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Rustic Lookout Pavilion

Cascades of Time Garden, Banff National Park of Canada, Alberta, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1997/07/09

View of the entrance to the Rustic Lookout Pavilion, showing its decorative railing between posts, 1997.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1997.
General view
Detail of the Rustic Lookout Pavilion,showing its roof finish of hand-split cedar shakes and the acorn ornament on the center post, 1997.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1997.
General view
Rear view of the Rustic Lookout Pavilion, which sits atop a rubble rock terraced slope, 1997.; Parks Canada Agency/ Agence Parcs Canada, 1997.
General view

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/06/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Located in downtown Banff, in the Cascades of Time Garden, the Rustic Lookout Pavilion sits at the northeast corner of the Devonian Plateau. Atop a rubble rock terraced slope, the lookout provides spectacular views of the Cambrian Pool, Cambrian Pavilion and Cascade Mountain in the distance. It is a small, octagonal log gazebo that is covered by a turret roof and uses natural materials for its simple detailing and decorative elements. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Rustic Lookout Pavilion is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
The development of the Rustic Lookout Pavilion is a very good example associated with the completion of Banff National Park's Administration Building and its broader setting, the Cascades of Time Garden, in the 1930s. The construction was part of an effort to attract international tourism to Banff National Park of Canada. The Rustic Lookout Pavilion was also a part of the Department of Labour’s Relief Act of 1933, whereby unemployed relief workers were employed to build the pavilion.

Architectural Value
The Rustic Lookout Pavilion is a very good example of rustic design within the National Parks program, and is characteristic of architect, Harold C. Beckett’s work set within the realm of landscape design. As a garden pavilion, its rustic form and detailing represent a picturesque aesthetic consistent with the park’s tradition. It is constructed of local natural materials that blend in with the mountainous surroundings and the garden’s English Picturesque landscape that includes deliberately irregular pools, flagstone walkways and planted clumps of trees.

The Environmental Value
As part of the Cascades of Time Garden, The Rustic Pavilion sits at the northeast corner of the Devonian Pavilion atop a rubble rock terraced slope and maintains an unchanged historical relationship with this landscape. Simple flagstone pathways connect it to points within the broader garden. Its rustic form and detailing of natural materials reinforce the Picturesque character of the established garden setting. A key element of the larger site development, the Rustic Lookout Pavilion is a familiar landmark to the townsite’s residents.

Source: Rustic Lookout Pavillion, Banff National Park, Banff, Alberta, Heritage Character Statement, 97-011.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character defining elements of Rustic Lookout Pavilion should be respected.

Its Rustic style and very good quality materials and craftsmanship such as:
-its simple massing of an octagonal log frame covered by a turret roof;
-its detailing of the arcade wall, with peeled log posts and top plate with roots inserted at an angle to the post and to the top plate;
-its decorative railing between posts, the handrail and bottom rail of peeled poles and the balusters of roots;
-its roof finish of hand-split cedar shakes, an upturned stump as a finial and a common lap or close hip treatment of the hip-ridges; and,
-its interior features of exposed roof framing, the exposed peeled pole laths carrying the shakes, the acorn ornament worked on the termination of the center post, the flag stone floor and the burl specimens utilized for the tie beams and bench legs.

The manner in which the Rustic Lookout Pavilion reinforces the picturesque character of its established garden setting at the Cascades of Time Garden.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Park Fixture

Architect / Designer

Harold C. Beckett



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Conservation and Commemoration Directorate, Documentation Centre, 3rd Floor, Room 366, 30 Victoria St, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places

Interior view

Devonian Pavilion

Located in downtown Banff, in the Cascades of Time Garden, Devonian Pavilion sits at the northwest corner of the garden adjacent to the Devonian Pool. It is a small, log,…


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