Jasper Vacation Rentals
Although you may see homes or condos advertised as such, vacation rentals are not legal in Jasper National Park. The risks you incur if staying at an illegal vacation rental include: 1) You may lose your deposit if the rental operation is shut down prior to your stay 2) The vacation rental may be shut down during your stay 3) If you need to make an insurance claim, your insurance company may not pay out for a claim arising at an illegal vacation rental 4) Illegal means unlicensed, so there are no obligations for the owner to ensure fire and health regulations are followed
Why are vacation rentals illegal in Jasper National Park?
The reason vacation rentals are illegal in Jasper (and in Banff) is somewhat convoluted. All land within Jasper National Park is owned by the federal government, including land within the town of Jasper, which is leased by the government to residents and commercial landlords. Under the National Parks Lease and License of Occupation Regulations, residential leases restrict occupancy to eligible residents (for an overview of residential eligibility, visit the Parks Canada webpage devoted to “need to reside”) . The residency provisions exclude the ownership of homes for recreational use, thereby ensuring that residential lands are available exclusively for use by people who have a “need to reside.” And so not only is it illegal to purchase a property for personal recreational use, it is illegal for a homeowner (regardless of their own residency status) to rent their property—or part of their property, such as a basement suite—to anyone with no need to reside, which obviously includes anyone coming to Jasper for a vacation.
When is Jasper not Jasper?
If you look online, either through a search engine of a vacation rental site such as VRBO, you’ll see some properties listed as “Jasper.” Some may actually be in Jasper (the giveaway is no address and no exterior photos, making it harder for officialdom to track them down), but others are in a small subdivision of chalets just outside the eastern edge of the park near the Overlander Mountain Lodge. They are completely legal (and well worth investigating if you are travelling with a family or small group), but do be aware that they are almost an hour’s drive from the town of Jasper.
What are the alternatives?
Jasper has an excellent selection of hotels and lodges, some with larger units that include cooking facilities. Visit the Jasper hotels page for details.