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New visitor reception centre for Waterton Lakes National Park

The new visitor reception centre will be located in the centre of the Waterton Lakes National Park townsite.

The new visitor reception centre will be located in the centre of the Waterton Lakes National Park townsite.

A $7.6-million visitor reception centre for Waterton Lakes National Park will be built on Windflower Avenue near the entrance of the townside campground.
“This is the most important of all the new projects in Waterton Lakes National Park,” said Ifan Thomas, field unit superintendent for Waterton Lakes National Park.
“This reception centre will welcome Canadians and visitors from around the world, and provide them with opportunities to learn about the park’s cultural and environmental significance and its international status as part of the world’s first International Peace Park and World Heritage Site.”
The government of Canada last July announced $107.5-million for projects in Waterton Lakes National park, including a new visitor reception centre.
The present 600 sq. ft. reception centre, built in 1958, no longer meets the needs of the park’s 477,000 annual visitors.
The number of park visitors has increased by more than 50 per cent since 2000.
Forty-five per cent of visitors are coming to the park for the first time.
It is also situated in a wildlife corridor and at a congested parking lot and trailhead for the Bears Hump trail, which is the most popular and most used trail in the national park.
The new visitor reception centre will be adjacent to the tennis courts and playground in the center of the town.
Parks Canada will consult on the design of the new facility in 2016. Construction of this new visitor reception centre will start in 2018, with expected completion in 2019.
Some parts of Waterton Lakes National Park will be closed while other infrastructure projects are completed:

  • Cameron Lake day use area will be closed from April to November.
  • Akamina Parkway will be closed from April 30 to November.
  • Red Rock Parkway is closed until May, when it will open for public use only on weekends until June 17.
  • Blakiston Falls viewing platforms are closed until June.

Established in 1895, Waterton Lakes National Park is Canada’s fourth oldest national park and forms the Canadian part of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.

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