Gil Parker, Founder and President of the Vancouver Island Trail, is a life-long hiker and climber, and a Life member of the Alpine Club of Canada that awarded him their Distinguished Service Award. After climbing in many countries over decades, he turned to long-distance hiking, completing most of the 4500 km Pacific Crest Trail.
A structural engineer with Dominion Bridge and Willis, Cunliffe and Tait (later Delcan), Gil designed bridges and buildings, winning the Civil Engineering Prize of the Consulting Engineers of Canada for a railway overpass. He created a solar business, Ark Solar Products, and consulted on solar projects in India, United Arab Republic and Canada. He ran a trading firm, specializing in consultation and equipment sales in the newly-opened USSR, and later, Russia.
As a writer, Gil published many articles in National magazines and newspapers, then turned to writing books. He wrote four books, most with an outdoor theme, and edited two; one is a trail guide for northern Vancouver Island. With separate degrees in Engineering, Writing and Management, Gil has been active in community and international affairs, holding a Fellowship from the Rotary Club – the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow for his work in Russia and Honorary Citizenship from the City of Victoria.
Sadly, Gil passed away in April of 2023, but his vision lives on as we continue to improve the Vancouver Island Trail.