The federal agency now known as Parks Canada was established in 1911 under the name of the Dominion Parks Branch. Charged with administering a small group of parks and reserves, it was the world's first national parks service.
Canada’s national parks are protected areas established under federal legislation to preserve Canada’s natural heritage. They are administered by Parks Canada, a government agency that evolved from the world’s first national parks service, the Dominion Parks Branch, established in 1911. The National Parks System Plan, developed in 1970, divided Canada into 39 natural regions and set the goal of representing each region with at least one national park. Canada now has 47 national parks and national park reserves in 29 of these regions. In total, the parks cover more than 300,000 km2, which is over three per cent of Canada’s landmass. They protect important land and marine habitats, geographical features and sites of cultural significance. National parks also benefit local economies and the tourism industry in Canada.