A particularly chilling episode at Algonquin Park in Ontario spawned graphic artist Cameron Stevens’s tendency to include nature in his art. A tornado was a couple hundred yards away from him while he stood with nothing but a canoe, tent, and backpack to his name.
“The experience spurred my creativity,” he recalls. “I needed to remember that day, something physical, something to remind me that there are wild places out there waiting to be experienced.”
Since then, the graphic artist has visited several national parks, which he photographed on each trip, highlighting the unique scenery each park had to offer.
When visiting major national parks in the US, Stevens got his hands on some reproductions of screen-printed posters originally produced in the ’30s and ’40s as promotional material.
Stevens was struck by the simplistic beauty of the prints, and he decided to recreate the look using Canada’s beautiful protected parks as subjects and his original photographs for the images.
The results are an attractive rendering of old-fashioned prints, with a kind of stark use of a limited colour palette that gives them a nuanced, antiquated look. He also writes taglines for the prints, resembling advertisements, and includes a list of the standout features of each park.
As of now, Stevens has produced five posters for the national parks he’s visited frequently (see the gallery below). His goal is to complete a poster for a major park in each province and then delve into any number of the hundreds of remaining parks across Canada.
For more information about Stevens’ work or to purchase prints, visit cameronstevens.ca
Second only to Algonquin Park in the variety and importance of its environment in the ecological region, the Massasauga in Ontario boasts waterfront campsites only, meaning they have to be accessed by kayak or canoe. Oh, and it features a rattlesnake sanctuary.
The stunning, glacially fed lake in Banff National Park features distinct, crystal clear blue waters, with a Rocky Mountain backdrop, and really is one of Canada’s crown jewels for luscious scenery.
The dazzling natural environment was so mesmerizing to Canada’s Group of Seven artists that they convinced the government of Ontario to make it into a park. After suffering pollution in the 1940s to 1970s, the park has recovered, and its sapphire blue lakes surrounded by white quartz mountains are back to fine form.
Algonquin Park offers unique backcountry camping when accessed by canoe. With this minimal interference, you are afforded unmatched access to wildlife viewing and rugged terrain, including vast maple hills.
One of the largest protected areas in southern Ontario, at 156 square kilometres, Fathom Five is a popular camping and hiking destination. It is also home to Flowerpot Island, which got its name from two rock pillars that resemble flowerpots, as pictured below.