Description of Historic Place
Wiwaxy Lodge, located on the shore of Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park, is a one-storey rectangular log cabin with a pitched roof. A generous roof overhang protects the gable-end entrance. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Wiwaxy Lodge is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
Wiwaxy Lodge is associated with the history of mountaineering in the Canadian West. The Canadian Pacific Railway actively involved with tourism throughout the Rockies, promoted hiking and climbing and brought Swiss guides to Canada to lead climbing parties. Wiwaxy Lodge operated as a hiker’s hut by the Alpine Club of Canada.
Wiwaxy Lodge is representative of the rustic aesthetic used for small, traditional log cabins built in Canadian National Parks in the early 1900s. Designed to blend in with the natural setting, its quality craftsmanship and use of natural building materials respect the architectural imagery of the mountain National Parks. It is one of the oldest known surviving examples of this type of cabin in a National Park.
Wiwaxy Lodge maintains an unchanged historical relationship to its natural site and the nearby Elizabeth Parker Hut. The rustic, log construction of the hut is compatible with natural character of its picturesque setting among mountains and evergreens and is well known to visitors of the Lake O’Hara area.
Shannon Ricketts, Elizabeth Parker Hut and Wiwaxy Lodge, Yoho National Park,
British Columbia, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report, 87-018,87-019; Wiwaxy Lodge, Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Heritage Character Statement, 87-019.
The character-defining elements of the Wiwaxy Lodge should be respected.
Its traditional, rustic aesthetic, for example:
-the simple massing of the rectangular building and pitched roof with a generous overhang;
-the choice of local materials, indigenous building methods and rustic design details such as the peeled log construction, the peeled log posts supporting the extended roof, and the criss-crossed log railings;
The manner in which the Wiwaxy Lodge maintains an unchanged historical relationship to its natural site, is compatible with the natural character of its mountain park setting and is well known to visitors of the area, as evidenced by:
-the ongoing relationship of the Wiwaxy Lodge to its natural landscape on the shore of Lake O’Hara, surrounded by mature trees;
-the rustic appearance and natural building materials of the Lodge that are compatible with the adjacent Elizabeth Parker Hut, and with the picturesque wilderness setting;
-the scenic location of the Lodge on the shore of Lake O’Hara that is accessible to hikers and visitors of Yoho National Park.