Government of Canada announces an additional $6 million to protect Fort Mississauga National Historic Site

News release

The shoreline erosion project will conserve national heritage and ensure public safety.

November 24, 2023            Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON                         Parks Canada

Parks Canada is responsible for protecting nationally significant examples of heritage and sharing the stories of these treasured places. The Government of Canada is investing in national historic sites and national parks across the country to support the health of our cultural and natural heritage, encourage sustainable tourism, and create jobs in our local communities, while supporting efforts to combat climate change.

Today, Vance Badeway, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, and Chris Bittle, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced approximately $6 million for the protection of the cultural value of Fort Mississauga National Historic Site through the final phase of a break wall installation along the eastern portion of the site on the shores of Lake Ontario.

As part of the $557 million in infrastructure funding announced by the Government of Canada in November 2022, this investment will support construction of a new 500-metre section of break wall to combat shoreline erosion near the mouth of the Niagara River. Caused in part by more frequent and severe storm events and high-water levels due to climate change occurring on the Great Lakes, this final phase of shoreline protection will conserve the cultural heritage of the east bank of Fort Mississauga National Historic Site. These measures will ensure public safety, safeguard historic artifacts along the property, and protect Parks Canada administered lands leased by the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club.

Previous completed project phases include the construction of the first 600 metres of break wall and installation of a new walking trail and boardwalk to provide a safe route for pedestrians to access the Fort Mississauga tower and earthworks. This completed walkway and boardwalk connect with the existing trail across the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club providing an enjoyable route for visitors to experience this national historic site.

Similar to the northern shoreline of Fort Mississauga National Historic Site, the east shoreline has many non-native and invasive tree and shrub species with root systems that damage archeological resources within the earthwork fortification and the surrounding grounds. As well, there are many trees and large shrubs that are falling or at risk of falling into the water as the shoreline erodes. Parks Canada will remove this vegetation to support the break wall construction and then plant native grasses, selected for their minimal maintenance and water requirements. This new vegetation will further support the newly stabilized shoreline. For every tree removed during this work, Parks Canada will plant two new native-species trees or shrubs in the area. 

Parks Canada's wide-ranging infrastructure portfolio includes over 18,000 built assets such as highways, bridges, dams and other marine infrastructure, historic buildings and fortifications, water and wastewater treatment facilities, campgrounds, visitor centres and operational buildings and compounds. Since 2015, the federal infrastructure investment program has enabled Parks Canada to improve the condition of approximately 5,000 assets across the country. These upgrades help ensure public safety, quality and reliability in visitor offers, incorporate green technologies and climate resiliency, while connecting Canadians with nature and history.


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Fort Mississauga National Historic Site heritage structures on Lake Ontario Shores. Credit: Parks Canada


“The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the sustainability of Parks Canada assets so the cultural, environmental and economic vitality that national heritage places bring to Canada can continue into the future. Parks Canada’s shoreline erosion project alongside Fort Mississauga National Historic Site will provide vital shoreline stabilization to conserve cultural resources, while building resilient infrastructure that can withstand the effects of increasingly damaging weather events due to climate change.”

Vance Badawey
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport 

“The Government of Canada is investing in Fort Mississauga National Historic Site to ensure we give our past a future. This shoreline protection is a concrete example of how Parks Canada is conserving the cultural resources and important history of Fort Mississauga, while ensuring visitors can safely visit and learn more about the full scope of this national historic site. These vital Lake Ontario shoreline protections will mitigate the effects of climate change and allow for the rich stories of Fort Mississauga to continue to be shared.”

Chris Bittle
Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities 

Quick facts

  • Fort Mississauga National Historic Site stands as a tower of strength on Lake Ontario. Built to guard the mouth of the Niagara River following the War of 1812, this treasured place is a testament to the resilience of the local community, the rubble of whose homes was used as building materials; to the peoples who laboured to build this fort and protect their homes, including the Coloured Corps; and to all nations that have called this place home since time immemorial.

  • The Niagara National Historic Sites are a collection of seven sites located in the Niagara Region. Primarily reflecting the region’s nationally significant military heritage, the national historic sites include Fort Mississauga, Fort George, Mississauga Point Lighthouse, the Battlefield of Fort George, Queenston Heights, Butler’s Barracks and Navy Island. 

  • This final phase of work to protect the shoreline along Fort Mississauga National Historic Site will begin in November 2023 and span approximately two years. The total federal investment for the shoreline work, including the previously completed walking path and vegetation work is $10.4 million. 

  • All Parks Canada projects are subject to environmental assessments to ensure appropriate ecological protection measures are in place. Parks Canada is committed to the protection of wildlife and aquatic habitat and all necessary measures will be taken to protect fish and fish habitat throughout the infrastructure work.

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Kaitlin Power
Press Secretary      
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Parks Canada

Julia Grcevic
Public Relations and Communications Officer
Parks Canada

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