Scenic Tours Victoria to Vancouver and Vancouver to Victoria
Victoria; named after Queen Victoria 1819-1901
(www.tourismvictoria.com) this site will give you basic history of the area, geography, climate,
heritage etc. The following information is just points to jog the memory, you need to research on your own
to fill in the blanks.
When on tour of Victoria you need to pace yourself. Organize your talk to correspond with location - it is
no good to talk about Mile Zero as you pass it. Plan your tour, when and where to talk.
Start off from Empress for a short city tour on your way to Butchart Gardens. You will pass by Totem Pole
Park, Beacon Hill Park, and Mile Zero. Quick photo stops especially if it‘s a nice day, remember your
timing, and it does take time to unload and load. Pass by Cattle Point, Oak Bay, Uplands, University and
off to Butchart Gardens.
Victoria city tour: BC‘s provincial capital, the busiest seaport north
of San Francisco. Start talking about the history of Victoria as you
leave the hotel; be brief, as you will need to point out Totem Pole
Park within minutes of departure. Once you have spoken about
Beacon Hill Park, Mile Zero, pick up again on history of Victoria
Victoria is Western Canada‘s oldest city. The city began in 1843 as a
Hudson Bay Company trading post, named in honor of Queen
In the spring of 1778, Captain James Cook became the first white man
to set foot on what is now British Columbia, Canada
Victoria discovered by Capt. McNeill 1837
Great anchorage for the Victory in the harbor, however the coast line
of Vancouver island was rocky and inhospitable
Fort Victoria established in 1844
Short city tour, on way to ferry and explain some of there history of
Victoria, pop. 80,000 with a greater pop of 326,000
Wax museum was the cruise ship port in the early years
Bell tower gift from the Dutch
1858, gold rush in the area and china town was developed,
The harbor was know by the local Indians as ―Camosack‖, which
roughly translated means ―the rush of water‖, presumably had
reference to the tide moving in and out of the ―Gorge‖
1866 the two colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia
joined to form the new Crown Colony of ―British Columbia‖.
Fur Traders & Hudson Bay Company www.canadian.org/hbc
At mile zero point out Mount Baker across the straight, USA
Miles Zero, the start of the trans Canada highway, east coast 7,871
km or 4,890 miles
Tulips from Holland, during WWII Queen Julian of Amsterdam
were in hiding in Victoria. She was to birth to her daughter Margaret,
to assure her daughter was to retain title to Amsterdam, the Canadian
government declared the hospital room to be Sovran ground of
Amsterdam, thereby giving Margaret citizenship of Amsterdam and to
retain the right to ht e throne. In doing so the Dutch sent over Tulips
in thanks and that was the start of the tulip festivals in Canada.
Oak Bay, more English than England. In this municipality it is like
stepping behind the ―Tweed Curtain‖ where afternoon tea is served
according to tradition.
Uplands, just over 100 acres was purchased from the HBC for
grazing animals for a food source. In the 1800‘s this area was
developed and some of the most expensive homes can be found in this
area. No overhead power lines, entrance gates that at one time were
manned and you had to have an invitation to gain access. Gardens
University after the Uplands you will come to the University:
www.uvic.ca, founded in the 1970‘s, approximately 12-1500 thousand
students study here. Marine biology, education, music, arts. The
housing you see on your left used to be the army barracks. In 1994
Victoria held the Commonwealth Games, some of the sports facilities
were enlarged quite dramatically.
Butchart Gardens: 1888 near his birthplace, Owen Sound, Ontario, a
former dry goods merchant, Robert Pim Butchart moved to Todd Inlet
(Vancouver Island) in 1904 and established his business to
Manufacture Portland cement. With the rich limestone deposits vital
for cement production, he built a new factory at Todd Inlet. Once the
limestone was depleted Jennie Butchart conceived an unprecedented
plan to refurbish the bleak pit of the abandoned floor of the quarry and
the sunken garden was established. Over the years it has grown to
what you see today.
Over view: 55 acres of gardens in 130-acre estate, family owned since
1904. The Sunken Gardens were started in 1912 and completed in
1921, Rose Garden constructed in 1930, and Japanese Garden
designed in 1906. The Concert Lawn in the 1950‘s. 600 plus staff
from late May to September www.butchartgardens.com
China Town: The statues that guard the entrance to China town are
said to come alive if an honest politician was to walk through them.
Canada‘s first China town was a two block area, today it is the third
largest in Canada – behind Vancouver, Toronto
Fan Tan Alley: buzzed with gaming fever. Unverified, a tale of three
tunnels suspected for the smuggling of contraband and Chinese
immigrants. This was the first licensed established area to sell opium.
The motorcycle chase scene in the movie ―Bird on the Wire‖ was
filmed in Fan Tan Alley.
Day three: north bound on way to catch the ferry from Nanaimo for Horse Shoe Bay. Great time
to review the wildlife, flowers, trees on the island.
There are three distinct areas on Vancouver Island: southern
Victoria; central up to Campbell River; and the wilderness in the
Stats of Vancouver Island: 454 km (282 miles) in length: 100 km
(62 miles) in width: area 32,134 sq. km (12,408 sq miles)
Tasmania: total area 68,102 km
Malahat Highway, Malahat, Indian word meaning ― the place where
one gets bait.‖ A stop at Malahat Lookout can only be done north
bound-time permitting. The summit is 352 meters.
Cowichan, is located between the City of Victoria and the City of
Nanaimo, the name ―Cowichan‖ derived from the Coast Salish word
Khowutsun, literally translates into ―The Warm Land.‖
Duncan, is the hub of the Cowichan Valley, 1886 the Esquimalt
Railroad was completed and William Duncan was asked to provide a
stop on his farmland, which happens to be down town Duncan today.
www.bctravel.com search Duncan
Chermainus, we do not stop here, mention one of the oldest
European settlements on Vancouver Island. In the 1850‘s the first
settlers arrived. One industry town logging until 1983. It had the
world‘s largest sawmill when the mill closed. ―The Little Town that
Did‖, revitalization-murals are carefully woven into the townscape.
The gallery includes a large carving of a steam donkey located in the
Ladysmith, Located precisely on the 49th Parallel. Ladysmith is a
picturesque town built on the hillside overlooking the glistening
waters of the Ladysmith Harbor. One of the oldest settlements on
Vancouver Island, the town was founded at the turn of the century
during the Boer War. Trivia: hometown of actress Pamela Anderson (Baywatch) has fun
with this one, make it into a game, 20 Questions?
BC Ferries: started in1960 with two vessels, today the government
owned vehicle and passenger fleet is one of the world‘s largest and
most modern with 40 ships serving 47 ports of call on the BC coast
carrying more than 22 million pax per year
Nanaimo, the word comes from SNE NEY MUX… 1791first
Indians in this area were know as ―Sne-ny-mo‖, meaning‖ the big
strong people‖ for the various villages in the area. From Sne-ny-mo
comes Nanaimo. 1850 Nanaimo Bay, 1858 Bay was dropped and
1854 a settlement established to work the coal deposits, New Castle
Island where the first nations got the burning rock from, a coal mine
was opened on island, the island is now a provincial park, named
Horseshoe Bay, named from the shape of the Bay, lies at the entrance
to Howe sound. The aboriginal people traveling between Squamish
and Burrard Inlet once used it as a camping ground. The first
Europeans landed here in 1791. Over the years this area was
developed as a bedroom community of the city of Vancouver and a
charming recreational area for golf, scuba divers, fishing. Stars from
Hollywood such as Roy Roger‘s and Bing Crosby have fished here.
Sea to Sky highway, travel north following Howe Sound, highway
was built 1958, on an old rock quarry.
Lions Bay: a quiet residential area over looking Howe Sound.
Spirits are protecting the small close-knit community are the famous
twin peaks called the Lions. Known as the ―two sisters who reign over
Vancouver‖ to the Skop-mish natives in the area. (1,646 m high)
Furry Creek, named after trapper and prospector Oliver Furry, who
in 1898 staked claim to the rich copper deposits in the Furry Creek
and Britannia Beach area, now is a very wealthy suburb of Vancouver
and a world class 18 hole golf course, one putting green has natural
sand and ocean (water) traps. Make this a 20-question game---- Happy Gilmore was
filmed here. www.99north.com/winter-spring-2001/furrycreek
Britannia Beach, in its hay day, from 1905 to closing in 1974,there
were over 60,000 multi-race workers helping unearth more than 50
million tones of copper ore. Britannia mines were the largest copper
producer in the British Commonwealth. The fate of the mine wavered
through the decades as the great depression, World War II, union
strikes, and the plunging world copper prices pummeled. To give you
an idea of the amount of copper mined from Britannia from the
surroundings hills, it is said to circum navigate the globe 12 times
with half inch of copper wire. In 1921 a brief shut down at Mine Mill
#2 due to a fire and in October, a torrent-inspired flood wiped out the
Beach community, killing 36 people. The mines also boosted rich
reserves of gold, silver and lead that if excavated today would be
worth more than $4 billion.
Shannon Falls, is composed of a series of cliffs, rising 355 meters
above Highway 99, making it the third highest falls in BC, ranking
behind 481 meter Della Falls in Strathcona Provincial Park on
Vancouver Island and 396 meter Hullen Falls in Tweedsmuir
Provincial Park. Discovered in 1792 by Captain George Vancouver.
The falls were named after Shannon who lived in the area 1890-1900
and who owned the falls and surrounding area and used the clay
deposits to make bricks. In 1976 Carling O‘Keefe Brewery, who used
the pure mountain water to brew their beer, and made the area a
logging show park, purchased the area. In 1982 O‘Keefe donated the
land to BC Parks. Old stumps show the early years of logging, how
they cut into the tree to place the planks for chopping down the trees.
Just to the north you will see Stawamus Chief Mountain face, look up
and you might see rock climbers. Stawamus Chief (mountain of
granodiorite) acts as an inviting gateway to the valley, dramatic
volcanic peaks and ridges and a glacial silted Squamish river
Squamish, is located at the head of Howe Sound, Squamish‘s 16,000
inhabitants live amid the snow-capped peaks of the Coast Mountain
Range less than an hour drive from Whistler. Coast Salish arrived in
the area around 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Squamish takes its name
from the local first nations word meaning ―mother of the wind‖,
Brackendale: Bald Eagles from all over the Northwest gather along
the gravel shores of the Squamish river systems in early November to
feast on spawning salmon until late March. The feast of rotting chum,
Chinook, spring, pink and Coho salmon is a bald eagle‘s dream buffet.
To conserve and preserve this unique natural phenomenon, the 550 ha.
Brackendale Eagle Reserve was formed in 1996.
Whistler (formerly named London Mountain) the name comes from
the numerous whistlers (marmots), which dwell on its slope, it could
also be the whistling of the winds through the Singing Pass between
the mountains. It was a winter resort and is now a year round
destination offering 4 season recreation. Whistler Village south (first
village north bound) was originally a garbage dump. Whistler North
(second traveling north bound) has been completed and is cradled by
two mountains -Whistler (2,183 meters) and Blackcomb (2,287
meters). Blackcomb has North America‘s second largest vertical ski
lift at 1,609 meters. Blackcomb is called the mile high mountain.
Vancouver, Whistler is the home to the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Day Four: bound for Joffery Lake, Duffy Lake, Lillooet, Hat Creek Ranch, Cache Creek,
Kamloops Lake Look Out, Kamloops and SunPeaks
Just north of Whistler on our route to Lillooet is Green Lake.
Pemberton, named after Joseph Pemberton (1821-93), HBC
surveyor-general, later in life he was the founder of the Pemberton
and Son real estate in Victoria. This area is now the new hub of
activity with housing jumping up all around as Whistler is over
crowed and with the 2010 winter games, lots of investment in real
Mount Currie, the village which is under Mt Currie is noted for its
Rodeo, held twice a year on long weekends in May and Sept. Mount
Currie was named after a Scot, John Currie, who took up ranching in
the area with his Lillooet native wife in1885 after failing to strike it
rich in the California and Cariboo gold rushes.
Duffy Lake Road: starts about 9 km past Mount Currie and until
recently, this 84 km route through the Cayoosh range to the Cariboo
was strictly 4x4. Duffy Lake Road is paved and widened all the way
from Pemberton to Lillooet. Great area to explain some history of First Nations and
the adding of Nunvaut Territory in the artic. Review Canadian provinces.
Joffrey Lakes provincial Park. The park is 1,460 hectares; steeply
rising from Lower Joffrey Lake, the glacier-laden peaks are visible
from an easily accessible viewpoint 500 meters from the parking lot.
Evidence of the park‘s glacial history can be found in the U-shaped
valleys, glacial silts and lateral moraines. Going through this area, I touch on
mountain formation, volcanic activity along the coast, how the continental shelf's collided, Pacific
Plate encounters, up thrusting over thrusting, the forming of Vancouver island, coast mountains,
trees, explain forestry, reforestation, snow fall, snow slides, great examples here on way to Duffy
lake. Watch for deer, bear, mountain goat, osprey and great blue heron.
Duffey Lake Provincial Park: established as a provincial park in
1993, this park is centered around the picturesque Duffy Lake and
overshadowed by the glacier-topped Mt. Rohr. The wind can be
strong at times while viewing the lake and cool winds.
Culture: the Duffy Lake/Cayoosh Creek Valley was historically used
as a travel route between the Lillooet First Nations on Lillooet Lake
and the Stl‘alt‘imx First Nation on the Fraser River. This area was
important for hunting, trapping and gathering.
Seton Lake and river hydro dam and fish ladders to gain access from
the Fraser River to the lake.
Lillooet, population 2,938, founded as Mile ―0‖ on the wagon road
leading to the Cariboo and the Barkerville gold fields. Lillooet was a
child of the Gold rush, like so many Cariboo towns. At the start of the
first Cariboo road, the town swelled to almost 15,000 residents within
twenty years of its founding. Originally know as Cayoosh Flat
because of the good grazing that Cayuses (Indian Ponies) found here.
The distance north to 100 Mile House is therefore not to challenging
to determine. Established 1860, at the junction of the old Lillooet lake
trail and the Fraser River, Lillooet loosely translate, ―wild onion‖ and
the Squamish Indians, ― the end of the trail‖.
Rockhounds and history buffs will find Lillooet to be an academic
treasure. Lillooet has one of the most pleasant climates in Canada, a
combination of the sunny skies of the BC interior with moderating
influences of the coast.
Always willing to innovate, Lillooet resident John Callbreath
experimented with camels as pack animals, hoping to make an
improvement over the oft-stubborn mule. In 1862, he bought 23
camels in San Francisco for $300, and shipped them to Lillooet to
work in the Gold Rush. While efficient they were, their tender feet,
bad tempers and foul odor led to the scheme‘s demise. They were
released into the area and it is said the last one died in 1905. While the
camels were a dismal failure, they nonetheless left a strong impression
on the town folks, as evidenced by the memorial, Lillooet‘s Bridge of
the 23 Camels – built in 1981. When crossing the bridge point out the
color‘s of the two waters that are meeting. The Fraser (the mighty
muddy Fraser) and the clear water from the Seton Lake dam, glacier
Fraser river, named after Simon Fraser, member of the North West
Company, opened the NWC country west of the Rockies, traveled the
Fraser from Prince George to Vancouver, the Fraser was first
discovered by Sir Alexander Mackenzie and was named Columbia
river, was also known as the New Caledonia River, and in 1813 David
Thompson named the river after Simon Fraser and the Thompson
River was named by Fraser.
You will see large black tarps covering Ginseng while north bound on
the west side of the Fraser river valley, you will be asked about these
tarps, I mention it is Ginseng and save the full explanation on the way
from cache Creek to Kamloops you get to see them up close.
Pavilion, nestled in the canyon between Lillooet and Cache Creek,
which contains mysterious underwater formations of coral-like
structures, some of which are up to four meters high, up to 11,000
years old, and covered in mats of microscopic, sunlight-loving
Historical Hat Creek Ranch, historical Hat Creek Ranch offers the
opportunity to hear the story of the people of the Shuswap nation and
their more recent contributions to the growth of the ranching industry.
Here in the dry rain shadow climate, east of the Coast Range
Mountains, a unique blend of cultures has evolved in a landscape of
sage, bunchgrass and Ponderosa pines. Hat Creek has 20 historic
structures established in 1861 by former HBC trader Donald Mclean.
This was a very popular stopping area during the Cariboo Gold Rush.
Cashe Creek, established 1859, the word often refers to a place
where supplies have to be deposited on a raised platform out of reach
of wild animals. From a French word meaning ―a hiding place‖. An
early fur trader would cut out a round piece of turf 18 inches across,
leaving the mouth for a large bottle-shaped excavation. This
excavation was lined with fry branches and the cached goods were
then inserted. Finally some earth and the round piece of turf were put
back on top. If the job had been done expertly, possible marauders
would see no evidence that they were passing as cache.
Walhacin: in the early 1900‘s an American developer wanted to
transform the sagebrush and desert into lush orchards and flowers,
sold property to English families with the claim of ―heaven on earth‖,
he developed a two meter wide flume (you can see on the hill side on
the north side if the highway) to carry water over the dry ravines and
hillsides for 30 km to the settlement. He built a dam on the Deadman
Lake near Cache Creek. WWI broke out and the men rallied to the call
of the motherland, of the 107 men, 97 enlisted, the lack of manpower
and financing lead to the demise of the settlement.
