Jasper in 1958

This 36-page booklet is extra-large: 11×8-1/2 inches as compared with the 6×9-inch format used in Canadian National’s 1940 Jasper booklet, though the latter’s 52 pages partly made up for the smaller size. Large color photos in this booklet make it clear that CN’s Jasper Park Lodge was very nice, but nowhere near as impressive as the Banff Springs Hotel or the Chateau Lake Louise.

Click image to download a 35.7-MB PDF of this booklet.

Where CP built high-rise hotels in Banff and Lake Louise before high rises were common in many cities, CN was content to have a low-rise lodge in Jasper. The actual guest rooms were in separate cottages outside the main lodge, which held a lobby, dining hall, and recreation rooms.

CN makes a virtue of this difference, saying, “There is nothing ordinary about Jasper. Instead of one building, it is a village, a self-contained community built on the landscaped shore of an entrancing mountain lake.” Yet CP had lodges like this too, at Wapta, Emerald, and several other lakes in Banff and Yoho parks. Just as the scenery in Jasper Park was not as spectacular as in Banff and Yoho, CN’s lodge was more plebeian.

It may be due to the awkward lighting conditions for the photographer, but the interior photos of the lodge on pages 4, 5, and 6 seem drab and mundane compared with the bright, cheery outdoor photos. Whatever the cause, it seems a metaphor for CN’s service overall compared with CP’s.

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