Jarvis Pass

Alberta-BC boundary. Pass: Fraser River drainage
N of Kakwa Lake near BC-Alberta boundary
54°05’26” N 120°09’30” W — Map 93I/1 — GoogleGeoHack
Earliest known reference to this name is 1917.
Name officially adopted in 1982. Official in BCCanada
Edward Worrell Jarvis at age 22 in 1868 in Charlottetown with his cousins Margaret Pennefather Stukeley Gray and Florence Hope Gibson Gray

Edward Worrell Jarvis at age 22 in 1868 in Charlottetown with his cousins Margaret Pennefather Stukeley Gray and Florence Hope Gibson Gray

E. W. Jarvis - Chrismas, 1872

E. W. Jarvis – Chrismas, 1872

Adopted in the 15th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1917.

“E.W. Jarvis, an intrepid explorer for the proposed CPR, passed within 10 miles of [Mount Sir Alexander] in February 1875 when he discovered the pass which bears his name… (Frederick Vreeland, “Early Visits to Mount Sir Alexander”, American Alpine Journal, 1930, pp 114-119 with map, copy on file V.1.33).

“E.W. Jarvis, CE, and Major C.F. Hanington of Ottawa made an adventurous winter journey across the Rockies in 1875. The pass through which they crossed the mountains was named Jarvis Pass by the Geographic Board of Canada and the name Jarvis is also borne by a mountain on the south side of the pass opposite Mount Hanington. The exploration was undertaken to see if this route across the mountains would be a practicable one for the Canadian Pacific Railway. The elevation of the pass, about 5,000 feet, proved too high. The starting point of the journey was Quesnel, which was left on December 9, 1874, and a 1,000-mile journey, mostly on foot, occupying five and a half months, was concluded at Winnipeg on May 21, 1875.” (extract from Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, June 1927)
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC’s Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

His remarkable career included railway surveying and engineering in England and Canada (including challenging Canadian Pacific Railway winter survey through the Rocky Mountains in northern B.C. and Alberta), running a successful lumber business in Winnipeg, serving as a Major in command of the Winnipeg Field Battery in the Riel Rebellion of 1885, designing three bridges in Winnipeg (including the Broadway Bridge which opened in 1882 as the first bridge to cross the Red River), being the first registrar at the University of Manitoba, a founding member of the Manitoba Historical Society, alderman in the early years of Winnipeg, and superintendent with the Northwest Mounted Police (forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police), theposition he held at the time of his death in 1894 at age 48. When he applied to join the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) in 1874, the ICE members sponsoring his application included the distinguished engineers Sir Sandford Fleming and Marcus Smith of CPR fame.


  • Hanington, Charles F. Journal of Mr. C.F. Hanington from Quesnelle through the Rocky Mountains, during the winter of 1874-5. 1875. Internet Archive
  • Vreeland, Frederick K. “Early Visits to Mount Sir Alexander.” American Alpine Journal, Vol. 1, No. 2 (1930). American Alpine Club
  • McBride, Sam. “Edward Worrell Jarvis in Western Canada.” Manitoba History, Number 78 (Summer 2015). Manitoba Historical Society

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