The concept of Canadian tourism emerged during the early nineteenth century. Improved modes of transportation, such as new railways stretching across the country, facilitated leisure travel and offered people the chance to witness some of the nation’s greatest marvels and modern achievements.
This exhibition, drawn from the collection of Library and Archives Canada, focuses on images that recall the early Canadian travel experience. Photographs were the ideal medium with which to attract potential visitors, and photographers were hired by transportation companies to produce images of majestic scenery that would promote destinations. Later rivalled by amateur picture-takers, eager to create their personal holiday mementos, these photographs were a vital component of the burgeoning tourist industry. The imagery created during this period helped to characterize the country, establishing a sense of national identity by introducing viewers to images of Canadian scenery that have since become emblematic.