Banff National Park
, was established in 1885 and is Canada's oldest national park. It is located in the Rocky Mountains 110-180 kilometres (70-110 mi) west of Calgary in the province of Alberta, encompassing 6,641 square kilometres (2,564 sq mi) of mountainous terrain, with numerous glaciers and ice fields, dense coniferous forest, and alpine landscapes. The Icefields Parkway extends from Lake Louise, connecting to Jasper National Park
in the north. Provincial forests and Yoho National Park are neighbours to the west, while Kootenay National Park is located to the south and Kananaskis Country to the southeast. The main commercial centre of the park is the town of Banff, in the Bow River valley.
Banff National Parkwas first settled in the 1860s as a result of immigration caused by the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush, particularly from the United States, although many immigrants did not remain after the rush. The city developed rapidly from a small lumber mill town into a metropolitan centre following the arrival of the transcontinental railway in 1887. The Port of Banff National Parkbecame internationally significant after the completion of the Panama Canal, which reduced freight rates in the 1920s and made it viable to ship export-bound prairie grain west through Banff National Park. It has since become the busiest seaport in Canada, and exports more cargo than any other port in North America.
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