Historic Banff Springs Hotel Photos

Author: Dan Brewer

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With an incredible setting in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the iconic Banff Springs Hotel is one of the most photogenic hotels in the world. This collection of Banff Springs Hotel photos celebrates the storied history of this luxury Banff hotel built by CP Railways in 1888.

This collection of Banff Springs Hotel pictures are primarily from Banff postcards from the 1900s to the 1940s. We have presented them by decade. Best efforts have been made to present accurate dates for these images of the Banff Springs Hotel history, but in most cases the actual date cannot be 100% verified.

the Banff Springs Hotel in front of Cascade Mountain  - Banff National Park, Canada.

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The Banff Springs Hotel is on the list. See what other hotels made our list of the best luxury hotels in Banff.

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Banff Springs Hotel Photos from The 1900’s

By the turn of the century, the Banff Springs Hotel had become one of the top resorts in North America. Eager to capitalize on its growing international fame, the Canadian Pacific Railway expanded and renovated the Banff Springs Hotel on an annual basis.

The Banff Springs Hotel images from the 1900’s decade showcase its wilderness setting, with Mt. Rundle and the Bow River making an appearance in most images.

Historical image of Banff Springs Hotel with horse drawn carriage and Mount Rundle - circa 1905.
CPR Banff Springs Hotel Postcard featuring Mount Rundle and a horse drawn carriage – circa 1905.
A 1907 picture of the Banff Springs Hotel above the Bow River Rapids in Alberta, Canada.
A Banff Springs Hotel postcard of the Bow River Rapids and the C.P.R. Hotel – dated July 8, 1907.
a historical postcard of original Banff Springs Hotel, Canada.
1907 postcard – Banff, Canada, Banff Springs Hotel and Sulphur Mountain.
A 1909 promotional painting of the Banff Springs Hotel in front of the Bow River and Mount Rundle.
A painted Banff Springs Hotel image from a 1909 postcard.

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The historic Banff Springs Hotel is every bit as magical today as it was in the 1900’s. Check the Fairmont website to book your stay at the Banff Springs Hotel.

Banff Springs Hotel Images from The 1910’s

The popularity of the Banff Springs Hotel resulted in many esteemed guests being turned away due to capacity issues. As a result, the CPR decided to ramp up their expansion efforts. As you can see from these historic Banff Springs Hotel images, the decade between 1910 and 1920 resulted in major changes to the hotel.

An image of the Banff Springs Hotel in 1910 in front of Mt. Rundle.
“CPR Hotel and Rundell [sic] Mountain’ – postmarked August 11, 1910.
Historical image of Banff Springs Hotel and Bow River in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.
Photo of original Banff Springs Hotel with Bow Falls – circa 1910.
A painting of the Banff Springs Hotel from 1915
A mother and child walk near the Banff Springs Hotel – circa 1910.

Written on the back of the Banff Springs Hotel postcard:

“The Banff Hotel, owned and operated by the Canadian Pacific Railway, is located at Banff in the Canadian Rockies. It is the headquarters of the Canadian National Park, an area of 5,732 square miles, embracing parts of the Bow, Spray and Cascade Rivers, Lake Minnewanka [sic] and several magnificent mountain ranges. It is the largest park in the world, being nearly half as large again as the famous Yellowstone Park.”

A historic picture of the Banff Springs Hotel and the Bow River at night under the stars and moon.
A 1918 Postcard of a moonlit Banff Springs Hotel in front of the Bow River.
1910s postcard of CPR Banff Springs Hotel, Mount Rundle and horseback riders.
Hand-tinted photograph of the Banff Springs Hotel with Mount Rundle in the background. Two horseback riders in the foreground. – Circa 1910-1920.
1915 Postcard of Banff Springs Hotel, Golf Club and Spray River.
1915 Postcard “Canadian Rockies – Banff Springs Hotel, Golf Club and Spray River”.
Photograph of the Banff springs Hotel from 1910s.
Banff Springs Hotel across from Bow River – circa 1911.
Guests of the Banff Springs Hotel enjoy the hot springs pools in 1915.
Sulphur Baths, Banff Springs Hotel, Banff – circa 1915.

