Parks Canada

Parks Canada

September 15, 2005 10:00 ET

New Designations Announced by the Government of Canada to Recognize Historically Significant People, Places and Events

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 15, 2005) - The Honourable Stephane Dion, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today announced 14 new designations to recognize and commemorate people, places and events of national historic significance for Canada.

Acting on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minister Dion designated six people, four events and four places that have helped to shape Canada's past and contributed to its development as a nation. With their designation, all 14 now join Canada's family of national historic sites, national historic events and national historic persons.

"These designations recognize the vision of Canadians who built our nation and how their actions, the places they built, and the events they were part of have influenced the values we share today," said Minister Dion. "From the Studio Building in Toronto that became home to the famous Group of Seven, to our participation in the Boer War, and the work of Harriet Tubman, recognized for her role in the Abolition Movement in Canada, these national historic people, places and events symbolize what it means to be Canadian."

The designations announced by Minister Dion are part of the Government of Canada's ongoing efforts to conserve the nation's special places and present them to Canadians. Through the national commemoration program, Canadians are offered on-site and online opportunities to better understand and appreciate Canada's unique history and culture. The program also helps to create learning and tourism opportunities that support regional economic development.

One of the Government's key objectives for the program is to build on the strong foundation of Canada's past to expand and improve its system of national historic sites, people and events. It is also actively encouraging the nomination of sites, people and events that are significant in the history of Canadian women, Aboriginal peoples, and ethnocultural communities to ensure the system truly reflects the diversity of our nation and fully represents the manifold of our history.

"Today, we recognize the work of Montrealer Philip Louis Pratley, as Canada's foremost designer of long-span highway bridges, and we celebrate the genius of Canadian architects who designed projects that blend beauty and functionality, such as the Saint Sulpice Seminary and the Atwater Library of the Mechanics' Institute," added Minister Dion. "We also recognize the founding of the Canadian Jewish Congress, as well as Nescambiouit, an eminent figure among the Abenakis who displayed considerable military and negotiating skills during the conflicts between the French and the British in Canada."

Canada's national historic designations now include a total of 917 national historic sites, 593 national historic persons and 364 national historic events. The majority of national historic sites are owned and operated by individuals, not-for-profit groups and corporations. Parks Canada protects and presents 153 national historic sites on behalf of Canadians.

With the broad-based ownership of Canada's national historic sites, Parks Canada strives to maintain formal and informal partnerships to enhance the system and conserve the sites. This is reflected in the Government's Historic Places Initiative and its Commercial Heritage Properties Incentive Fund, both of which are designed to foster the long-term conservation of Canada's historic places through collaborative efforts. The ongoing involvement of individual citizens and heritage stakeholders are also essential.

Today's designations include:

National Historic Sites of Canada

Studio Building (Toronto, Ontario)
Argyle Township Court House and Jail (Tusket, Nova Scotia)
Atwater Library of the Mechanics' Institute of Montreal (Montreal, Quebec)
Saint Sulpice Seminary and its Garden (Montreal, Quebec)

National Historic Events

Canada and the South African War (1899-1902)
Establishment of the Polymer Corporation (Sarnia, Ontario)
The Founding of the Canadian Jewish Congress (Montreal, Quebec)
The Franco-Aboriginal Alliance of 1603 (Baie Sainte-Catherine, Quebec)

National Historic Persons

The Honourable Cairine Reay Mackay Wilson (1885-1962), Ottawa, Ontario
Harriet Tubman (circa 1820-1913), St. Catharines, Ontario
Nescambiouit (1660-1727), Odanak, Quebec
Philip Louis Pratley (1884-1958), Montreal, Quebec
Reverend Richard Preston (circa 1791-1861), Halifax, Nova Scotia
Reverend William King (1812-1895), South Buxton, Ontario

Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Government of Canada regarding the national historic significance of places, people and events that have marked Canada's history.

Also available on the Internet at under What's new.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Brigitte Caron
    Press Secretary
    (819) 997-1441
    Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
    Michel Audy
    Executive Secretary
    (819) 997-0129