Peyto Lake Books
David Peyto – Author
I am the publisher and author behind Peyto Lake Books, founded in 2002. My wife Linda and I live in Calgary. My interests include walking and local history. I taught elementary physical education for many years with the Calgary Board of Education. During this time I organized walking clubs for the students, parents and teachers. For many years I have also organized and led walks during Historic Calgary Week.
I have self-published four Calgary walking guidebooks. The first book “Walk Calgary’s Escarpments and Bluffs” published in 2006 is now out of print. In 2013 I published “Calgary LRT Walks: The Northwest Stations” and “Calgary LRT Walks: The South Stations”. I am planning to write more books in this series. In September 2019 I published “The Chickadee Way: Griffith Woods to Zoo Station”. This book describes a 205 km Calgary long distance walk that begins in Griffith Woods and meanders through over 50 communities before finishing at Zoo Station. The route is divided into 19 walks or sections of reasonable length that start and finish at CTrain Stations or near bus stops. I am planning to write more books in this series.
Most of the research for the walking books is done as part of a personal walking project I started in September, 2013. The goal of “Walk Calgary Communities” is to walk every city street in all Calgary’s communities. Photos taken on this project are posted on Flickr under the name “walkcalgarycommunities.com“.
“Banff Town Warden” is a four book series of my grandfather Walter Peyto’s journals. Walter Peyto served as the town warden in Banff from 1914 to 1947. His journals are from 1914 to 1941.
“Discover Calgary’s Parks and Green Spaces” is a three book series about parks and green spaces in Calgary. These books cover the city’s most well-known parks as well as many less familiar parks.
“Bill Peyto Guide to Canadian Rockies Trivia” is a two book series with multiple choice questions about the Canadian Rockies parks (national and provincial). These books are named after my great uncle Bill Peyto.
Thank you for taking the time to visit my website.
About Peyto Lake
Peyto (pea-toe) Lake is 90 km northwest of Banff along the Icefields Parkway. The lake and Peyto Glacier, Peak (2970 m) and Creek are named for Ebenezer William “Bill” Peyto (1869-1943), who became one of the best early guides in the Canadian Rockies. Peyto Glacier is part of the Wapta Icefield. The finely ground glacial flour that flows into Peyto Lake gives the lake its unique blue-green colour.
About Bill Peyto
Bill Peyto was born in Welling Kent (now part of Greater London) on February 14th 1869. He was the third oldest son in a family of nine children. Augustus, his father was a farm bailiff and Ellen, his mother, was a servant. The family name, Peyto, (pronounced pea-toe) was changed from an earlier spelling, Peto.
Bill left England while still a teenager, arriving in Halifax in February, 1887. He soon headed west on the newly constructed Canadian Pacific Railway, disembarking at Golden, B.C. where he found work as a railway labourer. In 1890, he briefly settled in the Montreal Valley area northwest of Cochrane. However ranching life was not to his liking, and he returned to the mountains where his expertise and knowledge as a mountain guide, horse outfitter and packer soon became well known. He began guiding with Tom Wilson in 1893. Bill’s collection of books enabled him to become self-educated on topics such as geology and palaeontology.
Bill led a climbing party to Mount Assiniboine in 1895 but the attempt was unsuccessful. Later, he guided Sir James Outram and his party to Mount Assiniboine. While waiting for Outram and the others to successfully climb the mountain, Bill spent the time exploring the lower slopes.
In 1899, Bill enlisted for service in the Boer War, serving in the Lord Strathcona’s Horse Regiment. After returning from South Africa, he married Emily Wood in Banff in 1902. When Emily died in 1906, their son Robert was sent to live with a cousin in Armstrong, B.C. For a time after Emily’s death, Bill worked on his mining and trapping interests in the Simpson Pass area.
By 1913, Bill was working as one of the first park wardens in Banff National Park patrolling the Healy Creek area. This warden duty was soon interrupted as Bill enlisted for World War I duty with the Twelfth Mountain Regiment and Machine Gun Brigade serving in Belgium and France. After being wounded in the right leg, he finished a long convalescence in England before returning to Banff and resuming his duties as a warden.
Bill continued to be interested in prospecting, and in 1917 he staked a claim near Talc Lake in Kootenay National Park. He was unsuccessful in his attempts to develop this site, and ten years later he sold the claim to the National Talc Company.
In 1921, Bill married Ethel Wells, a sister-in-law of Banff photographer George Noble. After retiring from the warden service in 1936, Bill spent the next few years caring for Ethel until she died in 1940. Bill died at the Colonel Belcher Hospital in Calgary in 1943.