British Columbia

Parks Canada to tear down derelict lodge in Glacier National Park

After a four year legal battle, Parks Canada has announced plans to tear down the derelict Glacier Park Lodge in Rogers Pass.

Government says the lodge, which closed in 2012, has deteriorated too much to reopen

Tourist Alicia Fox stopped in Rogers Pass after noticing the massive and abandoned Glacier Park Lodge on the side of the Trans-Canada Highway. (Chris Corday/CBC)

Parks Canada has announced now that it is fully responsible for the Glacier Park Lodge in Rogers Pass, B.C., it will be tearing down the 54-year-old structure because of deterioration in the four years since it was last open.

"Next steps will be to remove the buildings, remediate the sites and draft plans for any redevelopment in the area to meet visitor needs as well as improve the ecological condition of the site," said an official statement.

"Any potential redevelopment will involve public engagement and consider present and future summer and winter services, visitor safety, and cultural and natural resource management requirements."

The distinctive teal-roof lodge once had two restaurants, a gas station and rooms for up to 50 people. Located in the heart of Glacier National Park, it was the only stop for food or fuel in the 150 kilometres between the B.C. towns of Revelstoke and Golden.

However, Parks Canada decided not to renew the lease on the land four years ago, and the owners shut it down. In the years since, buildings were put into receivership and boarded up, while a series of lawsuits involving Parks Canada and past owners kept its future in limbo. 

Spraypaint covers the back entrance to the Glacier Park Lodge. (Chris Corday/CBC)

In its statement, Parks Canada, did not release the terms of regaining the property, but said its immediate priority was to "secure the properties and mitigate the health and safety risks at the sites."

"Parks Canada manages one of the finest and most extensive systems of protected natural and cultural heritage areas in the world, and Rogers Pass is among these treasures," they wrote.

"Parks Canada looks forward to sharing this iconic part of Canada with visitors as a place to experience the outdoors and learn about our history for generations to come." 

With files from Chris Corday