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The Banff Springs Hotel remains the top resort in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. See our list of 70 reasons to stay at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.

Banff Springs Hotel Photos from the 1920’s

Disaster struck the Banff Springs Hotel in March 1926, when a massive fire destroyed much of the beloved Banff hotel. Repairs were conducted with remarkable speed and the hotel reopened in phases between July 1926 and 1928. The final 1920’s Banff Springs Hotel image showcases the new fire resistant hotel constructed from steel, concrete and stone.

images of Banff Springs Hotel from 1920s.
This 1926 image of the CPR Banff Springs Hotel shows an early rendition of the famous Banff hotel.
Colorized historic picture of Banff Springs Hotel from 1920s.
Banff, Alberta, Canada – circa 1920s.
Image of the hot springs pool at the Banff Springs Hotel from 1925.
Hot Sulphur Bath, C.P.R. Hotel, Banff, Canadian Rockies – Circa 1925.
Postcard image of Banff Springs Hotel in Canada - Front (estimated date 1920).
FRONT: C.P.R. Hotel, Banff Postcard – Circa 1920.
Message written on back of 1920s Banff Springs Hotel Postcard. 1920 Canada 1 cent stamp.
BACK: C.P.R. Hotel, Banff Postcard – Circa 1920.

To: Master T. Image
Springs Hotel, Banff
June 23rd/20

“Had a long run through the Prairies on Monday between Winnipeg & the Rockies.


Dear Tom: Arrived here Tuesday morning 8:45, staying here for a few days. This is in the Canadian Rocky Mountains & the most lovely spot we have yet struck. Mountains all round the Hotel & snow is on them all the year round. Ma & I have had a lovely swim in the sulphur pool this afternoon. This pool is filled by a warm spring. It was snowing here this morning.
Pa “


Postmark Date: 1920-06-24 Banff, Alberta

1920s photo of the open air hot springs pool at the Banff Springs Hotel.
Banff Springs Hotel postcard featuring Open Air Sulphur Baths.
Banff Springs Hotel photos are often taken from across the Bow River.
Historic Banff Springs Hotel photo from 1920s postcard.
A Rocky Mountain Tours automobile stops for a view of Banff Springs Hotel and Sulphur Mountain in the Canadian Rockies.
The logo on the car says “Rocky Mt Tours” – circa 1920s.
A view of the Bow River Valley and newly-snow-capped mountains from The Banff Springs Hotel in Banff National Park.
“View from C.P.R. Hotel showing Baths and Bow Valley, Banff, Canadian Rockies” – circa 1920.
Historic Banff Springs Hotel Postcard - The Hotel and the Bow Valley - hand colored - 1925-1940.
A hand colored postcard of the Banff Springs Hotel and the Bow Valley – circa 1925-1940.

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A hotel as beautiful as the Banff Springs Hotel has inspired a lot of beautiful artwork over the years. Browse Banff Springs Hotel prints and artwork for your home or as a gift.

Banff Springs Hotel Photos from The 1930’s

As you can see from the historic 1930’s Banff Springs Hotel pictures, the reconstructed hotel was nothing short of remarkable. Many described the 1930’s as the Banff Springs Hotel most glamorous decade, which was capped with a visit by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1939.

1930s image of 18th hole at Banff Springs Golf Course.
Front: 18th Hole at Banff Springs Golf Course, Banff, Canada – B.N.P. 30.
Back of Banff Springs Hotel Postcard from 1930s - Canada 1 cent stamp - Canada 4 cent stamp.