Ginseng Farming: stretching over the Fraser bench land are endless
crops of Ginseng shaded with black polypropylene shade cloth. It
requires deep shade for the growth and it‘s water requirements are
strictly controlled, thus the attraction to this extremely dry region.
There is approximately 1,400 hectors under cultivation in BC, 70% in
this region. It takes 3-4 years before the root can be harvested, yields
from2800 to 3400 pounds of root per acre at $50-60 per pound.
Kamloops Lake Look Out: looking towards the east you will see the
town of Kamloops.
Steamboat Saga: smooth rivers and great lakes once were the
highways of travel. On them plied stately paddle wheelers, helping
exploration and settlement of the interior. They speeded gold-seekers
bound for the ‗Big Bend‖ rush of 1864-65. They freighted grain from
the Okanogan. They were vital in the building of the C.P.R. and
doomed by the railway they helped build. Touch on the history of the
railway, remembering that once on the RMR they will explain the
history of the rail system.
Kamloops, pop. 75,000 +, the province‘s 5th largest city, and it‘s
largest in area. Kamloops occupies 31,000 hectors of Thompson River
Valley. The local Indians call this place ―Kahmo-loops‖, meaning
―the meeting of the waters‖ being the North and South Thompson
Rivers. The Thompson and Okanagan (south of Kamloops) valleys
together support 1,100 ranches, where the BC‘s cattle industry was
born in 1860‘s. The city boasts 84 ball diamonds, 73 soccer fields,
five ice arenas, 40 gymnasiums, seven golf courses, 53 tennis courts
and the 5,000 seat Riverside Coliseum. Information about Kamloops
will be repeated on the RMR, you need to cover some of this and
point out when north bound on highway 5 at the north end of
Kamloops, on your left, the RMR rail yard
Sun Peaks: Formally Tod Mountain Resort, (mind you the mountain
is still called Tod Mountain) the resort of Sun Peaks was renamed by
Canadian Lake Placid Olympic Champion Nancy Greene. The name
Tod in German means ―Death‖, now how do you sell a ski resort to
the European‘s as ―Death Mountain‖? This is BC‘s newest year-round
4 resort. Six hotels, condos, lodges, restraints and shopping. Summer
golf, tennis, mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking swimming and
musical festivals. Winter – Alpine and Cross country skiing,
snowboard park offers 867 meter vertical drop, 64 marked trails and
eight gladed areas for alpine skiers and snowboarding
Day five north bound on highway #5
Coming down from Sun Peaks good time for quiet music and quiet time. From McLure to Tet
Jaune Cache you can mention these whistle stop‘s and or have quiet time, games and music.
McLure, settlement on the North Thompson, after John McLure1906,
farmed until his death aged 84, in 1933
Barriere, after the Barriere River, so named because it was hard to
cross during high water, or because the Indians had a fish trap across
Darfield, 1937post office opened and named based on nearby
Little Fort, notes from ARC Selwyn, noted that they camped on a
fine flat above The Little Fort, an old deserted HBC trading post (was
established by Paul Fraser 1850- 52)
Dutch Lake: local anglers club have built a trout spawning channel
into the land locked lake, putting over 100,000 fry back into the lake.
Clearwater, the town sits on both sides of the original Yellow head
route, gate way to Wells Gray National Park, the town was know as
Raft river crossing until 1925 when CNR named it after Clearwater
Vavenby, post office established 1910 by Daubney Pridgeon, was a
lumber town, named after his home in Navenby Lincolnshire, his hand
writing misread by the postal authorities and it became Vavenby
Avola, originally known as ―Stillwater Flats‖, it refers to a nearby
stretch of the Thompson where it flows with scarcely a ripple.
Blue River, Blue River gets its name from the deep soft blue of the
distance hills, which seen from its mouth well up into the gap through
which it runs‖, CNR divisional point, 1920 it was know as ―Big
Town‖, for the young rail workers would come and whoop-up every
now and then
Blue river, Mike Wiegele, helicopter skiing, best powder skiing in
the Cariboo and Monashee range. Rates range from $3,360.00 for 3
days to $8,500.00 for 7 days (Cariboos west side, Monashees east side
range) 3,000 sq miles with over 1,000 peaks, skiing is done at
elevations of 3,000-11,600 feet, average temp –7C, as low as –30C,
arrive no alcohol until all in-house training is completed, avalanche,
helicopter safety etc.
Canoe River, named by David Thompson in 1811, at the confluence
of this river and the Columbia River where he built the canoes in
which he traveled to the pacific
Valemount, this name for the ―vale amid the mountains‖, by CNR
station built in 1927, prior it was a logging camp
Mount Terry Fox provincial Park: the Park size 1930 hectares, is
dedicated to the memory of Terry Fox of Port Coquitlam, B.C. Terry
Fox lost a leg to bone cancer, but undertook a run across Canada to
raise funds for cancer research. Terry died on June 28, 1981. The park
was officially dedicated Sept 22, 1981. Highway 16 viewpoint 7 km
west of Mt. Robson west gate provides a view of the mountain.
Tet Jaune Cache, 1813 Iroquois trader, Pierre Bostonnais, guides
HBC through northern Rockies. His light-colored hair results in
nickname ―Tet Jaune‖ or ―Yellow head‖
Group of explorers called the Over Landers, set out from Fort Garry
(Winnipeg), to journey to the Caribou goldfields. From Fort Garry to
Edmonton to Jasper House, at Tet Janune Cache the group split, some
on the Fraser River, others on the Thompson River, members of both
parties drowned and only a handful survived to reach the Caribou
First women overlander, Catherine Schubert (1862)
Rearguard Falls, (on your right just as you pass the weigh scales),
mark the upper limit of the 800 mile migration of the salmon from the
pacific ocean, arrive in late summer
Mount Robson, (Mount Robson set watches back one hour or ahead)
MT Robson park established 1913, 224,866 acres At 3,954 meters
(12,972 feet), the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, towers over
the lesser surrounding peaks. It is said that Mt Robson creates it‘s own
weather. At the base you find glacier fed rivers and lakes. It is the
birthplace of the Fraser River, which journeys 1,280k to the pacific.
Local natives called Mount Robson - Yuh-hai-has-kun, meaning
―mountain of the spiral road‖, refer to the track like horizontal strata
that stripe MT Robson slopes. To this date they still have questions as
who made it to the summit first. In 1909, or an expedition in 1911.
Rev. Kinney claimed he reached the summit in 1909. Wild life in the
area to date, 42 species of mammals, four amphibians, one reptile and
182 species of birds has been recorded in the park. From Moose,
Mountain Goats, Golden Eagles, Grizzly Bear or Mule Deer,
Whitetail Deer, Elk, wolf, Coyote, Black Bear and a large variety of
waterfowl. Spruce, Fir, Cedar, Balsa and Alder trees.
Moose lake: great marsh land to keep an eye open for Moose
Jasper National Park: Jasper National Park is the largest of
Canada‘s Rocky Mountain Parks. And part of the UNESCO World
heritage Site. Jasper spans 10,878 sq kilometers (4200 square miles)
of broad valleys, rugged mountains, glaciers, forests, alpine meadows
and wild rivers along the eastern slopes of the Rockies in western
Alberta. There are more than 1200 kilometers (600miles) of hiking
trails. Large numbers of elk, bighorn sheep, mule deer and other large
animals, as well as their predators make Jasper National Park one of
the great-protected ecosystems renaming in the Rocky Mountains.
This is one of the few remaining places in southern Canada that is
home to a full range of carnivores, including grizzly bears, mountain
lions, wolves and wolverines. On September 14, 1907, the Dominion
of Government established Jasper Forest Park setting aside an area of
about 13,000 square kilometers. The National Parks act was passed in
1930 and Jasper was officially established as a National Park with a
final area of over 10,000 square kilometers.
Jasper National Park is one of four national parks (Jasper, Banff,
Yoho and Kootney www.pc.gc.ca
1810: David Thompson, surveyor, makes first recorded visit to
1813: North West Company builds supply depot on Brule Lake,
which becomes known as Jasper House after clerk Jasper Hawes
1845: Father P.J. deSmet, Jesuit missionary, records the name ―La
riviere maligne, or ―wicked river‖, now known as Maligne River.
1884: Jasper House abandoned as fur trade declines
1908: Mary Schaffer, widow from Pennsylvania, follows Stoney
Indian trails to discover Maligne Lake.
