CANMORE -- Canmore town council has signed off on a new plan designed to curb illegal camping near the town's recreation centre.

Beginning in May, the town will permit camping in 50 parking stalls for $10 per night. The lot will be patrolled by security and will be equipped with washrooms as well as bear-proof garbage bins.

The temporary campground will close in October.

Dozens of people living out of their vehicles set up camp on a roadway near the railway tracks between the Elevation Place recreation centre and Save-On-Foods over the last few years. Some of the campers stayed for a single night while others spent months.

The high cost of living in Canmore as well as the expense of nightly accommodations have been cited as contributing to the illegal camping.

Concerns over the unauthorized campsite — dubbed "Vanmore" by locals — prompted the town to institute a rule in May of 2019 where residents were forced to break camp each morning for a period of two hours.