Retro Winter Recreation and Travel Ads

Temperatures this far south, as well as the extreme cold gripping much of eastern Canada this week, leave no doubt that we’re deep in the heart of winter.  Because of this, my thoughts turn toward skiing, ice skating, hockey and other winter recreations and the many places above the 49th parallel — among them Banff, Quebec, Whistler, the Laurentians and Jasper — that are popular destinations for cold weather and snowy pastimes.  So, I thought I’d share some retro travel ads and posters touting these places and this season’s activities.  Many of these are from the Canadian Pacific Railway, which engaged in  a wide range of travel promotions for locations throughout Canada (and beyond).  The vivid graphics work their magic by conveying visions of boundless wintry pleasures.  Among the more distinctive of these works are those by Peter Ewart and Roger Couillard, two of the more notable artists commissioned for their attractive illustrations.  More Canadian Pacific travel posters may be seen here on an earlier O’Canada Blog post.

Image Credits:  Library and Archives Canada; Canadian Pacific Railway Archives

Magnificent Travel Art of the Canadian Pacific Railway

Chartered in 1881 as a means of fulfilling the federal government’s commitment to British Columbia when it joined into the Canadian Confederation with the condition that a transport link from the east be established all the way to B.C., the Canadian Pacific Railway became a crucial link in forging a national identity that literally and figuratively united the east and west coasts of Canada.  As it grew, the CPR, as it was sometimes called, acquired additional rail corridors, steam ship lines, hotels and telegraph facilities.

Because of its many transport holdings, the Railway became associated more generally with travel of all sorts within the Canadian border, and, for many, even travel far beyond the country.  To promote its extensive travel offerings, the CPR commissioned a diverse array of what is now regarded as classic travel art, in the form of exquisitely illustrated posters, brochures and other advertising pieces.  A few examples are shown below (click on image for larger view).

Graphics courtesy of the Canadian Pacific Railway Archives.  Link:

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