1911: Grand Trunk Pacific Railway reaches Fitzhugh (Jasper) Station
1913: present town site built as the park superintendent‘s residence
1915: tent city built at Lac Beauvert during railway construction,
becomes Jasper Park Lodge (Bill Brewster)
Jasper, it was the main support of a trade route over the mountains
via the Athabasca Pass to British Columbia and remained so until
Grand Trunk Pacific RR: now the CNR have now transformed this
quaint town into what it is today, still a hub of activities for rail, truck
and now holiday traffic. 1916 the Athabasca Hotel, served as a
rooming house to Jasper. For years Jasper was considered as a major
railway town with a third of its residents employed by CNR. In 1923
when the automobile arrived Jasper had a rebirth and now a tourism
center. View from the Jasper Sky Tram (Whistlers Mountain) and you
will notice that Jasper is set out like a large ―J‖. 1914 two automobiles
were railed to Jasper and these were the only two in the park, they
suffered a head-on collision the day after the second vehicle arrived.
Mount Edith Cavell, 11,033 feet the highest mountain in this section
of the park, named after British nurse Edith Cavell who was executed
by the Germans during WWI in 1915 for aiding the escape of allied
troops. Angel Glacier is a hanging glacier in the shape of an angel.
You can see Edith Cavell looking south from Jasper Park Lodge at the
edge of the lake.
Whistler Mountain, at 7496 feet. Marmot‘s are little animals that
whistle to communicate. Looking west from the lake at Jasper Park
Lodge you can see Whistler Mountain. Trivia: when looking down
from the tram at Whistler the town of Jasper is laid out in a ―J‖
Day 6 Jasper to Lake Louise
Icefields Parkway: highway #93 stretches for 230 kilometers (130
miles) between Jasper town site and highway #1(trans Canada)
following the shadow of the Great Divide. The Icefield Parkway first
started construction as a make work project during the depression and
was not completed till the end of WWII, was a gravel, mud road. In
the 1950‘s the road was paved.
Good area to talk about the formation of the mountains, montane, subalpine, and alpine zones,
lodge pole pines, Douglas fir, fona, glaciers, synclines, anticlines, rock minerals, v-shape valleys
vs. u- shaped valleys, hanging valleys, mountain styles-pyramid, castle.
Horseshoe Lake, MT Hardisty 8,860 ft (east side of highway)
Athabasca Falls, Athabasca River display of power over a twenty-
three meter cliff of pre-Cambrian quartzite, and it has cut into the
softer limestone beneath carving incredible narrow gorge where the
water has smoothed and potholed by the sheer force of the water
carrying sand and rock
Perplexing question, the origins of the massive restructuring of the
North American continent, the most widely held view is based on
plate tectonics200million years ago the shelves were flowing east,
then the shelf‘s changed direction to the west and ploughed back into
the wedge, bent, folded, broken (faulted), thrust fault and thus the
mountains began to thrust upwards, earth covered with water, flows
carved its way through the valleys and the ―V‖ shaped and then the
ice age, motion forward, retreated and carved out these ―U‖ shaped
valley‘s, 100 million years later man explored the rivers that opened
the rout to the pacific
Valley bottom, the Old Douglas Fir has stood on the grassy slope
overlooking the Athabasca River for close to two centuries, mountain
zone to 1500m, sub alpine zone to 2100m, alpine zone bare rock and
ice 2100m and up
Lots of youth hostels along this route, lots of cyclists
Sunwapata Falls, is a Stoney Indian word for ―Turbulent river‖, this
is where the river changes direction from northwest to southwest flow
To the east, Endless Change Range: sits on a tectonics plate (review
tectonics plates), where it starts and ends we are not sure
Rock slide just south of warden station, Quartz Sandstone Rock
Slide, both sides of the highway pinkish boulders look up the ridge to
the west descending from the top of the mountainside, at the top a
distinct pink scar indicates where the huge slab of Cambrian age
quartz sandstone broke way.
Avalanche Path, long straight riverside gravel flats on the east side of
the highway following the Sunwapata River.
Woolley creek, to the south west is Stutfield Glacier a tongue of the
Columbia Ice field
Tangle Falls plunges over 500 million-year-old limestone, at 9,859ft
Named by Mrs. Schaffer in 1907.
Arrive at the Columbia ice fields: this is where the pax get to ride on
a snow explorer and learn all about the Ice Fields. Try and not cover
too much on way to icefield as this is were they learn about the
continental divide, water shed, size of the ice cap etc.
Sunwapata pass, 6,675 ft: divide between Jasper and Banff parks as
well serves as the water shed divide between the Athabasca river
draining to the north and the North Saskatchewan to the south, water
to the north ends at the Artic ocean, south it ends at the Hudson Bay,
Parkers Ridge, climb the open fields of spruce, alpine fir upper end at
ridge 7,000ft ASL(above sea level) the average timber line of the
Rockies, Great view of the Saskatchewan Glacier
Nigel Peak, 10,500ft, prominent mountain to the northwest, trough
shaped fold which are called syncline
North Saskatchewan view point, excellent view of the valley to the
south and Cirrus Mountain (10,700ft). Devonian age limestone,
2,000ft above the highway, looks like a battle ship on what has been
traditionally known as the Big Hill. Top of grade to bottom approx 7
miles, the Parkway drops a total 425 vertical meters (1,400ft)
Big Bend, this long, sweeping switchback in the highway helps to
hold a reasonable grade.
Weeping wall, early spring and early summer dozens of water falls
cascade off the upper lip, winter huge sheets and columns of blue ice
cling to the cliff, look up half way as this is a good area to see
mountain goats, will look like white specks
Graveyard Flats, this area was used as a camp site for hunting parties
during the early years, animals skinned and many of the bones and
skulls were discarded here
Rampart creek, look down to the south east side of the highway and
see the massive cliffs of Mount Wilson (10,631ft). On the right side of
the valley rises Survey Peak
Saskatchewan River Crossing-Parkway-Lodge (4,700ft), two
impressive mountains, MT Wilson to the North and MT
Murchison(10,900ft) to the south east side, vertical rise of over a mile,
both are carved from Camberian limestone, shale‘s and quartz
sandstone, around 500 million years old
To west you will see what was the start of Howse Pass, which David
Thompson, and early trader used to trade down the valley to Montana
and Idaho as well as to the Pacific. In 1811 the Piegan Indians threw
up a blockade to stop the trade of guns into the enemies on the
Lower Waterfowl Lake, Mount Chephren known as ―The Black
Pyramid‖ for its distinctive shape at over 3000 meters (10,700 ft). The
upper portion of the Mountain is a gray-colored rock called Cambrian
age limestone, the lower bedding is reddish-orange hue is older
Upper Waterfowl lake, two well defined criques stand out, example of
thousands of years of plucking action of glaciers over thousand of
years, at the mouth are good examples of moraine deposits to form the
lake. This is a great appearance of sheer barrier of rock, it is hard to
distinguish where one mountain ends and the other begins
Snow Bird glacier, to west across the face of MT Patterson, looks like
a ―White angle‖. The moraines in front show the extent of the last
Rock Slide, here a large slide of reddish-orange quartz sandstone
tumbled down the slopes to the east
Climbing to Bow Summit (6,787ft) this pass serves as the water shed
divide for the North and South Saskatchewan rivers, climb another
400m to the view point, you will see a spectacular view of Petyo Lake
240 vertical meters (800ft) below. The lake is glacial fed melt water
of turquoise blue, Peyto Glacier to the southwest, is a tongue of the
extensive Wapta Ice field. Good example of grinding and pulverizing
of the bedrock over which it flows, finely ground glacier flour washes
out slowly filling the lake at it's inlet as the silt settles out, glacial
rock-flour is also responsible for the distinctive blue-green colour of
the lake, looking to the north is the Mistaya Valley, Peyto Glacier
once advanced well down this valley reaching over one mile. Note the
Engelman spruce and alpine fir. Good time to tell a story about Bill Peyto
Between: Bow Summit and Num-ti-jah Lode you pass through an
area of willow-covered meadowland, while trees grow on either side
of this shallow valley, the meadow can be though of as belonging to
the alpine zone.
Num-ti-jah Lodge, Indian name meaning – ―pine marten‖, first lodge
was built in 1920‘s by pioneer outfitter Jimmy Sipmson, before the
highway the lodge was accessible only by a long twisting horse trail
from the railway station at Lake Louise
Bow Lake, Bow Glacier, just below you see a water fall that tumbles
over 500ft of Cambrain age quartz sandstone (Bow Glacier Falls) this
is the head waters for the Bow River which runs past Lake Louie,
Banff and into Calgary which at the end of it‘s travel‘s will dump into
the Hudson Bay in northern Manitoba
Crowfoot Glacier, (Crowfoot Mountain 9,049ft) had three large toes,
over the last century the lower toe has disappeared, only the well
defined ledges of the terminal moraine debris is where that toe was.
