Parks Canada and PWGSC recipients of prestigious Heritage Canada Foundation national awards
November 5, 2013
Parks Canada and Public Works and Government Services Canada recognized for two major projects in Québec City
Québec City, Quebec, November 4, 2013 – At a ceremony held by the Heritage Canada Foundation on November 1 in Ottawa, Parks Canada and Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) garnered a prestigious national award for two large-scale projects carried out in Québec City between 2008 and 2011—the re-naturalization of Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site and the development of the Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux National Historic Site beneath the Dufferin Terrace.
Parks Canada and PWGSC joined forces for the two projects and share the Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Award for adaptive use or rehabilitation. The Heritage Canada Foundation and jury, made up of key heritage professionals, seek to recognize the excellence of “projects that demonstrate sensitivity and creativity in preserving the heritage values of a site while making possible a continuing or compatible contemporary use.”
The superintendent of the Quebec Field Unit, Hugues Michaud, said, “Parks Canada and PWGSC are proud that two of the region’s most important heritage projects in recent years are being recognized in this way.” He went on to add that “Not only do these projects effectively incorporate invaluable historic finds in the very heart of an urban centre, but they also preserve natural and cultural heritage in a creative and environmentally responsible way.”
Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site
Between 2008 and 2009, the Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site received $4 million from the Canadian government’s Economic Action Plan to revitalize a section of the Lairet River, which had been channeled in the late 1960s through a pipe that had since partially collapsed.
After extensive historical research into changes in the river’s path, the original bed of the Lairet River was restored, creating a viable ecosystem. The vegetation planted on its banks was mostly chosen based on Jacques Cartier’s descriptions in his voyage narratives. Street furniture, lighting, and a paved bike path were incorporated into the project.
Parks Canada and PWGSC carried out this important infrastructure project in keeping with their vision of promoting sustainable development, enriching the visitor experience, integrating sites in urban centres, and recreating the historical landscape from the time of Jacques Cartier.
Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux National Historic Site
The Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux National Historic Site development project, which was carried out in 2010 and 2011, received $5.5 million from the Canadian government’s Economic Action Plan. With the funds Parks Canada was able to ensure that these momentous remains will last long into the future by covering them with a concrete slab and waterproof membrane, then capping them with wood decking to restore the Dufferin Terrace to its former glory. Previously, from 2005 to 2010, the remains of one of Canada’s earliest historic finds was an open-air site.
The project was all the more complicated because ventilation, heating, and air conditioning systems had to be added, along with a walkway, entrance, and exit. The visitor experience was also improved and updated with controllable lighting, interactive signage, a digital interpretive system, fascinating interpretive activities, presentation of artifacts, and the installation of archeoscopes—the window prisms installed on Dufferin Terrace that provide visitors with a unique perspective of the remains.
The most recent addition to Parks Canada’s network of national historic sites offers an experience combining technology and heritage that will now be included in visits to the Fortifications of Québec. It will also help bolster the status of Old Québec’s historic district as a UNESCO World Heritage treasure.
The Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site commemorates the period in 1535–1536 when Jacques Cartier and his shipmates wintered near the Iroquoian village of Stadacona and also pays homage to the establishment of the first Jesuit missionaries’ residence in Québec in 1625–1626. The Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux National Historic Site recalls what was—for more than 200 years from 1620 to 1834—the official residence and seat of power of French and British governors. It is also the site where the most important decisions in North America were made at the time.
Public Relations and Communications Officer
Parks Canada Québec Field Unit