Skip to main content

Health officials order Banff landlord to clean up rental home with dozens of tenants

Health officials have ordered a Banff landlord to clean up dangerous living conditions found at her rental home, where beds for 42 people were found.

The home was so crowded and chaotic, it prompted one concerned father to fly out from Ontario, to bring his daughter home.

Banff is a place young people come to live the mountain life for a season or two, and finding an affordable place to stay is one of the biggest challenges they face.

David Alter said he saw that first hand when he flew from Ontario to help move his daughter out of what he considered a disastrous living situation at the end of July.

"Well, one (concern) was just the lack of locks and security between rooms," Alter said. "For example, I was concerned by the number of people that were living there."

That was around the same time AHS told the owner of a Squirrel Street home she had to make immediate changes to what it considered "dangerous" living conditions.

The order said 42 mattresses were found in a residence that allows a maximum of 16 tenants.

One person was sleeping in a room with no exit window. There were holes in walls, and kitchens and bathrooms needed more cleaning.


AHS made a significant error on the order – listing a mother and daughter with a very similar address as co-owners. They are not and have no connection to the affected property.

Jackie Rogers operates a bed and breakfast at a home down the road – at 312 Squirrel Street. Rogers does not own the home named in the health order but says as a result of the error in the legal document she has been contacted by customers and neighbours upset at the mistaken connection.

“The backlash from friends and clients has been overwhelming,” Rogers says. The AHS order has since been corrected. She says she would like to see a formal apology and says she’s out of pocket for legal fees to clear up the error and protect her reputation.


Prior to referring CTV News to her lawyer, property owner Gail Morgan said those descriptions were unfair and inaccurate, and that inspectors counted box springs separately and included beds in storage.

The town said the maximum allowable number of bedrooms is "typically" six, and that "bedroom" comes with a specific definition.

"The Town of Banff Land Use bylaw doesn't regulate the number of residents in a building," said Banff planning and development manager Darren Enns, "But it does regulate the number of bedrooms and so that's something the town will be following up on based on this AHS enforcement."

Short-term housing for residents has been a long time challenge for the popular resort town. It's something planners are trying to address through accommodation requirements for major employers. Affordable housing options and zoning to allow for more mid-term rentals.

This incident, they say, is different.

"We believe this is an enforceable situation," said Enns, "And municipal enforcement is likely imminent on this building."

Other current and former residents said they paid between $650 and $750 a month there – and while it was busy and chaotic, they added that they didn't mind the conditions.

AHS has given the owner until the second week of September to fix the issues and pass inspection. Charges or fines have not been laid.

The owner said some of the issues were so minor they were fixed almost before the inspectors left.

It's not clear how many were living at the peak, but tenants estimate between 20 and 30 people. Top Stories

Stay Connected