Engelmann spruce, alpine fir, and a few lodge pole pine
No See Um Creek, No see Ums are small blackflies noted for their
Hector Lake: named for Dr James Hector, the geologist with the
Palliser expedition who was the first white man to pass up this valley
in1885. Surrounded by lodge pole pines. Mount Hector on the east
side of the highway (hard to see unless north bound) if south bound a
good view of Mount Temple and the peaks of the Bow Range
surrounding Lake Louise) and Hector Lake on the west side in the
valley, the ridge above this valley is the Waputik Range.
Waputik Range (Stoney Indian for ―white goat‖) located on the west
side of the valley
Junction of highway 1 and 93, out crop of orange-red rock, the slate
like rock is among the oldest found in the parks, deposited as
sediment over 600 million years ago on the floor of the Precambrian
We have now ended a 230 km journey of the Icefields parkway.
Much of the area we have traveled through was covered by sea floor,
and with the collision of the continental plates, which lasted for about
60 million years; you now have the Rocky Mountains.
Lake Louise (LL) and Vicinity
1882,CPR packer Tom Wilson camped with a small band of Stoney
Indians at the confluence of the Pipestone and the Bow rivers heard
sounds of avalanches nearby, Edwin Hunter explained that sound
came from the snowy mountains above ― the lake of the little fishes‖.
He named this lake Emerald Lake, later the name was changed to
Lake Louise in honor of Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, wife of
Marquis of Lorne, Governor General for Canada 1878 to 1883.
The first small chalet was built on the shore by the CPR in1890,
burned down in 1892, 1899 rebuilt, burned down 1924, rebuilt 1925,
evolved into a hotel you see today, with several major face lifts
starting 1984. Lake Louise was the hub of activity in the Canadian
All travel from Banff to Lake Louise was by rail, stopping at Laggan
station and making the 4-mile trip to the lake by horse drawn tally-
hoes. In 1912 to 1930 a tramway was used to ferry the guest until the
road was built in 1920
Mountains and Glaciers, as you look down the lake you see Mount
Victoria (11.365ft) and the Victoria glacier, to the left is Mount
Fairview (9,001ft) and the Bee Hives to the right
The front of the Lake is dammed by a natural terminal moraine left
behind by the retreating of the last glacier from Victoria glacier
Last major glacier advance 8,000 to 10,000 yrs ago
Again the unique greenish-blue color of the lake is from glacier melt
water that is thick with silt also known as rock flour. It is so fine it is
suspended in the water and reflects the green rays of the spectrum.
At 5,680 ft ALS, Lake Louise is set well in the zone of the sub alpine
forest. Spruce, alpine fir, and lodge pine
Like most of the mountains in the main ranges these are composed of
quartz sandstone and limestone formed some 600 million yrs ago
Descending from LL across the valley you will see MT Whitehorn,
this is one of western Canada‘s most popular ski resort
Westbound trans Canada highway; Bow river bridge at this point the
Bow River is only 32 kilometers (20 miles) south of its source.
A.B. Rogers: chief surveyor for the CPR, who accidentally provided
the name for Bath Creek in 1818 took an unscheduled plunge while
trying to ford the stream on his horse. After the accident, his men
often commented on the murky, gray colored of the water (caused by
rock flour) noting wryly that the Major must have been taking another
The Great Divide: here the tans Canada Highway crests the backbone
of the Rockies: all waters east of this point flow into the
Saskatchewan river system and into the Hudson Bay, while those to
the east empty into the Columbia and the Pacific Ocean. To the south
you will see Mount Niblock, which is at the north end of the Bow
Range and below this is where Bath Creek is located.
Wapta Lake: lies at 1586 meters (5203 ft) ASL and serves as the Head
waters for the Kicking Horse River. Wapta is the Stoney first Nations
word for ―River‖.
Spiral Tunnel Viewpoint: here I just let the pax enjoy the view, read
the information at the view point, as when on the train the RMR crew
will explain how the Spiral tunnels were built and the grades. This
area get the pax excited about the train trip.
Point out: Mount Ogden northeast 2695 meters (8839 ft), Cathedral
Crags to the south 3073 meters (10079 ft). These are the mountains
that the tunnels were cut into and they will travel through on the
Yoho Valley to the west: Yoho stoney word for ―Awesome‖.
Mount Stephen: is to the south just as you drop into the valley at 3199
meters (10494 ft) during the construction of the railway in 1884, lead
zinc ore was found in the talus at the foot of Mount Stephen. You can
see a short tunnel cut through one of the cliffs at the base of the
mountain. Lots of snow slides, rockslide comes off of Mount Stephen.
Note the new diversion sheds built to protect the tracks. As well at this
point to the north is ―The Meeting of The Waters‖ – the junction of
the Kicking Horse and Yoho Rivers. Just to the north you will see
Mount Field at 2635 meters (8642 ft)
Kicking Horse River: along side of the highway are the broad, gravel
flats of this river. This is a good example of a braided stream pattern
typical of all glacial outwash rivers.
Field Town: serves mainly as administration headquarters for the
park and a division point for the CPR line. Field‘s elevation1242
meters (4075 ft). The town was named for Cyrus W. Field, the
promoter of the first trans-Atlantic cable, who journeyed to the
Kicking Horse valley after the coming of the rails in 1884
Mount Burgess: just across from Field at 2599 meters (8525 ft)
Burgess Shale discovered here
Emerald Lake: at the foot of the President Range. Tom Wilson, an
early outfitter and guide in the Rockies, had discovered Lake Louise
and was first named Emerald Lake. On discovery of this lake it was
named Emerald Lake and has not been changed. On the south shore
you look across the water to the north and the most prominent
Michael Peak at 2696 meters (8844 ft). To the south looking west you
see Emerald Peak and looking south you see the rugged summit of
Natural Bridge: features a water worn bridge that crosses over the
Kicking Horse River. You have now traveled 3 of the 4 parks, Jasper,
Banff and Yoho National Parks.
Return back to LL and continue on to BNF. Some quiet time here
Mount Temple: looking south, south west you can see Mount Temple
at 3543 meters (11621
Castle MT and Mount Eisenhower Cairn: 2766 meters (9,076 ft).
Was discovered by Dr James Hector of the Palliser expedition in
1858. The massive cliffs of limestone‘s and shale formations of 400 to
600 million yr old rock sit on a bed of 200 million yr old rock. This is
unique as most mountains sit on older rock bed and the younger rock
is exposed. This means that this mountain has flipped. The force of
the collision of the plates must have been very strong in this area.
This mountains name was changed in 1945 to honor Eisenhower,
who was the leader of the allied forces during WW II. Canadians were
upset with this change and fought to have the name reverted, and in
1979 it was changed and the peak to the south remains Eisenhower
peak!!! Just south you will find Kootney Parkway that leads to
Kootney National Park the 4th park, which makes up the National
Parks of the Rockies.
If you travel the Bow Valley Parkway, below are some high lights.
Silver city, open meadow marks the site of the boom-mining town
whose hay day lasted but two short years. It blossomed overnight with
the arrival of the RR in 1883. Very limited copper and silver was
discovered at Copper MT across the valley to the west. One man
remained till 1937 on this site until his death.
Moose Meadows, to the west is a good view of Pilot MT, 9,690ft,
Johnston Canyon, lower falls 0.7 miles, upper falls 1.7 miles and the
Ink Pots 3.6 miles up the trail. Canyon walls are smooth and pot holes
(round depressions in the rock), by the scouring effects of pebbles and
rocks, which tumbled within the water of Johnston Creek. Exposed
rock 200-500 million yr old. These mtn's were once seafloor. As water
washes through the canyon, it empties into rivers that flow into the
Atlantic. This is a good example of water eured valley, V shaped,
where as the Bow Valley is U shaped due to the advance and retreat of
the ice age.
Hillsdale slide, this area was created from a slump of rock debris from
the Mount Ishbel
Lodge pole pines, aspen poplar, Elk use the bark of aspen poplar trees
as winter food
Back on the Trans Canada Highway
Sawback Range: is visible across the valley to the east at the end of
this range to the south is Mount Cory, you will see a 30 meter
depression in the limestone cliffs called the ―Hole-in-the-Wall‖ It is
believed to have been formed by melt water from a huge valley
glacier which once filled this valley from side to side and up to an
elevation of 2400 meters (8000 ft).
Vermillion Lakes: these lakes are an excellent example of low altitude
mountain lake system in a very accessible location
Sulphur Mountain: can be seen across from the Vermillion lakes at
2281 meters (7486 ft)
Mount Rundle: can be seen to the east of the lakes, it looks like a desk
top at 2949 meters (9675 ft)
Mount Rundle: James Hector of the Palliser Expedition‖ geologist
camped on the site of modern Banff in 1858. He named this mountain
in honor of a gentle Wesleyan missionary, Robert Rundle, from
England who held services on the plains for his small congregation of
Indians in the 1840‘s.
