Banff: Canada’s First National Park

By: Eleanor Luxton
ISBN: 9780978237547
Publication date: April 2008
162 pages | Paperback | 6 x 9 inches


Canada and U.S. only

Also Available Here


In this Banff history book, Eleanor Luxton, the native daughter of one of Banff’s pioneers, presents us with a labour of love – a comprehensive history of Banff National Park from its geological birth, through its exploration and settlement, to its growth as Canada’s first National Park.

This story of Rocky Mountains Park is a sensitive portrayal of the natural and human history of the Banff area, weaving together the romantic adventure of the earliest exploration and settlement with the realities of World Wars, depressions, and government influences. It will most surely command rapt attention from both the casual reader and the historian.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE:Written in 1975 as an historical account and reprinted in 2008, Banff: Canada’s First National Park has itself become a piece of the park’s history. Respecting this significance, we have strived to replicate the original book by re-creating the original cover, leaving the text as it appeared in 1975 (complete with references to places that no longer exist, such as the Buffalo Paddock), and including photographs from Luxton’s private collection.


ELEANOR LUXTON (1908-1995) is perhaps uniquely qualified to have written about Banff, having deep roots not only in this area but in the larger region of western Canada. Her maternal great-grandfather, the Reverend George McDougall, came west in 1860 to found Fort Victoria North (now Pakan). W. F. Luxton, paternal grandfather, was the first school teacher in Winnipeg, and founded The Winnipeg Free Press in 1872.

Her mother, Georgia McDougall Luxton, was the first white child born in what is now Alberta. Her father, Norman Luxton, made an epic return voyage across the Pacific Ocean in a thirty-foot dugout canoe (the story of which is recorded in one of Miss Luxton’s books, The Voyage of the Tilikum), came to Banff, founded the town newspaper, The Crag & Canyon, and played an instrumental role in developing the area into the world-renowned National Park it is today. With such close ties with Canada’s past, it is little wonder that Eleanor Luxton turned to writing history.

Throughout the years of Miss Luxton’s many-facetted career – which ranges from locomotive design for the Canadian Pacific Railway to lecturer at McGill University and technician in charge of a medical laboratory – she carried on the historical research of western Canada’s pioneers. For more information, please contact the Eleanor Luxton Historical Foundation