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Sulphur Mountain Weather Station

Banff National Park of Canada / Parc national du Canada Banff, Alberta, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1986/12/22

Side view of Sulphur Mountain Weather Station, showing its simple, one-storey massing with a hipped roof, 1986.; Environment Canada, Parks Canada Agency, Western Regional Office, 1986 / Environnement Canada, Agence Parcs Canada, Bureau de la région de l'Ouest, 1986.
Side view
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Other Name(s)

Sulphur Mountain Weather Station
Sulphur Mountain Observatory
Observatoire du mont Sulphur

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1902/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/02/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Perched on the top of an exposed ridge at the peak of Sulphur Mountain and overlooking the Banff townsite, the Sulphur Mountain Weather Station, also known as the Sulphur Mountain Observatory, is a small, plain, one-storey, stone building with a hipped roof. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Sulphur Mountain Weather Station is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value
The Sulphur Mountain Weather Station is associated with the collection of climatological data for the Meteorological Service of Canada. The data collected at the station made a significant contribution to the knowledge of the climate of the Canadian Rockies, and was part of an effort launched by the federal government to promote tourism in Banff National Park of Canada and to provide information for visitors. It is also associated with Norman Bethune Sanson, who was the meteorologist in charge of the Weather Station.

Architectural Value
The Sulphur Mountain Weather Station is a very good example of a vernacular meteorological observatory. It is built of limestone gathered from the top of the mountain to provide shelter, and its simple and solid construction was a response to the elements of its natural and wild site.

The Environmental Value
At the top of Sulphur Mountain, the Weather Station appears to grow out of the natural rock summit. It is a well-known landmark and is viewed from the Sulphur Mountain Gondola, which transports many visitors annually. The Sulphur Mountain Observatory, with its solid construction and indigenous materials, is compatible with the present character of its Rocky Mountain wilderness setting.

Sources: Sally Coutts, Sulphur Mountain Observatory, Banff National Park, Banff, Alberta, Federal Heritage Building Report 86-040; Sulphur Mountain Observatory, Banff National Park, Banff, Alberta, Heritage Character Statement, 86-040.

Character-Defining Elements

The character defining elements of the Sulphur Mountain Weather Station should be respected.

Its very good functional design, good construction and quality materials and craftsmanship, such as:
- its simple, one-storey massing with a hipped roof;
- its two feet thick walls constructed of local limestone.

The manner in which the Sulphur Mountain Weather Station is compatible with the present character of its Rocky Mountain wilderness setting, in Banff National Park of Canada.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

1986/12/22

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Leisure
Historic or Interpretive Site

Architect / Designer

Ralph Edwards

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

2819

Status

Published

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