Banff and vicinity, the first Europeans to visit this area 1840-1850‖s:
Banff (also known as Siding 29 by the CPR) is the oldest and largest
of the town sites in the mountain parks.
In 1883- 2 CPR workers (McCabe and McCardell) discovered hot
mineral springs on the slopes of Sulphur MT. The two staked claims
to the springs and erected crude bathing facilities. In 1885, the
government agent who visited the springs recommended these natural
wonders be protected within a federal reserve. An Order-in-Council
in November 1885 creating a 10-acre preserve around the Cave and
Basin and expanded in 1887 to 260 square mile and designated as the
Rocky Mountains National Park.
Named for Banffshire in Scotland, the birthplace of CPR President
The park now encompasses 2564 sq miles, consists of 4 mountain
park system area of 7,800 sq. miles, and Banff has a population
around 6,000 people. It is joined to Yoho, Kootney and Jasper
National Park. The four Mountain Park System‘s composes 7,800 sq
miles, one of the largest preserved mountainous regions in the world.
Tunnel Mountain: at one time Tunnel mountain was connected to
Mount Rundle as part of one long, continuous ridge, but during the
Pleistocene period, ice advances and water courses have altered the
two mountains. When building the CPR the surveyors though they
would have to tunnel through this mountain, they discovered a way
around and the name has stuck.
Bow Falls, composed of jagged rock, of red-brown siltstones, shale
and dolomites from around 200 million years ago
Banff Springs hotel, built in 1886 by the CPR, and finished in 1888, it
was designed by CPR president William Cornelius Van Horne. At that
time was a five-story frame building on the site of the present hotel.
The cost for a nights stay was a hefty $4.00 a night. In 1927 the north
wing was prematurely destroyed by fire. The north wing was rebuilt in
a year, and in 1928 a new south wing was built. Most of the
stonework you see on the hotel comes from Mount Rundle.
Sulphur mountain road, we travel the same route visitors have for
years, the hottest is the Upper Hot Springs average temp of 117
degrees F. The distinct smell is due to the increasing concentration of
Sulphur MT Gondola Lift, the summit is 7500ft,
Banff to Vancouver Via Rocky Mountain Rail Tours two days on the rails
with a stop over in Kamloops: can be 2 very long days.
Vancouver City Highlights
40 Km N of the U S border
Surrounded on three sides by water, Burrard Inlet to the north, Strait
of Georgia to the west, and the north arm of the Fraser River to the
south average 91 feet ALS. On the north shore is North Vancouver.
Vancouver is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the
world, with a city pop. approx. 555,000 and Greater Vancouver
2,000,000 (fall 2003 Proper Vancouver 44 sq miles, greater
Vancouver 1,076 sq miles
3rd largest city in Canada
July to September, average temp 75f or 22c
1995 Vancouver rated as the 2nd best city to live in the world
1792 Captain Vancouver entered Burrard Inlet
Vancouver is the only city that was not settled as a fort by the HBC
1871, BC joined Canada with the promise of a trans continental rail
way. Queen Victoria named the new province
1887 the first passenger arrives in Vancouver via CPR
1929- the hotel Vancouver was completed by the CPR,
Earth quake building / designed on a center column with
approx. 18‖ space between building and center / all services
run up center collium / allows building to swing if earth
quake strikes. The TV show McGiver used this building as its
Town center approx. 1 square mile, up to 50,000 people live in this
area, with the redevelopment of the downtown peninsula, the
population could reach as high as 110,000
As you are headed into Stanley Park you will see a large mural on the
wall of a wealthy family from Hong Kong. This mural was to take
away the drab stark looking blank wall. Now it will be covered as new
building spring up in the area.
1889, Lord Stanley opened this park, is the founder of the Canadian
hockey‘s championship, the Stanley Cup. Park area consists of
western red cedar & Douglas fir
At 1,000 acres, is a little larger than New York‘s Central Park. An 8
km seawall walk surrounds the park.
Lost Lagoon, named for Pauline Johnson, a Mohawk Indian princess
who wrote poetry, before it was separated from the sea, it would drain
out at low tide and her little pond was lost
The Vancouver Rowing Club, (on right), Duke of Edinburgh is a
patron of the Royal Vancouver Yacht club. To be called a royal Yacht
Club you need royalty. Prince Charles has a slip here.
On the left is Queen Victoria‘s Monument to recognize Victoria‘s
Vancouver Aquarium, Canada‘s largest aquarium up to 9,000 marine
life / Beluga whales / education center / no more killer whales
Japanese Monument, erected in 1920 as a tribute to honor the 190
Japanese-Canadians who served in WW II
The Totem Poles are authentic collection of mostly Kwakiutl poles,
built back in 1920.
Dead man‘s island earned this name because Coast Salish people used
to place their dead high up in trees; later it was a quarantine hospital
for cholera victims. Now a naval reserves operation
Mayor of Chicago gave black squirrels as a gift to Mayor of
Vancouver. They were turned loose and now run the park. These
squirrels are not native to B.C.
Canada Place, nickname-―Under the Sails‖, ― 80ft sails‖ multipurpose
facility, convention center, hotel, restaurant, big screen IMAX, and
World Trade Centre, home to cruise ships bound for Alaska
Largest float plane harbor in North America / 6,700 flts a year
9 o‘clock gun, also known as the Time Gun, at 9pm this cannon was
fired to call in all the fishing boats
Port of Vancouver, one of North America‘s busiest, average 3,000
foreign vessels visit yearly, 2nd busiest in the world, busiest is New
York. Annually export more than 70 million tones of cargo, sugar
refinery, fishery processing plants line Burrard Inlet
1937, Lions Gate Bridge was built at a cost of 6.5 million dollars and
15 years to build. It is very much the same as the San Fran. Bridge as
the Weit family used the same architect. The Weit family had the
bridge built to allow movement of family from the North shore and
the development on the north shore.
Was a Tide filled swimming pool now Water Park.
West coast red cedars 400 yrs old
Straight of Georgia/ Howe sound, eagles, in area Coho and salmon
The Hollow tree is a west coast cedar and 125 yrs ago lighting struck
this tree. It is said to be up to 400 years old.
Beaver Pond Lake in middle of park
Ferguson point, WWI & II officer mess, officers were able to see their
ships coming into harbor. This gave them time to walk over to their
inlet and meet up with the ships.
University of British Columbia, up to 45,000 students
4 saltwater swimming pools, Kitsalino Beach, last of the outdoor salt
water swimming pool
Howard Hughes lived in Vancouver at one time for 6 months
Vancouver has up to 67 councilors and government of Canada in
Ottawa has 71 party members.
CHINA TOWN: Worlds narrowest building, only 5 feet 10 inches
GASTOWN: Gastown Steam Clock, 1977, powered by steam from
an underground steam heating system established as a community
heating system, six miles of underground pipes, boilers 30 feet high
and 60 feet long, 575,000 pounds of steam per hr @ 185 psi and
heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
“GASSY” Jack Deighton: 1830-1875, this wicked tongue strong-
armed drunkard, established a crude salon in 1867. In 1870 purchased
lot #1 for $67.50, then required a license to run a pub, built a hotel, no
comforts, just a room, the saloon/hotel was destroyed by fire in 1886
The Number One Book For BC: ―British Columbia a Natural
History‖, by Richard Cannings and Sydney Canning***
The Number One Book for the Rockies: ―Handbook of the Canadian
Rockies‖, by Ben Gadd***
Rocky Mountain Landmarks*
Canadian Rockies: Graeme Pole
Flowers of the Canadian Rockies: Rick Langshaw
The Canadian Rockies Early Travels and Explorations: Ester Fraser
Canadian Pacific: Mcdougall
Early Guides and Outfitters in the Canadian Rockies: Holly Quan
Hudson‘s Bay Company Adventures: Elle andra-Warner
Totem Poles: Pat Kramer
Jasper Park Lodge: Cyndi Smith*
Victoria & Vancouver Island: Dan Klinglesmith*
Vancouver: Pat Kramer
Banff History, Attractions and Activities: Sebastian Hutchings
Banff and Lake Louise History Explorer: Ernie Lakusta
From Summit To Sea: George H Buck*
Deadly Innocent: Bill Gallaher (Tragedy on the trail to gold)
Romancing the Rockies: Brian Brennan (stories of the Rockies)
The Promise: Bill Gallaher(a story of the Cariboo Gold Rush)
White Spirit Bears: Grandma Tess
Native Trees: Reese Halter & Nancy J Turner*
The Brewster Story: E J Hart (good reading)
British Columbia Interior: Meredith Bain Woodward and Ron
The spiral Tunnels and the Big Hill: Graeme Pole
Magnificent Yellowhead Highway: Frontier Series No. 37
Common Birds of British Columbia: J Duane Sept*
Parks Canada: Banff, Kootney and Yoho National Parks
Parks Canada: Jasper National Park
Canadian Rockies Access Map
Map and Guide In One-Lake Louise & Yoho
Bow Lake and the Saskatchewan Crossing
Government of Canada
There are three branches of Government at the national level: legislative, executive and
judiciary. The executive branch comprises the Prime Minister and the cabinet. The Prime
Minister is the leader of the party with the largest number of seats in the House of
The legislative branch consists of the House of Commons and the Senate. The House of
Commons has 308 members. General elections must be held at least every five years, but
have traditionally been held every four years. The Senate has 105 members appointed on
a regional basis. Its basic functions are to review proposed legislation and to operate as a
forum for debating public issues. The Governor General appoints Senators, on the advice
of the Prime Minister.
