Understanding Canmore Zoning

One aspect of the local real estate market that is important to know as you begin your search for your property is which areas have the appropriate zoning bylaws suited to your needs. This is a brief synopsis to help you understand the different zoning bylaws in Canmore.
  
Residential Zoning
Includes single family homes, duplexes, fourplexes, townhouses and apartment-style condos.
 
This is the most common form of zoning found throughout Canmore and the Bow Valley Region.  The owner can live in their home year-round, or for as many days as they like, with no restrictions on personal use.  The home can also be rented out on a long-term basis by the owner or through a property management company.

Advantages:

  • No restrictions on personal use
  • Zoned for full-time living, part-time living, long-term rental
  • Applies to all types of housing styles

Disadvantages:

  • No short-term rentals permitted (30 days or less)
 
For those who would like to purchase a property for investment purposes, there are established property management companies that can provide services with varying costs, usually 7-12% of the gross rental revenue.
  
Tourist Zoning
Includes apartment-style condos only.
 
This is the most flexible form of zoning within the Canmore real estate market.  Tourist zoned homes permit full-time living as well as long and short-term rental (weekly or nightly) and can be rented by the owner, on sites like AirBnB or VRBO, or through a property management company. These properties are taxed at a higher rate than residentially zoned homes, but owners who use the property as a primary residence can apply to the Town to be taxed at a residential rate. This zoning combined with a front desk and/or rental pool can make traditional financing challenging to get requiring them to be cash purchases.
 

Advantages:

  • Most flexible zoning
  • Zoned for full-time living, part-time living, long-term rental (over 30 days), short-term rental (nightly/weekly)

Disadvantages:

  • Standard mortgage financing is typically not available
  • Cash-only purchases or commercial mortgage approval required
  
Visitor Accommodation
Includes vacation apartment-style condos only.
 
Visitor accommodation zoning provides an attractive price point in the Canmore real estate market.  It allows the owner to use the property year round for stays up to 30 days at a time.  The balance of the time it can be left vacant or be put into a professionally managed rental pool to generate income to help offset the costs of taxes, condo fees and utilities.  Most of these properties are required to be cash purchases as traditional mortgage financing is challenging to get.
 

Advantages:

  • Zoned for short-term rental (nightly/weekly), part-time living (less than 30 days at a time)
  • Vacancy is permitted when not in use
  • Hotel-style front desk management
  • Rental pool or self-management options
  Disadvantages:
  • Standard mortgage financing is typically not available
  • Cash-only purchasing or commercial mortgagee approval required
  • Maximum stays of 30 days
  
Employee Housing / Perpetually Affordable Housing (PAH)
Includes apartment-style condos only.
 
These are residential units that restrict ownership to those who either work a minimum 20 hours/week in the Bow Valley or have their own or other employees as tenants that meet the same criteria. PAH units are purchased from the Canmore Community Housing Corporation (CCHC) and maybe resale restricted.  See www.canmorehousing.ca for more information.

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Suzy Buckley

Mobile: (403) 678-0128

Phone: (403) 678-5113

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Office Info

Royal LePage Rocky Mountain Realty

101-710 10th Street  Canmore,  AB  T1W 0G7 

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