Establishing Algonquin Provincial Park was first proposed in 1878 in a published volume entitled “The Undeveloped Lands of Northern and Western Ontario”. Authors Alexander Kirkwood and J. J. Murphy worked in the office of the Ontario Department of Crown Lands. Recommendations made by Kirkwood and Murphy were shortly reinforced and elaborated on by the Provincial Land Surveyor for the area, Mr. James Dickson. Dickson’s reports were based on his first hand knowledge of the area and contained detailed descriptions of resources of the area and specific recommendations.
In 1892 a Royal Commission recommended creation of a park, and in 1893 the Algonquin National Park Act was passed by the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario.
Objectives listed for establishment of the Park were:
- to preserve the headwaters of the watersheds;
- to preserve the native forest;
- to protect game and fur bearing animals, fish and birds;
- to provide an area for forestry experimentation;
- to serve as a health resort and pleasure ground for the benefit, advantage and enjoyment of the people of the province.
The Park included 18 townships and covered an area of 379,987 hectares. Additions were made in 1894, 1904, 1911, 1914, 1951, 1960 and further additions were proposed in the Park Master Plan of 1974. These proposed additions were completed between 1974 to 1993. Today, the area of the Park is 763,459 hectares.