To: Mr. & Mrs. Ainslie

“Dear folks: Fun and frolic. Please try and come out on Sunday cause I’m lonely, miserable, and sick, but having fun. Deep in planning stunts with kids, church services with leaders. [?] new potatoes. Up to now, good meals but insufficient. Last night it poured and wouldn’t [?] … everyone had diarrhea (I think) except me. [Anne?]

A birds eye image of the Banff Springs Hotel from 1937.
“Bird’s Eye View Banff Springs Hotel and Bow Falls, Banff, Alberta” – circa 1937.
A painted image of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer in front of the Banff Springs Hotel, Canada.
RCMP sits atop a horse in front of the Banff Springs Hotel.
Hand colored photo of Banff Springs Golf Course and Banff Springs Hotel from 1930.
“Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, Alberta – from Golf Course” – circa 1930.

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Are you are interested in the fascinating history of the Banff Springs Hotel? If so, I highly recommend the book A Castle in the Wilderness: The Story of the Banff Springs Hotel.

Banff Springs Hotel Pictures from The 1940’s

With the onset of World War II, international tourism dropped, impacting the Banff Springs Hotel. The hotel closed its doors from 1942 to 1945 to support the war effort.

History of Banff Springs Hotel - image from August 1941 postcard.
Banff Springs Hotel postcard – Circa: August 1941.
Historical Banff Springs Hotel images - postcard with view of Banff Springs Hotel and the Bow River Valley, Banff, Alberta (1940-1960).
Postcard of the Banff Springs Hotel and the Bow Valley – circa 1940-1960.
Photo History of Banff Springs Hotel and Golf Course.
Postcard caption: “Banff Springs Hotel & Part of Golf Course, Canadian Rockies” – circa 1940-1960.
1940s image of Banff Springs Hotel, Tunnel Mountain, Bow River and Bow Valley.
Postcard caption: “Bow River Valley, showing Banff Springs Hotel, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. B.N.P. 3” – circa 1940.
Picture of the Banff Springs Hotel taken from or near lookout point on Buffalo Street. Sulphur Mountain is behind. (circa 1940-1960).
Image of the Banff Springs Hotel taken from or near lookout point on Buffalo Street. – Circa 1940-1960.
Hand-colored photograph of the Banff Springs Hotel with a panorama of the Rocky Mountains in the background. Hand-colored photograph by J. Fred Spalding 1943.
Hand-colored photograph of the Banff Springs Hotel – circa 1943.
Colorful 1940s postcard featuring an image of the Banff Springs Hotel, Alberta, Canada.
Colorful Banff Springs Hotel image – circa 1940s.
Banff Springs Hotel Photos from 1940s.
Banff Springs Hotel in the Canadian Rockies – circa 1940-1960.
A RCMP officer in full uniform sits on top of a horse in front of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.
FRONT
Back of Banff Springs Hotel Postcard from 1948 - Canada 3 cent stamp.
BACK

Dated: August 9, 1948

“Hello [?], We are here in Banff for the night. Cool today and quite chilly tonight – raining every other [?]. Wonderful mountains all around. We leave tomorrow for a motor trip to Lake Louise & will get back on the train tomorrow night. Hope you are ok. Love Elianior”

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Sources of these Historic Banff Springs Hotel Photos

The historic Banff Springs Hotel photos within this collection of images were sourced from the Internet Archive. Every effort has been taken to ensure copyright law has been respected. If you have a copyright concern, please contact us at info [at] travelbanffcanada.com with details.

More About the Fairmont Banff Springs

Standing at Aylmer Lookout Banff National Park

Dan Brewer, a life-long Alberta resident, calls Canmore home along with his wife and two kids. He is the co-owner of Travel Banff Canada, where he gets to share his passion for the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Dan, along with his family, love being outdoors doing one of the many activities they enjoy in the mountains: hiking, mountain biking, paddleboarding, skiing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

When he's not in Canmore enjoying one of his favourite local hikes, you can find him hoping on a plane to explore a new country with his family or working on one of their other two travel sites: Family Can Travel and Baby Can Travel.

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