Hostelling International – Canada

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Hostelling International – Canada (HI-Canada) is an organization providing youth hostel accommodation in Canada. It is a member of the Hostelling International federation.


The Youth Hostelling movement was started in 1909 by Richard Schirrmann, a German schoolteacher. The movement was disrupted by World War I and did not reach other countries until the 1930s. Following the launch of youth hostel associations in several European countries between 1930 and 1932, the idea spread across the Atlantic Ocean. Canada was slightly ahead of the United States and the Canadian Youth Hostels Association was founded in 1933[1] (the American Youth Hostels Inc was not formed until 1934[2]).

The Ottawa hostel is located in a former jail.

Canada's (and North America's) first hostel was opened in 1933 at Bragg Creek near Calgary, Alberta by Mary Belle Barclay.[3][4]

The national office was located in Calgary from 1933 to 1941. It was then moved to Toronto in 1941, then Ottawa, Vancouver, and in 1971 back to Ottawa where it remains today (2015). In 1976 the name was changed to the Canadian Hostelling Association. [5]

Modern hostelling[edit]

Today HI-Canada's national office is in Ottawa and as of 2015 the association has 61 hostels, with hostels located in each of the provinces but not the Territories.[6] In 2009, over 270,000 overnight stays were recorded in Canadian hostels.[7]


The Glenbow museum holds the Canadian Hostelling Association fonds, including a substantial number of sorted and catalogued records up to the mid 1980s, photographic records from the 1890s through the 2000s, and unprocessed records from the 1960s through the 2000s.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "HI-Canada: Hostelling History". Retrieved 24 April 2009. 
  2. ^ "HI-USA Who We Are". Retrieved 24 April 2009. 
  3. ^ "Mary Belle Barclay". HI Canada. Hostelling International Canada. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  4. ^ Sanderson, Kay (1999). 200 Remarkable Alberta Women. Calgary: Famous Five Foundation. p. 95. 
  5. ^ "Canadian Hostelling Association fonds". Glenbow Museum Catalogue. The Glenbow Museum. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "HI-Canada hostel list". HI Canada. Hostelling International-Canada. 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "HI-Canada: Network of Hostels". Retrieved 24 April 2009. 
  8. ^ "Canadian Hostelling Association fonds". Glenbow Museum Search. The Glenbow Museum. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 

External links[edit]