MOUNTAIN LEGACY PROJECT

Capturing change in Canada's mountains

About Mountain Legacy Project

The Mountain Legacy Project explores changes in Canada’s mountain landscapes through the world’s largest collection of systematic high-resolution historic mountain photographs (>120,000) and a vast and growing collection of repeat images (>8,000 photo pairs). Find out about our research and how we turn remarkable photos into real-world solutions for understanding climate change, ecological processes, and strategies for ecological restoration. Read more

Eric Higgs, PhD

Director
Office phone:
250-721-8228

E-mail:
ehiggs at uvic dot ca

Environmental Studies, University of Victoria

Bison, Reindeer, and Unicorns: Rewilding’s Wild Ride

By Alina Fisher I felt so confused. Not only was I driving on the wrong side of the road, but I also spied a unicorn ahead of me in the valley. I could barely believe my eyes. We were travelling along a narrow gravel road aside the River Freshie. As it wound towards...

Cards For That Special Mountaineer in Your Life

By Kate Fryer Unable to find the perfect card for that mountaineer in your life? Well lovers, we have just the thing! Choose from a fine selection of historic MLP images courtesy of Library and Archives Canada, modern repeats, and even a sneak peak of our ongoing...

Vertical Laboratories: Mountains of Science, Wonder and Devotion

By Sarah Jacobs Generations of scientists, adventurers and poets have found solace and wisdom in mountain places. This essay follows connections between their pursuits to argue that scientific knowledge derives more from risk, wonderment and devotion than is often...

New Publication! Assessing the accuracy of georeferenced landcover data derived from oblique imagery using machine learning.

We are thrilled to announce the latest Mountain Legacy Project research article led by James Tricker: Assessing the accuracy of georeferenced landcover data derived from oblique imagery using machine learning. Published in Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation,...

10 Questions for the New Year

Kate Fryer and Sonia Voicescu, January 9th 2024 As we enter the New Year, we wish to unveil a brand new series to the blog that introduces you, dear reader, to the faces of the Mountain Legacy Project: "10 Questions." From postdoctoral fellows to research assistants,...

Planning for Uncertainty: The Ups and Downs of the 2023 Field Season

By Claire Wright Plagued by heat, smoke, rain and strong winds, the 2023 MLP field season almost didn’t happen. It was late August when the monotony of waiting for improved conditions finally broke and a whirlwind of activity led to a surprisingly productive spell of...

Celebrating International Mountain Day 2023: Restoring Mountain Ecosystems

  Eric Higgs, December 11th, 2023 At the Mountain Legacy Project we are raising an even louder cheer this year to mark the 2023 theme of International Mountain Day: restoring mountain ecosystems. The MLP traces its origin to ecosystem restoration, which continues...

Navigating Change: Mountain Guides and the Shifting Landscape of the Canadian Rockies

By Katherine Hanly, James Tricker, Graham McDowell, Nov 29th 2023 Introduction In Canada, the largest and oldest mountain guiding operations originated in the Rockies. The region remains a guiding hot spot due to its unmatched breadth of spectacular terrain, scenic...

Hot Off The Presses!

By Sarah Jacobs, November 4th 2023 We are pleased to announce the release of the Canadian Mountain Assessment (CMA). Bringing together insights from First Nations, Métis and Inuit knowledge keepers, as well as findings from an extensive review of pertinent academic...

Welcome to New Blog

The Mountain Legacy Project began its blog adventures in 2010 as a way to document and share our work. The old blog site—and indeed the structure of mountainlegacy.ca—moved to a University of Victoria-hosted WordPress platform earlier this year. This shifted how the...

The Collection

A vast collection of historical mountain photographs created between 1861 and 1958 by surveyors establishing national and provincial boundaries, creating topographic maps, and exploring geological resources

Starting with a series of historical digital images, we puzzle out the exact location of the original surveyors. This is the first step in a chain of complex arrangements that places a repeat photography crew on a mountain summit or ridge… read more

MLP Works

Since its beginning in 1996 MLP Works has provided access to the publications, articles, media, and other scientific and creative products generated through use of MLP techniques and images.
Learn more

Explore

Explore is a map-based search tool designed to allow anyone with a modern web browser to view, compare, and download MLP’s vast collection of historic and repeat images.
Get started

Analysis

Every image pair can be explored in depth with the Image Analysis Toolkit. IAT supports side-by-side image visualization, including categorization, annotation, scaling, cross and wipe fades, classification statistics, and more.
View the Image Analysis ToolKit

Projects & Galleries

The vast size of our collections means that diamonds—remarkable images that cue into contemporary concerns or historical fascination– are often buried. We present curated galleries that emerge from the work of our teams, whether driven by research questions or personal fascination. Check back regularly for new presentations.

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“In much of the Canadian west these are the first images of these landscapes and a vital baseline for studies of change over the last century. They are invaluable to conservation projects that seek to understand and/or restore pre-settlement landscapes and their dynamic ecosystems.”

Brian Luckman

Professor Emeritus, Department of Geography

University of Western Ontario

“In much of the Canadian west these are the first images of these landscapes and a vital baseline for studies of change over the last century. They are invaluable to conservation projects that seek to understand and/or restore pre-settlement landscapes and their dynamic ecosystems.”

Brian Luckman

Professor Emeritus, Department of Geography

University of Western Ontario