Totem Poles Menu

Whereas yesterday’s menu had a code of “V-11-36” and advertised the Empress Hotel, this one has a code of “V-14-36”–which I interpret to mean it came out later–and advertises Canadian Pacific’s Chalet-Bungalow Camps in the Rockies. These included Emerald Lake Chalet and Yoho Valley Lodge, Field; Lake O’Hara and (pictured on the cover of this menu) Lake Wapta Lodges at Hector and Moraine Lake Lodge at Lake Louise.

Click image to download a 1.7-MB PDF of this menu.

Wapta Lake, the source of the Kicking Horse River, is about halfway between Field and Lake Louise near the summit of the Rocky Mountains. The rail line skirts the south side of the lake (behind the photographer of the totem poles in the photo) while the lodges were on the north side. In 1928, Canadian Pacific prepared a 150-slide presentation showing color, or colorized, lantern slides including one very similar to the photo used on the menu cover. The totem poles appear to be guarding a boat landing that passengers would use to get from the railroad to the lodge.

The lodges opened in 1921 and continued to operate at least as late as 1954, when this publication was issued. The Trans-Canada Highway, which opened in 1962, would have displaced many of the bungalows, which may be why the lodge closed. Today, it is the site of the more modern but also more impersonal Great Divide Lodge.

This menu is much like yesterday’s, but doesn’t identify the name of the train it was used on. Instead, where yesterday’s menu said “The Dominion” on the table d’hôte side, today’s says “Cafe Service.” Otherwise, both sides of the menu are virtually identical to yesterday’s. Since heavyweight trains rarely had cafe cars separate from the diners, and a cafe car that used the same menu as the diner would miss the point of having a secondary (lower-cost) service car, this is probably just a generic term for dining car service.


Totem Poles Menu — 1 Comment

  1. Finally, a CPR menu with no tongue, sardine sandwiches, scrambled cow brains, cow feet jelly, or any other kind of weird meat or fish-like material. I do notice they re trying to pull ft one with the full size sirloin steak though. On the dinner, the “Canadian Pacific” sirloin is $1.50 for the entire menu. On the a la carte side, the “Red Label” sirloin was $1.50 just for the steak. Now that I know Red Label was the top grade of beef in Canada, the “Canadian Pacific” sirloin must have been some lower grade, gristly, nasty piece of steak the CPR was trying to pass off on the traveling public, the sneaky devils. 🙂


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