Icefield Parkway Monument, Banff Natl Park, Canada
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Queens Blessing
N 52° 12.830 W 117° 09.614
11U E 489052 N 5784833
Quick Description: The Icefield Parkway was upgraded to a paved road to improve transportation opportunities, with the completion date of August 3, 1961.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 9/3/2011 9:27:47 PM
Waymark Code: WMCG47
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member wildwoodke
Views: 6

Long Description:
This cairn and plaques commemorate the important accomplishment of the paving of the Icefield Parkway, in 1961.

The text on the plaque reads:
"This Highway was officially opened by The Honourable David J. Walker P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Public Works of Canada, August 3, 1961"

The importance of the paving of the Icefield Parkway becomes apparent when properly considered within the history of Banff. The history of Banff begins 175 million years ago, with the formation of the Rocky Mountains, when the Pacific tectonic plate slowly inched under the North American plate, forcing the land to adjust to the pressure, and the mountains were formed, first by the thrust of masses of material upward, followed by the gradual erosion by wind, water and glaciers, shaping the material into the Rocky Mountains that we see today.

And it is this “seeing” of the mountains that caused the Icefield Parkway to be paved.

The first “visitors” to Banff were the native peoples of Canada. Archaelogical records place them here as far back as 11000 bc. Historical records indicate the area remained largely unexplored due to its remote location until 1800 when the explorer David Thompson mapped a large part of western Canada. In 1885, the Canadian Pacific Railroad built the trans-continental rail line to Banff and the tourist trade to the area began. Up to this time, the area was largely viewed as a location for hunting and trapping, and much of Banff was first mapped by hunters and trappers. It was these areas the tourists desired to see, also. In 1883, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) was built through the Rockies, to “Sliding 29” which is now known as Banff. The CPR has an important place in the history of Banff; the name itself comes from Banffshire, Scotland, the birthplace of the president of the CPR, George Stephan. It is said that when the general manager of CPR, Cornelius Van Horn, first saw the Sulphur Mountain, and the Fairmont Banff Springs, he voiced “Since we can’t export the scenery, we’ll have to import the tourists”. And the tourist did begin to arrive, by train.

In 1887, Banff receieved National Park status. After World War II, the expansion of air and motor travel caused increased awareness of the Rocky Mountains and the tourist trade increased dramatically.

In 1956, the Trans-Canada Highway was completed thru Yoho and destinations westward.

And, in 1961, the Icefields Parkway was upgraded to a paved road. This was a major accomplishement, and one that we can still take advantage of, today.

(visit link)
Type of Marker: Could be Classified as Both

Sign Age: Historic Site or Building Marker

Parking: Large paved parking area is provided.

Placement agency: Parks Canada

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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
jennyanykind visited Icefield Parkway Monument, Banff Natl Park, Canada 8/14/2014 jennyanykind visited it
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ornith visited Icefield Parkway Monument, Banff Natl Park, Canada 9/15/2012 ornith visited it
Queens Blessing visited Icefield Parkway Monument, Banff Natl Park, Canada 9/17/2011 Queens Blessing visited it

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