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An intimate look at the humans of Jasper, Canada

If you had asked Todd Noble twenty years ago what his dream was, his answer would have been pretty straightforward...

2 Day Weekend Family Adventure

Embrace all the epic summer activities that Jasper has to offer – whether it’s a thrilling bike ride, a hike through the peaks or a leisurely day at the beach. Venture beyond on an unforgettable adventure with the family. 

Skill Level

2 Days
1180 M

Recommended Gear

Canoe, bike, hiking shoes

“My dream was to have a job working in a resort with my dog and my truck. To me, that was living the dream.”

For Todd, the seeds of this dream had been planted early on. When he was young, his Alberta-based family would gather in Jasper during the winters to ski. His love for, and familiarity with, the resort town culture stayed with him as he went off to college where he studied resort management. He enjoyed delving into the marketing side of things; it became his thing.

All the while, Todd continued to maintain his ties with Jasper. He came out to work as a ski patroller in the early 90s, but when that gig fell through he stuck around, taking a job at the Jasper Park Lodge for the rest of the winter instead. He worked throughout the Canadian Rockies in various capacities, but nothing was ever quite the same.

It was a combination of good timing and happenstance that eventually brought Todd back to Jasper permanently. While Todd was working through a practicum in Japan, the Canada West Ski Conference was taking place back in Jasper. In attendance were the then-new owners of the Jasper SkyTram, who were in search of new supervisors and management. They were given Todd’s name by recommendation from one of his college instructors and, by 1996, he had relocated to Jasper to join the SkyTram team.

“There was always just something that pulled me back to Jasper."

And so, Todd’s dream began to take shape. He rolled into Jasper with his truck, planning on using his time at the SkyTram as an opportunity to build experience.

“I had no intention of staying in Jasper,” he admits. “People will ask themselves, ‘how am I going to make a life in Jasper?’ A lot of people want to but don’t know how to make it happen.”

But through a lot of hard work and a touch of good fortune, Todd found a way. 

Today, he is still living the dream, even if that dream looks a bit different than it did twenty years ago.

For starters, he still works at the Jasper SkyTram. From the top of Whistlers Mountain, 7,500 ft above sea level, he can see the entire town site of Jasper. The town’s unique curved shape is reminiscent of a boomerang, and to him it’s a subtle reminder of the way this place always tends to call people back.

Todd has long since traded his would-be vagabond lifestyle for a life in Jasper. Gone is the truck; instead he lives in the house he shares with his wife, Maggie, and three children. Where Jasper was once a familiar place to start their lives together, it has since become a natural playground and unique community that they feel privileged to raise their family in.

While he watches his own kids playing and exploring – in both the town and the surrounding wilderness – Todd can’t help but be reminded of his own childhood growing up in Whitehorse.

“It’s fun watching the kids running around in a place like this because it gives me flashbacks to the way I used to play when I was their age,” he says. “I think that’s really important – there’s a sense of confidence that you get as a kid when you’re able to run around freely outdoors.”

Jasper’s tight-knit community lends itself well to raising family. Not unlike a storybook, it is a place where people take care of each other and who gather around when things get rough.

“The people you meet here, they become like family. You just need to make a point of getting out and getting involved in the community,” Todd says of life as part of Jasper’s local population. “Living in Jasper exposed me to new activities I never thought I’d do before.”

That easy access to boundless activities and a local culture that promotes venturing beyond the familiar is yet another piece of life in the park that Todd is grateful his children will grow up exposed to.

Some of their favourite family activities revolve around the water. The Nobles appreciate the opportunities the many rivers and lakes provide them to teach their kids to swim, canoe, and kayak with confidence. Hot summer days spent splashing about the shores of Lake Edith or gliding along the surface of Pyramid Lake are just as much about discovery and honing outdoor skills as they are about spending time together as a family.

Todd knows all too well that Jasper has so many activities to choose from that it can feel like there’s not nearly enough time to try it all. On his own during the warmer months he’ll likely choose to hit the trails on his mountain bike over anything else. With so many great ones to choose from, he has a difficult time narrowing down his favourites. He’s even gotten to know the best rides around town a bit better since breaking his wrist last year. A bad cycling accident wasn’t enough to keep him off two wheels, but it did slow him down just enough to pick up a Townie and enjoy rides closer to home with his family for a while.

“Living in Jasper exposed me to new activities I never thought I’d do before.” - Todd Noble

“I consider myself lucky to be here and I haven’t lost that feeling." - Todd Noble

Even after over twenty years, Todd is still amazed by the amount of things there are to do, and even more so by how much he still hasn’t tried after all this time. But that, he reasons, is the best part of living – not just residing - in Jasper.

“I consider myself lucky to be here and I haven’t lost that feeling,” Todd says.

Working at the Jasper SkyTram means that Todd spends his days meeting thousands of Jasper’s visiting explorers. In their conversations, many of these visitors marvel at the fact that people actually live in this wild and pristine paradise. To them, Jasper is the kind of destination that people dream about – that they might spend a lifetime waiting to experience – and the idea that there are people lucky enough to call it home is almost unfathomable. 

Todd knows that getting to call Jasper home is a dream come true.

“Hearing people say it to me regularly helps keep things in perspective. Even just driving to work I try to look at things differently.”

And so, while the dream may not have been what Todd had originally anticipated, it’s very much more than he could have expected.

“I have a real tough time imagining being anywhere else,” he says. “We are the end of the rainbow. I am living Venture Beyond – here, now, every day.” 

2 Day Weekend Family Adventure

Day 1

The Most Important Meal of the Day

Family time at Pyramid Lake

Classic cook-out

Day 2

Jasper by bike

Picnic in the park

Afternoon Hike

Relax at the Jasper Activity Centre Pool and Hot Tub

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