One of the most commonly heard comments about Jasper is that it feels like more like a friendly, small town than a tourist town.
Much of the reason for this comes from the fact that nearly one quarter of Jasper’s population has no dependency on tourism. Canadian National, Canada’s largest railroad, employs hundreds of people who call Jasper home. That influence is felt even in downtown Jasper. There is a real community in Jasper.
Swimming pools, meeting facilities (small and conventions), hockey and curling arenas, climbing wall, tennis courts and loads more at the Jasper Activity Centre. (See our map for it’s very central location.)
But a real tourist town it is as well. Makes for a unique living situation.
To see how some Jasperites enjoy the Park, go to How We See Ourselves.
Below are answers to the questions of general Jasper interest regularly arriving in our e-mail.
Did you know that nobody in Jasper owns the land under the house they live in or business they run?
Rich Potter of Royal LePage Summitview Realty, has some very valuable observations on the unique real estate situations of living in Jasper National Park .
What’s the population of Jasper?
Simple question, complex answer.
In in most communities people are hired to go to each household and take a count of the number of people living there. The total number is the town’s population.
In Jasper the population changes drastically from season to season. To answer how many live here, when and who also have to be considered. What time of year? Is the person being counted going to be here next season or for that matter, next week?
A couple of years ago, to account for federal and provincial tax and funding questions, a town census was taken. The parameters for this census had to accommodate the seasonal changes and the transient nature of the citizenry.
The final figure accepted was 4643.
Please remember that in the middle of the summer there can easily be 30,000 people in and around the town. All of them need food and lodging. All of them drink water and flush toilets. Most of them rent videos and will look for a liquor store. The movie theatre better have the latest Hollywood releases.
So Jasper’s 4643 souls gets to enjoy the benefits of a town of 30,000 most of whom have a holiday state of mind.
What is the weather like?
To most people weather is subjective.
If you live in Western Canada you probably already know that Jasper is at the same latitude as Edmonton. But you may not have relized that because of the protective nature of the Canadian Rockies, we enjoy softer (warmer) winters and ever so slightly cooler summers.
If you live in the rest of Canada, other than the far north, we have colder, longer winters and shorter summers of equal warmth, than you do.
If you live in the far north, we’re spoilt like the rest of the Southerners.
If you live in Europe, think Sweden or Norway.
If you live in the U.S.A. this will get a little more complicated. We are far enough north that it can be minus 40 in January. In mid August expect to be able to wear your favourite shorts at noon but bring a jacket for the evenings.
Snow falls in every month of the year if even only on the tops of the mountains.
Winter days are short.
Summer days will let you read a newspaper outside in late June at 10:30 in the evening.
Autumn, winter and spring are long. Summer is all too short. Spring and autumn are “best kept secrets” with terrific weather and no crowds.
(It doesn’t matter if when you read this you don’t already have your summer reservations, you are in trouble.)
We are not so far north that Eskimos live here.
None of us live in igloos.
I’m thinking of moving to Jasper. What’s the housing like?
There isn’t any and what’s here is extremely expensive.
The town of Jasper is physically limited in size by geography. The Athabasca River on one side and the Pyramid Bench (an elevated plain at the base of Pyramid Mountain) on the other turn Jasper into a long skinny community. Even stronger are the limitations to its size due to the fact that it exists in Jasper National Park.
As such, the Federal Government of Canada controls (that is, limits) all development, commercial and residential. Hense housing is expensive.
Click here to learn more on this subject from the pro: Rich Potter of Royal LePage Summitview Realty.
This summer I’d like to work in Jasper. Can you pass the enclosed resume off at a couple of hotels or restaraunts?
A good hint though is to use the pages here in “visit-jasper.com” to contact individual companies.
Having said that, there are lots of jobs, most at minimum wage, available in Jasper; just no housing. (See above). Many employers have staff accommodations as part of their operations.