Historically, federal politics has been dominated by the Liberals (on the centre-left of the
political spectrum) and the Progressive Conservatives (on the centre-right). Following
the collapse of the Conservative Party's vote in 1993, the western-based Canadian
Alliance (formerly the Reform Party, and further to the right than the Progressive
Conservatives) formed the official opposition until recently. Early in 2004, the Canadian
Alliance and the Progressive Conservative parties reunited to form the Conservative
Party of Canada.
Paul Martin took over the Liberal Party leadership and Prime Ministership from Jean
Chretien in December 2003. He immediately announced sweeping changes to
government and an ambitious reform agenda, focusing on social issues such as health,
welfare and indigenous initiatives.
In June 2004 Prime Minister Martin called an early election in order to secure a new
mandate from the Canadian people. Although the Liberal Party won its fourth
consecutive term, it lost its majority. A minority government is not unprecedented in
Canadian political history - this was the ninth minority government since federation in
1867. The last minority government was in 1979.
In October 2004, the Government outlined its priorities for the 38th Parliament, echoing
election platform promises to improve healthcare services by reducing waiting lists,
introduce a national childcare system, increase funding for cities and to continue to
strengthen the economy. On the environment, the Government pledged to respect its
Kyoto commitments. Its announcement on healthcare followed agreement in September
2004 by Canada's Federal and Provincial governments to spend C$41 billion on a ten
year plan to strengthen and enhance the healthcare system.
Minority government has meant an increased focus on the domestic agenda and the
Government has had to work with all opposition parties to pass legislation. A major test
for the Government was the passage of its March 2005 budget. The opposition
Conservative party announced it would not defeat the budget, although it opposed some
of the implementation measures. The Finance Minister announced spending of C$42
billion over five years, including C$12.8 billion on defence, C$5 billion for the
environment, and increased spending on child care, cities and tax relief.
After surviving a no-confidence motion in May, Prime Minister Martin's Government
lost a no-confidence motion in the Lower House on 28 November 2005. This followed
the earlier withdrawal of support for the Government by the New Democratic Party,
which voted with the Conservative Party and the Bloc Quebecois to pass the motion. The
Canadian Governor General, Michaёlle Jean, dissolved parliament on 29 November and
Prime Minister Martin has called a federal election for 23 January 2006.
The Canadian economy was buoyant in 2004, with the Bank of Canada estimating
economic growth of 2.7 per cent. Domestic demand and consumer spending were strong
but a renewed appreciation in the Canadian dollar from mid-2004 had a dampening effect
on Canada's exports. In 2004, the Canadian dollar rose almost 8 per cent against the US
Canada's fiscal position remains relatively positive. In his March 2005 Budget, Finance
Minister Ralph Goodale delivered a spending package of C$42 billion over five years but
committed to maintaining fiscal prudence - namely, a balanced budget or better in each of
the next two years and more payments on federal debt. Last year's budget set an
objective of reducing Canada's debt-to-GDP ratio to 25 per cent within 10 years (42 per
cent in 2003-2004).
Consensus Economics predicted real GDP growth of 2.8 per cent in 2005. However, the
growth outlook remains dependent on a United States economic recovery, with more than
85 per cent of Canada's exports going to the United States. The Bank of Canada forecast
soaring oil prices and a strong Canadian dollar as major factors affecting GDP growth in
Source: Consensus Economics - September 2004
Consular Assistance and Registration
Australians in Canada may obtain consular assistance and should register at
the: Australian High commission
Suite 1225, 88 Dunsmuir Street
Vancouver B.C. V6C 3K4
The royal grant
During the first decades after Confederation, questions relating to the arms of Canada had
not received the attention they deserved. The Royal arms of the United Kingdom were
then freely used to identify the offices of the Government of Canada.
Shortly after Confederation, a Great Seal was required and a design was approved by a
royal warrant dated May 26, 1868. This design displayed, quarterly, the arms of the
original four provinces of the new federation: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New
Brunswick. It was never used as the Great Seal, but was gradually adopted as the arms of
Canada (for a reason unexplained by history, another Great Seal was adopted for Canada
representing Queen Victoria and the throne of her coronation; this Great Seal is however
altered at the beginning of each reign, so as to show the effigy of the new Sovereign).
When other provinces joined Confederation, the attempt to add the arms of the new
provinces to this federal composite design resulted in a crowded and confused
appearance. For this reason, the Canadian Government submitted a request to the
Sovereign for a grant of arms. This request was approved and the arms assigned to
Canada were appointed and declared in the proclamation (text on next page) of His
Majesty King George V dated November 21, 1921. This action was proceeded with on
the basis of an Order of the Governor General in Council (P.C. 1921-1496) dated April
A symbol of Canadian identity
The official ceremony inaugurating the new Canadian flag was held on Parliament Hill in
Ottawa on February 15, 1965, with Governor General Georges Vanier, Prime Minister
Lester B. Pearson, the members of the Cabinet and thousands of Canadians in attendance.
The Canadian Red Ensign, bearing the Union Jack and the shield of the royal arms of
Canada, was lowered and then, on the stroke of noon, our new maple leaf flag was raised.
The crowd sang the national anthem O Canada followed by the royal anthem God Save
The following words, spoken on that momentous day by the Honourable Maurice
Bourget, Speaker of the Senate, added further symbolic meaning to our flag: "The flag is
the symbol of the nation's unity, for it, beyond any doubt, represents all the citizens of
Canada without distinction of race, language, belief or opinion."
about 8,000 years ago. They sustained themselves by hunting the buffalo. Evidence of their activities can still be seen at
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, which is now a World Heritage Site in southern Alberta. Later, these people — who
included the Blackfoot, Blood, and Peigan — tamed horses and hunted buffalo with rifles they obtained from European
Another group of First Nations, who included the Woodland Cree and Chipewyan tribes, settled the woodland areas of
central Alberta. These people hunted caribou, moose and fished the lakes and rivers. They used bark canoes to travel up
and down streams in the area.
During the 19th Century, European fur traders married Native women. The result was the
creation of a new people unique to Canada's plains. The children of these marriages are
called Métis (meaning "mixed"), and they followed a different way of life that was
similar to that of the First Nations' lives.
The first European to reach Alberta was the fur trader Anthony Henday, who explored the vicinity of present-day Red
Deer and Edmonton in 1754-55. He spent the winter with a group of Blackfoot, with whom he traded and went buffalo
The fur trade changed the lives of the First Nations. Their somewhat nomadic lifestyle became focused on gathering,
transporting and trading furs with European explorers and settlers. In return for their furs, they received guns, blankets
and metal goods.
The trade also led to greater knowledge of the geography of Alberta, especially through the work of David Thompson.
In the 1790s and early 1800s, Thompson drew the first good maps of the Alberta region as he explored and surveyed
for the North-West Company (NWC).
Law and Order
In 1870 the Hudson's Bay Company turned over control of the entire Northwest to Canada. In 1872, the region was
opened for settlement. To support its claim to the Northwest and to keep law and order in the region, the Canadian
government formed the North-West Mounted Police in 1873.
The Mounties established their first post in Alberta in 1874 at Fort Macleod. One of their first tasks was to control the
whisky trade. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police web site).
A major event in Alberta history was the arrival of the railway in 1883. The railway made the Canadian settlement of
the West possible. In 1881 there were about 1,000 non-Native settlers in Alberta. Ten years later that number had
grown to 17,500.
The most successful early settlers were the ranchers, who found Alberta's foothills to be ideal ranching country. Most
of Alberta's ranchers were English settlers, but the cowboys - such as John Ware who in 1876 brought the first cattle
into the province - were American.
Farming the prairie proved more difficult. Most newcomers preferred to settle in the United States West, but by the
1890s, most of the American land was taken. In 1897, Canada's minister of the interior, Clifford Sifton, began a
massive advertising campaign in Europe to encourage people to come to the Canadian West.
by Barbara Rogers
Simon Fraser could be called the founding father of British
Columbia because he built the first colonial trading posts west of
the Rockies, enabling the British Crown to eventually claim the
land. He is, however, best known for his daring exploration of
the great river which bears his name.
