Links and documents
1934/01/01 to 1935/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Cambrian Pavilion is situated in the northeast corner of the Cascades of Time Garden in downtown Banff. Of simple massing, the Cambrian Pavilion is a rectangular structure consisting of an open-walled garden pavilion built of rock in the Rustic style. Squat with a hipped roof and wide overhanging arches, the symmetrical façade is five bays wide and has a central entrance arch. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Cambrian Pavilion is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Cambrian Pavilion at Banff is a very good example of the development of Canada’s national park system and early Canadian tourism. It is also associated with the emerging ideals of protecting and enhancing designated wilderness areas for the pleasure and benefit of the Canadian people. The department of Public Works funded the project and provided relief for unemployed workers during the Great Depression.
The Cambrian Pavilion is a very good example of Rustic design within the National Parks program. As an integral part of the Cascades of Time Garden, the Cambrian Pavilion is one of the first features in a planned picturesque walk through the gardens. The informal Rustic style was perceived as harmonious with the mountain setting. Reflecting the rustic, picturesque aesthetic consistent with parks’ tradition, local building materials were used and the Cambrian Pavilion and surrounding pools were built of local rock. It is a good functional structure built to reflect its picturesque setting. The pavilion exhibits good quality materials and very good craftsmanship.
In the northeast corner of the garden, the Cambrian Pavilion is encountered just before pools representing the primordial era (one of the geological eras during which the Rocky Mountains were formed). The building serves as an observation platform for distant off-site points. Reinforcing the present character of the theme garden, the Cambrian Pavilion is a familiar landmark nestled into a hill on the Administration Building’s grounds. Emphasizing natural building materials and the picturesque landscape, the Cambrian Pavilion is constructed to be compatible with its environment.
Source: Cambrian Pavilion, Banff National Park, Banff, Alberta. Heritage Character Statement 97-011.
The following character-defining elements of the Cambrian Pavilion should be respected.
Its Rustic style and very good quality materials and craftsmanship as manifested in:
- the simple low massing of the one-storey structure with a rectangular plan and hipped roof, and the cedar-shingles laid in staggered lines to give a random roof pattern;
- the exposed roof framing of peeled pole rafters;
- the log colonnade between end-bays, peeled log lintels and columns, diagonal braces and an ornamental balustrade;
- the use of Corral creek shale in broken courses for the exterior walls, with deeply raked joints in the masonry;
- the symmetrical five-bay façade with wide arches with one central entrance arch;
- the arched opening in each face of the end bay and the end-bay buttresses;
- the wide overhanging eaves and the use of rustic timbers;
- the stone flagged floor;
- the plank benches with burl specimens.
The manner in which the Cambrian Pavilion reinforces the picturesque setting of the Cascades of Time Garden.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Recognized Federal Heritage Building
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Recreation Centre
Architect / Designer
Harold C. Becket
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection