Canada National Parks 2024

In 2024, I am attempting to paint a scene from all 52 Canadian National Parks, including National Park Reserves and Marine Conversation Areas.

(These are painted from photos; I’m not going to them, which would be a much larger lift, especially in Canada, where many are remote, arctic regions only accessible by private plane.)


11/52 (21%) as of March 6, 2024

Akami-Uapishkᵁ-KakKasuak-Mealy Mountains

Akami-Uapishkᵁ-KakKasuak-Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve, based on a photo from January 2, 2024.

First up alphabetically is Akami-Uapishkᵁ-KakKasuak-Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve, located in Labrador. At 10k+ sq km, it’s the largest protected natural area in eastern North America. A recent park as of 2015, it is co-managed by Parks Canada and the Innu Nation, and allows traditional land use by the local Innu, Inuit, and NunatuKavut peoples. Visitor services are limited; intrepid campers can visit by helicopter in summer.


Aulavik National Park, inspired by a photo by Aquabee. January 8, 2024.

Aulavik National Park covers a large portion of northern Banks Island, Northwest Territories. This Arctic Ocean island is home to about two-thirds of the world’s musk oxen.

The artistic license I took in making the horizon pink – implying dusk – turns out to be completely impossible! This park is located so far north that it experiences three months of continuous sunlight all summer, and three months of continuous darkness all winter. This arctic tundra desert is completely treeless, but the long hours of sunlight every summer produce spectacular wildflower superblooms.


Auyuittuq National Park, based on a photo from Nunatsiaq News. January 16, 2024.

Auyuittuq is the “land that never melts” in Inuktitut, referring to the snow-capped mountains. This park is located on Baffin Island, Nunavut, just across the Baffin Bay from Greenland. The Akshayuk Pass hike features spectacular mountain views, including Mount Thor, the world’s tallest, steepest cliff.


Banff National Park in gouache, on Hahnemuhle toned paper. January 20, 2024.

Banff is Canada’s flagship national park: the first established and most visited. Banff Hot Springs Reserve was first established in 1885 to protect the hot springs from being developed commercially. The history of Banff is a microcosm of the history of all North American National Parks in the last 140 years, from a tourist attraction for well-to-do rail travelers (at the expense of First Nations residents who were kicked out of the park), to a WWI internment camp, to a site of public works projects during the Great Depression, to a nature reserve following the increased interest in conservation in the 1980s. Today, Banff is home to elk, grizzly bears, wolves, caribou, and bison. The park continues to be a popular spot for hiking and nature recreation – and yes, bathing in hot springs! – among snow-capped mountains and glittering turquoise lakes.

Bruce Peninsula

Bruce Peninsula National Park. Based on a reference photo by @dansedran, via Parks Canada. January 30, 2024.

Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario, is in the traditional territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, on a thin strip of the Niagara Escarpment which juts into Lake Huron, dividing off the Georgian Bay. The park is known for its sculptured dolomite cliff formations, cobblestone beaches, and crystal-clear turquoise waters. It’s an important wildlife habitat, and one of the last places in Canada to find the Massasauga Rattlesnake.

Cape Breton Highlands

Trees meet sea at the rugged cliffs of Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia. This mix of Acadian, Boreal, and Taiga habitats is a unique place where northern and southern plant and animal species meet. The park is encircled by the Cabot Trail scenic highway and the 8.2km Skyline Trail hiking loop, but the barrens at the center of the park are totally wild.

Because I love Nova Scotia, I especially wanted to do a good job with this one, and ended up taking a couple of swings at it!

Elk Island

Elk Island National Park. February 13, 2024. Reference photo from PeakVisor.

Elk Island National Park is not a literal island but an oasis of wilderness just 30 minutes from Edmonton, Alberta. The park plays an important role in the preservation of plains bison, moose, and of course elk. In this painting, I paid tribute to the “knob and kettle” landscape, a grassland dotted with alternating hills and ponds as a result of glacial melt.

Fathom Five

Fathom Five Marine Conservation Area (Canada National Parks collection). February 20, 2024. Photo by Wanderlust Nomad on Expedia.

Fathom Five Marine Conservation Area is the aquatic counterpart to Bruce Peninsula National Park, covering 113 square kilometers of the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron. The park protects not only marine wildlife but 27 shipwrecks, a legacy of the late 19th century logging boom (note: big, heavy ships and a shallow lake don’t mix). Activities include scuba diving, glass-bottomed boat tours, and hiking the islands, including viewing the massive towers of eroded escarpment on Flowerpot Island. 


Forillon National Park. February 14, 2024. Reference photo from


Fundy National Park. Reference photo from PeakVisor. February 19, 2024.

Georgian Bay Islands

Georgian Bay Islands National Park is another one on Lake Huron; it’s so close to Fathom Five Marine Park that the Flowerpot Island I painted for that park actually used to be part of Georgian Bay Islands! The 63 islands of this park are characterized by exposed Canadian Shield rock and windswept white pines.