Descended from a noble Scottish Highland family, the Lovat This story is from the
Frasers, he was the youngest son of Simon Fraser of Culbokie Greater Vancouver Book
and Isabel Grant of Duldreggan. In September 1773 the family by Chuck Davis. You can
find more stories from
emigrated to America on the SS Pearl and settled in Albany, New the book or even
York. Simon Jr. was born in the hamlet of Mapleton, Hoosick purchase it here
Township on May 20, 1776, the very eve of the American
Revolution. Simon's Loyalist father was captured at the Battle of Bennington and
died a prisoner in Albany jail. His widowed mother fled with her family to Canada in
Uncle John Fraser, a Montreal judge, took charge of Simon's education and when the
boy turned 16 secured him a clerical position with the famous North West Company.
In 1793 Simon was sent to the Athabascan wilderness to learn his trade at the
isolated Peace River Nor'Wester posts. By 1802 he was appointed one of the
company's youngest partners. In 1805 he was chosen for the important role of
expanding the company's trade to the land beyond the Rockies and to explore the
river (then believed to be the Columbia) to its mouth. Between 1805 and 1807 he
established the first four forts west of the Rockies at McLeod, Stuart and Fraser
Lakes and Fort George. He named this new wilderness domain New Caledonia.
On May 22, 1808, Simon Fraser began the expedition which has been described as
one of the greatest explorations in North America—the Fraser River with its
whirlpools, treacherous currents and perilous rapids. He set off from Stuart Lake with
two clerks, John Stuart and Jules Quesnel, 19 voyageurs and two Indian guides.
Fraser's personal qualities of courage, determination, leadership and remarkable
insight into human nature would all be tested during the greatest adventure of his
The group encountered thousands of First Nations peoples who had never before
seen Europeans. Without their hospitality, assistance and guidance the expedition
would have been impossible, a fact frequently acknowledged by the explorer. He
learned to announce his arrival and intentions by always sending ambassadors ahead
to inform the next village.
The river, even more dangerous in the June freshet, presented insurmountable
challenges and, once embarked, the towering precipices made it impossible to land.
After surviving numerous near drownings and upset canoes even the determined
Fraser was, at last, convinced that it was impossible to continue by water.
Reluctantly, he cached the canoes near Leon Creek and continued on foot which
brought new trials. At the Black Canyon they were forced to follow Indian guides as
they climbed forbidding cliffs using intricate scaffolds, bridges and ladders hundreds
of feet above the swirling water. One missed step would be their last.
Entering the Fraser Valley their greatest threat would be man. Their sojourn in the
Fraser Valley was brief, from June 28 to July 8, but their lives were in constant
danger. Without canoes and with few provisions, Fraser was forced to rely on the
natives for both. His excitement grew when he learned that the ocean was within a
Problems arose at an unidentified "mystery" village near present-day Fort Langley
where Fraser was amazed at the size of a communal cedar-plank house 195 metres
long and 15 metres broad. At first all was well. The group was hospitably received
and the chief promised to lend them his large canoe for the next day's dash to the
ocean. The residents were fascinated by the strange visitors' pale skins and blue and
grey eyes. They called them Sky People. When the wondrous trade goods were
spread out to dry, the young braves watched with avaricious eyes. During the night a
few braves helped themselves.
July 2 Should have been Fraser's day of triumph. Instead it was a long trying day in
which they barely escaped with their lives. The thefts discovered, the culprits were
kicked which, though considered an appropriate punishment by Europeans of that
era, to the natives was a deadly insult, They resolved to kill the Sky People. The
chief refused to lend his canoe. Fraser was aghast. The whole success of his mission
depended on obtaining transportation. While he used all his persuasive powers, an
almost comical tug-of-war rook place for the canoe. Eventually the chief relented
and, with some of his men, accompanied Fraser.
Early Coastal Explorers
by Heather Conn
Long before 1791, when the first major exploration and charting
of waters around Vancouver took place, native people travelled
the region by canoe. When Captain James Cook arrived in 1778
at Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island's west coast, the natives
believed his crew were transformed fish. "One white man had a
real hooked nose," retells Winifred David, whose husband's
Mowachaht (Nootka) ancestors greeted Cook's ship and passed This story is from the
down this oral story. "And one of the men was saying to this Greater Vancouver Book
other guy, he must have been a dog salmon, that guy . . . Look by Chuck Davis. You can
find more stories from
at that one, he's a humpback [salmon]."
the book or even
purchase it here
Juan Perez in the Santiago made the first Spanish voyage to the
Northwest Coast in 1774. Like Britain, Spain longed to discover the Northwest
Passage. Control of this passage, believed to link the Pacific and Atlantic oceans
across the top of North America, promised trade. Dutch, British and French
navigation on the Northwest Coast threatened Spain. Russians had already colonized
what is now Alaska and their fur trading stimulated coastal exploration in the 1770s.
Spaniards had colonized the Pacific Coast near San Francisco and made brief trips
farther north. But Spain wanted to boost her sovereignty claim to this region. So
between 1774 and 1779, Spain sent three separate expeditions to explore the
northern Pacific Coast. That's when Cook arrived at Nootka Sound via the South
Pacific and followed the coast from Oregon to Alaska. But no ship had yet reached
the Strait of Georgia.
For the next few years, war replaced exploration. Britain fought the American
colonies to crush their bid for independence while Spain and France, to support the
colonies, maintained ships in the Atlantic. But exploration resumed after the
American Revolution ended in 1783. More than 100 trading ships, mostly from
Britain and America, arrived at the coast between 1785 and 1792. French ships
navigated parts of the coast in 1786. John Meares visited Nootka Sound in 1788 and
helped British fur-traders keep an almost constant presence there. This diminished
Spain's historical claim to the site, which was still believed to be part of the
mainland. In 1789 Alejandro Malaspina received orders to check on Spain's new
settlement at Nootka Sound, which he did, and to discover the Northwest Passage,
which he did not.
Europeans first ventured into Vancouver's surrounding waters in July 1791. Spanish
navigator José Maria Narvaez explored the Strait of Georgia for three weeks. He
sailed "a line of water that was more sweet than salty" between what is present-day
Point Roberts, Washington and Point Grey. He saw openings in the land but did not
realize that these formed the mouths of the Fraser River. Narvaez thought that Point
Grey was an island surrounded by other islands, and called "them" Islas de Langara.
On his chart of this region Narvaez marked three squares on today's north shore of
Burrard Inlet. Evidence indicates that these were native villages, the first recorded
dwellings in Greater Vancouver.
In the summer of 1792 British and Spanish ships appeared in the area. Captain
George Vancouver, Cook's former apprentice, led his expedition in the sloop
Discovery. They anchored at Birch Bay, then travelled up Georgia Strait in smaller
boats. The Spaniards, who had sailed from Mexico to Nootka, used Narvaez's chart
to explore the area. Their two schooners, one under Dionisio Alcala Galiano,
anchored off Point Grey. Both nations' expeditions sailed up Burrard Inlet and the
east coast of Vancouver Island. Galiano explored Indian Arm, then shared his
information with Vancouver, who passed the mouth of the Fraser River but decided
that its shoals precluded channel navigation. Vancouver produced meticulous maps
of the area between 39° and 52° north latitude. He examined the Strait of Juan de
Fuca (whose namesake explorer had wrongly charted the waterway at 47° and 48°
north latitude), and realized that it offered no source to the Northwest Passage.
Vancouver charted more of this shoreline in one summer than any predecessor. He
found Howe Sound "a dreary, comfortless region."
Vancouver history at a glance
Museum of Anthropology
The city of Vancouver is renowned for its incomparable natural beauty and cultural diversity.
For thousands of years the Coast Salish people have called the area now known as Vancouver home.
Their history and cultural traditions, upholding a deep respect for nature and humanity, are tightly
woven into the city's cultural fabric.
When, in 1792, Captain George Vancouver explored the Burrard Inlet, today the shores of the city, he
wrote of the area's "innumerable pleasing landscapes." But it was the discovery of gold that drew
substantial European settlements to the region.
In 1827 the Hudson's Bay Company set up a trading post on the Fraser River, east of present-day
Vancouver. By 1858 the gold rush on the Fraser River brought thousands of prospectors to the area.
The influx of pioneers would continue.
Perhaps the city's best known pioneer is Vancouver legend "Gassy Jack" Deighton. He established the
area's first saloon in 1867 on the south shore of the Burrard Inlet; the area became known as
Gastown. Nearby, legendary Stanley Park was officially opened in 1888, named for Lord Stanley,
former Governor General of Canada.
Thanks to Dan Raven for compiling this information.