Elizabeth Parker Hut

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Yoho National Park of Canada, British Columbia
Exterior photograph showing the simple massing of the rectangular building and its medium-pitched roof. © Parks Canada
Side view.
© Parks Canada
Exterior photograph showing the horizontally laid, peeled round logs with saddle-notched corners. © Parks CanadaExterior photograph showing the simple massing of the rectangular building and its medium-pitched roof. © Parks Canada
Address : O'Hara Lake, Yoho National Park of Canada, British Columbia

Recognition Statute: Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
Designation Date: 1988-02-02
Dates:
  • 1919 to 1919 (Construction)

Event, Person, Organization:
  • Canadian Pacific Railway  (Architect)
Custodian: Parks Canada
FHBRO Report Reference: 87-018
DFRP Number: 18730 00

Description of Historic Place

The Elizabeth Parker Hut, located on the shore of Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park, is a rectangular log cabin with a side extension and medium-pitched gable roofs. The main entrance façade is located on the long side of the building. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Elizabeth Parker Hut is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
The Elizabeth Parker Hut is associated with the history of mountaineering in the Canadian West. The Canadian Pacific Railway actively involved with tourism throughout the Rockies, promoted hiking and climbing and brought Swiss guides to Canada to lead climbing parties. In 1931, the railway donated the Elizabeth Parker Hut to the Alpine Club of Canada for use by club members.

Architectural Value
The Elizabeth Parker Hut is representative of the rustic aesthetic used for small, traditional log cabins built in Canadian National Parks in the early 1900s. Designed to blend in with the natural setting, its quality craftsmanship and use of natural building materials respect the architectural imagery of the mountain National Parks.

Environmental Value
The Elizabeth Parker Hut maintains an unchanged historical relationship to its natural site and the nearby Wiwaxy Lodge. The rustic, log construction of the hut is compatible with the natural character of its picturesque setting among mountains and evergreens, and is well known to visitors of the Lake O’Hara area.

Sources:
Shannon Ricketts, Elizabeth Parker Hut and Wiwaxy Lodge, Yoho National Park,
British Columbia, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report, 87-018.

Elizabeth Parker Hut, Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Heritage Character Statement, 87-018.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Elizabeth Parker Hut should be respected:

Its traditional, rustic aesthetic, for example: The simple massing of the rectangular building and its medium-pitched roof. The choice of local materials, indigenous building methods and rustic design details
such as the horizontally laid, peeled round logs with saddle-notched corners, the
chinking highlighted as horizontal white accents, the framing of the windows and doors
with milled lumber and the fieldstone and brick chimneys.

The manner in which the Elizabeth Parker Hut maintains an unchanged historical relationship to its natural site and is compatible with the natural character of its mountain park setting that is well known to visitors of the area, as evidenced by: The ongoing relationship of the building to its natural site on the shore of Lake O’Hara,
with a backdrop of mountains and mature trees. The rustic aesthetic and natural materials of the building which harmonizes with the
adjacent Wiwaxy Lodge, and is compatible with the picturesque wilderness setting. The building’s scenic location on the shore of Lake O’Hara that is accessible to hikers
and visitors of Yoho National Park.

Heritage Character Statement

Disclaimer - The heritage character statement was developed by FHBRO to explain the reasons for the designation of a federal heritage building and what it is about the building that makes it significant (the heritage character). It is a key reference document for anyone involved in planning interventions to federal heritage buildings and is used by FHBRO in their review of interventions.

The Elizabeth Parker Hut was built in 1919 by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. It was later taken over by Parks Canada and operated as a hiker's hut by the Alpine Club of Canada. See FHBRO Building Report 87-18.

Reasons for Designation
The Elizabeth Parker Hut was designated Recognized on the basis of its link with the history of mountaineering in the Canadian West. Designed to blend with the natural setting, Elizabeth Parker Hut is representative of the small traditional log cabin built in Canadian National Parks in the early 1900s.

Character Defining Elements
The heritage character is determined by the form, construction technique and materials of the cabin.

The cleanly peeled log, the corner saddle-notching, the chinking highlighted as horizontal white accents and the windows and doors framed with milled lumber painted a red ochre hue contribute to the heritage character. Reinstatement of the cedar shingle roof would enhance the building's appearance.

Maintenance and repair should respect the existing vernacular architectural vocabulary and materials.