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Our parks

ALL PARKS, WHETHER NATIONAL, PROVINCIAL or simply a favourite city park, have always been places of natural beauty; places to ’get away from it all,’ places to contemplate and experience the great outdoors. Both Canada’s national and provincial park systems were established at the end of the 1800s as governments and the public began fretting over the rapid depletion of natural resources, the degradation of scenic places and an increased need for outdoor ’getaways’ for growing urban populations. Banff was the first national park, established in 1885, and Algonquin, in Ontario, the first provincial park, started in 1893. Our parks represent varied ecosystems, and each aims to preserve our natural resources, wildlife and history.

Summer is an ideal time to get out there and see what Canada’s parks have to offer. Here are some resources and website links to get you started.


Geography on the job: Al Davidson helped develop plans for 12 of Canada’s national parks

Check out some park stories that have appeared in Canadian Geographic magazine over the last few years:

  • Canada’s newest national park, Tuktut Nogait: Resolving a border dispute in the NWT park to preserve caribou herding grounds (Canadian Geographic, May/June 1999)
  • Urban park design: Shaping new sanctuaries (CG May/June 1998)
  • Ontario’s Sandbanks Provincial Park: A pictorial of the spectacular beach in off-season (Canadian Geographic, March/April 1998)
  • Banff vs. the bears: How the national park is trying to balance its overwhelming visitor population with its wildlife populations (Canadian Geographic, January/February 1997)
  • Shell game: Saving Blanding’s turtles in Kejimkujik National Park (Canadian Geographic, May/June 1996)
  • Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary: Dene and Inuit will soon manage the continent’s largest tract of fully protected wilderness (Canadian Geographic, March/April 1996)

Canadian parks on the Web

National Parks and Provincial Parks Parks Canada — our national parks
Alberta provincial parks
B.C. Environment and Parks
Manitoba Parks
New Brunswick trails
Newfoundland Parks and Natural Areas
Nova Scotia Parks
Ontario Parks
Parcs du Quebec
Prince Edward Island Provincial Parks
Saskatchewan Parks

Adobe PDF download Our parks (Adobe PDF document)


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