Government of Canada Announces New National Historic Designations

News release

October 4, 2018                                    Ottawa, Ontario                 Parks Canada Agency

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, announced the designation of six new persons, places, and events of national significance.

These new designations reflect the rich and varied history of our country in areas related to Canadian Confederation, Indigenous history, cinema, education, and architecture.

The new designations include:

·  Kahgegagahbowh (George Copway) National Historic Person (1818-1869): An international literary celebrity, Kahgegagahbowh’s early leadership for Indigenous rights, and his work outside of Canada on behalf of Indigenous peoples helped contribute to a more rounded understanding of Indigenous peoples in the early to mid-19th century.

·  Léo-Ernest Ouimet National Historic Person (1877-1972): Active in the world of cinema from 1904 to 1935, Léo-Ernest Ouimet was a pioneer as a movie theatre operator, film distributor, filmmaker, and producer in the early Canadian film industry.

· Hart Massey House National Historic Site (Ottawa, Ontario): Built in 1959, Hart Massey House is an iconic example of mid-20th century modernism in residential architecture in Canada, and a Canadian example of International style because of its sensitivity to its natural surroundings.

·  Park House National Historic Site (Amherstburg, Ontario): Considered one of the oldest houses in the Amherstburg region, Park House is a rare example of a once-common colonial building type found in settlements and fur-trading posts across colonial North America. Through its architecture, Park House tells the story of the traders and artisans who populated the Windsor region.

·  Truro Old Normal College National Historic Site (Truro, Nova Scotia): Aside from being an excellent example of Second Empire architecture, Truro Old Normal College, built in 1877, is a testament to the movement to standardize and improve teacher training in the second half of the 19th century, and is associated with the development of Nova Scotia’s public education system.

·  Construction of the Prince Edward Island Railway National Historic Event: Built in 1871, the construction of the Prince Edward Island Railway created a transportation link across the island. This railway was more than an economic opportunity which created jobs, it was a social and cultural link between communities and played a significant role in bringing Prince Edward Island into Confederation.

The commemoration process is largely driven by public nominations, and designations are made on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. To date, more than 2,150 designations have been made.

Parks Canada manages 171 national historic sites and is inviting Canadian families and their children, and youth and school groups to learn more about our history with free admission for youth 17 and under. From lighthouses to battlefields, historic neighbourhoods to contributions and traditions of Indigenous Peoples, there is an amazing array of places and stories to discover.

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“I am proud to recognize this diverse group of persons, places, and events that have shaped our country. Each of today’s designations contributes its unique story to the greater story of Canada and helps us better understand our country and our collective identity.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

Quick facts

  • Parks Canada manages a nation-wide network of 171 national historic sites, 46 national parks, one national urban park and four national marine conservation areas.

  • Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of Environment and Climate Change regarding the national historic significance of persons, places and events that have marked Canada’s history. Together with Parks Canada, the Board ensures that subjects of national historic significance are recognized and these important stories are shared with Canadians.

  • The Board will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2019.

  • Budget 2018 has provided $23.9 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, to Parks Canada to support Indigenous history and heritage. This proposed investment is a response to Call to Action 79 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada which called for historical commemoration activities, and recognition and acknowledgement of the contributions that Indigenous peoples have made to Canada’s history.

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Associated links


Caroline Thériault
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency

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