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Clearwater Lakes Warden Cabin

Banff National Park of Canada / Parc national du Canada Banff, Alberta, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1994/07/15

Front elevation of the Clearwater Lakes Warden Cabin, showing its six-pane windows with their muntin bars and the wood plank door, 1993.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1993.
Side view of the Clearwater Lakes Warden Cabin, 1993.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1993.
Side view
No Image

Other Name(s)

Clearwater Lakes Warden Cabin
Chalet des gardes Clearwater Lakes

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/08/06

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Clearwater Lakes Warden Cabin, in Banff National Park of Canada, is surrounded by a spruce forest at the base of Mount Harris and overlooks Clearwater Lake. It is a small, simple, gable-roofed, one-room log structure, with a round rail horse corral. It is painted red-brown with white painted windows and trim. The off-centered main entrance door is tucked away under the gabled porch roof and has a verandah. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Clearwater Lakes Warden Cabin is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
The Clearwater Lakes Warden Cabin is a useful illustration of the transportation and communications network within park boundaries. The cabin is one of a network of cabins built to house wardens patrolling the park on horseback in the summer or on snowshoes or skis in winter. It was situated to minimize the travel time to other cabins.

Architectural Value
The Clearwater Lakes Warden Cabin is a very good example of a standard Number 3-Type one-room overnight patrol cabin that is rustic in character. This type reflects the aesthetic favored by National Parks in the west during the early mid-20th century. Its value also resides in its simple design, and the textures of its locally gathered construction materials. At the time of its construction it was felt to set a new standard to which all other warden cabins should be built.

The Environmental Value
Set in a clearing at the base of Mount Harris, the Clearwater Lakes Warden Cabin maintains a visual and physical relationship with the surrounding open spruce forest, the Clearwater River tributary and Clearwater Lake. It is an important and distinctive local landmark within an otherwise sparsely populated locality. The historic relationship of the Cabin to its surrounding landscape has remained unchanged and the cabin integrates harmoniously into, and reinforces the park’s wilderness character in its mountain park setting.

Source: Clearwater Lakes Warden Cabin, Banff National Park, Banff, Alberta, Heritage Character Statement, 93-107.

Character-Defining Elements

The character defining elements of Clearwater Lakes Warden Cabin should be respected.

Its standard Number 3-Type design with rustic character, quality craftsmanship and materials such as:
- its simple rectangular plan and massing of a one-room structure, with a low-pitched roof, with gabled ends, and a sheltered off-centered entrance porch and verandah;
- its roof projection at the entrance elevation, cantilevered on extended roof ridge and wall plate poles;
- its use of wood construction with round logs laid horizontally with saddle-notched corners and rough rubble-stone walls;
- its six-pane windows with their muntin bars and the wood plank door;
- its paint scheme of dark brown and white and the green-tinted wood shingle roof, which is a traditional feature of warden cabins.

The manner in which the Clearwater Lakes Warden Cabin reinforces the present character of its mountain park setting in Banff National Park.




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



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer

James T. Childe



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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