Dining Aboard the Canadian

Pre-Canadian Canadian Pacific menus tended to have pictures of mounties, mountains, or Canadian Pacific hotels. But for the Canadian, the railroad used this grand painting of the train on Morant’s curve. The painting was done by Chesley Bonestell, who–shades of George Kauffman–was most famous for his outer space art. Canadian Pacific used Bonestell’s illustration in many other places, including magazine ads and on the covers of steamship and hotel menus.

Click image to download a 3.2-MB PDF of this menu.

The 1958 menu itself has an a la carte and a table d’hôte side. A la carte entrées include curried chicken, roast beef, roast lamb, broiled sirloin steak, and calf’s liver. The table d’hôte side includes all of these entrées plus “fresh fish.” The table d’hôte items cost $1.50 more than the a la carte entrées (about $12 in today’s money), for which you get an appetizer, soup, salad, vegetable, bread, beverage, and dessert.

The observation car in the painting, Banff Park, was the third car in the Park-car series. Yet it appears in almost every Canadian Pacific illustration of the train, including yesterday’s Roger Couillard poster. Banff is Canada’s first and probably its most famous national park, so it made sense for the Canadian Pacific to both promote it (and the two Canadian Pacific hotels located in or near the park) and tie its top train to it.


Dining Aboard the Canadian — 1 Comment

  1. At least there’s no brains or tongue on this menu, but sardines on toast have reappeared, and a new interloper, calves liver, has shown up. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d rather have a dinner of brains AND sweetbreads than liver. The steaks are pretty expensive for 1958, and they aren’t even Red Label, just some generic western Canada beef. It seems like CPR was trying to cheap out and raise prices at the same time.


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