owner and developers of the Cascade Plaza left it literally out in the cold. The plaza was built around it – surrounding the parcel on all but the street side with concrete walls.

Town of Banff

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Currently, the site is occupied by the Timbers Restaurant. Recently, Banff city council gave conditional approval for a new commercial redevelopment plan for the property. ‘If everything goes well, we may see construction in early 2013,’ says Josephine Tsu, of SDR Management of Calgary.

NORR Architects

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The proposal from SDR Management, which purchased the lot in 2004, is a new building that will result in a more harmonious streetscape while meeting Banff’s strict commercial property redevelopment rules.

NORR Architects

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In its proposed design for the property, NORR Architects reflects a mountain style while attempting to harmonize with adjacent buildings. With only 954.5 square metres of gross floor area to work – and no more – architect Ron Poon likens designing the space to “playing with a jigsaw puzzle inside a bag.”

NORR Architects

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