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The practice of hostelling was brought to Canada in 1933, but HI-Canada's mission is much the same today: to help make travel affordable and practical for everyone, especially young people -- making it possible for anyone to experience different cultures, languages and landscapes, and create enriching and life-long memories and friendships.

Over 100 years of Hostelling History Worldwide

Hostelling began in 1909 when German schoolteacher Richard Schirrmann started bringing his pupils on overnight learning excursions to the countryside. From there it grew into an organized movement aimed at helping students and youth experience the great outdoors and cities of the world. 

Over 80 years of hostelling experience in Canada

Hostelling was introduced to Canada in 1933 when another schoolteacher, Mary Belle Barclay, opened the first hostel in the foothills west of Calgary, at Bragg Creek, Alberta.


On July 1st 1933 Mary Belle Barclay started the first youth hostel in Canada by pitching a tent at Bragg Creek, Alberta.


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