Government of Canada Announces Eight New National Historic Designations

News release

July 31, 2019                             Ottawa, Ontario                          Parks Canada Agency

Canada’s national historic people, places, and events reflect the rich and varied heritage of our country and provide an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about our diverse history.

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

These new designations, which honour diverse aspects of Canada’s history and commemorate Indigenous, broadcasting, commercial, astronomical, environmental, architectural, settlement, and sports history, include:

Places: David Dunlap Observatory (Richmond Hill, ON), Spadina (Toronto, ON), and the Historic Village of Val-Jalbert (Chambord, Quebec).

Persons: Curé Antoine Labelle (1833-1891), and Thomas George “Tommy” Prince (1915-1977).

Events: Ducks Unlimited Canada, Early Commercial Radio Broadcasting in Canada (1918-1932), and Winnipeg Falcons Hockey Club.

Some highlights from today’s announcement include:

·  David Dunlap Observatory (Richmond Hill, ON): The David Dunlap Observatory, located 20 kilometres north of Toronto, was central to establishing academic astronomy in Canada. The state-of-the-art facilities, including the world’s second-largest telescope, at the country’s first teaching observatory attracted recognized experts in astronomy to the University of Toronto, which quickly emerged as Canada’s top astronomy university. The Observatory was at the centre of a major astronomical breakthrough in 1971 when Thomas Bolton’s research confirmed the existence of black holes.

·  Thomas George “Tommy” Prince (1915-1977): Tommy Prince was an Anishinaabe activist and decorated Canadian veteran who served in the Second World War and the Korean War. Following the Second World War, he served as vice-president and spokesperson of the Manitoba Indian Association, and in 1947 joined other First Nations leaders in testifying before a Special Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons, to advocate for the abolition of the Indian Act and fight for the respect of existing treaties.

·  Ducks Unlimited Canada: Ducks Unlimited Canada is a prominent waterfowl conservation organization, which began operations in Winnipeg in 1938. It was an early example of a collaborative international approach to nature conservation in Canada and the United States, developed in response to declining waterfowl populations and the widespread loss of wetlands across North America. Between 1938 and the 1980s, it helped advance scientific understanding of wetlands, while restoring and conserving more than 860,000 hectares of waterfowl habitat.

·  Winnipeg Falcons Hockey Club: The Winnipeg Falcons, an amateur hockey team formed in 1909, represented Canada at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium, and won the first ever Olympic gold medal in hockey.

Recently, the Government of Canada announced the introduction of Parks Canada’s new Framework for History and Commemoration. The Framework provides direction for Parks Canada and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) on the designation of persons, places, and events of national historic significance based on four new strategic priorities, which are reflected in several of the new designations:

·         History of Indigenous Peoples,
·         Environmental History,
·         Diversity, and
·         Canada and the World.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Canadians are encouraged to visit Canada’s network of national historic sites to learn more about the people, places, and events that have helped shape our country’s history. Canada has an amazing array of places and stories to discover, ranging from lighthouses to battlefields, historic neighbourhoods, and the contributions and traditions of Indigenous peoples.



“As we mark the centennial of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, I am proud to recognize people, places, and events that have played an important role in shaping our country’s diverse history. The more we understand the various perspectives on our shared history, the better we can understand where we are today. I encourage all Canadians, including young people and newcomers, to visit Parks Canada’s places to learn more about Canada’s rich and varied heritage.”

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

Quick facts

  • Pärks 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 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 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. Each of these designations contributes its own unique story to the greater story of Canada, and helps us better understand our country and our identity.

  • The Board is officially celebrating its 100th anniversary on October 29, 2019.

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Sabrina Kim
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency

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