Government of Canada Invests $1.1 million in Bellevue House National Historic Site

News release

Investments will restore Bellevue House and offer new visitor experiences


June 26, 2019                          Kingston, Ontario                                 Parks Canada Agency

Parks Canada is responsible for protecting nationally significant examples of Canada’s natural and cultural heritage and sharing the stories of these treasured places with Canadians. Our national historic sites reflect the rich and varied heritage of our nation and provide an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about our diverse history.

Today, Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands, on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, announced a federal investment of $1.1 million for a major renovation of the historic home at Bellevue House National Historic Site, the former home of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. The total infrastructure investment for this project is $2.1 million and will support the conservation of Canada’s built heritage, while ensuring high-quality visitor experiences.

As part of this larger renovation project, Bellevue House will receive a full roof replacement, updated electrical systems and wiring, repairs to the plasterwork on the ceilings, floor restoration and refreshed walls. Once the construction work is completed, the interior visitor experience components, including exhibits, displays, and artefacts, will be fully renewed. These updates will help Parks Canada tell the story of Sir John A. Macdonald and Confederation from multiple perspectives in new and innovative ways.

Parks Canada is renewing Bellevue House National Historic Site as a place of discovery, learning, and reflection on the benefits and consequences of the foundation of Canada.

Investments in the preservation and restoration of our national historic sites will protect Canada’s rich heritage for future generations and enable Canadians to connect with history.

Quotes

“Bellevue House National Historic Site is an important part of the history of Kingston and of Canada. The Government of Canada’s infrastructure investments at Bellevue House will preserve this special place for future generations and enable Canadians to connect with our country’s history.This transformational project will renew Bellevue House as a place to learn about and share perspectives on the legacies of our first Prime Minister and Confederation, including the complex and challenging moments that helped define Canada today. This historic investment in Bellevue House will help preserve our built heritage, while supporting local economies and contributing to growth in the tourism sector.”

Mark Gerretsen,
Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands

Quick facts

  • Bellevue House National Historic Site is open to the public from May 18 to October 14, 2019. While the historic house is closed for this important restoration, there is plenty to see and do in the visitor centre, gift shop, heritage gardens and heirloom orchards. 

  • Visitors are invited to take part in special programs and guided tours, offered daily throughout the summer, and to explore the Many Voices exhibits located in the site’s visitor centre. This special exhibit encourages Canadians to explore different perspectives on our country's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.

  • Entry to the site is free while the historic house is closed. Fees for enhanced programs may still apply. 

  • The federal government is investing $3 billion over five years in Parks Canada’s places to support infrastructure work to heritage, visitor, waterway, and highway assets located within national historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas across Canada.

  • Since 2016, the federal government has provided an additional $555 million to Parks Canada for the continued management of Canada`s natural treasures, and through Budget 2019 proposes $368 million in funding for capital projects, to collectively ensure the quality and reliability of Agency infrastructure.

  • The Government of Canada is pleased to continue to offer free admission to all Parks Canada’s places for youth aged 17 and under. By encouraging young people to discover nature and connect with history, we can help to inspire the next generation of stewards for these protected places. In celebration of diversity, Parks Canada continues to offer free admission to new Canadian citizens for one year through the Institute for Canadian Citizenship’s Canoo mobile application. 

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Associated links

Contacts

Sabrina Kim
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
819-938-3813
sabrina.kim@canada.ca

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency
855-862-1812
pc.medias-media.pc@canada.ca

Bruce MacMillan
Public Relations & Communications Officer
Georgian Bay and Ontario East Field Unit
Parks Canada
bruce.macmillan@canada.ca
613-923-5261  extension 122


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