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JUG320S: The Canadian Wilderness Week 7: Tourism Professor Emily Gilbert http://individual.utoronto.ca/emilygilbert/ Today’s Themes I: The Tourist Gaze II: Tourism for the Nation III: Managing the Tourist IV: Future of Tourism? I: Tourism

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jug320s the canadian wilderness

JUG320S: The Canadian Wilderness

Week 7: Tourism

Professor Emily Gilbert


today s themes
Today’s Themes

I: The Tourist Gaze

II: Tourism for the Nation

III: Managing the Tourist

IV: Future of Tourism?

i tourism
I: Tourism
  • “The myth of the wilderness as ‘virgin,’ uninhabited land had always been especially cruel when seen from the perspective of the Indians who had once called that land home. Now they were forced to move elsewhere, with the result that tourists could safely enjoy the illusion that they were seeing their nation in its pristine, original state, in the new morning of God’s creation” (Cronon)
Tourist or romantic gaze:
  • Importance of the cultivation

and display of ‘good’ taste

  • Aesthetic sightseeing: pictures and the picturesque
  • Emphasis on solitary views, on unique experience
  • Organizing the tourist gaze: role of government, train companies, artists to shape tourist ideal in wilderness
  • Tourists as consumers of the landscape: guides, accommodation, transportation, etc.
ii tourism for the nation
II: Tourism for the Nation

Early 19thC:

  • Outdoor recreation begins to become popular
  • Emergence of urban parks movements

Curative holidays taken by wealthy city-dwellers

More middle-class recreation: hunting, fishing, canoeing; church and youth organizations, eg summer camps

Rise of leisure time: where people look for meaning

A sportsman and two Mi'kmaq guides on the Restigouche River (detail), 1880s(Camp Harmony Angling Club)

Sportsmen’s club movement
    • eg Forest and Stream (1873-) editor Charles Hallock

Clyde and Emma Young,

Young’s Wilderness Camp


1876: artists and Intercolonial Railway: picturesque; development of tourism


The building of the CPR and uniting Canada from sea to sea

Economic nationalism and dominance of central Canada

Expansion of empire outward

Last spike at Craigellachie, Nov 7, 1885

Banff National Park
  • Created 1885
  • Banff Springs Hotel built in the Scottish

Baronial style; designed by architect

Bruce Price

  • Rebuilt in the 1920s after a 1926 fire
  • Rise of the scouting movement

Woodcraft Indians

  • Youth program established by Ernest Thompson Seton in US in 1902
  • Seton an author, naturalist, artist; Wild Animals I Have Known (1898)
  • Told boys stories of Native Americans and nature; stories later published

Boy Scouts

  • Founded by Lord Baden-Powell in UK (1907)
  • 1910: Woodcraft Indians merge with Boy Scouts of America
  • 1921: Brownies established (for boys and girls)
iii tourism for the nation
III: Tourism for the Nation
  • 1911: National Parks Branch of the Department of the Interior formed with first Commissioner James Bernard Harkin (1911-1936)
  • Importance of money from domestic and international tourism
  • But also “the service they render to the people of Canada” importance of “play spirit” to Canadian nationalism
  • Paradox: “unpsoiled” wilderness but also therapeutic “playgrounds”
around WWI governments began promoting outdoor activities;
    • acquired parkland;
    • built recreational facilities;
    • drew up wildlife regulations;
    • wrote resource-management policies;
    • zoned cabin and cottage lands to control development
  • WWI: park internment camps to develop road infrastructure; largely unemployed or destitute men (Ukrainians) to lay 400 miles of scenic roads by 1930
1931: Unemployment and Farm Relief Act creates public works projects in national parks: workers at Banff build new bathhouse and pool at Upper Hot Springs, and work on roads
  • WWII: more internment camps set up, at Lake Louise, Stoney Creek and Healy Creek—largely filled with Mennonites from Saskatchewan
  • Japanese internment camps set up at Jasper National Park, with internees working on Yellowhead Highway and other roads
Increasing importance of car travel: as new freedom
  • Increase in accessibility: by 1920s more than half tourists to Rocky Mountain Park arriving by car
  • Development of infrastructure: roads, auto camping facilities (campsites, cabins)
  • CPR and CNR worked with National Parks Branch to develop facilities, eg Banff-Windermere Highway
  • 1923: Jasper Park Lodge built: luxurious style centre surrounded by bungalows
Jin-me Yoon

Souvenirs of the Self, 1993

Group of Sixty-Seven, 1996/7

iii managing the tourist
III: Managing the Tourist


  • More leisure time, more money, more cars
  • Rise in mass market for recreational services and commodities
  • Canadian Outdoor Recreation Demand Study: released reports 1968, 1969, 1972: outdoor recreation a component of national character: a public need
But also more concern over preservation:
    • US Wilderness Protection Act of 1964
    • Canada: National and Provincial Parks Association of Canada former 1963 (later the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society)
    • First endangered species legislation; setting out national environmental policies
    • Bid to hold 1972 Winter Olympics at Lake Louise withdrawn because of environmental concerns
    • From late 1970s, National Parks Act begins to shift emphasis to conservation and ecological integrity
Algonquin Provincial Park
  • 7,725 km2
  • 1,500 km of canoe routes
  • 2,000 km of logging routes
  • Established 1893
  • First Park surveyor:

James Dickson

  • First Chief Ranger:

Peter Thomson

Strict control of access and movement

Zones: historic; recreation/utilization; nature reserve; wilderness; development zones

Parkway Corridor and the Interior

Elite classism of tourism
  • High-tech (efficiency and finesse) vs. low-tech (tradition and naturalness) equipment
  • Status associated with remote camping: escape and aesthetics
  • Aesthetic and experiential consumption of landscape
  • Park structures help produce meaning
iv future of tourism
IV: Future of Tourism?
  • “space can be made to hide consequences from us…relations of power and discipline are inscribed into the apparently innocent spatiality of social life” (Edward Soja)
  • “unproductive” activity “planned with the greatest care: centralized, organized, hierarchized, symbolized and programmed to the nth degree” (Henri Lefebvre)
  • “spaces sometimes lie just as things lie” (Henri Lefebvre)

ECOTOURISMFocus on local flora and faunaconservation of biological and cultural diversity, and the protection of ecosystemssustainable use of biodiversity, and local employment opportunitiesconsent of local community, and aboriginal peoples, and profit-sharing and co-management with themincrease of environmental & cultural knowledge minimal environmental impact—small ecological footprint