Visit Banff: the Canadien Rockies

Topics: Banff, Alberta, Banff National Park, Canadian Pacific Railway Pages: 8 (2958 words) Published: April 22, 2008
Kevin Shane Cantley
Dorothy Dimeling
English Composition 101
March 7, 2007
Banff National Park, the oldest National Park in Canada, is located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains in the province of Alberta. “There are many resorts and lodges for tourists, one being an upscale accommodation designed in the likeness of a Scottish baronial castle.” (Mobile 5) Banff National Park is 6,641 square kilometers of mountain landscape. “The snow-capped mountains of the Canadian Rockies reflect mirror images on glacier fed lakes and rivers and form a spectacular backdrop for endless forests.” (Hempstead 295) Banff National Park is also “the home of two of North America’s most famous resort towns, Banff Township and Lake Louise.”(Hempstead 295) Another reason to visit Banff National Park is because of the currency exchange rate. Most merchants do accept Canadian or US Dollars. “Keep in mind that the Canadian Dollar is worth less than the US Dollar, but buys nearly as much in the way of goods and services.” (McRae and Blore 25) Banff National Park is a place that offers a variety of year-round attractions and a rich cultural history for visitors and residents alike. “Evidence of human occupation in the Bow Valley and on the shores of Lake Minnewanka dates back to 11500 BC.” ( Early Indians utilized the area around Banff for hunting and fishing purposes. Buffalo were hunted for food, tools and clothing, and were an essential part of early civilization here. Man did not easily hunt Buffalo. On foot with just a stone spear, man had to learn to be cunning and calculating. “One band of Indians built a five-mile long pile of rocks that may have been used to steer buffalo towards cliffs, bogs or box canyons to allow the buffalo to be speared more easily.”(Sattler 58) By 6000 BC, some of the woodland peoples of this area had learned to grow part of their food. In 1750 AD, Plains Blackfoot, Kootenany and Cree Indians all inhabited the area around the Bow Valley. “In 1841, Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, George Simpson arrived to western Canada. He was the first known European to visit the area. Simpson visits the Hot Springs and bathes in a gravel pool just big enough for one person.”( In 1871, the Canadian Government decided to start construction for a national railway. The purpose of the railway was to connect British Columbia with the other four provinces. In 1883, three of the railway workers stake claims to the natural Hot Springs on the side of Sulphur Mountain. “Lord George Stephen, the first ever director of the Canadian Pacific Railway, names the area “Banff” after his birthplace of Banffshire, Scotland.” (Hempstead 302) “Government Legislation in 1885, under Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister, designates 26 square kilometers of the Canadian Rockies surrounding the hot springs of Sulphur Mountain as a reserve.” (McRae and Blore 338) “The Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian Government team together to promote Banff reserve as an international resort and spa. The revenues brought in help to support the railway and eases financial pressures of the Canadian Government.” ( The Canadian Government expanded the reserve in 1877 to 670 square kilometers and established Rocky Mountain Park. Automobile bans are lifted and access is made possible in 1911 due to construction of the Banff/Calgary Coach Road. Citizens of Calgary start building summer cottages and stores and advertise Banff as a year round destination. In 1917, The Park’s area is increased to 7125 square kilometers. The Canadian government passes the first National Parks Act in the world dedicating national parks "to the people of Canada, for their benefit, education and enjoyment. Such parks shall be maintained so as to leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations” ( By 1930, the park becomes fixed at 6641 square kilometers and is renamed Banff National Park. Road construction played an...
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