Tourism and the Canadian National Parks System: Protection, Use and Balance

Stephen Boyd, Richard Butler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This was a requested chapter by the editors. The book examined the history and development of national park systems from around the world. This chapter provides the narrative of the development of one of the earliest park systems that took place in what was called 'New World' countries. The story of national parks in Canada is one of accident, followed by an ad hoc strategy until the early legislation of Park Acts were in place. Thereafter the development of the system expanded from a dominantly western one centred around the Rocky mountains to cover almost all regions of Canada from the Atlantic coast, through Ontario, the central prairies, to the west coast and expanding into the northern periphery. The narrative of development is one of balancing the dual mandates of protection and use, recognising that while the system is in place to ensure ecological integrity of unique ecosystems, the dominance of recreation and in particular tourism have become the major drivers of the system and how it is perceived. The chapter addresses the challenges of managing spaces where both mandates have to be upheld, something even more challenging for parks established in the far north where First Peoples and their views and traditions have also to be taken into this mix.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTourism and National Parks: International Perspectives on Development, Histories and Change
EditorsW Frost, Michael Hall
ISBN (Print)0-415-47516-7
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2009

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